Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Oh those crazy Italians, I tell you. The movie you are watching is not MandinGO… it’s MandinGA. It’s the feminine version of Mandingo. I guess. Hell, I don’t know what this was. For full disclosures sake I’ve never seen Mandingo as even I have my limits as to what I will and will not watch… but then I have seen Mandinga which destroys that argument completely.

Say hello to Rhonda (Paola D’Egidio) and Rhonda is one sick… sick woman. Rhonda has come down to this plantation in ‘Louisiana’ to hang with her cousin’s ex-husband Richard (Serafino Perfumo) so she can grab his land. Eventually. Seriously, Rhonda held on for like thirty or so years to make this happen. First thing first though, let’s whip some slaves sporting big afros. The first slave that gets whipped is a big muscular dude who tries to stop evil plantation manager Spencer from raping his Mandingan princess. Rhonda obviously enjoys watching big muscular black dudes with nice afros get whipped because afterwards she’s all over this guy, who is still chained to the rafters. The thing is, he really seemed into this chained sex action, despite the whipping, but the next day when they put him out in the field to carry on with his pointless slave duties, he keels over and dies because the sun is too hot. Seriously man?

But the fun is only beginning because now Master Richard has to rape the Mandingan princess which will immediately result in the birth of a child and the Mandingan princess dying at childbirth, and the slaves hiding this child for fear that Master Richard will kill it. If you watch this movie, and I don’t recommend this, depicting the passage of time is something director Mario Pinzauti didn’t learn in whatever film school he went to. This issue becomes more pronounced because before you know it, twenty years have passed, but without me telling you this, you probably will not know this for a while. This twenty years in relevant because now we meet this films defacto star, Antonio Gismondo, as the prodigal son Clarence Hunter who has returned from overseas or something. I guess this explains why his voice dubber speaks with this terrible British accent where everyone else speaks with horrid southern accents. Except the slaves who have their own high pitched vocal thing going on.

After Clarence shows up, the slaves in this slave-themed movie essentially disappear for the next forty or so minutes as the film devolves in the micromanaging politics and operating procedures of running a plantation. This would be dull in the best of situations, but when you realize that these Italian filmmakers have no earthly clue about the micromanaging politics and operating procedures of running a southern plantation, it transforms into something that makes one search for the highest ledge and toss oneself off of it.

Clarence eventually meets the pastor’s twenty year old daughter Mary (Maria Rozaria Riuzzi), and they fall in love. This doesn’t stop him from having four-ways with Rhonda and chained up slaves, who have suddenly made a reappearance if only to get whipped and raped, but Clarence somehow found a way to blame Rhonda for his little rape party. Eventually Clarence and Mary will wed, she will become pregnant and in another one of those time issues she’s suddenly giving birth. We don’t need to tell you what this baby looks like, do we?

It is becoming clear that my incessant viewing of Italian sleaze has become an addiction. Like most addictions, they have long stopped bringing you any kind of pleasure or joy or satisfaction, and you simply take the drug because it has infused itself within your physiology and it has gotten to the point that you can’t imagine life without it. Even though you hate it. ‘Mandinga’ illustrates this unfortunate addiction of mine perfectly. This movie is awful. Completely awful. There’s nothing good about it, the dubbing is awful, the acting is awful, there’s no pacing to speak of, the plot of the movie didn’t actually begin to unfold until maybe the last five minutes, and there’s no logic or reason behind anything anyone does in this movie. ‘Mandinga’ only exists to ride the offensive coattails of ‘Mandingo’… for whatever reason. Why would anything want to ride the coattails of Mandingo?

Sure there was some unintended humor, a lot of unintended humor to be honest, such as the mad hunt that Clarence and his boys had in pursuit of his wife while clutching a black baby. And Clarence’s declaration of love for this wife of his, his half sister, right after he just shot her in the back. Oh… NOW you love her. The slaves were pretty funny too, with their nice afros and crazy talk. I do wonder where Pinzauti found all those black people to put in his movie. Plus most of the slaves were slightly recognizable as other famous black folks. I saw one who looked like Sherman Hemsley, there was another one who looked like Max Julien, then there was one that looked like that cat that played Coolidge on ‘The White Shadow’. That might’ve been him.

So recognizing that there are few movies as bad as ‘Mandinga’, if someone were to tell me that there was a ‘Mandinga 2’ out there, would I watch it? Not only would I watch it, but if I couldn’t get it, I would probably break into your house and steal it if I thought you had it. I need help people. I need Narconon.

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