Say Hello To The Face Of Exploitation Cinema!
Someone asked me to explain the phenomenon of exploitation cinema – an era from the late 60’s to the mid-80’s when movies pushed boundaries and broke taboos…and resulted in some of the most deranged and entertaining films of all time!
Welcome To Times Square!
It all began in New York’s Times Square, at a time when it was more dangerous to be IN THE THEATER than it was to be on the streets!
Time To Talk About All Forms Of Movie ‘Sploitation!
These movie theaters in Times Square were open 24 hours a day, showing some of the weirdest films ever made!
“Exploitation” films were also known as “Grindhouse” films, because they played New York’s 42nd street theaters all day and night…look at what a seedy scene it was at the time:
You can take a trip down memory lane with a story I posted about this unique time in cinema…just click here:
Hard to imagine that this is what Times Square used to look like – but it’s a part of movie history that has disappeared…except on home video and on demand, where these films are having a re-birth!
A “David Hasselhoff” Moment!
Here’s a look at the kind of films that were shown in Times Square in the 70’s and early 80’s…from the subtle to the ridiculous – and with David Hasselhoff too!
“Hello, Boner”! Time For Classic “Exploitation”!
Yes, there were recognizable stars in some of the more “mainstream” exploitation films of the era, including David Hasselhoff who starred as “Boner” is one of the more hilarious examples – movies with lots of topless girls, subtle sexual situations, mostly “R”-rated, or soft “X” – nothing too controversial, just good clean naughty fun like this:
The “Cheerleader” genre was silly, good-natured fun, with just enough skin shown to keep teenage boys flocking to the movies…here’s a good primer of the genre:
These films could play drive-in theaters all around the country…not too extreme for rural audiences…
In the 70’s, it was up to the Europeans to give us a “harder” look at the genre, “art” films that featured lots of sex and violence – films that proudly celebrated being called:
HOT HOT HOT “SEX-Sploitation!”
Grindhouse theaters were inundated in the early 70’s with films from Europe that blew the doors off the buildings they were shown in: sex kittens like Lina Romay showed off EVERYTHING in every movie!
Romay made a series of films with her husband, Director Jess Franco, that were provocative, explicitly sexual and eye-popping!
One of their most notorious is “The Hot Nights Of Linda”, with the censored “banana” scene….which you can now see on a newly released blu-ray edition of the film…read all about it here:
Not all films of that era from Europe were this “shocking”…which leads to the next “s-ploitation” genre known as:
What exactly is this? “Sinner” is a perfect example – “artsploitation” films came from Europe, beginning with the shocking film that started it all:
“I Am Curious (Yellow)” was brought up on obscenity charges, but when they won their case, the floodgates were open to a lot of wild films from Europe – these
movies were chock full of sexual situations and full nudity – but with social issues of the day thrown in as well…making it supposedly a more “artistic” endeavor….like this:
Meet Christina Lindberg, The “Queen Of Artsploitation!”
I have written about all of Lindberg’s films – this Swedish Star made some of the best “Artsploitation” films of the 70’s, like these:
Christina Lindberg was a huge star in the 70’s – Her most provocative movie, which Quentin Tarantino used as an inspiration for “Kill Bill”, was the classic “Thriller: A Cruel Picture” AKA “They Call Her One-Eye!”
Read about all of her amazing films by clicking on my story here:
While Christina was nude throughout all of her films, the movies themselves tried to tell compelling, intelligent stories…THIS “S-ploitation” genre, however, didn’t bother!
Welcome To The Wacky World Of “Dwarf-Sploitation”!
Well, you knew it had to lead to this: one of the most exploitive movies ever released, thanks of course to the Europeans! Time to meet The Sinful Dwarf!
This movie has NO redeeming social values, and isn’t that why we are watching?
And now, the terrific home video company Severin Films is bringing this “Dwarf” back on blu-ray!
The new blu-ray includes a ton of special features, including a look at the cast and crew!
Of course, one of my favortie stories of all is the disappearing starlet of “Sinful Dwarf”, Anne Sparrow. It was her only film, and then she disappeared from movie screens forever!
This beautiful Actress bares all in the film, but also gives a brave, professional performance – and then she disappeared forever!
Read all about the mystery of Anne Sparrow by clicking here:
These films in the 70’s made it to the US and helped open the door to a more explicit era in film…some wacky 70’s exploitation films, however, never left their country of origin – like these!
Time For Some “J-Sploitation!”
Welcome to wild and wacky Japan! The genre known as “J-Sploitation” dealt with Japanese sexploitation films – also called:
These movies were about girls who got into trouble and had to fight their way out!
These films evoke a style like “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” and are definitely worth checking out!
Read all about them here:
If you think only countries like Japan can release disturbing films that call their own culture into question, you are wrong!
Yes, right here in the heartland of the US of A, your “Country Cuzzins” are ready to party!
These movies are called “hick-Sploitation”, and they usually deal with country girls down on the farm who are ready to “get down”!
It’s a genre full of haystacks, “aw shucks” dialogue, and lots and lots of nudity! See what these “Country Cuzzins” are up to by clicking on my story here:
These films evolved into more mainstream fare like “Gator Bait” and “White Lightning” with Burt Reynolds…just good old boys having some fun…back in Europe however, things just got darker and darker…
Shoot Up Some “Drug-Sploitation!”
This genre of “S-ploitation” had a short run in the US, with serious films like “The Panic In Needle Park” with Al Pacino:
Junkies on the streets of New York have movie stars attached, while in Europe, heroin addiction was just another plot point in films full of sex and violence like this:
See more about these rough and tumble descents into heroin madness by clicking on my story here:
As you can see, Europeans dealt with social issues in one way, in the US it was a bit more humorous…like this genre:
Rev Up Some Classic “Hog-Sploitation”!
Yes, biker chicks was the rage in the 70’s – tough girls who could kick ass and take names!
Here is a list of some of the best:
And there is one genre I could never support:
This genre was touched upon a bit when Raquel Welch played the sexiest “cleave-flaunting” nun of all time:
Yes, Raquel dipped her breasts into the “euro-sleaze” genre in a big way!
“Euro-sleaze” is a type of movie made in Europe that didn’t even pretend to have any socially redeeming qualities – but big stars would make them because there was money to be made!
Raquel Welch was a sexy nun in the “euro-sleaze” classic “Bluebeard”.
Read more about this cult Ricahrd Burton classic – by clicking here:
So there’s a look at some of the wildest film genres ever produced – let me know your favorite!
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