Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mondo Topless (1966)

Mondo Topless (1966)

Anthology Film Archives in NYC is currently running a series of films under the umbrella title Mondo Mondo.  A Mondo film is basically a documentary, or faux documentary, that is also an exploitation film.  Here is a link to what wikipedia says :

Mondo film

This genre was made popular by the 1962 movie Mondo Cane, which was a surprise hit and yielded a Grammy nomination for the theme song More, from the Mondo Cane soundtrack.  The song was covered by Kai Winding and hit #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Many other films with the word  Mondo (Italian for world) in their titles, including Mondo Topless, Mondo Nudo, Mondo Bizarro, and even Mondo New York.  There were also tons of other movies that employed this shockumentary style over the years.

Russ Meyer directed his version of a Mondo movie, called Mondo Topless, which is not a surprise in the least.  Most of the focus of this very short full length movie (60 minutes) is spent on boobs, mostly while the girl dances.  The girls were mostly topless, nude or burlesque dancers, and many of them give their opinions of their craft, nudity, sex, men and other things.  Oddly enough, this would also be  great movie for anyone with an obsession for older radios, stereos and reel to reel machines, as they are the second largest focus in the movie.  In a different time, the movie company would have focused on one brand for promotional consideration, but here it is a random assortment of various brands and styles of items that play music. 

One of the features of most of the mondo films is the music as well, and the soundtracks are always pretty amazing, for the most part.  So as much as the equipment playing the music was a big part of the movie, the music also was.  Mostly swinging jazz and pop sounds, done in a very 1960s sounding style.  The other thing this movie has going for it is its narration.  Done in an almost carnival style of speech, the narrator hawks its wares like they are cars. 

Overall, even for an only hour long movie, this one can get a bit boring at times, as there is not that much being said, and only so many girls in the movie, so it feels very much the same throughout.  There are some nice shots of scenery and cities as well, and you get a feel for what things looked like long ago.

7 out of 10 stars.

Location : Anthology Film Archives, main theater, NYC
Date and time : Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Format : 35mm
Audience : Decent crowd, 20-50, audience seemed to enjoy it