Thursday, August 13, 2015

Naked and Cruel Film Screening

Please join us for a free film screening of a custom composite print of Bitto Albertini's Nudo e Crudele (aka Naked and Cruel) (1984) on Tuesday, August the 18th, 2015, in London.

The mondo film, a genre-defying sensual assault on notions of cinematic acceptability, combining stylistic shock cuts with a sensationalist rejection of taboo, is all too often maligned and censored, suppressed and excluded from public consciousness. Coyly concocting a blended paradox of uncensored, unflinching film-making and the utmost fakery, the mondo exposes the hypocritical corruption of traditional documentary and ethnographic modes of truth production by paradoxically being both far more and far less honest than those stifling styles of cinema the world has deemed to be more palatable, pushing the resultant illusory binary of non/fiction through a self-referential reductio ad absurdum parody of form. Naked and Cruel: Pathological Operations Upon the Mondo Corpus will thrust the messy mondo cycle back into the mind’s eye, reveling in the ribald lechery and fetid gore on display for a sleaze-drenched afternoon descent into the bowels of shockumentary cinema.

For the first time on the big screen, The Mondo Research Laboratories will present a custom composite print of Bitto Albertini's mondo extravaganza Nudo e crudele (aka Naked and Cruel) (1984) with scenes formerly censored from the English version now added back in, presenting scenes composing a cosmopolitan smorgasbord of worldly delights pivoting around the twin frenzies of feeding and fucking. 

The event is free and open to anyone who can stomach it.

What? A free film screening and talk of a custom composite print of Bitto Albertini's mondo extravaganza Nudo e crudele (aka Naked and Cruel) (1984).

When? 17:00-20:00, Tuesday, 18 August 2015.


Room LG02 in the Stuart Hall/New Academic Building
London SE14 6NW
(We'll be in Building 2 on the map, downstairs)

Questions? contact

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Mondo Enquiry - Who are the Women in Red and Blue?

Whilst watching London in the Raw (1964), we noticed that two certain red and blue dress-clad ladies kept popping up throughout the swinging picture, usually chatting up a gentleman bloke or the like.

A question to pose then, a mondo enquiry of sorts as it were, is who are they?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

London in the Raw - Theatrical Version vs Mystery Version

Originally, we had no plans to do a comparison of the theatrical and 'mystery' cuts of London in the Raw (1964), the middle entry in Arnold Louis Miller's Mondo London Trilogy (preceded by West End Jungle (1961) and succeeded by Primitive London (1965)), due to the fact that the booklet accompanying the British Film Institute's (BFI) 2009 DVD release thereof included a short essay by Vic Pratt, a fiction curator at the BFI National Archive, entitled "The Long and the short of it" allegedly detailing the differences betwixt the two versions of the film. Eventually, however, curiosity got the better of us and we did end up watching the two versions side-by-side. Our findings are that Pratt's analysis is woefully incomplete, completely ignoring several key differences between the two versions of the film.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Primitive London - British Film Institute vs Video Revelations

Originally released in 1965, Arnold Louis Miller's Primitive London is oft referred to as merely being the sequel to Miller's earlier London in the Raw (1964). However, the film can in fact be said to be the third entry into a sort of Mondo London Trilogy, with the first movie in the resultant mondo triptych being Miller's earlier foray into London's striptease clubs--West End Jungle (1961). While mayhap missing out on some of the mondo film's characteristic, uh, multiculturalism, West End Jungle nonetheless serves as a sort of transitional film from the popular proto-mondo 'sexy nocturnes' or 'mondo sexy' subgenre--which generally highlighted (often studio-staged) striptease cabaret, and nightclub acts--into the more comprehensive faux-documentary narrative of the main mondo cycle.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Film Historians Erase Films - A Case Study: Let Me Die a Woman - Synapse vs Derann

In the liner notes accompanying Synapse Films' 2006 release of the 'Transgendered Edition' of Let Me Die a Woman (1978), Michael J. Bowen makes the claim that this version of the film "contain[s] footage never previously released on a video format". Unfortunately, however, Bowen does not then go on to explain exactly what this hitherto-unreleased footage actually depicts. In order to then attempt to ascertain precisely what footage is in the Synapse release but allegedly not in any other video release of the film, we thus decided to do a side-by-side comparison of said Synapse release and the earlier (1982) UK VHS release of the film by Derann Video.

What started out as a routine comparative expedition, however, soon inadvertently turned into a grim exposé of how film historians actively expunge films from cinematic record, literally striving to remove even the possibility of a film's existence, an astonishing ploy by which the film historian far surpasses the villainy of even the most diabolical film censor; for while the latter is generally content to merely snip out, here and there, portions of any given film, the former, operating under the veneer of seemingly benign cinematic scholarship, attempts nothing less than the excision of an existent film itself from the bowels of history by grandiloquently venturing to bend space-time to preclude the film from ever having been made in the first place.

But to return for the time being to the comparison at hand...


Monday, August 13, 2012

Slave Trade in the World Today - Intermedia/Woodhaven vs Mediaset

In 2004, Intermedia Video/Woodhaven Entertainment released a DVD* of Slave Trade in the World Today (aka Le schiave esistono ancora) (1975). The backside of the DVD sleeve curiously stated that the film had not only been "Digitally Remastered", but also "Re-edited & Color Enhanced", though unfortunately no additional information was provided. We thus decided to do a comparison of the Intermedia/Woodhaven DVD version (IWDV) of the film with an Italian TV broadcast version (IMTV), which aired on the Mediaset Italia 1 channel, so as to see if we could deduce precisely what had been re-edited and enhanced on the aforementioned DVD release.

