If you’ve been following our Facebook or if you’ve read our last couple of posts, you’ll know that Mondo Exploito is closing its doors. This is, in fact, the last ever post. Holy shit.
For an explanation as to why we’re shutting down: I’m moving to Japan and, with my intense work schedule and a new feature film underway, I just can’t see myself having the time and energy to maintain Mondo Exploito to the level I want it to be at. I have very particular ideas about what this site should be and what our reviews should focus on, and, even before making the move, I’ve been feeling the strain of editing the site. It’s become something of a chore, rather than the fun activity it used to be. I still love talking weird movies, and I will continue. Just not in this form anymore. However, this does not make ending Mondo Exploito any easier…
Nearly five years ago, Pierre and I sat down in my kitchen and threw around ideas for regular articles — some of which continued all the way to 2016. Pierre hand drew the title cards and we hunted around for the appropriate imagery to represent each article. Around the same time, Matt Revert and I were having conversations about what the tone of the site would be and kicked around a stupid amount of names before settling on “Mondo Exploito”. Pierre and Matt were there from the beginning. Pierre had to leave us to focus on other creative endeavours (though he’s been there in spirit as 90% of the films I’ve reviewed I watched with him), but Matt stuck around.
We’ve had many writers come and go. I’ve enjoyed the heck out of all of them. Most recently, we had Mikey Ward join the team, who has been an absolute delight, introducing me to films I’ve never heard of before. And that’s really the joy of editing this site right there. Mondo Exploito is about discovery. It’s about finding bizarre little gems or turds that shouldn’t exist. Films that almost never get talked about.
Through writing articles and trying to dig deeper into the depths of weird cinema, I’ve discovered a love of genres I had never bothered with before. Before Mondo Exploito, I barely knew what pinku eiga was… now, some of my favourite filmmakers are pink veterans. Before Mondo Exploito, I thought Bollywood was totally worthless… now, I’m distressingly obsessed with Bollywood horror. Before Mondo Exploito, I’d only seen a handful of shark films… now, I’ve seen way too fucking many.
I thought a nice way to wrap up would be to share with you some of my favourite moments in Mondo Exploito history…
Interviews are not something we actively seek out, but we’ve been lucky enough to chat to a handful of fascinating folk. I’ve been able to interview the great Robin Bougie (twice, actually) and Jasper Sharp, the author of what might be my favourite film book. One of my favourite interviews was with Jay Colligan, star of Cruel Jaws, who kindly agreed to an interview after stumbling across my review for the shitty shark classic. The absolute highlight was getting to speak to Brian Yuzna over Skype. I am not an interviewer and Yuzna is a filmmaking hero of mine, so this was both a nerve-wracking and wonderful experience.
Matt talking music
Matt Revert is not only my Mondo Exploito colleague, he’s also one of my real life best pals. He is unbelievably intelligent and talented. The breadth of his skills is kind of sickening. He’s a brilliant writer (not only of articles, he’s written several excellent books). He’s a sought after graphic designer. And he’s an excellent musician (he scored my feature film and has a bunch of albums out with more on the way). One of Matt’s earliest contributions to Mondo Exploito was a regular article called The Sounds of Trash. In this article, Matt discussed music from trash and oddball cinema. The way he spoke about music and the tracks he uncovered always managed to blow my mind a little.
Chris introduces me to Arizal and weird Hong Kong stuff
Chris Purdie has been with us since 2013, consistently delivering entertaining articles. Chris has an infectious love of bad action cinema and I will be forever thankful to him for introducing me to two things: Arizal and The Boxer’s Omen. The Boxer’s Omen is probably the greatest film ever made. And Arizal is probably the greatest director ever born. Thanks, Chris.
My partner is originally from Japan, so I’ve made her watch a fair few subtitle-less Japanese films with me. This was how I managed to watch all of Miike’s subtitle free early films, like the ridiculous Eyecatch Junction. Back when we had more time to spare, we even put together subtitles for a couple of films — the infamous Muzan-E (we were asked to take the link to the subtitles down by Unearthed Films who plan on releasing it) and Hisayasu Satō’s Rape Climax. As difficult as the process was, I really loved making these subtitles. This was also my introduction to Satō, who has since gone on to become one of my favourite filmmakers. It was a bizarre experience to break down Rape Climax second by second. I feel like I know that film, and Muzan-E, better than I know any film. That’s kind of a disturbing thought.
Matthew C. Vaughan in general
Matt Vaughan sadly stopped writing for us a while back, but damn, did I enjoy his reviews. Like Matt Revert, Matt Vaughan is one of my real life best buds. He brought solid comedic chops to his articles and put far more effort into his wording and gags than I ever could. His reviews were always my favourite to edit. Not only did I not have to change a word, I laughed my balls off reading them. It’s hard to pick a highlight from Matt’s articles, but, if you’re only going to read one, make it his hysterical Australia Day review of RAED’s masterwork, Still Flowin The Movie.
Visiting a pink cinema
While I was in Japan, I decided to do some on location reporting. I went to a pink cinema and sat through three pink films, enduring many stares and masturbating men. It was terrifying, but totally worth it. With pink theatres closing all over Japan, I’m pleased that I at least got to experience this once in my life. All thanks to Mondo Exploito.
And everyone else
I can’t thank the many contributors to Mondo Exploito enough. Every one of them. From past to present. Lucas, Mikey, Ken, Caroline, Gabino, Thor, Max, Pierre — thanks for introducing me to some of the weirdest nonsense in existence.
Our journey into weird cinema won’t be ending with Mondo Exploito. Matt Vaughan, Matt Revert and I are planning to start a podcast with most of its focus on weird movies (along with a whole lot of other garbage). Mikey Ward has something in the works. And I’m sure the rest of the Mondo Exploito alumni will continue to spread the good word of cinematic exploitation and stupidity. Keep your eye on the Mondo Exploito Facebook page for updates on where we’re at on our various projects.
Thank you for your Facebook comments and your emails (even when they’re shaking me down for DVDs of crappy films). Thank you to the people we’ve interviewed and the companies who’ve sent us screeners. Thank you to everyone for reading. I appreciated every view, share and like, even though most of our hits come from people searching for “ultraman+sex”.