Mr. Mike's Mondo Video -- Roth's Quince Orchard, Roth's Randolph.
Mr. Mike's Mondo Video is nothing more than an 80-minute television show on a wide screen, with one drawback. You can't get up and change the channel.
In some theater listings the movie is described as "featuring the cast of Saturday Night Live." Let's just say they "appear." Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman show up in one segment; Bill Murray does about a minute, and Dan Aykroyd gets only two short segments.
But Mr. Bill is there -- how much do you have to pay a clay stuntman? -- and he opens the film. He's in the hospital with amnesia, having his memory refreshed by Mr. Hands with scenes from SNL: Mr. Bill being run over by cars, thrown against the brick walls and blown out of a cannon. After this warm-up, it's time for the main event: Mr. Mike's Mondo Video.
Movie producer/director (and SNL writer) Michael O'Donoghue appears on the screen to explain that the film is the work of a team of Italian journalists, "sweeping the globe in search of cheap thrills, the grotesque, the pathetic, the unholy, the macabre."
What follows is none of the above. Most of the scenes start off well, but then drag on. One, about an Amsterdam swimming-school for cats is funny at first, but ends with scene after scene of unwilling cats being thrown in a pool (in slow motion, of course). Dan Aykroyd provides another high point in the film, as a Hawaiian gospel preacher who leads a worship service of The Jack Lord, with a cry "Let Him be your TV Guide!"
The rest of the film is taken up with tedious shots of the "Mondo Video Van" tooling around Paris and other locations; and "dream sequences" relieved by a few entertaining "man on the street" interviews.
Mr. Mike's Mondo Video has been billed as all those scenes that didn't get past the censors at NBC-TV. Some of them probably didn't, but so what? We didn't miss anything.