Now I know why performance art has such a bad name. This really has to be seen to be believed--so you're better off not believing it.A haphazardly presented collection of musical performances, comedy shticks, S&M shows, poetry recitals, and other bullshit of a similar order, Mondo is supposed to be an in-your-face overview of the underground art scene in New York as it was around 1987. Alas, while I had hoped for an entertainingly lurid geek show--you can't say I had high expectations here--what I got instead was an abysmally silly, pretentious parade of non-talents that made me reminisce about The Gong Show Movie. Where's the Unknown Comic when you need him?
Lowlights include (1) a Santeria(?) ritual during which a man bites off the head of a live chicken; (2) an extraordinarily grating on-stage monologue from the deservedly infamous Karen Finley, whose act carries all the charm of fingernails being dragged across a blackboard; (3) a performance of the punk song "Fuck You"; (4) a woman literally beating a dead horse; (5) a cockfight; (6) a woman who has sex with a wheelchair-bound man while a second woman reads bad poetry; and (7) a fat guy who bites the heads off two live mice (I notice a pattern forming...) and detonates fireworks stuffed under his shirt.
If that weren't frightening enough, consider that much of this happens to the tune of godawful '80s New Wave music. And that people with names like John Sex appear.If this sounds at all interesting, then I've failed miserably. This is the most profoundly annoying pile of cosmic nonsense I've seen in years.