Disturbing, exploitative and cynical documentaries with snide or sarcastic remarks on shocking or strange subjects, usually real-life gore, death, violence or bizarre customs, societies, rituals and cultures. Although this genre originally started as real documentaries with a point to make, the genre spawned dozens of imitators, followers and enthusiasts who sometimes resorted to faking or reconstructing scenes of death and violent rituals, filming bizarre sexual scenes, or simply compiling real gruesome footage, and it all rapidly deteriorated into sensationalism, vulgarity and exploitation of the worst kind over the decades. Also arguably responsible for the Cannibal movie craze in the 70s, and other similar sensationalist genres that exploited people's fear of and fascination with violent or taboo cultures and death. Also arguably a cinematic offshoot of carnival freak shows.

This genre can be loosely split into several sub-genres: The 'Mondo' sub-genre that started in the 60s covering a wide variety of shocking, taboo, violent or exotic footage. Only the more extreme examples are listed here. Another sub-genre of Mondos sometimes called 'Sexy Nocturne' involved sex, strange night-life and sex-shows, fetishes, prostitution, homosexuality etc. all exploiting people's fascination with what was considered perversions or exotica at the time. These are generally not included here unless they include more extreme footage. The gore-oriented shockumentaries from the 80s and 90s (probably inspired by the uber-popular Faces of Death), took this genre to its most extreme conclusion, and these collections became more and more extreme over the years, simply compiling real gore footage for sick gorehounds. Eventually they even dropped the narration and pretense of being documentaries, and this is where this page draws the line.

Also not included here is the genre of 'Scare Films'. A series of short educational movies from the 70s designed to scare the youth in schools regarding driving, sex, Christian morals, drugs, strangers, etc. The movies often showed the horrifying consequences of each act including burned bodies after drunk driving, blistered genitals infected with VDs, bad dates, deformed babies, etc etc. All the series have been released by Something Weird videos.

Standout names are Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi who made the original Mondo Cane and a series of follow-ups, all focusing on a crazy society around the world, the underrated Antonio Climati who was cinematographer for the originals and then made a series of interesting Mondo films based on man vs. nature, and the more exploitative Alfredo Castiglioni who made a series of extreme Mondos based on bizarre and shocking customs and rituals in primitive cultures.


Banned from Television Series      
A good compilation of some incredible and extreme footage that they banned from news reports. Contains many brutal or incredible accidents, violent police videos, executions, crimes, and some odds and ends like wild concert footage and sex crimes. Obviously only for people interested in this sort of thing but if you are, the compilation keeps it interesting with a variety of subjects, it doesn't obsess over gore or exploitation, the narration is practical, and the only flaw is the silly sex footage. Try the 'Best Of' release.

Ecco (AKA This Shocking World AKA World by Night No. 3)  
This third entry in an Italian series of sex-oriented Mondos suddenly switched to entertaining taboo, bizarre, insane and shocking imagery in the vein of Mondo Cane, following that movie's success. The narration by Sanders is classy but very condescending. Included is a wide variety of scenes, some obviously real, some feel howlingly fake, but I then looked up some of these practices and much to my surprise found them to be based on truth, so even if they are staged, they are insane. All this makes this one of the best Mondos, albeit a flawed one. Some sample scenes: A Laplander woman castrating a reindeer with her teeth, duelling German academics that have to brave cuts to their face (a real custom), a high-class noble debutante ball juxtaposed with a ball for the homeless, both in the same city, a shocking demonstration by a French 'fakir' who pierces his throat and passes a sword through his stomach, a Satanic ritual, Nairobi women dancing tribal style then in their true form in a jazz club, women ogling muscle-men, whale-hunting in a small boat, masses of Japanese men in their underwear in a strange social custom, the last Grand Guignol performance, and more.

Mondo Cane  
The movie that started it all. Several decades old and the tag-line still holds. This movie will make you laugh, it will depress, shock, and provoke you into doubting the sanity of society and man, both modern and primitive. This documentary cleverly compares primitive and modern customs showing the absurdity and inseparability of both. Geese and women are force fed, primitive woman is fattened and modern woman tortures her fat body, some cultures revere dogs while others eat them, Asians may eat snakes with a gourmet's eye but New York's finest do the same with insects, military rituals dress their soldiers in women's clothes and decapitate animals, one culture both feeds and takes brutal revenge on sharks, etc, etc. Hilarious, provocative and unforgettable without the vulgarity of the rest.

Savage Man... Savage Beast  
From the talent behind the original Mondo movies comes this focused documentary on man's relationship with nature and animals. This one has points to make, namely that nature is more savage to nature than man is, that the relationships between man and animal have always been extreme and awkward in one way or another, and that this is a savage world populated by savage humans, no matter what humans do to deny it. So hunters are juxtaposed with hippies, animal deaths compared to senseless human killings, animal conservationists to tribal hunts, and plenty of deaths are shown in detail, the deaths meted out for various reasons, from entertainment, to food, war survival and even depression. Highlights include lions mauling a man who got too close with his camera, ritualistic European hunts, animals fighting amongst each other, tribes that have sex with the ground, hippies that breast-feed goats, and a death squad that mutilates its fellow countrymen. This one is relatively more exploitative and brutally shocking than Climati's other work, there is a lot of gratuitous nudity, two of scenes seem fake (the castration and European hunt), and the commentary gets a little too snide at times. But the cinematography and a lot of the footage is great, the conceptual focus keeps it interesting, and in the end, the comprehensive approach makes its points just like a real documentary would.

This Violent World (AKA Savage World)  
By the cinematographer of the original Mondo team (Climati) comes this underrated documentary, faithful to the original Mondo magic. While the bar had already been raised at the time, showing and exploiting extreme violence, gore and sexual acts, this one is relatively more restrained and consists of hilarious social satire and weird customs in addition to compiling shocking scenes of savagery. The scenes are almost all interesting, and include alligator hunting in New York sewers, animal hunts where the prey fight back, fakirs that cut off their tongues, a sexual disorder treatment where couples are encouraged to rape each other, brutal tribal abortions, white aborigines, a firing squad, slave trading, etc etc.
Of Some Interest

Africa Addio  
Three years in the making, this fascinating and amazing documentary by the makers of Mondo Cane almost ranks with the best documentaries but sometimes has difficulty transcending the exploitation genre. It explores in graphic detail the consequences of colonial abandonment by the British and French in Africa where racism and exploitation was replaced by another even more extreme form of racism and brutality. Whites, Muslims and animals are all massacred with unbelievable brutality and in huge numbers, with soldiers, revolutionaries and mercenaries only adding to the chaos. Under risk of life, the film-makers managed to catch a brutal period in time in amazing detail and they show the gore, exploitation and deaths unflinchingly.

Here's a new angle: This documentary documents the lives of ghouls and shock-mongers; namely, the reporters, editors and photographers of a Mexican magazine that lives off real gore, violence and sex. Although there are many extremely nasty scenes of death, they are mostly shown in photographs and some glimpses of crime scenes, but the majority of this movie is spent talking to the reporters: What their life is like, what they think of their audience, the deaths, the city, how they work and find their footage, the chasing of ambulances and police cars, their relationships with other professionals, etc.