*Woodhaven Entertainment also released the film on VHS in 2000, but alas we do not have a copy of said VHS to see whether or not it is identical to the later DVD release.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Who Are the Brutes and Who Are the Savages? An open letter to one Mark Goodall regarding his treatment of the film Brutes and Savages

Dearest Mr. Goodall,

We here at The Mondo Research Laboratories do hereby take issue with your treatment of the film Brutes and Savages (e.g. "a silly charade"), its director Arthur Davis (e.g. "the most monstrous, untamed ego in the entire history of the sub-genre"), and those within the film (e.g. "poorly staged and terribly acted") in your tome on mondo cinema entitled Sweet & Savage: The World Through The Shockumentary Film Lens (2006 [ISBN: 1900486490], pp. 35-38), and hold that through the withholding, manipulating, and outright lying about the various facets of the film you thus present a skewed and inaccurate portrait of the aforementioned director, the film, and the various peoples therein. Whether this is due to 'mere' gross negligence and ineptitude or intentional deception designed to unfairly and inaccurately disparage the film, of course cannot be known with absolute certainty by anyone but you, if anyone at all; nonetheless, the all-too-convenient case being that every time a fact is omitted, its omission serves to benefit your underlying thesis--that Davis is a "fraudster" and the film a "silly charade"--leads us to believe that said omissions, which serve to reinforce a consistent and malignant bias against the film and the involved parties, are quite intentional, indeed. But regardless of what the ultimate cause of these various argumentatively convenient factual gaps and manipulations (which you can find outlined at some length below) may be, if you cannot provide an honest depiction of the film you aim to discuss, then you sir have absolutely no business writing about it. Such despicably erroneous mudslinging masquerading as film critique has no place in a serious study of mondo cinema, and we will not sit idly by and let you attempt to steamroll the mondo landscape into acquiescence with your deluded, ill-informed pontifications on the subject we hold dear.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mondo Magic - Intermedia/Woodhaven vs De Laurentiis Ricordi

Upon the 2004 Intermedia Video/Woodhaven Entertainment DVD release* of Mondo Magic (aka Magia nuda aka Naked Magic aka Shocking Cannibals) (1975), various mentions of the DVD being heavily cut surfaced online, though it seems that there were few details as to precisely which scenes were cut, and while there have been some brief discussions of the disparities between the cut/uncut versions, we couldn't locate a comprehensive listing of cuts. With this in mind, we thus decided to do a comparison between the Intermedia/Woodhaven DVD release (narrated in English) and the earlier Italian De Laurentiis Ricordi Video VHS release (narrated in Italian), which presents a longer cut of the film.

*Woodhaven Entertainment also released Mondo Magic on VHS in 1999, but alas we do not have a copy of the tape release to see if it is identical to the later DVD release (though the runtime written on the back cover of the VHS--"Approx. 85 Minutes"--does seem to indicate that it is the same length as the DVD).


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Primitive Love - Italian International Film vs Something Weird Video

Primitive Love (aka L'amore primitivo) (1964), the Jayne Mansfield vehicle that uses a flimsy Italian sex comedy backdrop as an excuse to showcase some wholly unremarkable mondo fodder, has been released on DVD by both Italian International Film (IIF) in 2006 and Something Weird Video (SWV) in 2001, the latter including the film as a mondo double bill with Mondo Balordo (aka A Fool's World) (1964).


The Web Viles 01 - "Snuff Films Do Not Exist"

It is a commonly held belief today that the Internet has ushered in an era wherein the shockumentary has become a largely superfluous enterprise. The grisly scenes of carnage that one previously had to hunt down on obscure tapes to enjoy/endure, the argument goes, are now widely available on a plethora of Internet shock sites, and we can thusly safely toss the tapes in the trash.  However, while today's greater availability of mondo/shocku footage is certainly undeniable, some of us nonetheless remain of the opinion that the shockumentary continues to have a key role in today's day and age. The shockumentary brings together 60 to 90 minutes of grueling footage in a deathly monotonous onslaught unparalleled by the superficially fragmented presentation of web clips. Watching one or two short Internet clips you chance upon is incomparable to immersing yourself in a feature-length presentation of unbridled doom and demise for hours on end.

The sickly slew of shockumentary fodder being distributed on the danker, darker corners of the web, while perhaps best seen as complimentary sample morsels served alongside the main mondo dish, nonetheless cannot be wholly ignored either. With this in mind, we thus present a new sporadic series entitled The Web Viles, wherein each time we will take a close look at a web-based shocku clip.

For this, our first entry, let us look at one of the oldest online death clips around (the earliest mention of the clip that we could find was in January 2000, although the clip itself was made in 1999). The clip in question does not possess any sort of formal title although it is sometimes referred to as the "'snuff films do not exist' video" (due to the woman in the clip yelling out said phrase prior to being shot) or simply as the 'shot in the head snuff video', and has surfaced under any number of filenames such as snuff.mpg, kidnap.mpg, isitreal.mpg, and real_snuff_film.wmv, to name a few. The extremely short clip of approximately six seconds depicts a woman sitting on a chair (in fact, it is a wheelchair) and crying out the aforementioned phrase about snuff films, only to have a handgun discharged at her head by an unknown assailant.