Before TV and video bringing us the strangeness of the world there was the travel film which brought the sites into local theaters. Then in the 1960's we had the travel film spawn the Mondo movie where all of the weird things in the world were brought to your local theater. Most of the films were an odd mix of real and staged events (many mid-cycle films were all staged). Most have dry witty or pithy commentary by a well known star.
The films were mostly of the sort of thing where "if you've seen one you've seen them all". Ecco rises some how above the standard rut of the Mondo movies. Yes, there are things to turn your stomach and others to make you question if its real or not, as all of these films do, but Ecco has one thing the others don't and that is George Saunders doing the narration.
Saunders was a master of dry wit and his delivery works wonders with the material. In all of the other mondo movies you remember the momentary bits that shocked you, but here you remember Saunders voice, with his inflections revealing infinitely more than the words do. You want to hear his narration which seems to rise above the material.
For the life of me I couldn't tell you one thing that happens in this movie, but I remember the voice. Its the voice that makes me want to watch this every now and again while almost every other mondo movie I've seen could disappear and I wouldn't care.
If you must see one mondo movie in your life see this one. If you want to see one that doesn't suck see this one.
8 out of 10.