Why don't they make mondo movies anymore? Well, you can now see "forbidden" material anytime you want, on video or You Tube, or other places on the internet. Sex, violence, death, name your poison.
In 1965, this was not possible. You couldn't even (yet) see hardcore pornography in a movie theater, never mind in your own home. What little glimpses you could get had to be dressed up in the costume of documentarianism, as the camera's unblinking eye showed you the "truth" about how depraved certain parts of the world were. There, yet hidden from polite society. And it all had to be cloaked in a tone of moral disapproval.
Just one thing: it wasn't true at all. These are the original mockumentaries. This is (mostly) not news footage or documentary footage in any way, shape, or form. It's staged for the cameras, and manipulated for maximum titillation.
IASSSW contains all the usual hits of the mondo genre: condescending narrator, ostensible tone of moral disapproval cloaking titillation, shot without sound, use of random library production music. But this sucker goes much further than Mondo Cane, or any of the other more "mainstream" entries. There are actual nude strippers, gay guys making out on a roof, and a hooker and a guy shooting up heroin in a public bathroom. New footage shot on location in New York, with stock footage from other parts of the world (Europe mostly, some actual footage of German hookers in public) to give the piece the feel of the usual Mondo Movie. I'm sure this never got play anywhere outside of urban grindhouses or the most adventurous drive-ins.
Plenty of sleazy flavor here, circa 1965 Manhattan. While Don Draper was in his Greenwich village apartment swilling scotch, gay guys were up on the roof having fun.
I would check it out if you already enjoy the Mondo genre and have seen a bunch of the more obvious titles. This one is rather obscure. Saw it through Something Weird Video.
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