Blu-ray Review: The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968)

July 12, 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, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Jayne Mansfield, apparently quite the international jet-setter, is kind enough to take us along on her last tour around the globe. Make sure you take your Dramamine as I suspect this is going to be a bumpy-ass ride…

We start off in Rome, where Jayne just putzes around nearly deserted streets (in black and white footage… remember this)… but c’mon, Jayne is a big star, they aren’t really selling it… oh, wait… thankfully stock footage of countless people looking at… something… has been spliced in (via color footage). Ciao Bella Mrs. Mansfield…

After more stock footage, some people eventually show up and Jayne gets her ass pinched (which may be more stock footage… but definitely involves a look-alike) in the middle of the afternoon, watches some ladies take their clothes off, fills us in on the games of the coliseums (via scenes from an old Hercules picture and a rando soccer game), fantasizes about dragons and ancient orgies (thankfully not simultaneously) as well as being in ancient times (via footage from The Loves of Hercules in which Mansfield starred along with her husband Mickey Hargitay as Herc) and shows us her naked goods via some black market porno rag… maybe it was a Playboy… shit’s gettin’ fuzzy…

After along time we head to the French Riviera… Cannes to be precise, where our guide ogles women in bikinis before throwin’ one on herself (look, the lady knew what kept asses in seats) and wanders into a performance by Rocky Roberts and The Airdales… a fantastic piece where Rocky’s lips never match a single word of the song they slapped on this baby in post, as Jayne shimmies and twerks her way into our hearts.

We also get Jayne telling us how shy she is while whipping her tits out of her outfit on a boat on it’s way to a nudist retreat. My whole everything hurts at this point…

Eventually she attends a puppet show where feet stand in for puppets… fuck it; off to Paris!

If you think I’m giving away all this film has to offer in this review, let me point out it’s only thirty minutes into the film when Jayne gets to Paris… there are sixty additional minutes of pure lunacy involving everything from the Hell’s Angels to cross-dressers to the breast size of English girls versus Parisian ones to topless ice cream vendors (among other vocations).

Fuck, I didn’t mention The Ladybirds… you cats n’ creeps will have to discover them on your own…

Holy fucking fuck, The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield is one hilarious motion picture… sometimes even intentionally. Full of raunchy dialog, ridiculous situations, and what was doubtless a Tuesday for ol’ Jayne, this film illustrates how I want to believe Jayne actually looked at life… slightly confused, looking for constant fun… and maybe it was, who the fuck knows?

Let me just mention that this film came out a year after Jayne’s death, and there is a coda dealing with it that is pretty somber… and weirdly focuses on her ex-husband Mickey Hargitay although their relationship was long kaput before her death.

It does have to be mentioned that the picture on this one is a tad rough around the ages, and Severin makes note of that before the film even begins… but to me, that’s all part of the experience; the scratchy, faded image gives the entire thing a dirty grit that gives the false glitz of the film an honesty it would lose if the image was pristine.

Speaking of picture, as a bonus feature on this Blu-ray there is the original SD version of the film presented for completions sake… not to mention an interview with Anton La Vey biographer Blanche Barton (fitting as Mansfield was a member of the Church of Satan) who discusses what Jayne was actually like (smart and personable apparently), the film’s trailer, and an additional film; 1963’s The Wild Weird Wonderful Italians.

The Wild Weird Wonderful Italians, an offering from American-International TV’s Real Life Adventures package from the late ’60s, is an outstandingly tame (minus one shitty bit with a rabbit, and one with a chicken… and a goat… fuck, movie c’mon… )  mondo featuring everything from prostitution to body building to swimming to ancient funerary rites that are still practiced (and are pure bullshit judging how everyone in the scene including the “corpse” start smiling and laughing) down Italy way… and wouldn’t ya know it, ol’ Jayne Mansfield shows up for a hot second here as well!

If you love cheese and insanity in equal amounts (you read this column… so you know you well and truly do) then order yourself a copy of The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield post-fuckin’-haste; this is borderline life-changing nonsense!

 

 

 

 

 

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