Bizarre and Strange Things Around the World
A modern mondo-style documentary that collects footage of various ridiculous things that people do around the world. It captures the spirit of mondo in the sense that it portrays a world gone mad, and the narration is not above adding some social commentary, but the footage is relatively more down to earth than old mondos often involving idiotically insane performers and silly forms of entertainment, and the commentary isn't as snide. It is still entertaining though. The footage includes: Extreme ritualistic piercings, a man immune to extreme electric shocks, a psychedelic night-club taxi, spy tours, body-snatching and possible zombies in Haiti, modern witchcraft and Satanism, rat farming for coats, a reality show that starves its contestants, a completely idiotic form of entertainment involving crushing and spraying food, women that transform themselves into men temporarily, a Disney-tattoo obsession, a real-life psycho-cannibal released from jail continues abusing women along with other Yakuza rapists/murderers, doggie day-cares and other ways to spoil a dog, a man who eats anything especially sharp objects, a French pig-squealing competition, another competition involving throwing cow patties, animal acting training, extreme bicycling, the famous skeleton Ossuary in Czech Republic, the idiotic Burning Man festival yet again, an Italian orange food-fight, a topless car-wash in a South African village.

Bizarre Rituals: Dances Sacred and Profane  
A documentary by Charles Gatewood who specializes in photographing kinky and strange sub-cultures usually involving body art and piercings. Half of this film presents a variety of subjects, from people acting like wild trash at Mardi Gras, to S&M body-art cultures and costumes, to extreme footage of fakirs, to nudists. The main focus of this documentary however is on a man who has been training all of his life with various forms of pain, including beds of nails and extreme piercings, and is now ready to perform a full Sun Dance ritual where he eventually hangs himself on a tree by hooks and connects with spirits. A parade of grotesqueries and wackos, with a minor narrative attempt at insight into these cultures. A companion piece to this documentary is Voodoo in Haiti which explores extreme Voodoo practices.

Blood of the Beasts  
A classic short documentary from 1949 by Georges Franju and arguably the first shockumentary ever made. Slaughterhouses are explored, city life juxtaposed with gory butchery performed by bored professionals in death factories in the outskirts of town. A horse, cows and sheep are violently killed, cut open and chopped up before you can blink, complete with rivers of blood and gruesome headless twitching bodies. Accompanied by a compassionate and artistically French narration. This was the first and most extreme in a series of short documentaries by Franju that exhibit his personal outrages against war and other various subjects before he turned to fiction.

Dirty World, Dirty People
An 80s mondo from Gabriele Crisanti, which means it has less humor and satire than a 70s mondo and focuses more on graphic and extreme footage of crazy practices around the world. It packs a lot of scenes into its 80-minutes and covers a wide range of things, quite a lot of it already covered by early mondos: There's lots of gory violence against animals including skinning live snakes for various medicinal concoctions and cocktails, reindeer castration with teeth, bull evisceration after a bull-fight, live turtle eating, animal experiments, and the graphic surgical removal of a monkey heart. There's also a Japanese tattoo parlor, cross-dressers from around the world, gay pride parade vs. AIDS protesters, massages with seaweed, street ear-cleaning, etc. And also: street performers and crippled kids in India, body-building, extreme diving into wells, ritual finger amputation, sex statues, voodoo, and more.

D.O.A.:Animals Attacking Humans, Humans Attacking Animals  
As the title suggests, this is a themed shockumentary, but is actually a compilation of footage from other shockumentaries, some even from Mondo films. It covers violent interactions between humans and animals, all of them shown as complete documentary sequences with the original narrator and extended coverage, helping this feel like a real documentary rather than a compilation of violence and death. It also helps that many of the scenes are unusual and exotic. Scenes include brutal hunts in Africa, lots of bull-fighting and bull-running mishaps, as well as sudden attacks by animals on humans (a circus elephant, a bear in a TV studio, a kangaroo, pit-bull dogs, shark attack, etc), experimentation on animals, including horrifying uses of monkeys in nuclear bomb tests, and mice with massive lab-induced tumors, violent animal fights as sports, including the Pakistan custom of pitting a bear against a dog, lots of brutal hunts and animal massacres, humans eating insects or live snakes, and so on. Not up to par with Climati's work, and basically a compilation of stolen scenes, but it contains some interesting footage that will remove any notions of humans and animals living together in a civilized manner.

Drugs: A River of No Return  
A shockumentary that lives up to this genre title, by combining real-life educational documentary footage with shocking images in order to contribute to the war against drugs and convince people to stay away. It starts with a graphic birth of a dead baby and footage of permanently sick or deformed children, born of drug-addict parents. Then it traces the world-wide industry of drugs in all its stages, from third-world countries that make it and various related deaths, diseases, child prostitution and crime. To various methods of smuggling it, including shocking footage of dead babies and women that are cut open to reveal drugs hidden inside their bodies. To various drug-fighting authorities and techniques, strange Buddhist practices to help drug-addicts recover, and to the apathetic Western world that consumes the drugs. A must-see for those interested in the topic.

Engineering Red  
Due to the lack of translation for this Russian bizarro, this review will be based only on the visuals. The first part features freakish surgery with intense gore, including grafting toes on a hand instead of fingers, and heart and brain surgery with strange instruments. The second part serves lots of footage on siamese twins, their embryonic development, growing up and separation. The last part seems to tie things together along with footage of insects, surgery and a female model doing weird things. The whole movie is spliced together with psychedelic colors and images and feels like a grotesque offspring of biology, life and science. A documentary from another planet, like living inside a Dali painting.

A professional documentary about the history of executions since the day the French decided to make them more humane. This one is researched and comprehensive and compares executions around the world, including civilized countries like the USA and France, and events in Russia, China and the Holocaust (where humane executions meant making it easier for the executioners). Facts and figures stare at you from the screen, but nothing speaks louder than actual brutal executions captured on film and this is what the film-makers make use of to present their case against the death penalty. So the shocks are carefully used, there is no exploitation and the presentation is professional. The only problem I had with this one is the bleeding heart approach (death is terrible, therefore we shouldn't kill), and the lack of opinions from the other side.

Faces of Death  
After the wave of Mondo style documentaries, this one started a new wave of extreme exploitation of real-life death and gore. It is also the precursor to some of the reality shows and violent blooper collections. It was banned in over 40 countries and even became a kind of urban legend. The film shows scores of scenes involving death and corpses, both animal and human. Explored are autopsies, slaughters, assassinations, executions, hunts, suicides, etc. The scenes are edited close together and a narrator remarks on his quest to come to terms with death and how the things he saw affected his life, but the comments are mostly superficial or uninteresting. The stand-out scenes include pit-bull fighting, slaughterhouses, a headless chicken, the infamous monkey brain restaurant where the customer beats the monkey to death, a crocodile killing and mutilating a man, and an electrocution. Several scenes are re-enacted or obviously fake, others are still being argued about as to their authenticity, but the movie effectively portrays and exploits death whether they are fake or not. Only worth watching as a pioneering 'classic' but is actually very overrated.

Final Prey, The (Mal D'Africa)  
A follow-up to Africa Addio by two or three of the original Mondo Cane team with a similar cynical-cum-satirical-cum-exploitative approach to exploring the effects of colonialism in Africa, and a portrayal of Africa in search of itself. The many scenes fly by with a narrative spiced with sarcasm, and include topics of racial segregation vs. interracial relationships, first experiences with voting, various absurd scenes of black men trying out white social practices, dances and games, black workers and white greed now turning upside down, oil-drilling and oil spills, black men massaging naked white women, ostrich racing, elephant coloring, military training, etc. and then the more shocking scenes of elephant disembowelment, very violent game hunting, various forms of abuse on ostriches including making them swallow shoes, violence against children, and more. A relatively tamer mondo.

