Mondo Cane ranks as a legendary (albeit offbeat and, to some, off-putting) milestone in film history. It’s a documentary aimed to shock. Lensed by European filmmakers Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi, Mondo Cane whisks viewers on a bizarre journey into some macabre places, with the camera strategically (and voyeuristically) placed to record all manner of oddities.
Part exploitation, part documentary. What sets Mondo Cane (Dog’s Life) apart is that all of the scenes are real. There are no actors or glamour models or extravagant set pieces. Mondo Cane, in a word, is REAL.
If you like your exploitation flung at you at the speed of light, and love learning something to boot, then this is where it’s at. This film’s goal is to either make you cringe or educate you of the various “evils” of the world. I use the word evil very loosely in that most of the scenes portray individuals behaving naturally. We might find xyz topic offensive, or evil, but do they? And that’s the beauty behind this film.
Like most Mr. WaF shockers, come with an open mind. Don’t dig into each individual scene and judge it by what you personally feel. Try and understand one, the area where the film was taken. Was it shot in a village in the middle of nowhere deep int he heart of Africa? And then understand when it was shot. The “norm” of the sixties versus the “norm” of today in the United States alone is radically different. And then if you figure in the location, you’re left with a story too fragmented to piece together.
So at the end of the day, understand that Mondo Cane has many disturbing images. But learn something during the process, will ya? This film, MoW’s, is a buy. It’s a buy solely based on the breadth of the content. It’s almost an encyclopedia of the world.