SassyFlix | Mondo Bizarro

Mondo Bizarro

  • NR
  • 1966-08-25
  • 01:20:00
7/ 10
3 votes

A faux travelogue that mixes documentary and mockumentary footage. The camera looks through a one-way glass into the women's dressing room at a lingerie shop, visits a Kyoto massage parlor, goes inside the mailroom at Frederick's of Hollywood, watches an Australian who sticks nails through his skin and eats glass, checks out the art and peace scene in Los Angeles, takes in Easter week with vacationing college students on Balboa Island, observes a German audience enjoying a play about Nazi sadism, and, with the help of powerful military lenses, spies on a Lebanese white-slavery auction. A narrator adds gravitas: "To the worm in the cheese, the cheese is the universe."

In 1966, the notorious producer/director/distributor team of Lee Frost and Bob Cresse (HOT SPUR, THE SCAVENGERS) combined the extremes of the Mondo genre with their own depraved aesthetic to create two shockumentaries that changed the face of exploitation forever. Cresse himself narrates MONDO FREUDO, “a world of sex and the strange & unusual laws that govern it” featuring Hollywood strippers, Tijuana hookers, London lesbians, Times Square Satanists and topless Watusi clubs. In MONDO BIZARRO, the team’s “hidden cameras” go “beyond the beyond” to expose Bahamian voodoo rites, Japanese massage parlors, Nazi theater, and an Arab sex slave auction that looks suspiciously like LA.’s Bronson Canyon. Both films have been scanned into HD from the original 35mm vault negatives.



Warning: Spoilers

"To the worm in the cheese, the cheese is the universe. To the maggot in the cadaver, the cadaver is infinity. And to you, what is your world? How do you know what is beyond the Beyond? Most of us don't even know what is behind the Beyond."

Mondo Bizarro blew my mind and it hadn't even started yet.

Much like all of the Lee Frost and Bob Cresse mondos, this is a mix of both documentary and faked footage. Sure, that one way glass in a changing room is fake, but hey, Frederick's of Hollywood is real, even if it shows up in so many mondo films that I lose track of which one is which.

This one also has a man sticking nails in his skin and eating glass, the hippies of Los Angeles, Germans watching a Nazi play (Cresse must have been, umm, Cresse-ing his jeans, seeing as how he played a German officer in Love Camp 7 with such aufregung.

The duo also used a high-powered lens to capture what they describe as a Lebanese white-slavery auction. Never mind that it's obviously Bronson Canyon, the setting for everything from Night of the Blood Beast to Equinox, Octaman and, most famously, the entrance to the Batcave in the 1960's TV show.

Make no bones about it. This is junk. But it's entertaining junk.

Hilariously bogus mondo crock doc

Warning: Spoilers

This clearly faked mondo shock documentary purports to reveal various seamy and shocking practices that were reportedly filmed with hidden cameras. Director Lee Frost and producer Bob Cresse naturally use the premise as an excuse to show oodles of gratuitous female nudity and play up the more lurid aspects of said premise to the pleasing ninth degree.

Among the sordid sights to be savored herein are a visit to Frederick's of Hollywood, male hustlers selling their bodies on a street corner, a secret nocturnal voodoo ceremony in the Bahamas, a guy named Jack Schwartz who lies on a bed of nails and jams unsterilized needles in his body without bleeding, a smoking hot topless go-go dancing model posing for swingin' artist Vito, a sleazy foray to a Japanese massage parlor, a sadistic play about Nazis performed in front of an enraptured audience in Germany, and, best of all, a highly suspect Arab slave auction that was staged in Bronson Canyon with Cresse playing one of the Arabs selling naked women from the back of a flatbed truck. Narrator Claude Emmand does a deliciously overripe third-rate Boris Karloff imitation. The soundtrack of insanely groovy garage rock songs hits the right-on spot. A real hokey hoot.

Directed by:

Lee Frost

Writing Credits:

Bob Cresse, Lee Frost