A Fool's World (1964)

Federico Boido, Ugo Fangareggi,
Mondo balordo is a movie starring Boris Karloff, Federico Boido, and Franz Drago. Documentary showing perverse and aberrant behavior from around the globe, including such things as sex slavery, dwarf love, Asian brothels and...
  • 4.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Francesco Torti, Guido Castaldo, Writer:
  • Roberto Bianchi Montero, Albert T. Viola, Director:
  • Producer:

All subtitles:

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8 / 10

Karloff the tour-guide!

MONDO BALORDO, whose tagline promises "intimate shocking scenes of love - man's insatiable hunger.." was slightly reshaped for salivating American consumption. A lively Boris Karloff provides the often humorous narration.

We travel with Boris to all sorts of hidden corners of our weird, kooky world. First we see an Italian rock group in full swing. Their lead singer is Franz Drago, a frantic, almost acrobatic 27-inch tall volcano of energy. Then it's off to Las Vegas, to see Beauty Pageant footage lensed by a boob-obsessed cinematographer. Next stop, a photo session of Asian girls in bondage. "This is for magazines for readers of special tastes..." Karloff purrs. Some of the footage, featuring natives tearing apart hunted animals may turn off some viewers. (Hey, the Mondo films were meant to shock.) An actual African exorcism where a live chicken is consumed, instructions on how to behave at a drunken transvestite party, and a poverty stricken Italian town where citizens visit the cemetery to ask the dead to cast spells on enemies and choose winning lotto numbers, fill the bill. After watching this film, you will think the world is filled only with chicken-eating, gambling drag queens! One scene in BALORDO shows a European freak show where Mr. Karloff tells us "Sometimes the people buying the tickets are the freaks." Tell it like it is Boris!

5 / 10

A Mondo Cane-type shockumentary.

I saw Mondo Balordo ("A Fool's World") at the late, lamented Mid-City Outdoor Theatre in 1964 (it closed in 1984) and at the time there were a number of films copycatting the wildly-successful "Mondo Cane" ("A Dog's World"). For the uninitiated, these are anthology documentaries of the offbeat, bizarre, and often even disgusting, all supposedly genuine, with an unseen narrator (in this case, Boris Karloff, who's great in anything), and a musical score. As a shockumentary, although I really don't remember even one topic, I recall that MB was hardly as well done as Mondo Cane, and if this turns up anywhere on video, I believe you'll be underwhelmed.

Except for Boris Karloff's narration, which is the best thing going for Mondo Balordo. I rated it a 5.

A footnote observation: it's amazing what little it took to shock the audiences of 1964. Nowadays ... hm.

2 / 10

MONDO BALORDO (Roberto Bianchi Montero, 1964) *1/2

The so-called “Mondo” exploitation documentaries weren’t the sole province of Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi who made the first such film, MONDO CANE (1961), and several more thereafter. This is one of their imitations and it’s actually the first I’ve watched of the latter: while I can’t say that the ‘originals’ were exactly good to begin with, or even enticing to the undersigned, the films made by other hands (at least, judging by this title) are downright mediocre. Though each entry in the genre purported to tackle specific themes, they were mostly interchangeable, so much so that some of the idiosyncrasies dealt with here (say, the 'phenomenon' of transvestism or the dubious assertion that camel waste possesses beautifying properties) were also featured in WOMEN OF THE WORLD (1963), which I watched a fortnight or so ago! Among the wackier episodes here involves a midget pop-star; otherwise, the accent is on titillation (censorship hadn’t completely relaxed as yet) and, needless to say, there are the usual insensitive depictions of animal cruelty. Frankly, however, the single most notable thing about this particular effort is the fact that the narration for the English-language edition was provided by none other than horror icon Boris Karloff (clearly making for one of the lowest points in his generally respectable filmography).

8 / 10

Mondos are a time-machine

Mondo movies are a time-machine sending one back to a pre-politically correct world. If you are sensitive, avoid them. But if you want to know what amused, titillated and shocked western audiences in the fifties and sixties, one may get much out of Mondo films.

As for Mondo Bolardo, relax and watch people do their own thing and enjoy the melodious tones of Boris Karloff's narration.

For example, note the goods for sale at the Italian black market. Those old electronic devices selling then for only a few million lire(!) would go for quite a bit on E-bay today.

(And, yes, a few animal slaughter scenes in this film are disturbing, but there is no reason not to fast-forward through those scenes and enjoy the rest of the show.)

1 / 10

Mondo Balordo (1964) BOMB

Boris Karloff's lispy narration is spoken over "strange and bizarre" clips of absurdity. This is totally value-less tripe, but it's amazing to hear the seasoned horror actor saying words like "prosthitute" and "transvesthtite". I thought that someone might have utilized some innocent remarks that Boris may have been told to read and then play them over weird scenes with totally different meanings -- but no, it's incredible that Karloff actually reads sick and perverse words specifically intended for the material! These days the "shocking sights" are tame and quite dull; nothing as "weird" as they may have been perceived way back in the 1960's.

0 out of ****