Sweden Heaven and Hell / Svezia, inferno e paradiso (1968)

4.0 out of 5

Luigi Scattini’s films in the mondo genre never really went as far as the grotesqueness of others in that niche, but it never stopped him from bending the truth as he presented his sensationalist view on the topic under review. Svezia, inferno e paradiso serves up a buffet of young women in various states of pervy kinkiness. Then the Swedes wonder why so many Italian men came there during the seventies, it’s obviously a smörgåsbord of eroticism and casual sex.

Friends of Swedish Sinema will recognise Marie Liljedahl, from Arne Mattsson’s erotic thriller Ann and Eve 1970, Jess Franco’s Eugenie… The story of Her Journey into Perversion 1970 and Joe Sarno’s The Seduction of Inga 1971, in a brief part as the unfortunate woman to be chased and gang banged by one of the many outlaw biker gangs that roam the Swedish countryside. Sweden Heaven and Hell also features a superb soundtrack by Piero Umiliani and is also the source of origin for Mah Na Mah Na, before the damned Muppets made it a laughing matter.

A lighter entry into the Mondo genre, Sweden Heaven and Hell stops at nothing to twist and bend the staged, and non staged, material into a cynical and perverse observation of the Swedes in all their glory and depravity. Needless to say, when the movie aired on Swedish National Television late December 1971, the switchboards lit up like Christmas trees as furious viewers objected to the lies transmitted on their televisions.

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