Forbidden Paris  
French Mondo in the vein of early, tamer Mondo Cane type shockumentaries, except that it doesn't have the cheeky attitude and irony of the good ones, and it's mostly a collection of silly sexploitation scenes. The more extreme stuff includes a fakir that pierces his abdomen and throat with swords and spikes, a graphic taxidermy operation on a dog, and the killing of a horse. The rest include a mannequin funeral, a person who thinks he's a vampire, Hitler worshippers that perform initiation rites of Jewish humiliation on each other, a transsexual marriage, a family that shave their heads and walk the streets in radiation suits, a woman who walks naked in public on a bet, stripper lessons, and a cult of Noah descendants that have illogically orgies in order to distance themselves from earthly pleasures.

Goodbye Uncle Tom  
The final release by the Mondo Cane team. This one is a pseudo 'documentary' or basically a re-enactment of what film-makers would see if they travelled back in time to a Southern plantation at the peak of slavery. Based on research, this features historical characters, events and tries to depict real accounts of the endless degradation and inhuman treatment of the slaves. Even more than with Africa Addio however, it has difficulties transcending the exploitative and crude nature of the film-makers, the graphic detail of humiliation and endless masses of naked black flesh submitted to rotten lodgings, food, cleansing, breeding, rape, etc seems unnecessary and exaggerated yet at the same time brutally brings modern softened viewpoints of slavery back to reality.

Graphic Sexual Horror  
Despite the lurid title, this isn't an exploitative gornography horror film, but a documentary about an extremely popular BDSM internet site It didn't just show the usual staged BDSM porn or amateur rope bondage, but borrowed extreme art from around the world, built elaborate sets and props, often with very striking and disturbing outfits, colors and careful constructions, and pushed its models/actresses as far as it could way beyond their comfort zone. And it did this in 1997. Its 'artistic' imagery and movies looked like it was made by a serial-killer. This documentary interviews the founder, employees and models, as well as shows plenty of footage (I'm sure there was much worse stuff they didn't show). At first, it looks like a vanity piece to let BDSM models speak about their great consensual experiences, and to let the maker portray it all as high art. But then we see how things were pushed further and further. Sure, the models can always say no, but there's the situation, the many psychological pressures, the money, and their submissiveness. And what about the fact that many of them are obviously psychologically broke? Sure, it's not illegal if they're consenting adults, but not everything is about legality. And sure, the founder had strict rules about safety, but what about the psychological effects on both him and his models? The cynic in me thought this was also a PR stunt. Except that there is some honesty here and they don't exactly appear in a flattering light. Of some interest to extremists on the topic of psychology.

Jackass: The Movie  
MTV-spawned collection of short pieces showcasing seriously disturbed young people putting themselves in harm's way for entertainment. They apply paper cuts between their toes, pick fights with a wrestling champion, stick objects up their anuses, tease alligators, replace test-dummies with their own bodies, strip or take dumps in stores, and sniff wasabi into their noses at sushi bars. And this is only a sample of the insanity. Extremely outrageous, rude, disturbed and hilarious.

Jim Rose Circus Sideshow, The  
A collection of freakish people doing real and dangerous acts. Includes lifting heavy weights on various body piercings, bloodless piercing of the voice box, cheeks and other body parts, a man who eats live insects and worms, sword-swallowing, passing a condom through the nose and out the mouth, pumping a sickening cocktail of beer, chocolate and ketchup through a tube into someone's stomach and back out again(!), stomping a guy's face into broken glass, etc. Stomach-churning entertainment to be watched only on a dare.

Journey Into the Beyond  
Early shockumentary by the director of the first Shocking Asia movies on the topic of the supernatural, which, although obviously exploitative and features a condescending narration, is somewhat less dire than that series and offers a few entertaining and intriguing scenes. As usual with these things, most scenes are obviously staged or fake, a handful are less obvious or seem real, and many are entertaining. The introduction is a standard survey of humanity's limited progress, peppered with scenes of inhumanities, starving children, the nuclear bomb etc and the constancy of religion and the spiritual in society. Then we get gory dentistry performed under hypnosis, various exorcisms, healings, energy healing, the classic Philippine gory psychic surgery, spiritualists and 'experts' are interviewed, psychics, people actually performing telekinesis, people with stigmata, an ossuary, possessions, voodoo rituals with frenzied bloodletting, some gory African tribal 'eye-surgery', various other tribal/Shamanic rituals including levitation, psychic researchers, psychic mediums, astral projections, various cults, and so on.

Killing of America, The  
Relatively less shocking, but controversial enough to get banned and become a cult item. This fascinating documentary catalogues the over-the-top and sensational violence in America, starting promisingly with eye-opening statistics but soon focusing on political assassinations, wackos and serial murderers. Unfortunately, the movie only goes as far as to say that something is wrong with America and doesn't have the balls or the intelligence to start pointing fingers. What keeps this fascinating is the rare collection of great footage of various interviews, brutal or disturbing moments caught on film, and news reports that all add up to one depressingly twisted society.

Kwaheri: Vanishing Africa  
Another exploitative Mondo-style documentary about all strange things African with a silly narrative that endlessly preaches about the old vs the modern. Explored here are diseases, animal hunting and preying, huge snakes & spiders, witch doctors, primitive lifestyles and habits like a drink made of urine and blood, and the ultimate incredible finds: an illegal skull operation where the entire top of the head is cut open, scraped away and a hole is made into the skull, all without anaesthesia or stitches, and... an actual virgin sacrifice (yeah right).

Mondo Cane 2  
This lackluster sequel features more of the same only this time their heart wasn't in it. There's too much social commentary as opposed to amazing events, some of the sequences feel set-up, and there are several filler or leftover scenes. That said however it's still entertaining and fascinating at times, featuring things like religious fanatics, live bugs as food and jewelry, a slapping symphony, a festival for head bashing, slave-trading, etc. See it once.

Mondo Inferno  
An early Mondo in the classic Mondo style that tries to emulate Mondo Cane. Female racing drivers and shoe-shines (shocking!), female mud wrestlers, females watching psychedelic strip shows, the quirks of an Asian live animal market, an unpleasant behind the scenes look at a sausage factory, fast-food dispensers vs. fast barbecued food in Africa, as Asian model on and off the stage and other 'quirks' of female Asian lifestyles compared to their Western counterparts, restaurants that serve you a potty under your chair along with your food, and restaurants that offer dog-meat and live chicken circus acts, snake charmers and the use of venom, belly dancing, a strange skull procedure in Africa, bull-fighting compared to another strange theatrical performance, a collection of skulls with labels, and much more. Contains a lot of silly stuff about women as well as some amusing satirical magic of a classic Mondo.

Mondo Magic  
From the Castiglioni team that specialize in shocking, primitive cultures, filming them mondo style. This one focuses on strange, disgusting and violent habits, ceremonies, hygiene practices, and social behaviours in primitive cultures around the world. Tribesmen wash in urine directly from the animal, clobber each other on the head for infidelity, remove uvulas, cut out an elephant's eyes before carving it up, breast-feed dogs, disembowel their prey, eat spiders, perform so-called psychic surgery, cut off fingers to heal migraines, deflower virgins so that they can become nuns, hang themselves by hooks, etc. A mixed bag of interesting, disgusting, extreme and exploitative scenes backed by a somewhat overly-dramatic and pretentious narration.

