“Violence! Liquor! Sex!”
Talk about a “not-so-subtle” poster! I just watched a terrific documentary about “Grindhouse” cinema, and this is exactly what they were discussing! More on that documentary in a moment but first, some examples of this “sinful era of cinema!”
“The Unsatisfied” is a great example of an era in film where lurid promos promised a peek inside the most depraved parts of our culture…when this film was released in 1964, this was provocative stuff!
Check out the trailer, thanks to the great home video company Something Weird Video:
Of course, as you can see from the trailer, the film itself was mostly shot in dim light and had only fleeting glimpses of flesh, but that was enough for the time…see more of this early example of sin here:
What ties these films together is their promise to show you “daring, revealing expose of life in the big cities”! Don’t believe me?
“Love-Starved And Eager To Learn”!
You see? This classic “sexploitation” poster is a perfect example of a wild wild time in movie history. Because of the “sexual revolution” in the 60’s, barriers were being broken in movie theaters, and smart Producers rushed in with a ton of lurid sex thrillers designed to take hard-earned cash from stupid young men!
Movie theaters like these in New York’s Times Square were filled with trashy movies that promised lots of “adult situations”- let’s look at some of the best:
An early master of the genre was the legendary Director Russ Meyer, who loved powerful women – tough as nails, beautiful, and able to outsmart any man – he gave us what is still the greatest film title of all time:
“Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” is a great movie – filled with action with a unique twist at the time, because while his films were filled with nudity, sex and violence – his stars were empowered women who did most of the ass-kicking!
If you haven’t seen Russ Meyer’s unique cinematic vision, you are missing out on some wild cult movie making! Here are some of Meyer’s greatest hits:
In the 60’s, in order to skirt obscenity laws, many filmmakers claimed the films were “educational” in nature, such as this one – which promised a true, torrid look at life in the deep south:
Child Brides In The Ozarks!
“Hickploitation” was the term for it – offering a look at real-life atrocities – right in our own country! Of course, nothing onscreen was as bad as the movie poster, but there were lots of examples from this genre – see them here:
In the 70’s, Producers had to come up with wilder and more outrageous gimmicks to get you into the movie theater:
What about this “Wham Bam” Piece Of Cinema?
The Producer of this mid-70’s outer space sex romp was known as the “Sultan Of Sexploitation”! Harry Novak was a Producer and distributor, and once said about his profession:
“When I was a kid, my Daddy told me, ‘There’s a buyer for everything.’ And I lived to find out that he was right!”
Click here to see some of Novak’s greatest exploitation films:
Another early offering in the field was this black and white movie from 1966:
“A Smell Of Honey, A Swallow Of Brine” is also one of the greatest grind house movie titles ever – but again, like most of these films, it promised a lot more than it showed! See the trailer here:
As I mentioned, there is a great documentary about the history of this genre:
“American Grindhouse” is a terrific 2010 documentary directed and produced by Elijah Drenner.
The documentary chronicles the history of the American exploitation film from the days of Thomas Edison to contemporary films of the 21st century.
This is a very in-depth look at the history of cinema though the filter of exploitation, so there is a lot of great stuff from the early days of film as well. The movie has a ton of great interviews, including John Landis, Joe Dante, Jack Hill, Don Edmonds, Fred Williamson, Allison Anders, James Gordon White, Larry Cohen, William Lustig, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Judy Brown, Jeremy Kasten, Jonathan Kaplan, Bob Minor, Lewis Teague, David Hess and Fred Olen Ray.
Folks, those are some of the greatest names of the genre – check out the trailer:
What do you do if you want to know more about this genre? Well guess what? There is another documentary out that tells the story as well – this one from the Something Weird team!
Click here for a look at this great documentary:
Let me know your favorites of the genre!
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