In 1962 Franco Prospera and Gualtiero Jacopetti set out to shock western audiences by introducing us to “Mondo Cane” (A Dog’s World.) In doing so, they created an entire new genre of film and taught the blind eyes of our culture what really happens behind closed doors. They didn’t only give us a glimpse of the atrocities, the cultural practices and the news events we had only heard of, they dove in full force and showed us the most vile, deplorable and outrageous acts committed in other cultures. We got to see a world completely different than everything we’ve ever known, a world that exists even to this day, outside of the comfort of our “1st world” cushiness.
One of the elements that makes their films stand out is the composer; Riz Ortolani. Not only was the title track used and remade by multiple famous musicians at that time, the way in which he told the story of Mondo Cane through music made the film so much more moving and emotionally involved than it would have been. Africa Addio is by far the best representation of his skills and how he used music to tell the story. You can also notice the complete difference between Mondo Cane and Mondo Cane 2 (as Ortolani refused to be a part of the second one for reasons I won’t get into) There is such a moving and inspiring difference that you have to see to understand.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to get your hands on the Blue Underground release of The Mondo Cane Collection, you’ve been one of the lucky ones to see the director’s cut of Jacopetti and Prospera’s other films; Mondo Cane 2, Africa Addio, Adio Zio Tom (Goodbye uncle tom) La donna nel mondo (women of the world) and the very informative documentary about the directors and their struggles. In those films you’ll find the same shock factor we all know and love about the original Mondo movie. With Mondo Cane 2, and Women of the World following in the footsteps of the original, we see more of the story of our world.
Getting back on the subject at hand, Mondo Cane will forever live in film history as the beginning of a new era of horror. The jumping point for Italian Horror in the 1960’s, and the breaking point between media bias and culture shock. With films following suit in the Shockumentary style of Mondo Cane such as Mondo Bizarro, Mondo Trasho, Shocking America and the newer and more familiar films such as the Faces of Death series and Banned From Television our world has notably been forever changed. Even now, turn on Spike TV and watch an episode of Worlds Wildest Police Videos. It might not be the same, it might not be as inspiring or as revolutionary as the original Mondo Cane but if it wasn’t for the courage and the minds of Jacopetti, Covari and Prospera the Mondo film would be nonexistent and the style of Shockumentary would never be the same.
WRITER: CORELLA WARING
From Corella: I'm simply a gorehound, a sicko, a horror junkie or whatever you'd like to call me who loves the most vile, disgusting, gore filled films I can get my hands on. I've been obsessed with horror since I set down with my mom and watched The Evil Dead when I was about 4. It runs in my blood! I'm also a gamer, I've been addicted to video games since I was young enough to pick up a controller and start playing Mortal Kombat (which fueled my horror addiction no less) I'm currently big into FPS style games with such an addiction to Halo that I had Master Chief permanently etched into my leg. But that, my friends is the real me...my alter ego, who I go by during the day, is; Corella Waring RN. I work in the ICU of a local hospital and I love every minute of it. I'm also a pet groomer and I've been one for most of my adult life. Saving lives and helping to beautify animals is a true passion in my life. I seem to be 2 completely different people until you get to know me. I love going on crazy adventures and attending as many horror and anime conventions as I possibly can!