Author: Clyde Allison
Real name: William Henley Knowles
Published: 1966 Leisure Books
Cover illustration: Robert Bonfils
WARNING: This review contains sexual and adult themes.
‘Once again, Hollywood, that Glamour Capital of the Free World, had come up with a smashing idea – A Secret Agent Semi-Documentary! And when they chose SADISTO as the subject for their MONDO-type flick, they were confident that they wouldn’t have to worry about any intense erotic atmosphere. From the little they could learn about SADISTO’s ultrasecret activities, they concluded that they organization merely killed, maimed, tortured and, whenever possible massacred the sinister enemies of the Free World.
Little did the California Dreamers realize what they were in for! How could they have known that the dread triple-zero agents were trained not only to kill, but to love – whenever possible!’
Mondo Sadisto is the twelfth title in Clyde Allison’s series of soft-core spy novels featuring Trevor Anderson, agent 0008 for a secret organisation called SADISTO. The name of the company alone should tell you about how they work – they use brutal and garish methods to liquidate the enemies of the Free World. It should also tell you that these novels are very black comedies. The series, because of its sexual content is often looked upon as porn, and there’s no denying that sexual themes are prevalent throughout the book. But by today’s standards it is all very tame. There are no swear words and the passages devoted to sex could more accurately be described as ‘smut’ rather than ‘erotica’.
‘She’s a big girl, with jutting, high, proud, ripely rounded breasts – twin cupolas of carnal temptation, paired peaks of passionate pleasure flesh…’ or ‘Her proud, pert young breast jutted upward and outward in quivering conical / spherical perfection – dual globes of glossy glee flesh.’
As I said, it is smut, but placed in the context of the wild spyjinx presented, it’s obvious that none of this is meant to be taken seriously.
In this 0008 adventure our hero, Trevor Anderson is to be the star in a Mondo-style documentary movie. It appears that SADISTO is cash strapped, and for ‘two million on the barrel-head plus twenty percent of the gross take’ they are prepared to allow an insider witness the ultra-secret world of SADISTO. The producer / director / cinematographer of this film is Cinamatia (Cin) Scopes, and she is to accompany 0008 on his next mission filming every second.
What is his mission? Glad you asked. Ultra evil organisation KRUNCH are holding the ‘Free World’ to ransom once again. This time they are threatening to destroy the waterways of North America. The mission briefing goes like this – page 73:
“What,” the General had asked dramatically (during our initial briefing), “is the most dreaded thing of the water – fresh water, that is?”
I considered this. “A voluptuous teen-age thrill-seeking girl at the wheel of a high-powered outboard?” I suggested, remembering numerous occasions when such joyous jills had almost cut me in two with their propellers.
“You’re right,” the General had conceded. “Well, what’s the second most dreaded thing in fresh water?”
“Why, the Piranha!” gasped Cin and I in unison.
“Keep out of this,” I snarled. “This is my briefing.”
“Sorry. I spoke up without thinking,” apologized Cin.
“Silence!” thundered the General. “As I was saying and you were agreeing, the South American fresh-water fish – loosely named the Piranha – is a fish to be dreaded.”
And later from page 76 and 77:
“It’s more serious, I take it,” I rasped.
“Exactly. With Piranhas as with any fish, it’s only a question of acclimation. Piranhas flourish only in very warm fresh waters. But…”
“But?” I interjected.
“But fish can adjust. Automatically or after careful selective breeding. Take the common guppy for an example. A fresh-water fish. But how many guppy fanciers know that if they should toss their guppies into an aquarium full of salt water – the guppies would continue to flourish and multiply.”
“I take it,” I frowned, “that not all fish are as adaptable as guppies?”
“You take it correctly,” said the General. “However, before this, nobody has made any attempt to acclimate Piranhas to cooler water. By slowly lowering the water temperature, selecting the fish that withstood the change best, cross-breeding them, repeating the process for generations – it might be done. And shudder, the indications are – it has been done! Yes, a cool, even cold-water Piranha is now a biological reality. You can imagine what this could mean.”
So KRUNCH’s evil plan is to release their cold water acclimated Piranhas into North American waterways during ‘Safe Swimming Week’. Diabolical. The woman behind this horrible scene is Serra S. Brandt, and 0008, with a little help from Cin Scopes has to track her down and eliminate her – which is not going to be an easy task.
