Headpress Books Established 1991

Sweet & Savage

The world through the mondo film lens

“The Mondo Cane films were an important key to what was going on in the media landscape of the 1960s, especially post the JFK assassination. Nothing was true, and nothing was untrue…” J.G. Ballard from his Introduction

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Being the first ever English-language title devoted exclusively to the controversial and influential mondo documentary film cycle, this revised edition of Sweet & Savage remains the only serious study of mondo as a global film phenomenon, and includes a detailed examination of the key films of this cult genre.

Sweet & Savage identifies the principle stylistic aspects of the mondo genre through a fascinating ‘non-linear’ approach that echoes the collage shock effects of the original films. In so doing it features exclusive interviews and many unique material contributions. It is lavishly illustrated with rare photographs, stills, posters, and record sleeves.

Sweet and Savage also includes some unique material contributions:

  • ‘godfather’ of the mondo genre Gualtiero Jacopetti writing on his documentary style
  • rare interviews with the makers of Jacopetti’s films
  • British author J.G. Ballard interviewed on the mondo film
  • the first ever examination of the music of mondo films
  • foreword by Jeremy Dyson of The League of Gentlemen


The book is lavishly illustrated with many rare photographs, stills, posters, record sleeves etc.

Foreword by Jeremy Dyson.

Introduction by J G Ballard

Read an extract

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Mark Goodall

MARK GOODALL is an academic who teaches and writes about film and music. He is also a musician and composer, filmmaker and has worked as a journalist, bookseller, community artist, printer and cheesemonger.