Friday, April 18, 2014

Mondo Bizarro (1966)

Director: Lee Frost

Writers: Bob Cresse, Le Frost

Composer: Lawrence Von Lattman

Starring: Claude Emmand, Lee Frost, Dick Osmun, Vito Paulekas, Karen Wyatt

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  A World of Beauty, Sensuality and Repulsion

Plot: A faux travelogue that mixes documentary and mockumentary footage. The camera looks through a one-way glass into the women's dressing room at a lingerie shop, visits a Kyoto massage parlor, goes inside the mail room at Frederick's of Hollywood, watches an Australian who sticks nails through his skin and eats glass, checks out the art and peace scene in Los Angeles, takes in Easter week with vacationing college students on Balboa Island, observes a German audience enjoying a play about Nazi sadism, and, with the help of powerful military lenses, spies on a Lebanese white-slavery auction.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? I doubt it.

I love these phony documentaries.  They try to make them seem real but you know it's all bullshit.  It's exploitation and there's no shame in that.  It's loaded with nudity and you get it right up front during the opening credits with a hidden camera in a dressing room at a L.A. lingerie shop.

I about lost my shit laughing at this broad who violently tries to stuff her boobs in the cups.  Fucking hilarious.  Then it's off to Nassau, Bahamas.  It's here where we see a secret hidden camera voodoo ceremony. 

Our journey takes us to Kyoto, Japan where a businessman gets a 'special massage' but it's not the kind you think he's going to get.

Eggs?  The fuck?  But it's funny and the groovy soundtrack behind all of these scenes is fantastically 60s. Back in the good ole U.S. of A., Mr. Frederick of Frederick's of Hollywood shows us about what they do best.

MY PARENTS ARE DEAD!  ...I'm Batman.

Somewhere that's not Nebraska, some weird dude lies on a bed of nails, eats just 3 meals a week and gets 2 hours of sleep per night.  Whatever.  Yeah, and he puts needles in his face and arms.  Oooooooooh.

This guy eats glass...

I have no idea why Sunset Blvd. gets its own segment...

Maybe it's to segue to this...

or, GASP, homos selling themselves on the streets!

An art gallery.  The paintings are very well done.  Seriously.  They look like photographs.  I'm impressed.

Protesters?  Really?  What's so bizarro about that?  This was memorable for the song behind it that sounds like a really young Randy Newman. It could be him.  He was 22 at the time and a budding songwriter.

The art class for, presumably, married broads not getting any at home.

Here's Vito, an artist.

That guy reminds me A LOT of Dick Shawn's character in IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963).  Again, as with just about every segment in this picture, the music is fantastic. Next it's 5 minutes talking to young Easter vacationers and their troubles with the local police who despise the teenage tourists. The most shocking part about this is a group of 14 kids staying in a motel for just 85 cents a day per person.

It's off to the land of Nazis and a scandalous Nazisploitation play for an eager, salivating audience.

We end up in Lebanon where we get a secret glimpse into a slave auction.

You're paid for now, missy, get in the car.

This was the worst of the bunch.  it's the longest segment by far, clocking in at 20 minutes.  It's dreadfully dull and a horrible way to end the program.  This is the first half of a Mondo double feature disc from the always amazing Something Weird Video.  I haven't watched the other, similar film, MONDO FREUDO (1966) but it looks to be just like this one.  There's also a short and a shitload of great trailers, all with the same theme.  they're a blast. The problems these films suffer from is almost universal, the segments are too long with too much filler and time wasted on the mundane and repetitious.  They are pretty damn amusing and great to watch with a group but there's not much replay value if you watch them alone.  The fast forward button can be your best friend with some of these.  Still, I admire the talent that goes into these with not only the visual content but the score and songs plus the often hilarious narration that accompanies them.  I would have loved to have been a part of the creation process on these fifty years ago.  I would have been completely in my element.

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