An intriguing aspect of the 0008 novels is the violence. There is a fair amount of gratuitous cartoon violence, and as stated, because these books are black comedies, this violence is ‘sadistic’ and gory. After all 0008 works for SADISTO – of course he’s ‘sadistic’. But Allison seems to take delight in whipping his reading audience into a lather about the more extreme elements of his stories. As this note explains (from 0008’s point of view):
‘As most of my millions of readers know, SADISTO agents keep in fighting trim, maintain their professional skills and relax themselves by shooting at live human targets – usually captured enemy agents, condemned voluptuous teen-age girl criminals we ‘borrow’ from death-row on the pretense of studying their psychological reactions, and other alleged enemies of the Free World.
But although the advantages as well as the fun of this system should be obvious, some readers don’t seem to approve of it. Many send me angry letters about it, in fact (as if I were to blame! I’m only a cog in the system – albeit a pretty important cog) – letters frequently accompanied by time bombs, rattlesnakes and deadly cave scorpions. Gifts I always rewrap and mark Return to Sender.
To stop this irksome flow of missives and missiles, let me restate my oft stated position: What’s wrong with using live human beings as targets?’
Having said all that, Allison does have a tendency to have an each way bet. One of the recurring plot devices is to have 0008 kill an enemy in a particularly nasty and bloody fashion, only to later have it revealed that the target wasn’t actually killed. So you get the nasty ‘sadistic’ prose, and then at the end, he takes it all away. No one was really hurt after all.
As the 0008 adventures are plainly parodies of sixties spymania, the stories are littered with Bond, Flint and UNCLE references. Even KAOS from Get Smart is given a name check. In this book one of the highlights is when 0008 explains his choice to drive a fire-engine red Mercedes rather than an Aston Martin.
“I thought all secret agents drove Aston Martins,” Cin had objected when we’d started our trip.
“Most do,” I agreed. “The Aston Martin people have a special group rate for intelligence organizations. The car has certain drawbacks, however. Like so many secret agents, enemy, friendly and the neutral drive them. You see an Aston Martin on the road, you know right off the driver is most likely a secret agent.”
“I see,” said Cin.
“So for this particular case,” I concluded, “I’m not taking my Aston Martin. Also it needs a valve job. Better we travel inconspicuously.” “You call a fire-engine red Mercedes 540-K inconspicuous?” increduled Cin.
And Derek Flint cops a serve – from page 53:
“Are you going to your quarters to do yoga exercises to prepare yourself for your coming hazardous duties?” she asked as she trotted behind me.
“Bah!” I said. “Perhaps esthetes like Flint engage in such questionably masculine pre-caper activities, but we triple-zero SADISTO agents are made of lustier stuff.”
Most readers would be familiar with the famous Page 69 Test. The theory is that page 69 should be a good reflection on the contents of the book. Well, with a piece of Clyde Allison erotica, I guess the 69 Test takes on a new meaning. But with a fair amount of trepidation submit Mondo Sadisto to the test to see how it stacks up.
Sweat poured from my brow as I writhed and twisted beneath the diabolical provocation of her lips, and tongue, and breasts, and straying fingers.
It was wild.
It was wanton.
It was wonderful.
It was too much.
“Don’t stop” I implored.
I guess, due to the novels erotic nature their are going to be pages with a measure of carnality. Page 69, to put it simply, is a page filled with foreplay — and by page 70, well it’s right into the action — you get the idea. This passage doesn’t really sum up the parody inherent in the novel, but the book is what it is — a piece of erotica — and I guess Page 69 reflects that.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mondo Sadisto, like a few of the other Clyde Allison novels I have now sampled, is a little uneven, but there are passages which are brilliant parodies of a Bondian universe. I had a brief email conversation with Tanner from the Double O Section, and he made a very astute observation that the stories are in many ways similar to Mark Gatiss’ Lucifer Box trilogy. And he’s right. Obviously Allison’s stories are primarily soft core smut with passages of outrageous spy-type action and adventure, whereas Gatiss’ stories are outrageous spy-type action and adventure with passages of smut. But they are similar.
Thanks to Flapjack 111, I am happy to present Mondo Sadisto. As the Clyde Allison 0008 Sadisto novels are out of print, rare, and extremely expensive, we thought it only right that we should share the adventures of one of the more perverse Bondian imitators.
To download Mondo Sadisto in JPG format, click here.