We are thrilled to embark on our first Mondo theme week, looking at Sexy travelogues from around the world, to be followed by Mondo Tribal this spring. These exploitation pseudo-documentaries originated in Italy - hence great music by Ortolani, Umiliani and Morricone - but soon became a label to slap onto almost any type of episodic film with nudity, gore or more. These are some of our favourite films from the genre.
Hollywood’s World of Flesh (1963) - The US version of the Mondo genre that was covered two weeks ago in the Lee Frost theme week. Seedy underside of tinseltown 'exposed'.
Women of the World / La donna nel mondo (1963) - A look at customs and rituals of women (often naked) from every corner of the world. Voice over by Peter Ustinov, who voice lends it class and distinction... even during the icky parts! Fascinating documentary featuring actual, often startling, footage from around the globe.
Sexy Proibitissimo (1963) - A sort of Mondo Stripteaso with a couple of monsters inexplicably thrown in. It works its way forward from Stone Age, disrobing through historical moments and ending in space. But not before a nudie take on vampire and Dr Frankenstein. A fun, titty-filled Italian “Sexy” released in the U.S. by Bob Cresse (who also wrote the narration).
Violated Paradise (1965) - Japanese travelogue, financed by Italians and directed by an exiled Russian. We follow the geisha Tamako on a seditious trawl around the fleshpots of Japan. Topless female pearl divers, bathhouse geishas, and glitzy nude Ginza cabaret.
Chained Girls (1965) - Tagline: “Wild Women Who Need No Men!” It’s ‘A Daring Film About Lesbianism Today'. We are informed that 'Psychiatric examinations have shown that lesbians had fathers that are psychopathic, alcoholic, or tyrannical!'
Mundo Depravados (1967) - Not so much a true Mondo film as much as a cash-in on the term. Instead it’s a sick nudie-whodunit with some nasty murders, a bit of old-time burlesque courtesy of titanic titted Tempest Storm. One minute it's a nudie, then a comedy, then women are getting stabbed, then it's a burlesque show. Your head will start spinning long before it's through.
Rio Nudo (1969) - The swingingest, sleaziest travel video that could only be made in South America -- where life is cheap! Rio Nudo is just the ticket for anyone who wishes they could travel back in time and see what Brazil's Rio was like in the Sinful Sixties.
Rapport från Stockholms sexträsk (1974) - Never screened outside Sweden, so Cultpix fittingly named it Mondo Stockholm for the international audience. A Taxi Driver-like night time crawl through the sleazy streets of Stockholm with hookers, porn shops, XXX cinemas and more.
Don't forget our Mondo Spotify playlist with some of the best tracks from the films above and more.