News Reels were a way of showing News that was otherwise only heard on the radio or read in the newspapers. But it wasn’t long before the oddities of the world were also brought in to the theaters. It’s the all to common history of sensationalism winning out over substance. While these short features were as a way to warm the audience before the feature attraction, Mondo Cane is the first of these slightly blue voyeuristic vignettes I know of to arrive as a feature length film. Mondo Cane was the first to string together a collective of odd known and unknown cultural rites for the purpose of shock and social commentary. The depths of grief reflecting the deep love Americans feel towards pets, parlayed against dogs being used indifferent ally as a meat source. Stereotype brazenly reinforced to a level of absurdity so that the audience fights back with the rational thought of the absurdity of stereotypes. The awful dubbing, and the odd selections of music to go with the scenes are orchestrated to poke a stick as any societies’ conventions. Mondo Cane set the template for a series of exploitation documentaries. These in turn inspired others to craft their own documentaries in the same style. Sex, death, gluttony, and fanaticism have all been explored and have become a standard recipe used in reality television shows and Internet videos. Mondo Cane came out when I was born and a lifetime of exposure has numbed me a bit to the original source material.
A quick word. Earlier this month I started a Kickstarter campaign to produce a pet project of mine: Obscure Movie Monster Playing Cards. As of April 18th there are only four days left in the campaign. Supporters will be rewarded with the best first offering on this unique deck of cards featuring forgotten horror movie monsters. They are perfect for sharing with movie buffs. And you would do be a great favor if you can share the link to the Kickstarter and get the word out.