Mondo New York  
Well where else can you find a slew of people, shows and practices so weird, it deserves its own Mondo documentary? Explore the underworld of New York freaks where men bite off mice heads in front of an audience, people prance naked in front of a mentally disabled man while reciting poetry and wrapping themselves in saran wrap, and a female performer pours sticky fluid and glitter over her naked body while ranting in a shrieking voice at an audience. Watch various performance artists in outrageous costumes, hilarious street comics, alley and street characters ranting and reciting, cock-fights, sex acts, s&m clubs, voodoo cults, etc. Like most good Mondos, you're never sure how much is fake but it's entertaining.

Naked Cities  
An old-school mondo from the time when shockumentaries still focused on satire and a colorful portrayal of society's various madnesses. Unfortunately, most of the footage in this one seems fake, and a large chunk of the scenes have to do with silly sexual practices and forms of entertainment. But it can still be watched as exploitative comedy and satire with an amusingly snide narration. It's also mostly a tame sex-mondo, but there are a bare handful of slightly more shocking scenes, including amputation of toes as a rite of initiation, gory breast-surgery, and an alleged tribal practice of locking a woman with her husband's decaying corpse for ages while she covers herself in the rotting flesh. The rest is random, mostly silly stuff: Naked piano-playing, rejuvenating sexual entertainment for the elderly, comparisons of tribal sexual rites and modern society's various obsessions with sex, naked girls used in various amusing ways, naked hippies, families and other communes, actual navel-gazing as a cult practice, an Eskimo girl bathing in pee, a feminist recommending masturbation, sex hypnotists, gay marriage, racists and inter-racial crime, etc.

New Guinea - Isle Of The Cannibals  
Everything you wanted to know about New Guinea tribes but National Geographic didn't show you. Strange rituals and customs, painful piercings, ritualistic mutilations, tattoos, the treatment and worship of the rotting corpses of their relatives, the hunting, killing and carving of animals, marriage rituals, homosexuality, genital appendages, drugs, and finally, the hunt for the alleged cannibal tribes hiding in the jungles where skulls, death and disease abound, but no actual cannibalism. A rare mondo-style Italian/Japanese production.

Orozco the Embalmer  
A documentary on a Colombian embalmer by a Japanese film-maker. It takes place in one of the most violent places on earth, full of extreme poverty, crime and endless violence and death. Orozco allegedly has personally taken care of 50000 corpses, and the film splices together footage over several years during which Orozco dies. Footage of poverty, violence, police work in the streets that seem full of corpses, commentary by Orozco and lots of extremely graphic embalming and crude but effective and expertly done corpse restorations. Of course, the question arises on whether this is any different from the nasty real-gore exploitation shockumentaries, and the movie doesn't really have a point to make, but the approach is very fly-on-the-wall, allowing a portrait of this man's very strange and extreme job to emerge on its own.

Shocking Cannibals (Africa Ama)  
A first Mondo from Castiglioni focusing on strange, shocking, gross and exotic customs and rituals in Africa. Examples: Burying an old man alive, dung as a secret ingredient, brutal body art and self-mutilation, graphic circumcision (both male and female), rituals involving burying then decapitating an animal, eating bugs, choking and torturing dogs as part of a ritual, graphic and strange rituals for every aspect of the body including menstruation, mating, sex and birth, etc. Most of these seem undeniably real but the narration and exploitation sometimes raise doubts. As irony, it then compares all of this to Christian rituals, and modern society, technology and gory surgery. This is an Africa they never show us. For strong stomachs only.

Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist  
A professional, fascinating but sick little documentary about a man who suffered from cystic fibrosis, but instead of dying at the age of 20 like everyone else, he lived to be 43. This he managed by embracing the suffering and becoming a performing masochist, and marrying a dominatrix. This is not a sleazy, insane or idiotic character however, but a confident, socially charming and entertaining man who just happens to nail his penis to a wooden board and gets cut up, sewn, burnt, electrocuted, sodomized, etc etc while writing, painting and singing bawdy songs. It's not easy to judge this one.

Sideshow: Alive on the Inside  
A comprehensive documentary on carnival sideshows and the frea...I mean people that worked in them. The history of the sideshow is explored as are famous performers from the past and present such as the lobster family, half-woman, pinheads, wolf boys, siamese twins, live mouse and chicken eating geeks, monkey girl, etc. Interviews reveal what these people think before and after political correctness took over, the newer Jim Rose circus is included, and these questionable but always fascinating entertainment values are explored. Well done.

Sweet and Savage  
Climati's last Mondo attempts to present the theme of man vs. nature and violence that can be either 'sweet or savage' depending on the context and who is watching. But the result is somewhat forced and sloppy this time, with obviously faked scenes raising doubts about all the other seemingly real shocks. A dead Tibetan monk is gorily chopped up and fed to the vultures (a real custom), an Arab criminal is punished by his people by tearing off his arm (fake), tight-rope walkers and fatal accidents, riots, an ex-soldier turns animal-saint and dedicates his life to protecting wildlife from mines and fences, animals used brutally for human purposes, drinking of blood, then random exploitation of women working out compared to naked tribal dances, and then there's the expected gory animal butchery, animals killing animals, and people living or playing with animals, etc. The sarcastic narration crosses the border into supercilious at times.

Taboos of the World I & II    
An early Mondo series, the first of which is narrated by none other than an enthusiastic Vincent Price. A slightly more controversial Mondo for its time, featuring footage of nuclear bomb victims, practices of desperate drug-addicts, lepers, tribal customs and circumcisions, male geishas, headhunters, abuse of live animals, slavery, amputations, blood drinking, and other strange customs around the world. Somewhat entertaining classic Mondo.

This Is America 1-2 (AKA Jabberwalk)    
Mondo does America, a well deserved subject, poking fun at American excesses and quirks, from cars and car crashing, to fast junk food, guns, wrestling, large breasts, attitudes towards sex and religion, Las Vegas, suicides on the San Francisco bridge, Mormon polygamy, cryonics, a booming sex toy industry, etc. Except that this was made in the 70s when sexual permissiveness and openness exploded in the US, in contrast to what came before or after, thus making this a snapshot in time. If this Mondo isn't shocking, it's partially because we are so used to American excesses by now. But imagine an African watching this, and it wouldn't be inconceivable that it would have a similar effect as an African Mondo has on us. Crashing cars for fun even if it includes deaths? Pornography awards? Sex workshops? A woman submitting herself to electric shocks to stop herself from eating junk food? Some footage such as the hilarious church drive-in featuring people in their cars and comfortable clothes putting on makeup while the preacher preaches, is prime Mondo material. Other bizarre scenes include a child preacher, drive-in funerals, and some laughable 'Satanist' and 'S&M Dungeon' footage. There is no gore, and some gym footage catches Schwarzenegger in his early days. Part 2 is very similar in approach but has more interesting and obscure footage, covering things like pet hotels and whorehouses, female bodybuilders, rat-eating bums, nude car washes, fighting nuns, overweight fashion, worm farming foods and juices, mobile churches, a cocaine church, bizarre physical rituals administered by a man with cerebral palsy, Hell's Angels, general violence, a nudist marriage while skydiving, and a graphic electrocution, as well as more miscellaneous sex-oriented shenanigans. Above average Mondo, followed by a third, even tamer and very staged entry in 1991 named 'America Exposed'.

