Sunday, 17 October 2010

Mundo Depravados (1967)

Mundo Depravados is an odd little sexploitation murder mystery from 1967, notable mostly for featuring strip-tease artiste Tempest Storm in one of her very few straight acting roles.

Tempest Storm is of course one of the great ladies of American burlesque. I use the present tense deliberately - she’s not only still with us, but as recently as 2008 was apparently still performing.

The plot concerns a sex killer stalking women who appear in a bizarre TV exercise program. This TV program is associated in some obscure way with a burlesque theatre, with the sleazy TV host being a business partner of Tango (Tempest Storm), the lady who not only runs the burlesque theatre but is also its star attraction.

The murders are being investigated by two detectives who also provide the comic relief. They’re pretty incompetent as cops, but when they suddenly break into an impromptu comic routine you have to be grateful that they decided on law enforcement rather than show business as their primary careers.

The murders are lacking in anything even remotely resembling graphic violence and in fact have a very cartoonish feel to them. The entire movie is of course not to be taken the slightest bit seriously. There are naturally (this being primarily a sexloitation flick) various ingenious excuses to show the young ladies without their clothes on. The nudity is fairly tame. It’s notable mostly for the fact that these are actual women who look like women rather than famine victims or the products of cosmetic surgery. This is of course one of the most endearing things about 1960s sexploitation movies - the actresses usually looked pretty much like ordinary women.

We also get to see Tempest Storm perform. Rather surprisingly she isn’t just included for that reason and Tango is in fact the central character in the film. So she has to do some real acting. As an actress she’s terrible but luckily everybody else in the movie is equally bad so it doesn’t matter, and she does have a certain presence. And it’s the sort of movie that is enhanced rather than damaged by the awfulness of the acting.

This is not a movie that has any artistic pretensions whatsoever. It’s straight grindhouse fare but it has a certain undeniable charm to it. There’s some delightfully kooky dialogue and it has that slight touch of weirdness that connoisseurs of the genre look for.

Of course the most important question you will be wanting to ask is - does it include nude go-go dancing? The answer to that question is a definite yes.

It comes as part of one of Something Weird Video’s two-movie sets, paired with The Love Cult (which I haven’t yet watched). The DVD transfer is pretty good. It’s probably not a must-see for fans of sexploitation but it’s worth a look.

No comments: