Ian Watson begins this collection of exploitation movie reviews with a diatribe against academics who claim to find deep sociological messages buried within low brow drive-in movies. I couldn't agree more. Exploitation movies have always been a clever way to make money for film-makers who didn't have the money or expertise to make movies that would bring in the audiences without gratuitous scenes of sex and gore and men in cheap gorilla outfits. Writing post-modernist analyses of these films as discourse is a dishonest way of getting to enjoy a marathon of boob and blood fests while writing a doctoral thesis when everyone else has to watch Ingmar Bergman or Robert Bresson films.
But the essays here tell you what you really want to know about why the movies are worth checking out. Some are famous, some obscure. They are divided into four sections covering horror, blaxploitation, films liable to shock, and the sexy ones. But the emphasis is on horror in each of the sections. There are only a couple of non-horror blaxploitation films and one non-horror-related sexploitation film covered. Fun all the way!
(review of free book)