Tomboy, The Mysteries of Gender  
Italian documentary from the 70s about everything sex and gender, with talking heads, serious science, as well as every chance it gets to exploit nudity and show graphic surgery. From approaches and attitudes to various sexual hangups, sexual dysfunctions, aberrations including zoophilia, to graphic insertion of silicon into a penis, homosexuality and all its controversies and scientific theories, nudist colonies, various avant-garde sex therapies and stimulating treatments of genitalia, hypnotism to cure frigidity, electric shock to treat homosexuality, tomboys and their counterpoints, hermaphrodites with closeups of a baby, and, of course, transsexuals with unwatchably detailed sex-change surgery.

Witchdoctor in Tails  
A somewhat condescending rare Mondo from Jacopetti, returning once again to their favorite subject: Africa. The approach is relatively tamer on the theme of wild Africa newly infected with Western civilization comforts and culture backed by a pretentious narrative. Witchdoctors become politicians, women give up their piercings and tattoos for face cream and lingerie, a white man teaches them how to smile small and subtle, black teenagers try to pose like Schwarzenegger, primitive African behaviour and lifestyles are contrasted with new Western comforts, tom-toms with phones, and African dance with calisthenics. As usual, the viewer is left wondering how much is staged or just spliced with a fictional narrative, there are random scenes of strange African rituals, dances, punishments, and various ways to acquire a wife, and the obligatory nods towards shocks are also here including slaughterhouse gore, leprosy and tribal circumcision.

Barrage of shock images based on extreme controversial personalities (AKA idiots with disgusting hobbies). There's GG Allin of course in full display demonstrating his coprophiliac fetishes, the idiotic Mike Diana, who got arrested for obscenities, throwing up on a cross and the bible and masturbating with a cross, there's the even more idiotic 'Full Force Frank' who made a splash with his ideas on mass-murder and his gun fetish, music clips with extreme bands and stage performances, montages of random imagery and shock footage, self-mutilation, piercings, genital torture, gender benders, and sick or gory hardcore sex scenes. This documentary doesn't take a stance either way except to present it all in what it thinks is an art-piece, but this is humanity at its most absurdly depraved and idiotic.

Amazing Shocking Asia, The  
A very boring collection of extreme gore that could have been filmed anywhere besides Asia. One disfigured, rotten and mutilated corpse after another is displayed in graphic detail without any narrative, each death due to various violent causes, some autopsies and abortions are zoomed into, then for the last third of the movie some footage of strange and violent customs, people and foods are tacked on. This one feels like a hardcore porn movie only with endless gore. Beyond worthless.

Banned! In America Series          
Like Traces of Death, the approach here is everything and the kitchen sink. From banned news footage of violence, suicides, shootings, accidents and executions, to Mondo-style footage of strange customs, fakirs, and crazy or brutal tribal practices, to extreme gruesome real gore and autopsy footage, to public nudity, to rednecks and Darwin Award candidates doing dangerous things, to animal cruelty and animals doing things to humans, to extreme police footage, to strange diseases and graphic surgeries, and even real-gore photographs downloaded from the internet. This lack of focus and hodge-podge approach is a problem, the amount of exploitation of extreme and sickening real gore for its own sake is a huge problem, but the repetitive techno soundtrack alone is enough to make this unwatchable, and the idiotic narrative with its lame humor is the last nail in the coffin. It's like some guy downloaded everything he could find and jumbled it all together on his home computer with a microphone and the nearest CD he could find.

Brutes and Savages  
Scene One: a white man asks permission from a tribal elder to film them while the camera rolls, the elder raises his hand and they walk away. The narrator says something like "we gained the hard-won permission to film this tribe". Cut to a real animal death scene, then show some brief tribal customs while the narrator seems to make up some sensational explanations for them. Then: "A man who makes sexual advances to the chief's daughter must fight three men to the death", so cut to a man who sneaks up on the chief's daughter followed by a fake fight. Show another real animal death scene this time killed by humans and throw in some tribal sex and real surgery. And so on... Staged scenery, random clips and highly dubious narrative make this practically worthless, but some strange customs are real (simulated sex with a llama?) and some animal battles are good although we doubt how a jaguar would just 'fall' into a lake infested with crocodiles... Didn't Deodato attack these kinds of film-makers in Cannibal Holocaust?

Buried in the Sand: The Deception of America  
A shockumentary with a simplistic, obviously manipulative agenda: To evoke outrage and justify war on Iraq and Islam. The fact that there are barbarian and savage acts in such countries is not new, that there are many extremist Muslims and that many of them are in charge is also not new, but that many people aren't aware of how bad it can get is a valid point. However, the problem starts when we have to decide what to do about it. I am not a pacifist or liberal, but even I feel soiled when this cheap stunt of an exploitative, manipulative snuff film is thrown at me to make irrelevant points. A messy war with political agendas that only makes things worse due to mismanagement is hardly the solution. On the other hand, if you still think Islamic fundamentalist rule isn't barbaric then perhaps you need to watch something like this as medicine. Included here are various quotes and statements, some taken out of context from Middle-East as well as liberal US leaders, irrelevant interviews with Palestinians regarding terrorism and even little girls that proudly talk about mass murder, as well as terrorist aftermath gore. And then there is the focus of this film: A collage of grainy footage of gruesome punishments in Iraq including tongue-cutting, arm-smashing, stoning, and finger-chopping, and some impossible to watch slow beheadings that take forever while the victim screams.

Death File Series    
Consisting of at least 5 titles (Black, Yellow, Red, End, War), this series lies somewhere in between the extremity of later compilations that show nothing but sickening gore and violent deaths, and the more narration-oriented and exploratory Faces of Death series. A Japanese narrator travels around the world collecting a truly varied hodge-podge of scenes including crime scenes, accidents, suicides, extreme gore, diseased and deformed babies, autopsies, twisted sex scenes and coprophilia, strange customs, small wars, etc. Slightly more interesting than the boring extreme compilations but still exploitative and unfocused. This may please fans of both camps or neither.

Death Body & Death Women
Another boring Asian compilation of extreme gore, featuring footage of victims' mutilated, bloated, rotting, wormy, dismembered, decapitated, and crushed bodies after violent accidents and crimes. Death Women focuses mostly on female corpses and Death Body features a segment on the holocaust.

Death Scenes Series      
Along with Inhumanities, this series pioneered the repulsive gruesome and gore-oriented shockumentaries of the 90s. The footage starts as historical photographs but becomes more and more gruesome, exploitative and explicit. It presents a montage of historical and famous death scenes with a grim narration by Anton Lavey (first movie only), including crime and accident-scene photos and footage, famous celebrity deaths (Kennedy etc), lots of footage of the Manson murders and murderers, various scenes of executions and gangster killings, gory dead soldiers in various wars, the gruesome deaths of a man and two children on the set of the Twilight Zone repeated in slow-motion, an infamous live suicide on TV. And then, gradually they simply throw together whatever they could find that involves death including abortion footage, exhumations, air-show disasters and even freaks. Exploitation of the worst kind.

Death: The Ultimate Horror  
Another step up in gruesome exploitation of death after Faces of Death, and then the Inhumanities and Traces of Death series. A long 90 minute compilation of extreme news-style footage with a professional narration covering a wide variety of subjects: Graphic executions, the aftermath of horrible bombings, the chaotic violence of bull-running, murders captured on camera, football gang chaos and extreme violence, massacres at Lebanon and Sri Lanka, airplane accidents, extreme religious piercings, a lot of extreme crime and war footage involving brutal deaths and gruesome aftermaths, an elephant gone berzerk, animal slaughter, animal attacks, and much much more. Most of the footage here was re-used dozens of times in other compilations.

