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Image Entertainment presents
Mondo Mod/The Hippie Revolt (1967)

"The mods are not simply a new generation. They're a new kind of generation."
- Humble Harve

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: March 27, 2002

Stars: Sam The Soul and The Inspirations, The Group, Youth Of The World, Humble Harve
Director: Peter Perry, Edgar Beatty

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language, drug use and sexuality)
Run Time: 02h:27m:05s
Release Date: March 12, 2002
UPC: 014381103724
Genre: documentary


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ B-B-B- B+

DVD Review

Here's a disc from the always bizarre team at Something Weird that brings the counter-culture of the 1960s together, by pitting the groovy mods against the peace-loving hippies. This collection of two separate documentaries is a surreal adventure that is a trippy accounting of the era, when sex, drugs and music were the driving forces for the youth of America. Hey, that doesn't sound that different from today.

Mondo Mod (01h:12m:16s)
Dir: Peter Perry
This is the story of the Sunset Strip mods, as narrated by legendary Los Angeles disc jockey Humble Harve. A little less counter-culture than the hippies, the mods existed in a trendy world of LSD, pot, fashion, surfing, motorcycles, go-carts and karate (at least according to this film). A documentary like this is more humorous than informative, and the footage is funny in a "gee, do those guys look silly" kind of way. The LSD interview, and subsequent "trip," is a groovy mindbender. A handful of rock bands, like The Group, Youth Of The World and Sam The Soul And The Inspirations provide background music, including the title song (It's A Mod, Mod World) performed by the mysterious band The Gretschmen.

One of the real curiosities of Mondo Mod is that the production team consisted of two soon-to-be famous cinematographers: Laszlo Kovacs (Easy Rider, Ghostbusters) and Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Blow Out). Both Kovacs and Zsigmond worked heavily in the exploitation genre early in their careers, and their involvement here is more of a curiosity than anything else.

The Hippie Revolt (01h:14m:49s)
Dir: Edgar Beatty
The darker side of the mod movement was that of the hippies, and Edgar Beatty's film is actually a bit more serious in it's subject matter than that of Mondo Mod. Centered around the Mecca that was Haight-Ashbury, The Hippie Revolt is "written and told like it is, by the hippies themselves." Body painting, communes, love-ins, free love, Viet Nam Protests, and of course plenty of LSD figure prominently in the lifestyle, and despite the inherent weirdness, Beatty treats his subjects with genuine adoration.

Groovy stuff.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Both films are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame color transfers, but the source material varies greatly in quality. Edits and splices are abundant, and there are plenty of imperfections. The colors, not surprisingly, are somewhat faded across the board. I don't fault the transfer as much as I do the condition of the original prints, which were no doubt far from pristine.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The mono audio transfer is nondescript, and perfectly suitable for the content. Narration is clear, though some hiss is evident. The Hippie Revolt has some drop-out, but otherwise is consistently average.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Acid Eaters, The Cat Ate The Parakeet, Love Is A Carousel, Mantis In Lace, Musical Mutiny And Weekend Rebellion, Smoke And Flesh, The Tale Of The Dean's Wife
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Short Subjects
  2. Gallery Of Drive-In Exploitation Art
Extras Review: Something Weird releases always have a bizarrely fascinating set of extras, and though this disc is not as loaded as some, there is over an hour of extra material. The highlight is a pair of commentary tracks, in addition to another set of tacky trailers.

Commentary
Each of the two feature documentaries on this disc feature a full-length, scene-specific commentary from "Mr. Sixties" Johnny Legend and Hollywood Book & Poster Company's Eric Caidin. Legend and Caidin provide what they refer to as "local color" as opposed to direct production info, and I found their comments to be the preferred audio track to use when viewing this disc, as opposed to the original stiff narration. Legend dominates both tracks, and he offers a wealth of Sunset Strip info, and how it related to the mod and hippie movements. Great stuff.

Mondo Mod Short Subject #1: Pot Party Girls
This is a Harry Novak nudie short that was cut into Mondo Mod (minus the skin), and shown here in it's (brief) entirety. Nude dancing and pot smoking are the order of the day, and boy does it look like fun.

Mondo Mod Short Subject #2: Hot Hippy Hips
Here is an extended Novak-produced strip tease that is seen in a tamer version during Mondo Mod, as part of the LSD trip sequence. A cute girl dances around in a black bikini for a few minutes before completely disrobing, only to dance some more.

Acidhead Short Subject #1: Beyond LSD
This one is a laugh riot. It's a twenty-three minute film, circa 1967, that is designed to answer parents concerns about their hippie children and their strange behavior. Just where do these kids learn to act the way they do? Well, maybe right at home, Mr. and Mrs. America.

Acidhead Short Subject #2: Psychedelic Hippie Love-In
A grainy 8-minute short that purports to examine sex and psychedelia, involving the "grass heads" and the "acid freaks." It's real purpose, however, seems to be to culminate in a big hippie orgy, featuring a mass of bony long-haired types of both sexes in a big undulating mass.

Gallery Of Exploitation Art
This runs a little over five minutes, and features an array of grindhouse poster art, with audio from theater come-ons and ads. These are always a retro treat, and I'm waiting for a DVD crammed with these galleries that Image generally includes on the Something Weird titles.

Trailers
In addition to trailers for Mondo Mod and The Hippie Revolt, there are seven other nudity-tinged previews (The Acid Eaters, The Cat Ate The Parakeet, Love Is A Carousel, Mantis In Lace, Musical Mutiny And Weekend Rebellion, Smoke And Flesh, The Tale Of The Dean's Wife)

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

These two films have not aged well, and now are comically dated in their content. Of course that's really the whole idea behind a Something Weird DVD release, and this one is no exception.

If you need a groovy acid flashback, then this disc will expand your mind.

 


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