Mondo Cane

Mondo Cane

Director: Paolo Cavara, Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco E. Prosperi

Cast: Paolo Cavara, Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco E. Prosperi, Stefano Sibaldi

     
 

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This shockumentary caused a stir when it was released in 1962 -- no one had seen anything quite like it before. But audiences need not have worried, this low-brow, disconnected series of clips on "savages" and "barbarians" (usually dark-skinned) who pierce their skin or their noses and do not bother to cover their breasts, would only get worse in sequel after sequel,… See more details below

Overview

This shockumentary caused a stir when it was released in 1962 -- no one had seen anything quite like it before. But audiences need not have worried, this low-brow, disconnected series of clips on "savages" and "barbarians" (usually dark-skinned) who pierce their skin or their noses and do not bother to cover their breasts, would only get worse in sequel after sequel, through the 1970s. Purporting to show repulsive or erotic ritual practices and strange cultural customs from around the world, such as the slaughter of pigs in New Guinea or Asians who eat dog meat, or even the Hawaiian hula, this supposed documentary is nothing more than a series of unrelated, jarring film clips with commentary from a limited white male perspective.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This globe-trotting documentary was one of the more reviled films of its era. It's easy to see why Mondo Cane's critics detest it so: It gleefully rubs the viewer's nose in grisly shocks, there is a sneering undercurrent of racism in the tone of its narration, and it takes a disturbingly dim view of humanity. Between the gratuitous shocks, the film is also burdened with some obvious padding -- the worst example is a tiresome scene of tourists learning to dance the hula. That said, Mondo Cane offers some unforgettable sights and sounds for the viewer willing to look past its carny-style need to shock. For instance, a sequence involving an island whose wildlife has been ravaged by nuclear testing and the finale, which depicts a tribe that worships cargo planes, achieve a unique mix of beauty and horror despite the film's overall exploitative intent. Mondo Cane is also notable amongst the other films in this genre for its surprisingly high level of craftsmanship. The technicolor cinematography is surprisingly lovely and well-composed for a documentary and Riz Ortolani's score (including the Oscar-winning theme song "More") blends kitschy lounge-jazz and soaring orchestrations in a way that perfectly matches the ever-shifting moods of the film. In the end, Mondo Cane will probably have little appeal to modern audiences outside of exploitation film circles, but it remains an interesting and occasionally shocking curiosity piece for the brave curiosity seeker.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2008
UPC:
0827058101196
Original Release:
1962
Rating:
NR
Source:
Blue Underground
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Colorized]
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
13,082

Special Features

Theatrical trailers; TV spot; Poster & still gallery; Benito Frattari's location stills; Lobby promo; The unofficial Mondo phenomenon by Davis Flint

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Mondo Cane
1. Program Start / Main Titles [1:47]
2. Valentino's Relatives [3:53]
3. The Latin Lover [2:05]
4. Manhunting In New Guinea [3:13]
5. Boating Beauties [1:30]
6. The Pig Feast [6:07]
7. Pasadena Dog Cemetery [2:32]
8. Dogs and Chicks [2:21]
9. Foie Gras [2:27]
10. Tapioca [1:43]
11. Vic Tanny [2:20]
12. Bizarre Food [2:54]
13. Snakes [2:58]
14. Good Friday [2:25]
15. Lifeguards [4:38]
16. Atomic Contamination [6:12]
17. Shark Drama [5:50]
18. Fraternity of the Red Hoods [2:24]
19. Drunk In Germany [7:00]
20. Japanese Hangover Remedy [:54]
21. Death In Asia [2:33]
22. Cars Alive and Dead [5:54]
23. Blue [5:03]
24. Hawaii [3:07]
25. Beheading the Bull [6:19]
26. Bulls Get Even [3:41]
27. New Guinea [5:09]
28. Cult of the Cargo Planes [4:45]
29. End Credits [3:55]

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