Meet The Empowered “Machete Maidens Unleashed!” Pam Grier Got Her Start Here! Terrific Documentary Celebrates The “Anything Goes” Films Of The Philippines!

sexploitation classics

Time To Celebrate These “Unleashed” Machete Maidens!

You like cult cinema? Then do I have a terrific documentary for you – one that tells the story of the booming Philippine film industry in the 70’s and 80’s, when empowered women kicked ass overseas!

Look at these posters! They are perfect examples of the type of film that was very popular in american movie theaters. These low-budget films were filled with three things: “Breasts, blood and beasts!”

Meet The “Machete Maidens Unleashed!”

I love films that look at unique eras in film, and this one does just that!

The documentary takes an indepth look at one of the wildest “anything goes” eras in film – the filmmaking boom in the Philippines! The movie is full of great movie clips and very candid interviews with a ton of people who worked on these films, such as Director John Landis, Producer Roger Corman, Director Joe Dante, and a slew of great actors from the era, including Pam Grier and more!

Here is the slightly NSFW trailer:

It all began with “women in prison” pictures – low budget exploitation films that showed what happened when innocent women were put in prison – and guess what? Since it was so cheap to shoot in the Philippines, why not imprison them there!

Yes, this documentary explains how Pam Grier was discovered, and starred in several films shot in the Philippines – the documentary has some great anecdotes, and a short interview with Grier as well…see more about her early films here:

These movies were shot in the Philippines for a reason – everything was dirt cheap, and there were virtually no safety standards whatsoever!

These movies promised lots of action, and nudity as well – as one person in the film admits: these “women in prison” movies allowed the convicts two showers a day – and both were shown in the film!

Director Jack Hill made several films in the Philippines and has hilarious stories about his experiences – he also made several with Pam Grier, including the one that started it all:

The film discusses Producer Roger Corman extensively – he was behind many of these films, and he is interviewed as well – he made a lot of films in the Philippines during the 70’s – and they point out that he gave many Directors, like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese their start…here is the film he produced for Scorsese:

You can read more about this 70’s cult classic here:

The documentary also talks about how Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos enticed filmmakers to come to his country – in fact, his wife love movies!

There is a lot of great footage of Imelda in this documentary, and it talks about one of the country’s biggest – and smallest – stars, Weng Weng!

There is a great documentary about the life and films of Weng Weng, and guess what?

Amazingly, Imelda Marcos is interviewed in the film!

See more here:

“Machete Maidens Unleashed” is a great story about filmmaking – and how one country bent over backwards to bring Hollywood to them!

The film spends some time showing a bit of the chaos surrounding the filming of “Apocalypse Now” there – as the Army gave Director Francis Ford Coppola military helicopters for the film!

Also interviewed in the film is R Lee Ermey, who was the military advisor to Coppola and has some choice words about the “Apocalypse Now” shoot – he is candid as always, and just a few years later, became a star because of his role in “Full Metal Jacket” – see more about that here:

“Machete Maidens Unleashed” is a great film for cult movie lovers, so check it out!

Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Blaxploitation!, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Memoirs, Movies, Movies About Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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8 replies

  1. Any mention of Pam Grier gets my interest.

  2. You certainly do find very interesting topics to write about, John

    • I am a fan of cult cinema, Robbie – and this is a great documentary – and while there is lots of nudity, they also point out that these films were all starring women in the lead roles, and were always defeating all of the scum around them, so they are “female empowered” in a weird, “only in Hollywood” way – thanks for your comment!

  3. I have seen ‘Boxcar Bertha’ and ‘Full Metal Jacket’. But I don’t recall any film I have watched that was Filipino.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Not filipino, Pete – made in the Philippines – have you seen “Apocalypse Now?” Filmed there! A ton of b-movies were made there because Imelda Marcos was a movie fan!

      • Ah, I get your drift now, John.
        My new glasses are obviously not working as well as I had hoped. 🙂
        Best wishes, Pete.

      • Well Pete, it was a real “quiet” thing when they released the movies, but they got huge tax breaks by filming there, and there were literally NO safety standards! The Army provided military helicopters for “Apocalype Now” and were late one day for filming because they had to bomb the rebels first!


  1. RIP R. Lee Ermey! Brilliant “Full Metal Jacket!” From “Apocalypse Now” Military Advisor To Great Actor! – johnrieber

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