Mondo cane 2 (1963)

3.5 out of 5

The sequel to Mondo cane opens promisingly enough as the narration rightly mocks British censorship and offers up a scene of dogs having their vocal chords removed before being experimented upon in a British laboratory. For convenience this scene has, so we are informed, been placed at the beginning to aid the censors and not upset the producers too much with cuts. This clever sequence plays on the supposed love of dogs felt by the British, takes a justifiable swipe at the censors and draws attention to a reality that cannot be censored out of existence.

The film does make a whole host of intelligent and political comments using left over footage from Mondo cane and so many obviously faked scenes. A monk immolation is for example is an obvious fake as the robes change colour at the point before combustion suggesting a unconvincingly dressed dummy.

A scene dealing with the effects of pollution upon baby flamingos is thought provoking however in comparing it with an outwardly similarly themed turtle sequence from the first film we arrive at what is possibly wrong with Mondo cane 2.

When we learn of the effects of radiation upon a turtle it is a revelation that fits neatly within the ethnographic and cultural themes and juxtapositions of the first film. On the other hand while scenes still connect with ease in the sequel there is less feel of an overarching narrative leaving this effort as more of a grab bag of random tiles than a mosaic. Scenes cut and jump from one to other as the mocking tone of the narration witters on incessantly making this assemblage of cast offs feel more like a cheap knock off than a sequel.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics