OUCH! by MR.E.

OUCH! by MR.E.

Friday, January 3, 2014

FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE: MR. MIKE'S MONDO VIDEO (1979) Michael O'Donoghue, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner


Mr. Mike's Mondo Video is a 1979 movie executive produced by Lorne Michaels; and conceived and directed by National Lampoon/Saturday Night Live writer/featured player Michael O'Donoghue. A spoof of the controversial 1962 documentary Mondo Cane.  It features appearances by Dan Aykroyd, Edie Baskin, Robert Delford Brown, Rhonda Coullet, Jane Curtin, Carrie Fisher, Teri Garr, Joan Hackett, Debbie Harry, Sarah Holcomb, Margot Kidder, Wendie Malick, Brian McConnachie, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, Klaus Nomi, Don Novello, Patty Oja, Emily Prager, Gilda Radner, Root Boy Slim, Paul Shaffer, and Sid Vicious

Mr. Mike's Mondo Video was originally produced on videotape as an NBC television special that would have aired in place of Saturday Night Live during one of its live breaks. Because of the film's racy content (and in the wake of a ratings slump they were experiencing), NBC declared it inappropriate for the network and canceled it.  Shortly thereafter, independent studio New Line Cinema acquired the rights to Mondo Video, converting the videotape master to 35 mm film for theatrical release. To pad the program to feature length, filmmaker Walter Williams created a special Mr. Bill Show episode, combining footage from his past Mr. Bill shorts from SNL with new wraparound scenes, to present at the head of the film as a short subject. Co-writer Mitchell Glazer states in the DVD's audio commentary that many other scenes were added to pad the film's runtime to the required 90 minutes for theatrical releases. The film would eventually be seen on television, albeit on pay cable and syndication, with several cuts, such as the non sequitur "Dream Sequences."

Aykroyd displaying his webbed toes which he prodded with a screwdriver to prove they were not make-up.  A church that worships Jack Lord as the one true god (also featuring Dan Aykroyd).  A French restaurant that prides itself on how poorly it treats American patrons.  "Dream Sequence" a series of surreal film pieces bracketed by large light-up signs reading "Dream Sequence" and "End Dream Sequence" that track towards and away from the camera. One of these is merely performance footage of Klaus Nomi, while another features home movie footage shot by Emily Prager intercut with stop-motion animation.  Jo Jo, The Human Hot Plate — a quick cutaway to performance artist Robert Delford Brown, smiling, undulating and dressed only in a pair of briefs while holding canned spaghetti in his cupped hands.  The presentation of a classified government weapons project, "Laserbra 2000". This piece is the last of a triptych of sequences that chronicle attempts to obtain the classified footage. In the first, the film (secreted in a violin case) is in fact someone's home movies; in the second, the violin case contains a violin. National Lampoon writer Brian McConnachie appears in the footage as a scientist.  Short films made by other directors: "Cleavage" by Mitchell Kriegman — closeup of a hand working its way out from (what is implied to be) between a large pair of breasts, feeling around gently, realizing where it was, and working its way back in.  "Crowd Scene Take One", by Andy Aaron and Ernie Fosselius — purports to be a director guiding background actors for a disaster movie scene. "Uncle Si and the Sirens" — anonymously-directed silent-era "nudie-cutie" short found by SNL alumnus Tom Schiller.

Michael O'Donoghue


No comments: