Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980
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The exploitation film industry of Italy, Spain and France during the height of its popularity from 1960 to 1980 is the focus of this entertaining history. With subject matter running the gamut from Italian zombies to Spanish werewolves to French lesbian vampires, the shocking and profoundly entertaining motion pictures of the "Eurocult" genre are discussed from the standpoint of the films and the filmmakers, including such internationally celebrated auteurs as Mario Bava, Jess Franco, Jean Rollin and Paul Naschy. The Eurocult phenomenon is also examined in relation to the influences that European culture and environment have had on the world of exploitation cinema. The author's insight and expertise contribute to a greater understanding of what made these films special--and why they have remained so popular to later generations.
exploitation ﬁlm, involving some nifty plastic surgery and a carnival setting. The ﬁlm, with its twists and turns, is actually fun stuff that makes good use of the Spanish locales and the Spanish supporting players. Soledad Miranda, who would later become the ultimate muse of Jess Franco, shows up as a sweet young girl who unwisely develops feelings for the rage-driven Sullivan. Jess Franco: El Maestro I’m ﬁnding myself very comfortable in my skin and I love my work. If there’s a minority who
is seen as deprived sexually, needy and suffering through both emotional and physical pain. Her demise always seems ensured and is brought about by her love of Hans (Pierre Brice), the young hero of the piece. There is no sympathy for Elﬁ as she happily submits Hans’s ﬁancée (Dany Carrel) to torture after being spurned by Hans. The change in setting allows for greater international audience participation. By transferring to a locale that is familiar with the northern European audience while
around the world, the ﬁlm is a colorful travelogue (the ﬁlmmakers really do know how to make an attractive ﬁlm) focusing on such genderempowering subjects as topless sunbathing, prostitution and nightclub singing. It would be more believable if we had concentrated more on the gun-toting female Israeli soldiers marching instead of watching them changing their clothes. At least this one doesn’t have nuns setting themselves on ﬁre. A male-gaze dream! 1. Italy 71 The Color of Fear: The Italian
the ﬁrm scholarly approach, exploring themes and history outside the conﬁnes of what is actually on celluloid (“Boring,” says the casual Eurocult fan), or should he take the approach of a fan who loves these ﬁlms and wants to share in spreading the fun (“You prove nothing,” says the academic)? My 16 INTRODUCTION Introduction 17 thought is, let’s do both! I think it’s quite possible when dealing with subjects like, for example, women having sexual affairs with the severed heads of their
ﬁlm Ed Wood would have made had he had a big budget. Morrissey goes all out in the gore department, with organs ﬂying all over the place. The ﬁlm was also shot in 3-D, which adds to the fun as Kier often shows the audience close-ups of the big helpings of internal organs! Filmed after Frankenstein, Blood for Dracula is actually a little more subdued, but still crazy fun! Poor Dracula (Kier) has to leave his Romanian castle because there are no more virgins left in his town. See, he can only drink