Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 27th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1971
Director: Luciano Martino
Writer: Tito Carpi, Sergio Martino
Narrator: Nico Rienzi
DVD released: September 28th, 2010
Approximate running time: 89 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 Cities was directed by Luciano Martino, who is best known for producing his brother Sergio Martino’s films. Up to this point in his career as a director Luciano Martino had only directed two Euro Spy films, Secret Agent Fireball and Furia a Marrakech. As a producer he had only made one other foray into the Mondo genre with Naked and Violent. The cinematographer on Naked Cities was Floriano Trenker who’s other notable credits include Fury in Marrakesh, Flashman, Naked and Violent and The Strange vice of Mrs. Wardh.
Structure and content wise Naked Cities is very similar to the aforementioned Naked and Violent. One has to wonder if this film was made up of left over footage from that project (with some additional scenes shot to slightly differentiate the two projects). The general tenor of Naked Cities revolves around sexual themes. Some of the topics discussed include sex shops, native rituals, devices used for sexual arousement, drugs, strippers, racism, transvestites, homosexuality, hypnotism, Eskimo’s bathing is urine, educating bad drivers with a nude woman holding traffics signs, breasts augmentation and the American Indian. Not that much shocking content here outside of mutilation (chopping off toes) and the scene where the woman gets her breast augmented. Overall while most of the content may seem dated there are enough eye opening moments in Naked Cities to keep things moving along.
Naked Cities is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original 2.35:1 scope aspect ratio. The back of DVD box also makes mention that this transfer was sourced from the only known print of this film. Colors often look muted, flesh tones look off and black levels are average at best. Details generally look soft, the image tends to look overly bright and there is noticeable edge enhancement. Also there are nicks, scratches and other forms of print debris that vary in degree throughout. It should be noted that there is a brief moment during the opening credits where the images pixilates.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been provided (there are a few typos). In all the audio is in very good shape as background noise and other audio defects are minimal.
There is no extra content on this DVD release. Overall Naked Cities gets a serviceable presentation that quality wise this transfer is on par with Mya Communication’s transfer for Naked and Violent.