|Index||5 reviews in total|
"Mau Mau Sex Sex" is an excellent documentary about Dan Sonney and David F.Friedman who made exploitation movies.Sonney and Friedman teamed up on countless nudies-nudist camp movies that were ultimate in sex movies in 1960's.Later they started making roughies like "The Defilers".The splatter classic "Blood Feast" is also presented here with its memorable tongue ripping scene but curiously without any credit given to director Herschell Gordon Lewis.A must-see if you're into exploitation cinema!
This is an excellent documentary that covers the sordid history of two
exploitation filmmakers. The film is not a full-blown comprehensive study
of exploitation film, but concentrates on the two sextagenarian filmmakers
in question. It's as much a study of these viejo's lifestyles as anything;
some of the best moments (besides the salacious, hilarious film clips) are
of these guys walking around their apartments, looking for thermos lids and
other non sequitors.
Mau Mau also has the distinction of being one of the first films shot, edited and distributed entirely through digital mediums. One reason for this was the filmmaker's desire to maintain financial and creative control over his own work. To that end, this film is a testament to the DIY ethic of true independent film. It just happens to be a damn good time as well.
The virtues here are mainly in the fantastic subject matter - Dan Sonney and David Friedman, devoted family men (well sort of) and pioneering purveyors of the lower forms of cinematic sleaze. Not the very lowest - maybe I'm wearing rose-tinted nostalgia glasses, but the clips from their nudie-cuties and gorefests look great about eighty percent of the time, just drenched in Kodachrome, suggesting lost worlds with their cavorting volleyball nudism. Then, oh well, they get bored and start beating up/dismembering the gals. Now they've got age eighty surrounded, the businessman and the carny, and they play well-rehearsed shtick off each other like the pros that they are. Bonnitt straddles affection and cagey ambivalence pretty smartly, and one can only admire how he follows in his subjects' footsteps with his stubborn independence in the new age of digital distribution. On the other hand, one is hard pressed to admire his skill at putting a movie together; the movie is one-quarter gone before Friedman gets a character sketch, the worthy conceit of showing these old sleazebags in their suburban still lives is milked to the point of raw pointless tedium, and having ONE big-name sycophant (Frank Henenlotter?!) on board to fill in the gaps isn't really much of a challenge to the talk-doc paradigm. Very likable, but less than the sum of its fascinating parts.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Exploitation producers David F. Friedman and Dan Sonney are profiled in a loving film that takes them from the 1930's when Sonney's father got into the film business to today. Showing the clips of films they were connected to from Manic,to The Defilers to Blood Feast beyond. Its great to see all of the clips and listen to them talk about the history of exploitation and its move toward hardcore which they never got involved in. Or rather its great to listen to them for about 45 minutes by which point the film begins to drag and what was a great film becomes an okay film as it feels like the movie is repeating itself. Its not bad it just isn't as much fun. What remains fun is Frank Henenlotter, the man who made Basket Case and who is a well read and even better watched film historian who runs commentary on the exploitation genre and the films of Friedman and Sonney in particular. There is something about his near apoplectic disbelief at the existence of some of the films which he say defies ones ability to believe they were made on this planet. If someone could make a history of film with Henenlotter's commentary we'd all be better for it. Worth a look for those who like the history of film or anyone amused by people talking about the history of exploitation.
Mau Mau Sex Sex (2001)
*** (out of 4)
Nice documentary taking a look at exploitation films but more closely the careers of David F. Friedman and Dan Sonney, two of the most important names in the genre. We get interviews with the two together, separately and then with family members as they discuss their thoughts on these movies as well as going through some of their favorites. MAU MAU SEX SEX isn't the greatest documentary you're going to see but I think it gets the job done in regards to explaining what the times were like when this type of stuff could get shown in public. We start from the early days with films like MANIAC and go up to nudie stuff like MAU MAU, exploitation films like SHE FREAK and of course the gore period, which kicked off with BLOOD FEAST. While this isn't going to teach you everything about the genre (there were films before MANIAC) I think it's still great fun getting to see these two cult legends discuss their careers as well as have fun with one another. I really thought the stuff with the two men sitting together just talking are among the best moments of the film because they just seem to have so many great stories to tell. They talk about how they got involved in the business, name some of the films they lost money on and tell stories about how some of their films got into some trouble with the press. In a hilarious moment they talk about the type of people who would get caught playing with themselves inside the theater. Towards the end of the film Something Weird's Mike Vraney shows the men his "collection" of film prints, which in itself could make for an interesting documentary. Fans of exploitation should stay entertained throughout as they're treated to countless film clips as well as some great stories.
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