Blu-ray Review: Mondo Balordo (1964)

July 11, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

After a big spoon of hippie-dippy bullshit (set to some pseudo-Vic Damone crooning) that attempts to rationalize the horrors we will doubtfully soon witness, Mondo Balordo gets underway…

… and in less than five minutes we get handicapped, and possibly deranged, people busking, a man that can inflate his stomach to asinine degrees, and sex with a midget prostitute… fuck me (but not like our little person harlot), this is going to be a bumpy ride… oh, and Boris Karloff of all people is mixed up in this too…

Moving on we get a thick stew of Hercules flick stock-footage, exercises to reinvigorate the tiddies of ol’ biddies, strip shows, light S&M, female rasslin’ … and so much, much more. Also a blonde-haired Buddy Holly clone sings some song that is an unholy combination of ’50’s rock mixed with the manic energy of Guitar Wolf set to images of native peoples dancing to god knows what… honestly, that was my favorite part of this film…

Half stock footage, half staged “new” material, and pretty much all bullshit, Mondo Balordo presents it’s nonsense as full-on fact, and tries to paint itself as a documentary rather than the non-stop collection of shock value that it truly is… and it’s insanely entertaining.

Karloff adds a sense of class to the proceedings as the narrator, but there is no way you can turn turds into diamonds no matter how silky voiced your mouthpiece is… and honestly why even try? This thing is pure exploitation through and through, and it revels in it to such a degree that the viewer can’t help but be swept up in the proceedings wholesale!

In the negative column, there is some animal on animal violence, and footage of indigenous folk hunting and killing various animals (and dogs that have seen better days) so be warned if that shit gets to ya.

As for special features on this Severin Blu-ray release, we get the film’s trailer, and a second mondo feature; 1960’s The Orientals.

From the streets of “modern” Cairo (who tries to advance while keeping a foot in the past), to Kathmandu (modern, foot past… wash, rinse, repeat), to many more points East… and more East, The Orientals is a decidedly lighter affair than the feature attraction with far less sensationalist elements and some semblance of a narrative in it’s six segments. All in all it’s a solid watch if ya dig on the mondo… which I assume you do, or why would you even buy the film or read this revoltin’ review?

Filled with the greatest hits of the mondo genre (think “deviant” sex, drugs, strange rituals, and dead animals), by way of Karloff the Uncanny; Mondo Balordo is a bizarr-o hoot , and the presence of Karloff makes it that much better for horror hounds!

 

 

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