Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 7th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1970
Director: Sergio Martino
Writer: Luciano Martino
Narrator: Giorgio Albertazzi
DVD released: October 13th, 2009
Approximate running time: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
The Mondo film genre first rose to prominence in 1962 when filmmakers Paolo Cavara, Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi directed a pseudo-documentary titled Mondo Cane. Like other popular film genre the success of Mondo Cane would help spawn numerous clones. The appeal of these pseudo-documentaries was their ability to show audiences a forged reality in which they often feature content that was of a sexual or violent nature and often shocking. Naked and Violent was Directed by Sergio Martino who would become one of the more prominent filmmakers working in the Giallo genre in the early 1970’s. He would begin his career directing a few Mondo movies. The cinematographer on Naked and Violent was Floriano Trenker who’s other notable credits include Fury in Marrakesh, Flashman and The Strange vice of Mrs. Wardh.
The plot (if one could call it that) for Naked and Violent is primarily focused with showing the real America (not the American dream version) that emerged out of violent and often turbulent conclusion of the late 1960’s. Some of the topics in Naked and Violent include the homeless, the elderly, the beautiful people, youth culture, drug use, the assassination of JFK, the Manson families murder of Sharon Tate, Playboy Bunnies, racism, rednecks, loneliness (a man finds companionship with a blow up doll), the American Indian, women who strip in Las Vegas when you hit a bulls eye, religion, loss of cultural identity, nude painting, Vietnam, the mentally disabled, violence towards animals (one of this genres staples) and the film concludes with at the Statue of liberty.
Even though a wide variety of topics are covered the film does tend to drag. The film’s strongest asset is Bruno Nicolai’s melancholy score that does a superb job mirroring the film’s main overriding message of how America has lost its identity and innocence. Overall structure and content wise fans of Mondo films should get the most mileage out of Naked and Violent.
Naked and Violent is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. The source used for this transfer looks like it was taken from a worn film print as there are nicks, scratches and other forms of print debris that vary in degree throughout. Details rank from soft to generally crisp and colors look muted.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been provided. The subtitles are easy to read and follow with no typos or grammatical errors. The audio sounds clear with some minor instances where background noise crops up. Also I noticed at least one instance where the audio drops out albeit briefly.
There is no extra content on this DVD release. Overall Naked and Violent a rarely seen film from director Sergio Martino, gets a satisfactory DVD release that is most likely the best this film will look and sound unless a major restoration is ever undertaken.