Project Horror, Day 14: Mondo Cane (Italy)


For day 4 of our Foreign Horror block, I decided to spend another day in Italy and check out Mondo Cane (A Dog's World), at the recommendation of my friends Eric and Steve.  This movie has two things that distinguish it from the others on my list so far.  It's the first (and only) documentary I'm watching this month, and it was nominated for an Academy Award.  The category was Best Original Song, but that's still more Oscar nominations than the rest of the list has had so far!

Of every movie on the list, I probably went into this one the most unspoiled.  With other movies, even if you only get a two word description of the plot you're still finding out something about it.  For instance, zombie Nazis, schizo Koreans, or sleepwalking murderers.  All that I really knew about this one is that it's a "shockumentary" about bizarre and grotesque occurrences.  I think that I was expecting something along the lines of Faces of Death (which I also haven't seen).

That couldn't have been more wrong.  In fact, I really don't understand why on the categories Netflix used for this movie, they included Italian Horror.  This is not a horror film.  There are a few unpleasant scenes, but the movie as a whole is more of a travelogue of oddities.  Maybe at the time that it was made, some of its content was more shocking or titillating, but now it just seems sort of quaint.  I was reminded of something an anthropology professor told our class on the first day of the semester during my sophomore year: "For the business majors in the room, please don't treat the people that we're going to study as though we're taking a trip to the zoo."  This movie was kind of like taking a trip to the zoo.

Since it was Oscar-nominated for its music, I'll mention that the score was really good.  Also, this made me curious enough to look ahead at the rest of my planned movies - only one other went to the Oscars.  The movie I'll be watching as part of a double feature on Day 29 was nominated for Best Costume Design and won for Best Foreign Language Film.  Do with that what you will, internet sleuths!  Bonus points if you can then tell me what the second movie of the double feature will be.

Mondo Cane - decent documentary, not a horror film.  I give it three dogs out of five.


Will Meekin said...

Hmm, Day 29 falls in the "The Evil Men Do" block. So I'm going to go with "The Virgin Spring" & "The Last House on The Left!" Now, are you going all Craven 1972 or skipping ahead to the 2009 remake? Or should it be a triple feature?


Danny said...

Will is the big winner! I've never seen the 1972 one, so I'm going to watch that one. The remake came on one of the movie channels last week, and I DVRd it just in case I feel ambitious and want to do all three.

Will Meekin said...

Whoopee! Go me. I've only seen the 2009 version and it was good in the same way that 2010 The Crazies remake of the old George Romero original, which I also haven't seen, was good. Plus, big bonus, it stars Timothy Olyphant and who doesn't like that guy? Nobody, that's who.


Will Meekin said...

Belay that. The Crazies (2010) stars Olyphant. I meant to say that the The Last House...(2009) stars Garret Dillahunt (Deadwood, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Road, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). Love that guy too. He's also on that new Fox comedy Raising Hope playing a dim-witted goofy Dad, a nice departure for him as he usually plays snivelers and heavies.

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