Picks and Pans Review: Mr. Mike's Mondo Video
National Lampoon co-founder and Saturday Night Live contributor Michael O'Donoghue—who co-wrote and directed this late-blooming parody of the 1961 documentary Mondo Cane—is a formative figure in contemporary U.S. comedy. But Mondo Video has only brief moments of fun as, for example, in a scene where Indians are corrupted by America's discarded fads (they are shown worshiping lava lamps). Mondo's major problem is that it was shot originally on a TV budget and videotape for NBC. When the network censors rejected it (understandably), O'Donoghue declared Mondo Video a movie, even though its thinness and poor production quality are only emphasized by the big screen. Dan Aykroyd is funny as a CB radio evangelist, but other names like Margot Kidder, Blondie's Deborah Harry, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman and Carrie Fisher are lost in the tasteless blur. Vulgar can be funny; here it is boring. Like Walter Williams' sadomasochistic Mr. Bill short, which opens Mondo, the offering will appeal to only a limited clientele. (R)
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