Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mau Mau Sex Sex (2001)

Documentary in which David Friedman and Dan Sonney, two old hands at the exploitation-cinema game, expound on the films they created and the genres they birthed. Ted Bonnit's film is initially engaging and entertaining enough that it takes about half the film to realize that it isn't worth a tinker's damn as a documentary. Sonney and Friedman's recollections are amusing but too scattershot to function as anything resembling an oral history of grindhouse cinema, and for those of us who know thing one about this particular section of cinema history, there's far too many egregious omissions and whitewashes. I mean, it's one thing for the genesis of the nudie-cutie to come up without mention of Russ Meyer or Barry Mahon (not even from exploitation history maven Frank Henenlotter) -- neither Sonney nor Friedman really crossed paths with either of those fellows. But there's a five-minute overview of Blood Feast (which, incidentally, Sonney didn't have squat to do with, despite the insinuative editing here) and not only is there no mention of H.G. Lewis, but an onscreen poster for the film is framed so Lewis's name is partially obscured. I know he and Friedman had a falling-out, but that's just ridiculous. So Bonnit's film bills itself as a documentary on the golden age of the grindhouse, but in actuality it's a movie about two old coots gabbing and burnishing their accomplishments. It promises something it has no intention of delivering upon, which I guess puts it right in the tradition of the men it's profiling.

Grade: C+


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