Dirija Para A Vida
South American compilation of car accident footage, half video, half photo-montage of smashed cars, pile-ups and lots of dead, crushed and disfigured, gory bodies. Supposedly a scare video to get people to drive properly featuring very little narration. As dull as it gets.

Emanuelle and the Erotic Nights
See Bruno Mattei.

Extreme Life & Death: The Blair Witches of Shockumentaries 1, 2 & 3  
Yet another compilation of extreme footage that doesn't even bother with a narration or theme, making me wonder why I am bothering to review these. For the first quarters of parts 1 and 2, it just shows endless accident footage with wounded victims being taken care of by rescue services, and part 3 just fills up its complete running time with this useless stuff. This is strictly for the type of people that not only slow down at car accident sites, but actually stop and pull out their video cameras. The rest of the compilation is extreme news footage, some probably aired at one time or another, other footage probably censored. It covers assassinations, executions, aftermath of atrocities, violent riots and revolutions, extreme car and airplane accidents, a stadium burning up in the middle of a game, disaster and rescue footage involving floods, and so on, some of the stolen footage spliced along with its accompanying narration by a reporter. Thankfully, it isn't obsessed with gore like its peers, but it's just as pointless and exploitative, exemplified by the reference to Blair Witch in the title which has absolutely no relevance or point except to hop on the popularity bandwagon.

Faccia di Spia  
A pseudo-documentary splicing together stock footage of various political events throughout the world, and fake acting. The movie jumps from one violent or clandestine event to another in Cuba, Bolivia, Italy, Vietnam, Chile, the only common thread being some kind of American CIA and business involvement. In between, people are shown to be shot and tortured in nasty ways. I presume this is a propaganda film, but without backgrounds and coherency, this mess becomes a torture of its own.

Faces of Death 2, 3 & 4      
Compared to the first, these feel less Mondo-like and not so memorably strange, and involve a lot more real news footage, as well as the usual aimless compilation of staged re-enactments (sometimes quite realistic), real corpses and animal slaughters. The second moderately entertaining film features many accidents, stunts, the death of a boxer, war footage, a dolphin slaughter, etc, the third is mostly a very boring selection of criminal re-enactments with the usual death stuff only appearing towards the end, and the fourth features a new cheesy narrator obviously added for tasteless chuckles while lots of disturbing news footage, some good re-enactments and gory slaughters take place. In the end, these are just random and exploitative compilations and since only some of the scenes are staged, the only thing to do while watching is to try to figure out which are real. Beware of different versions containing repackaging and re-editing of footage.

Faces of Death V & VI    
There is much confusion over these releases due to there being various versions, with the most common ones consisting merely of a compilation from earlier Faces of Death releases. But the real ones were made in Germany with a German narration and contain new, and more extreme footage. Faces of Death V is yet another hodge-podge of scenes usually related to death: Child deformities, drug smuggling in dead human bodies, including babies (shown graphically), child sex traffick, people trying to escape burning buildings, Kennedy's assassination, racing accidents, photographs of gruesome deaths due to crimes, some historical, many of children and babies, then of women, lots of footage of disease, war and gruesome death in third world countries, then footage of rampant murders and lots of disastrous crashes in first world countries. VI is a similar random collection with German audio, both just exploitative and extreme for their own sake.

Facez of Death 2000 Series  
An obscure hodge-podge collection of death scenes. The compilations include fake re-enactments, real and extreme Asian gore, and some international violence and 'inhumanities' usually taken from other releases. The first is half fake, half real gore and accident scenes with a low-key narrator. The second is all real and contains endless Asian footage of various mutilated, dismembered, squashed, decapitated, and rotting corpses filmed on real accident and crime scenes with no narration. This delivers amazingly extreme and raw material for gorehounds, but it's boring and pointless for the rest of us. The third is mostly news footage or international death scenes many of which are featured on other compilations.

Faces of Gore 1, 2 & 3      
This series mixes an exaggerated campy commentary from later Faces of Death movies with some of the extreme Asian gore footage that seems to be spreading everywhere, and puts them together in the most extreme form of exploitation ever made. The gore includes aftermath footage of brutal accidents, suicides and murders with horribly mutilated corpses. What sets these movies aside is the juvenile commentary by one 'Vincent Van Gore' who makes very tasteless jokes about the horrible deaths, makes comments like how a pregnant woman who was mutilated in an accident shouldn't have stayed single, gets excited or aroused over some of the scenes, and delivers a campy narration in general. Sick and uninteresting.

Facing Reality  
A compilation shockumentary movie released by channel13 films and possibly the most extreme thing ever released. Gore shockumentaries usually feature a parade of real gruesome gore after the event, but this focuses on the most extreme gore involving people still alive or being executed, often inflicted by other human beings and watched by spectators and cameraman. This makes what is already unbearable into something infinitely worse. Most of the footage involves Muslim beheadings around the world, performed manually, brutally, slowly and unbelievably cruelly with a knife, causing the human being to die slowly and in a most gruesome way. Other footage involve horribly gory accidents that somehow don't kill the victims, or various fatal, gory tortures that people put other people through. I have a very strong stomach but I am not ashamed to say that I fast-forwarded through most of this and it still made me cry and recoil. So to answer the question posed by this movie about facing reality: I guess I am not ready. Why should I be ready for this? Don't watch this unless you want to risk the chance of becoming a misanthrope. If you want to learn about how barbaric humans can become, then this will drive the point home to the point of trauma. But I hate this movie for doing that to me, and the pointless accident footage betrays their real exploitative intentions, making this one just another worthless entry.

Final Journeys 1 & 2  
A hodgepodge compilation of various violent or gory scenes that truly scrapes the bottom of the barrel or blatantly steals from other shockumentaries. Edited together sloppily are scenes of accidents, rescues, tribal violence, WWII footage, animal killings, riots, bulls, endless autopsies, etc. The gore is sparse, the scenes are mostly uninteresting, and the narration only says dumb obvious things instead of explaining what we are looking at.

First Transmission  
Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth is a loose cult of people that practice magic with an emphasis on power achieved through guiltless sex. It's foremost practitioner was Genesis P-Orridge. They released this collection of film segments with shocking content, presumably to deconstruct modes of thinking, paradigms and communications and achieve power of individuality, like a form of chaos magic. Included in this four-hour collection are: Didactic speeches, an elaborate initiation ritual during which they repeatedly abuse, paint, cut, poke, needle, urinate on and perform an enema on naked young people while performing sex and magic, a sick, graphic, real-looking segment showing young boys getting objects surgically inserted into their bodies for electric stimulation after which a penis is cut off presumably for more direct, enhanced stimulation to the nerve centers (see Sex, Blood and Mutilation), a dream machine (another recurring obsession by Genesis P-Orridge), disturbing footage (mostly audio) of Jim Jones who led a mass suicide, centipedes on vaginas, genital mutilation, and Psychic TV footage including pornographic video-art and interviews. Of interest to cultists only, and I have yet to understand how penis-chopping and suicide fits in with sex magic, unless it's only there for purposely shocking and contradictory goals.

