One of the most bizarre pieces of Mondo exploitation, “The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield” is archival footage of the model traveling the world that was intended to be cute for the sake of a weird travel documentary focusing on Manfield. Sadly though when Mansfield died she was further exploited by the trio of directors Charles W. Broun, Jr., Joel Holt, Arthur Knight all of whom used stand ins (the movie shifts awkwardly from black and white to a color shot of her stand in), old footage of her frolicking, and a voice over actress who came on board to narrate as Ms. Mansfield.
Carolyn De Fonseca, voice from various Eurocult films such as “Deep Red,” “Hell of the Living Dead,” et al. comes on to narrate as Mansfield, offering a breathy, bubbly travelogue. She expresses every single emotion she can conjure up, no matter how ridiculous. Even though you know it’s not Mansfield; that fact adds to the overall bizarre tone. The documentary (I use the term loosely)/travelogue (?) is mainly Mansfield just running around Europe pretending to give us insight in to various monuments and landmarks but instead sounds like a ridiculous child. She runs around commenting on the “nasty” paparazzi, and how Audrey Hepburn refuses to ever to go to Rome again.
She then takes a few seconds out to enunciate “Roma. R-Roma, R-R-Roma. My R—Roma!” She bounces back and forth between glorified vacation footage of “exploring landmarks” and also commenting about how being a world wide celebrity is so troublesome (she’s slightly amused that Italian men make a lifestyle out of pinching women’s behinds flirtatiously), but is also absolutely wonderful since–you know—you’re recognized everywhere. From there she marvels at a statue that transforms in to Mickey Hargitay, runs around with her small dog, and sincerely hopes the Eiffel Tower is never torn down to make a parking lot. Sheesh.
She then visits a gay bar and is baffled by the lifestyle donchaknow, attends a drag queen contest, gets naked on the all-nude island of Heliopolis, visits an exclusive Parisian spa where she is massaged in the nude, and attends the 15th Annual Most Beautiful Breasts in the World Contest. And that’s not even the icing on the cake. Make no mistake “The Wild, Wild World…” is pure exploitation, it’s bizarre and shameless opportunism that squeezes out as much money from the life of Mansfield as possible, even after her death. Your mileage may vary, but the notorious documentary is something I recommend mainly for experimental or hardcore film buffs.
The Blu-Ray from Severin Films comes the bonus movie, the equally aimless travelogue “Wild, Weird, Wonderful Italians” from 1966, restored from The Something Weird movie vaults. The Devil & Jayne is an Interview with Satanist Anton LaVey’s Biographer Blanche Barton addressing theories about Mansfield’s connection to satanism, and finally the original trailer for “The Wild, Wild World…”