Behind The Behind…OR…Mondo Tatas


After the phenomenal success of the shockumentaries Mondo Cane 1&2,(see my review Mondo Mondo) everybody and their cousin rushed out to make one, including that loveable sleazebag Bob Cresse (House On Bare Mountain, Love Camp 7). The mondo films are a peek at the weirdest customs and rituals around the world…and Cresse’s Mondo Bizarro and Mondo Freudo do visit a couple of exotic locales…but most of the footage was shot on LA’s Sunset Strip…which, in 1966, was certainly full of enough weirdness for a mondo movie. There’s a voodoo ceremony, Fakir stunts, a glass eater…but really these films are made for the same reason Cresse made all of his movies: to pack the screen with naked women…in strip clubs, massage parlors, artist’s studios…even the auction block. And there are some honeys to be seen here. Especially the blonde who go go dances in nothing but tiger-striped bikini panties for Frank Zappa’s sculptor friend Vito. It’s also a pretty cool time capsule of the mid 60’s burgeoning hippie culture. The films are both reverent and disdainful in turns…Cresse probably dug the free love, but was notoriously square when it came to drugs. There are some classic tunes on the soundtrack, including the garage band standard I Can Only Give You Everything and Eaffin And Surfin’ (which is the theme song of Rat Pfink A Boo Boo…but was also featured in Russ Meyer’s Mondo Topless). The bands are uncredited and I’m assuming they probably didn’t see a dime…the filmmakers probably counted on the movies hitting the drive-in and grindhouse screens and disappearing before anyone got hip to their pilfery…The exploiteers were all carnies at heart…



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