The Frightfest Guide to Exploitation Movies

The Frightfest Guide to Exploitation Movies


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The Frightfest Guide to Exploitation Movies by Alan Jones

From the moment motion pictures were invented, fearless entrepreneurs, poverty row profiteers and money-grabbing grifters gave cinemagoers what they truly craved.... the sex, horror and cheap thrills that were too hot for Hollywood to handle. And so the exploitation industry was born. Nothing was taboo and selling sin, shock and sensation became an art form.

Soon, what were once the dirty little secrets of the film world became the most sought-after must-sees in every grindhouse and drive-in, as an ever-growing legion of fans travelled miles to witness the most unbelievable sights ever put on celluloid.

From MANIAC to ANATOMY OF A PSYCHO, DERANGED to ZOMBIE, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE to THE SEXUALIST, THE JESUS TRIP to NAKED FIST and ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS to AFRICA EROTICA — just 10 of the 200 hand-picked outrages covered in this comprehensive and representative history — critically acclaimed film critic, author and broadcaster Alan Jones takes you on a startling tour through the astounding exploitation movie extremes of its 1935 to 1985 Golden Era.

Tinsel town trash and global grunge like you've never seen it before, complete with an all-embracing, richly-textured A-Z guide to everything you ever wanted to know about the inglorious exploitation movie genre but were afraid to ask. With a blistering introduction by 42nd Street habitué, aficionado and COMBAT SHOCK writer/director, Buddy Giovinazzo, The Frightfest Guide to Exploitation Movies fully captures the range and breadth of the entire exploitation spectrum.

Enter, if you dare, into the sordid, sleazy underworld of Z-studio slime and punishment, where orgies of the dead, cesspools of vice and shameless desires featured tantalizing titles, lurid artwork, daring advertising campaigns and overblown hype.

Exploitation movies have never gone away. Inside you'll discover the unbelievable reasons why.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781903254875
Publisher: FAB Press
Publication date: 10/15/2017
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 643,580
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Alan Jones is an internationally renowned reporter on the Horror Fantasy genre in all media and travels the world to cover the making of movies in production. The first movie he covered on location was the original Star Wars in 1977. He founded FRIGHTFEST and is currently a featured film critic in the 'Radio Times', the UK's biggest selling magazine. Other magazines and newspapers he has written for include Empire, Total Film, SFX, The Guardian, GQ, Vogue, FHM, The Independent and Premiere. He recently worked with Nicolas Winding Refn on the acclaimed coffee table book The Act of Seeing.

Buddy Giovinazzo is an independent filmmaker and author who is known for his gritty-low budget debut film, Combat Shock, and his collection of harrowing short stories of low urban life in his 1993 novel, Life is Hot in Crackdown. Born in New York City, Buddy grew up in Staten Island and learned about exploitation movies on the mean streets of Manhattan, in the vicinity of Times Square. He was thrilled when Combat Shock received its first public screening at the Liberty Theater in the middle of 42nd Street on a triple bill with MISSING IN ACTION and POW, THE ESCAPE.

Read an Excerpt

From the first moment movies began the exploitation film existed. Instantly, fearless grifters, ex-carneys and dodgy businessmen filled gaps in the new entertainment market by selling what the big studios wouldn't dare: sex and violence, sin and sensation, 'Uncensored', 'Unashamed' and 'For Adults Only'. The first exploitation titles were built around simple concepts; Chinese Opium Den (1894), The Kiss (1896) and Fatima's Belly Dance (1897) showed exactly what they described in the title to appalled Victorians convinced the early kinetoscopes and 'flickers' were the devil’s instruments anyway.

From that moment on titillation under the guise of moral instruction percolated throughout the early part of the 20th century with the likes of Traffic in Souls (1913), Human Wreckage (1923), Gambling With Souls (1936), Bootleg Babies (1940) and Skid Row (1943). But the skindependent sleaze industry exploded during the 1950s when shifts in censorship and the changing liberal attitudes of the times meant every whispered taboo became an easy target for prurient abuse.

Untold sums of money started being made by an intrepid bunch of gutsy showmen known by more reputable motion-picture distributors, continually outraged ratings boards and law enforcement officials as 'The Forty Thieves'. These carpetbaggers of cinema salaciousness promoted their dubious wares with extravagant claims ('Like nothing — but nothing you've seen before — EVER!' — The Orgy at Lil’s Place (1963)), over-blown advertising copy ('Scarlet girls chained to the vultures of vice — It blasts the truth before your eyes!' — The Vice Racket (1936)) and lurid poster designs, usually featuring semi-clad damsels in distress, promising far more than their Poverty Row budgets could ever deliver. And they raked it in for a good thirty years as such cheap thrill operations reached their zenith in the Swinging Sixties, finding its concealed subculture going more mainstream in the Seventies and finally petering out in the late Eighties when hardcore and the home video revolution saw profit margins plunge.

For every town had a Drive-In cinema on its outskirts or a seedy fleapit in their red light district, the main places such backstreet B fodder made their fortunes. None more so than in New York City and that infamous intersection at Broadway and Seventh Avenue, centred on Times Square and 42nd Street.

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