Secret Africa Trailer Secrets

Secret Africa Trailer Secrets

I reviewed the trailer to Secret Africa (1969) - a grotesque mondo movie / shockumentary - to get some insight into the making of my own shockumentary. 

If you'd like to review the trailer for yourself, check out this previous blog post about it.

Some quick notes I have about "Secret Africa" (1969):

The trailer features 10+ key "shock scenes." I have them noted as:

1. Gruesome War Injuries

2. Lots of Nudity

3. Animal Sacrifices (Chickens & Goats)

4. Operation on a Baby

5. Body Modifications (Disks on Lips, etc)

6. Luxury Leopard Skins

7. Goat Beheading

8. Men Whipped in Public Ritual

9. Baptismal-like Drowning of Somebody's Face

10. Male & Female Circumcision

I threw in 3+ more counts when I was doing my initial viewing - bringing it to 13 "shock scenes" - because the trailer was riddled with nudity & various exotic elements.

11. Wild Animals

12. Mock War (Tribal & Modern)

13. Various Exotic Rituals

But since the movie is 1 hour & 40 minutes, that's about 1 exploitation scene every 10 minutes, with a few extra packed in as the rhythm needs it (always be heavy handed with exploitation) - or, exactly, 1 exploitation scene per 8 minutes.

So a proper shockumentary should deliver AT MINIMUM 1-2 exploitation scenes per 10 minutes.

This is the equivalent to 1 shock gimmick per 1 film reel... with at least 3 reels featuring 2 exploitation scenes (for that "packed experience" effect).

This seems consistent with counts I've kept on other shockumentary films...

Mondo Cane: 2-3 exploitation scenes per 10 minutes.

Mondo Hollywood: 1-2 exploitation scenes per 10 minutes.


An exploitation scene is any element of the shockumentary which is exploitable via advertising, print, or the media.

In Mondo Cane, some of those scenes would be: the sea turtle dying in the desert, the religious self-cutting street rituals, preparing snakes to be eaten, rich people eating bugs in fancy restaurants, etc.

In Mondo Hollywood, some of those scenes would be: young Frank Zappa's psychedelic party, interview with local scene hippie dance teacher Vito, footage of future Manson victim, footage of celebrities on the red carpet, footage of psychedelic guru Ram Dass, hearing stories of people living & working among celebrities, bikini & surfer beach parties, etc.

These are the things you can stick on a poster, clip into a trailer, which will then titillate people into wanting to see the film.

These are the things you tell people are in your movie & they go, "Now THAT I gotta see!"

"oOoOo A real life circumcision!" somebody would say, in a dark theater somewhere in 1970's Times Square...

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