Forbidden World  
French traditional mondo with a bit heavier emphasis on kinky sex practices, and, unusually, a female narrator. It also allegedly got involved in a censorship case. There's various African (Togo) tribal rituals involving live frog and snake eating, goat-sacrifice, piercings and multiple stabbings of men while under a trance. There's various S&M scenes and practices as well as coprophagia, a brothel that caters to women with a catalog, necrophiliac couples that have sex next to a dead person in the morgue, a Satanic rite involving dark powers and the reading of the Lord's Prayer backwards, transsexual dancers and strippers, Philippine Christians that whip themselves bloody and recreate the crucifixion, walking on coals, and a stripper that smokes with her vagina. All this is intercut with scenes of animals in a crude and silly metaphor for human behaviour. Somewhat entertaining at times, but mostly at the bottom rung of the mondos with too much obviously staged and silly footage.

Once upon a time there was an antisocial maniac who hated everything except exhibitionism, coprophilia, urophilia and violence. He kept getting arrested and was hated by everyone. Normally he would have been just another animal in prison but since he did all this on stage and literally ate and threw feces at people as part of his punk rock act, he got fans and this documentary.

Inhumanities Series    
The missing link between the Mondo documentaries and the sensational gore-oriented shockumentaries that flooded the market in the 90s. This one poses as a documentary about atrocities committed worldwide but is just another sensationalist and bad collection of assorted accidents, gore, lots of war footage, some plagiarism on Mondo movies, assassinations and executions. The narrative delivers detailed information for one scene then disappears in the next and the music is annoying, breezy classical music. Later shockumentaries ripped off material from these.

Last Savage, The  
Castiglioni comes back for a third round with his patented shocking primitive culture Mondos, only this time with almost nothing new except the level of extremity. Once again we get to see graphic circumcisions, self-mutilation as body art, animal slaughter, bizarre and shocking rituals, nasty rotting corpses and burial rituals, and punishment of people by cutting off their penis, only this time its mostly splatter or porn. Courtship dances with naked tribes-people are compared to strippers and pornography, extreme African body art is compared to even more extreme plastic surgery as the body is sliced apart, stretched, mutilated and changed to suit the culture's aesthetics, there are random customs and nasty hygiene practices in primitive, obscure tribes, and even a disturbing sex ritual with a crying child. This Mondo makes its point but it's nothing we haven't heard before, and in ways that don't make us lose our dinner. This one possibly inspired the Cannibal movies and the extreme gore-oriented shockumentaries that would come much later.

Last Savage 2, The (AKA Shocking Africa)  
The last from Castiglioni who seems to only want to up the level of gore and sickness with every release. And it all seems and looks real too. More barbaric and violent customs on parade here including many sloppy circumcisions, camel castration, artful and bloody body mutilation, brutal animal sacrifices, snake and scorpion bites, pornographic sexual rites, one involving a snake, and more... A very extreme Mondo that feels even more brutal and nasty than the boring splatter documentaries of the 90s.

Let Me Die a Woman  
A documentary about transsexuals, their troubles, body features and surgeries in graphic detail by the queen of absolutely terribly movies: Doris Wishman. The film achieved notoriety for its hardcore transsexual genitalia and real surgery but the acting, editing, dubbing and writing is painfully bad.

Love: Hard and Violent  
Obscure, completely random, bottom-of-the-barrel late mondo from the 80s from the maker of Tomboy. Despite the title, this is really a hodge-podge of material and completely random, most of the topics are ridiculously weak and obvious or even fake, and the narration is truly laughable. But it does get graphic in both its very real gory and sexual content. There's a hippy commune where drugs are rampant, a little Traffic-esque documentary on the drug trade, graphic male bestiality, laughable footage of 'Vietnam veterans' with PTSD going wild in the jungle, biker-battles, gay parades, olympics and marriages, simulated male birthings, very gory extended female-to-male sex-change surgery, a ridiculous wild writhing dance by "possessed women", a female martial-arts instructor, models and pageant winners are all objects of comedy, there are mail-order concubines, the usual sex night-clubs and sex industry, with some gory porn-horror, a gory pig-slaughterhouse, artificial insemination practices, a strange fairy tale about a dog, Brazilian fertility rites involving animal sacrifices, cryonics, and nuclear fallout effects.

Man Man Man (Uomo Uomo Uomo)
A mondo by Lionetto Fabbri in the classic style complete with sarcastic narration and humorous music, dealing with various crazy behaviour around the world. It's a tame and mostly silly one however, most of the footage covering things like conventional sex shows, hippies, various odd street performers, street wrestling, footage of women in tight clothes on the street, grandmothers practicing karate, and so on. The occasional 'harder' scenes include animal killing, gory whale hunting, bloody self-flagellants, a fake execution, graphic dog surgery, monkey experiments, a gory bull-fight, and burning corpses in the street.

Many Taboos of Death Series (AKA Many Faces of Death)                
A boring series of eight compilations with various news footage and accident aftermath police tapes. There is no extreme gore, the narration is sparse and minimal and the footage is just regular death & violence stuff you see on TV, only more condensed. Features victims of shootings, suicides, war, crashes, robberies, murders, violent international & political situations (some of them well known), riots, executions, a crucifixion, etc.

Two-hour documentary on the meat industry, without a narration, systematically following the meat from its first form as cows and sheep in farms, to the auctions, business deals and various business departments and meetings, to the slaughterhouses and packing industries, linking the meat you eat and sell to the live cow and its gory slaughter. I guess this is made for really stupid people that don't realize where their meat comes from and what the mass slaughter of cows actually means, because, the only thing this shockumentary did for me is to make me incredibly bored and to crave a hamburger.

Mondo Cane 2000  
Yet another Mondo from the 80s attempting to exploit the original as well as its audience. This one has a strong emphasis on gratuitous and pointless sexual content involving various sexual shenanigans, the exploitation of the female body, prostitution, some holding signs that say 'No AIDS', sex toys, pornographic pastry, studies on female masturbation, etc. Then there is homosexuality and pride-parades which is perhaps understandable Mondo material for the early 60s, but late 80s? And finally, there is some more random and very pointless extreme footage including drugs found inside a cadaver, graphic removal of a live monkey heart, monkey and human testicle surgery, and sick or mentally ill children.

Naked and Cruel 1-2      
This late Mondo from the mid-80s not only scrapes the bottom of the barrel as far as footage is concerned, it also doesn't even seem to be trying to convince us of its authenticity anymore, with laughably staged scenes and obvious, juvenile narration that invents silly things in order to try to shock the viewer. There's footage of criminals in Africa being caught and beaten exactly while the cameras were rolling, or bitten by a burglar-alarm-snake, there's a really silly scene of a missionary who turned cannibals into Christians (or did he?), pornography for monkeys that don't want to breed, animals having sex or killing each other, an alligator attacking a man, again, exactly while they were filming, a sheik's 6th wife working as a prostitute because she is sexually frustrated is yet another really silly staged scene, there's a graphic sex change operation, tribal gory wounding of an animal, and in what is probably the only real footage: a ritualistic ceremony and parade in Japan revolving around a big phallus. Juvenile, fake, relatively tame, pointless and silly.

Of the Dead  
This documentary wanders around the world exploring various forms of treatments for the dying and the dead. Funeral rites and ceremonies are shown, as are graphic treatments and various resting places for the corpses, the dying share their thoughts, animals are slaughtered, corpses are opened, embalmed, a man is operated on, and another man is executed, etc. This one is not designed for shocks but it exploits and shows unnecessary morbid and graphic scenes, and in the end, it really has nothing interesting to say.

