BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Libidomania (1979)

Man, when you get Bruno Mattei to make a mondo, you get something that’ll shock even the most jaded of us. Like me.

Working under the name Jimmy Matheus and basing his work on German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis — which had already been made into a film by Albert Zugsmith — you may think, hey, this could very well be a well-thought-out exploration of man’s carnal side. I mean, the opening even gives credit to Sigmund Freud, the Marquis De Sade and Masters and Johnson.

Then you realize, hey, it’s Bruno Mattei.

This movie was so upsetting on release that 38 minutes of the film was cut in its native Italy. This is the same country that gave birth to movies like Giallo In Venice and Salò. It did, however, run uncut in Germany. They got to see everything from a sex maniac cutting off a girl’s leg and a sex change operation to flirting with farm animals and priests making sweet, sweet love to dead people.

Now, that’s the stuff I felt comfortable discussing in this review. Just imagine what got left out. Nope, it’s worse than that.

Mattei also made a sequel, Sesso Perverso, Mondo Violento, bringing on Claudio Fragasso to direct the second unit.

Anyways, there’s also a lot of stock footage and, if you’ve never seen a mondo in your life, plenty of scenes taken from other movies and outright fake moments presented as being real. There are also experts debating what we see, lending an air of scientific meaning to what one can only assume is footage that someone, somewhere finds inordinately arousing.

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