Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on May 10th 2010 3:00PM by Mike Patton
If you want to embark an eye and ear-opening journey, enter the world of mondo films. Mondo films are a very unique genre. They straddle the line of being real or fake. They tackle subject matter that is intended to shock the audience. Sex, religion, racism, death and torture are often depicted. They address issues that many people wish stayed out of the public eye. Some call them exploitation films. The fact that you can't always tell if they are real or not makes many people uncomfortable when watching the great ones. They first became popular in the '60s but have maintained a following through the 90's with the 'Faces of Death' series. One of the original mondo movies, 'Mondo Cane' was partially the inspiration for my new record of Italian pop standards, also called 'Mondo Cane.' These films often include some great, at times creepy, at times beautiful music. Here are my top 10 mondo movie soundtracks.
1. Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero, 'Mondo Cane': Same say this is where it all began. Mondo cane is Italian for "dog's world," which is often used as an insult. This music is amazing: Oscar-nominated, beautifully orchestrated, sets the tone for the rest on this list.
2. Ennio Morricone, 'I Malamondo': Of course, the legendary Morricone is known and loved by many. This soundtrack has to be one of his best in my mind. It is a rollercoaster ride through many styles and moods. Without a doubt, it's a huge influence on my work. A brave uncompromising work from a master.
3. Gianni Marchetti, 'L'Occhio Selvaggio': Marchetti is a master. This record is almost perfectly recorded. His work has spanned from the '60 through the 2000s, but this "Wild Eye" is his best-known work. Fans of lounge and spaghetti western music know and love this guy.
4. Piero Umiliani, 'Angeli Bianchi, Angeli Neri': Satanic worship never sounded so good! The Brazilian flavor makes this one stand out. The vocals are not real strong but the instrumentals are sure to get any party started. A twisted Italian documentary too.
5. Bruno Nicolai, 'Il Pelo nel Mondo': Nicolai is probably best known as being a collaborator with Morricone, however his work certainly stands on its own -- and then some. This soundtrack is for an early '60s shockumentary, one of the first to utilize the hidden camera technique, I believe. You are thrust into the middle of some very awkward scenarios while Nicolai's soundtrack carries you through.
6. Zacar, 'Magia Nuda': This soundtrack was for one the films created by the infamous Castiglioni brothers, Italian brothers who made some of the most graphic of all the mondo films. Zacar creates a beautiful, at times easy-listening soundtrack to offset the madness that you see onscreen. Like all of these soundtracks, the switch from peaceful to manic happens in a flash.
7. Gadot Surdarto, 'Primitif': Ah yes, the subgenre of cannibal exploitation films! This might be the best. It is great that we live in a world where even cannibals get their own movie genre. Shocking for sure, but that is what these mondo films are all about. Comedy without being funny? The music serves as the perfect background to scenes of folks chewing the fat.
8. Armando Sciascia, 'Tropico di Notte': A wonderfully orchestrated soundtrack from one of the best-known early Italian mondo movies. You can't go wrong with any of Sciascia's works, but this is a particular favorite of mine.
9. Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, 'Savana Violenta': This Italian gem from the mid '70s combines soul music with the Latin-flavored samba sound. Does it fit the documentary film's look into violence around the world? Hell yeah!
10. Various Artists, 'The Wild World of Mondo Movie Music': I'm usually not a big comp guy, but this compilation includes some great tunes from many of the best-known mondo movies and B movies. They use dialogue in between tracks to enhance the mood -- a nice party choice, for sure.