Savage World Today  
A pretender to the throne of Mondo Cane named Mondo Cane Oggi, but this was done in the 80s and its approach is much more Faces of Death than classic Mondo, with a lot of pointless nudity and sex-oriented footage as well. This hodge-podge, backed a dumb narration that tries to be sarcastic, includes silly things like nudism, lesbianism, transsexuals, hardcore porn-movie shooting, Japanese massage and prostitution, female wrestling, bodybuilding, and women chasing young men, it also has shocking gory things like heroin hidden inside a corpse, some Asian eating habits that involve brutal skinning of a big snake or decapitation of a turtle to eat its insides, the ever-popular graphic penis surgery, this time featured twice for different purposes, animal butchery, Yakuza-style finger-chopping, an autopsy, and then there are the odds and ends like women collecting dung, or sea-weed. The spirit of Mondo was mostly lost on these people.

Sex, Blood and Mutilation
See Joe Christ.

Sexual Aberration (AKA Libidomania)
See Bruno Mattei.

Shocking Asia Series (6 parts)      
For the first couple of entries, this series features a horribly condescending, preachy and puerile narrative, and many of the so-called shocks are merely exotic or even plain cultural habits which have been exaggerated or twisted into something strange. It documents things like ritualistic, bloodless piercings, trances beyond pain, cults and religions, exotic foods, snake charmers, sexuality, poverty, disease, prostitution, midget wrestling etc. Then, inexplicably, it explores the world of transsexuality and sex-change operations with graphic detail. The sequels explore similar subjects such as sex clubs, more midgets, cremations, healers, leprosy, piercings, various sleazy sexploitations, mummies, sharks, rituals, etc. From the third entry on, it becomes more explicit and obscure, showing various bizarre forms of sexual entertainment and mondo-style, amusingly weird or disgusting rituals. The narrative remains childish however.

Shocking Faces of Death, The  
This one didn't even bother with an overall narration, prompting me to wonder why I even bother with something that isn't really a documentary. A compilation of miscellaneous extreme footage: From footage of executions and violent deaths, to a short presentation of gruesome torture and death photographs by an unknown narrator, people eating insects, roasting of live pigs for no discernable rational reason, an FBI agent describing the procedure for gathering information from fingerprints of dismembered unidentifiable bodies, gruesome autopsies that take apart the spine or skull, more random news footage of violence and deaths, many of them unusual and disturbing, extended footage of an execution in Africa, surgical extraction of a grenade from the body of a live person, footage of a massacre in El Salvador, a nasty bullfighting mishap, graphic brain surgery on a child, and so on and on. Similar to Traces of Death, Death The Ultimate Horror, and Terrorists Killers, with some footage that seems to be unique, but basically just a compilation for sickos.

Snuff Video: Volume Red  
What did horror fans do in the late 90s besides download the same old snuff footage from the internet and repackage it with a faux-tough narration hoping to be the next Faces of Death? This is yet another densely packed collection of violent footage of real deaths, banned news, suicides, police shootings, executions, war footage, extreme accidents, random violence, all ending with deaths, and even some animal deaths. The footage is mostly stuff you can see elsewhere but it is a dense collection and at least it sticks to its theme, without getting lost in gore. But the narrator just makes stupidly obvious remarks like 'this is what happens when you mess with the mob', and his voice is so distorted it's near-impossible to understand him (not that he is saying anything interesting). The soundtrack is equally lame, consisting of random percussion.

Terrorists, Killers and Middle-East Wackos  
Let's see... a shockumentary by the makers of Bumfights with a title like that... what would you expect? Exploitation of real death obviously. The title is a bit misleading as this is a compilation of a wide variety of extreme deaths all over the world, from the inefficient but brutal execution of Kurds by Iraqis, to the brutal hunting of kangaroos, to violent accidents by skis, bulls, and a variety of vehicles, other brutal executions and punishments in third-world countries, violent crime, some gruesome accident gore, animal attacks, and so on... an endless stream of outrageous death and destruction. All edited together with bouncy music and superimposed titles and arrows designed to entertain, because death is so entertaining right?

Traces of Death Series (1-5)          
Everything in shockumentaries and the kitchen sink. That's the approach in this series that features scenes of accidents, suicides, violence, riots, murders, gory aftermaths, surgery, executions, wild stunts, mutilations, deformities, piercings, rituals, etc. You're watching wild car stunts one minute and splattering head crushes the next. One of the most extreme series ever made in my opinion, not because it has wall-to-wall gore like other series, but because it doesn't bore you with the same gore over and over again, some of the gore includes live people (not just gory aftermaths), genital mutilation/surgery, and some of the footage is the most extreme, cringe-inducing, shocking and repulsive yet. It's all real this time, avoiding the pitfalls of Faces of Death. The second is the least extreme, and the fourth the most extreme. The bad: Obviously the cheap exploitation of true death is offensive, the editing is bad, the footage is gritty and of bad quality but that can't be helped and actually adds to the effect, and the silly, cheesy narrative is the worst ever, using voice distortion effects and extremely dumb comments. The best thing by far is the death metal soundtrack that starts from II onwards and is very appropriate, serving to enhance the brutality of the series. This delivers to fans of the genre although I am not one of them.

True Gore    
Another in the run of extreme gore shockumentaries released after the Faces of Death that compiles sickening footage for no good reason. This one upped the ante, subsequently getting banned everywhere. Included are stiff and rotting corpses, extreme S&M footage involving cutting, live animal roasting and operating, exploration of morbidly sick art-work, music and people that involve death, real autopsies, Hitler and concentration camps, the atom bomb and horrible consequences of radiation burns, etc. The sequel was named "Empire of Madness" and contained somewhat less extreme snuff footage and satanic cults.

Ultimate Death Experience, The    
Yet another endlessly boring compilation of extremely gruesome gore taken exclusively from real footage of post-accident and violent carnage. The gore is as extreme as it gets, the soundtrack consists of spooky ambient keyboards, and the silly narration is almost non-existent, spoken through a distortion box by a gentleman in a gimp mask and outfit who delivers the occasional maniacal laugh.

Unbelievable, The  
This isn't your father's Ghost Hunters. This movie is supposedly a more extreme version of a Hong Kong TV series that features a team out to find supernatural occurrences and bizarre magical rituals. Except the team chooses to send a couple of girls prone to screaming and fainting to perform the experiments...go figure. In this movie, they go to Thailand and find: A team of people trying to help the recently deceased, which promptly provides an excuse to display gruesome footage of dead tsunami victims. There's a shaman feeding a dead baby by biting and tearing into live animals in what seems like very real and gruesome footage. The usual supernatural night-vision scenes with 'strange sounds' and 'objects moving by themselves'. A possession. A black magic ritual with more extreme abuse of live animals. A priest that heals a curse by eating worms surrounding the cursed human being. And transfer of sexual energy from a transsexual in a pornographic scene. Unbelievable indeed.

Women of the World  
Not really shocking but made by the Mondo Cane people. This includes some obvious or silly social commentary on absurd female customs and personalities around the world including the extremes of slavery and polyandry, lesbianism, Israeli soldiering, prostitution, etc. The best scene is the one where widows hide and run between falling artillery shells to grab the scrap metal and later sell it for a few cents.

X-Treme 1
Chinese Faces of Gore that shows crime scenes with mostly mutilated corpses or victims of murders and then explores Thai virgin marriage rituals and finally, footage of people that dig up their relatives' decomposing corpses to cut off the skin and wash the bones. Everything is presented using cheap sensationalist or pointlessly obvious narrative and even the more interesting subjects become exploitative and dull when the camera lingers for 20 minutes on the corpses.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents