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2016 – Breakout Session #4: Exploitation Movies and Other Forms of Off-Mainstream Cinema

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After our session on B-Movies (with special focus on the genres of Monster and Martial Arts), we had further excursions into the diverse facets of Paracinema, especially Fringe Films (C- and Z-Movies): Early Exploitation Films outside the Hays Code like Reefer Madness (1936), and Sexploitation Cinema. Clips were shown from “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” (1965) by Russ Meyer, the “educational” movie “Teenage Mother” (1967) and the sexploitative B-Movie “Angel” (1984). In the next two lectures we will add Midnight Movies (artsy and/or crazy independent films that became Cult Movies) and Blaxploitation to our knowledge base!

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91 responses to “2016 – Breakout Session #4: Exploitation Movies and Other Forms of Off-Mainstream Cinema

  1. postnroast ⋅

    The finale of B-movies, couldn’t have ended better, as The only B-movies I’ve ever seen are martial arts films, Godzilla remakes and things, not necessarily B-movies, like tales from the crypt keeper.
    I really enjoyed Jackie Chans martial arts movies. They had a foreign element of being a “Kung Fu(stereotype)” master of various martial arts while still being funny. One of my favorite B-movies has to be Drunken Master:

    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EQ0TBYEa6A )

    This martial art style influenced me to watch all his films and in every film he had a very different form of fighting, which was cool but not to everyone. This later brought about his debut as the drunken master once again in Forbidden Kingdom:

    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx3IZaEJn5E )

    The niche of B-movie actors crossing into the stardom of A-movie productions, such as Rush hour, is very tiny, but it exist.

    Sexploitation, “The cheapest trick Is a pair of boobs ..” (or something along those lines). As discussed in class this became more common use for film makers. Especially film makers with lower budgets such as B-C-Z fringe. An intelligent move marketed towards a younger male audience and usually watched at drive-ins with a “girlfriend”. These are maybe the only way to lure the audience into watching films such as Machine Gun girls and other over the top titles with seductive covers. The Focus on these films is through the male gaze, which portrays the male characters as the more important characters while the female characters are objectified with slow pans from head to toe. Faster Pussycat! Kill! kill!, gives a little empowerment to women while still focusing on their sex to attract the desired audience.

    I have Reefer Madness… the VHS haha. Seriously the films seems to be somewhat enjoyable even as an educational film shown in community/city halls I would watch it. Teenage mother wasn’t as interesting but the trailer was hilarious.

    Angel, had a cross dresser who looked like Bill Murray, which is probably the funniest thing ever. The life of a night life worker. They should remake a similar film in Japan, directed by Ed wood featuring Bela Lugosi.

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    • Nyphos ⋅

      I’m so happy that there’s another person in the class who loves Jackie Chan as well. I had a Jackie Chan “binge” back in the early 2000’s where some friends and I sat around and watched every movie of his that we could. I found it crazy that he did all the stunts himself and sometimes at the end of the movies or in the extras section you could see all the takes where he’d messed up the stunt, and boy, some of them looked painful. After looking it up, there’s actually a bunch of lists of times where he’s injured himself during certain movies.

      http://www.wonderslist.com/10-spectacular-stunt-injuries-of-jackie-chan/

      Watching martial arts movies actually inspired me to learn martial arts myself, though I will never be able to do any of these stunts!

      I would recommend checking out Tony Jaa the next time you’re in a martial arts mood! Here’s a clip of some of his fight scenes. 🙂

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      • GreenBanana ⋅

        Thank you for sharing the Tony Jaa clip. I have not see much of martial arts action film, I only have seen some jacky’s films but I really enjoyed what you shared with us. I believe all of or at least most of his actions are not touched by the editing such as CG. It actually looks like a CG because he is way too good on martial arts. In my opinion, he’s stunts is the best. It is acrobatic and brings some excitements because he’s actions are like superhuman. Id defenetly want to watch the rest of the film with my friends or family.

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      • RM ⋅

        I never watched many of jackie chans actual movies except for the rush hour franchise, which I must say I loved. I did however watch a ton of his jackie chan cartoon that used to play on kids WB back in the day on saturday afternoons. That show is a big part of my childhood, I’m not sure how much he was involved but it one of the reasons I think of him so fondly. Seeing all these cool posts about his actual movies and this tony jaa is inpiring me to dig deeper and go watch some of his films besides the mainstream ones. I wonder what you all think of jon woo movies as from what I know he exists in the hong kong film scene as well as jackie. I have no idea if the two have ever collaborated but just the idea of that is getting me excited. I’m going to start really digging in to this.

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      • OOR ⋅

        I actually don’t know about Tony Jaa a lot that I know him he is in the movie called ong buk which is action movie like Jacky Chan, but what we get impressed in this movie is he doesn’t use a stunt assist, and wire action as well. Every scene is shooting by him without wire action, so I think that is amazing although his action scene is hard and it is amazing that his physical performance is really high that I have watched a lot of action movies, but he seems like one of awesome action stars who has the highest physical performance. I should have watched ong buk that I have known about the movie even when it released in public, but I don’t know the reason why I haven’t watched at that time. After I watched the film in your statement, I re-recognize how he fights with opponents are really amazing. I love Jacky Chan as well. As for me, he is the number one action star in all over the world because I have watched almost all of his movie productions; they all are amazing and impressing. I know that you stated the link that how many and what he got injured while he is in the movie that he might be the first action star who doesn’t use wire action, so he got a lot of injured in his movies. If we counted all of injuries and he got one time all of it, he is supposed to be died. Why I love Jacky Chan is his action is acrobatic and his all movies related with comedy, so sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is amazing action. Also, the link stated a lot of injuries what he got in the movies. I was surprised that even though he gets injured while he is acting, he mostly doesn’t stop acting, so he continues acting even though he broke his leg or his shoulder. I got impressed after I listen about this. We can watch and see when he got injured, but he doesn’t show in his face that it is really hurt though. When he got injured so badly like even he can’t walk, it is on at the end of the movie in the ending scenes. He shows NG scenes and when he got injured because he doesn’t want people to imitate what he did in the movies like those are really dangerous he wants to tell.

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    • shmoo ⋅

      I also enjoyed old school martial arts movies, but as a young American I did not understand the negative effects they could have on the Asian community. Because I grew up in a fairly progressive area with a large Asian American community, I knew that these films were not accurate in their depictions. But in some areas where there is less culture and diversity I’m sure this started the stereotypes that all Asians must have accents and know Kung foo. At the same time, these films did give Asian American actors a chance to act as something other than a side character, and started many careers. The same can be said for black Explotation films, such as Jackie Brown, where African American actors were shown on screen in major, positive roles for the first time. Again, there were breakthroughs in terms of representation, but it also helped spread stereotypes. I believe the next step is to make films that have a POC cast, but have the story have nothing to do with this (in a negative sense) and have any culture references be informative and educational.

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      • postnroast ⋅

        I was just watching some of Howard Stern’s 2006 roast and comedy was a lot different in the sense that it was all just racism and stereotypes. I think this is indicative of the change in period where racism was still “funny” when in “doses”. Doses meaning, in-between the huge racial stereotype there would be some flat line racial slurs. So, just by looking at the date, 2006, things were much more racist in sense. Which kinda explains the stereotype in film in the 90’s being the laugh factor, because they wouldn’t need the comedy as long as they have a character play a stereotype it would give the sense of comedy.

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  2. IsThePartyOver ⋅

    I did not see that Pink Flamingos’ scene coming! I think that the fact that it can still cause surprise or even shock today – me included – shows that these are taboos which persist. Though part of the shock might have been connected to transexuality back then, I believe that this is an aspect that has progressed over the past decades and therefore is not what really catches us off guard today. What does, is simply the broader idea of sex and everything related to it; that, hasn’t really progressed much, which I think is a reflection of the influence the major religions still have on society at large, in how children are raised. For me it’s really interesting how sex still carries a lot of stigma; though I speak for myself, I think that this can be applied to the majority out there. We may speak more freely about it, but it’s still something people feel embarrassed or hesitate to talk about. For instance, people are afraid to say the words “penis” or “vagina” when referring to what are body features with a function like any other, the difference being simply the aforementioned stigma attached to them. Violence on the other hand somehow seems to have become more accepted, and a point I wanted to make but couldn’t in class, is that perhaps newer generations have become increasingly desensitized to it to the point that horror will only truly scare you if it smartly plays with what it doesn’t show you. All in all, being exploitative or not, terrible or not, I want to reiterate that paracinema is extremely important not only for the progress of cinema but society too in the sense that it paved the way to an environment where we can discuss non-mainstream ideas, concepts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • clintrump ⋅

      Response to IsThePartyOver,

      I think Pink Flamingos is still shocking in today’s society considering the scene with the tranny you first think it was a woman then the skirt is lifted to reveal a penis. I think religion plays a major factor in how most people view sexuality in films and real life molding people’s personal opinions or behavior patterns. I also agree that Americans in particular are more accepting of super violent content compared to sexual content that is shown in film. I’ve noticed that European people, and to some extent Japanese people are more excepting of sexual content so its no surprise that films like Pink Flamingos had to be released to a small crowd of Z movie fans.

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    • Sorabari ⋅

      Cult movies are supported from the niche fans, and I assume that cult movies, as one of the genres, last as long as the fans exist. Those niche fans exist in not only movie fields but also others such as food, clothes, arts, and so on. For example, some people eat insects or animals that we don’t usually eat. The purpose is not based on cultural background but just curiosity. They know that they’d feel discussed but can’t stop trying to have those kind of things. In movie field, I remembered that my friend loves the cult horror movies. I asked why he loves so much because I don’t really like the kind of genre, and he told me that the curiosity is stronger than fear. He sometimes regrets after watching some cult horror movies because those are too scary, but he even enjoys the regret. Back to Pink Flamingo, which we watched in the class for a few minutes, I’d not like to keep watching, but I think that some people like it because of their curiosity and regret.

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  3. White Rabbit ⋅

    Interesting ideas were mentioned in class today. I’ve watched some horror/suspense films, although not many of them, especially recently. The idea that our imagination can create the scariest of fantasies is in many ways true. I think of my childhood, and how my imagination played tricks with me, thinking I saw someone or heard something, simply because it was dark. The paracinema has often used this concept to its advantage, playing on our fears. To add, I think one of the scariest elements of a film can be a person’s eyes. Some say our eyes are the window to our soul. And when you look deeply into them, you can often tell whether a person is scared, hurting, confident, or even crazy.

    I think Pink Flamingo is a great example of exploitation, and how the paracinema will use whatever provoking content to attain the success it eagerly seeks. And why is this content taboo to begin with? I suppose some say the influence of religion in America has been a key player, and that is most likely the case. But I would strongly argue that as human beings, we are certainly capable of moral judgement outside of society’s rules and expectations.

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    • Sorabari ⋅

      I agree with your opinion. Imagination is one of the key to feel fear. For example, when I was a kid, I saw a tree looking like a monster even though it was just a tree. Since I’ve grown up, I identify a tree as a tree. It’s natural but a little bit sad since I lose those imaginations through daily life. Like someone mentioned Jaws, I felt scared when I heard the theme song of Jaws, but once I saw that the shark was robot and how it was taken, I didn’t feel scared at all. Fear disappears as people learn something. I think that in order to enjoy horror movie, we need to bring childhood mind to us when we watch it; otherwise, we try to figure out what the truth is unconsciously. Imagination is like a magic. Once we know how it works, we don’t feel excited as much as before.

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    • shmoo ⋅

      I agree with your statement about moral judgement, but unfortunately society runs much like a clique. That is why, in my opinion, Explotation and films with great potential/stories are never seen. The fact that films need a fan base or some way of spreading makes it difficult for people who have different morals/judgements. Because of course there will be people who will be different, and will tarnish the film instead of giving it a chance. I say society is like a clique because of the majority votes one way, it is very unlikely you will see any other opinions sprouting up. Pink flamingo may of used shock value to capture an audience, but what is shown is only deemed as shocking due to the otherwise mild and un imaginative mainstream film business. (Though I think the poop scene is a bit much even for me) I think those people who have a different stance on these issues should speak up more in the film industry to show that bodies and language are not necessarily taboo.

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    • OOR ⋅

      I also agree with the imagination can create the fantasy and a lot of movies because there are a lot of alien movies in the world but no one see real aliens like we have talked in the class the famous movie called alien and professor mentioned first one is the most scary that aliens don’t show up many times as comparing with next series of that movies. It makes us to think what is that and spread the curious. Also, when we was a kid, we had better skill of imagine a lot of things than adults. As for my childhood, I was scared ghost movies like the movie called ring. I was never scared against the ghost, but after I have watched a lot of them, I could’t go to the restroom by myself because it was so dark and felt like someone was looking at me. Also, I realized that Japan have a a lot of horror movies using ghost. In the United States and some of other countries have vampire and zombie movies. And when I first play resident of evil in the childhood, I couldn’t sleep that it was so scared for me and came up in my dream. Therefore I tried to think how I can beat them up at that time.

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    • TaiwanSwag ⋅

      I can really relate to your feelings with what you said about imagination. As a kid, or even until now, suspense especially horrors films are not my kind of genre for films. I remember as a kid I sometimes accidentally switch to horror movies on TV and even just that few seconds could gave me enough trouble to be able to sleep tight at night. Although I don’t like horror and suspense films, I like how they are manipulating these aspects and the way humans see things to add fears without showing the actual actions. I don’t really know what to say about Pink Flamingo…..but I definitely agree that it was a great example of exploitation.

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  4. postnroast ⋅

    In the last class we had, we went over morals and desires. It’s a full circle effect that creates the possibility of selling a product. I want to focus on the orientation of western films in the states; the taboo. We’ve seen many a films in this course that are ethically driven by the standards of the country. Mainly, in purpose to cater to the audience and allow the success of such given film. The USA has been influenced largely by the moral standing of the Christian religion, in which, the audience perceives intake through a religious lens. Thus, Films such as pink flamingo, are a hit with audience after the thresh of religious moral code has been broken. Picture the thought that viewers would have, driven by a religious view, when they see a transgender who is feminine but still has a penis. Reminder that the paradigm we are trying to perceive this imagery is through that of a religious mind in the 60’s, 70’s, 80′ and 90’s. This may create an odd feeling if they are attracted to a person who, at the time, is considered to be sacrilegious. This may lead the viewer to stray from films that have this type of content in order to keep in line with their religious views. When in truth, if you subtract the religious aspect of taboo, there is nothing wrong with feeling attracted to a person of any gender.

    In comparison the film EL TEPO, was much more free to the expression of the director. The film had various artsy annotations that symbolised different aspects of everyday life. Although this could be considered in conflict with the moralities of western films, it does not take place in the paradigm of the U.S. The main element that stood out to me in this film was the value of life. It seemed different than many other western films that had people dying left and right. As death was not introduced as a fearful value. Dying is basically no different than living in El Tepo, if compared to cowboy films, you could argue that death occurs as a protective measure.

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    • postnroast ⋅

      El Topo***

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    • ihatenickelback ⋅

      I agree with you about El Topo – it did seem to play a lot (and I’m guessing center around) the idea of the value of life and death. The film was able to discuss it in more ways than dialogue as well, which was part of its artistic value as a film. I also didn’t think that it was so hard to digest, even while being such a highly artistic film. Of course, this is my analysis only based on the few clips we saw.

      Pink Flamingos I would argue had a highly mixed, if not mostly negative audience reaction. I am actually a huge fan of the film and John Waters, and it is of course one of his beloved films which had a huge impact and is important in the LGBT community. However, again, I’m not sure the audience reaction was initially so good. I’m guessing it was popular with very few and then grew as niche communities saw it and understood the great aspects of it. Actually, now that I’m writing this, it was indeed a B or Z-Movie, right? Meaning it wasn’t in many theaters? I might be completely wrong in what I’m saying about the audience reception depending on those facts.

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      • postnroast ⋅

        This challenges the idea if this is an independent film aswell; seeing as how john waters is infamous all on his own. As we discussed in class the artistic value of film is difficult to map. As film is an assortment of thousands of frames, having any sideplot or multiple un-confronted issues may confuse the audience that only watches the film to entertain themselves. In theory, this would mean that one should be able to create film that simplistically appeases to the audience. But, then you can argue the loss of the artist self-expression in film versus the demand of the audience, and its importance.

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      • karltuj

        Yes, it was one of these Midnight Movies who became cult being screened in midnight programs.

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  5. clintrump ⋅

    Before the last two class sessions I had no idea that exploitation, and Z movies even existed. This film category seems to be on the bottom of the food chain when it comes to actual intellectual value, and production quality. I think these films seek to shock the viewer, and inform them about some fringe cultures that maybe have little to no voice without this creative type of film production.

    The sexploitation films are an interesting sub-category of exploitation films. After watching Teenage Mother, and Faster Pussy Cat Kill Kill in class I had mixed feelings about this sub-category. Both films objectified women’s bodies focusing on their feminine breast, and curves but also gave me a sense that the women in Faster Pussy Cat could use their bodies as weapons to control traditional conservative men. I also found it interesting that the main Asian women (Tura Satana) was portrayed as the strongest character outmaneuvering a man in his car. That being said I know a lot about cars and she was driving a Porsche Carrera vs. the man’s slower MG convertible, which is not even a fair comparison of machines besides driving skill.

    El Topo was just strange and trippy to watch. I think if I were high I would connect more to this film. The characters were really bizarre, and the fight scenes with the blood gushing out were unrealistic and border line comical to watch.

    The few scenes we saw in class of Pink Flamingos was an explosion of super shock value images and scenes. I’m not even exactly sure what to make of the small clips we saw in class but personally I don’t think I would be into this film because its to much of a freak show.

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  6. Eddie ⋅

    I’ve always found exploitation movies and Z movies to be so farfetched and cheesy that I’ve actually never watched them. I think I almost tried with a Blaxploitation film but it was so racist, distasteful and classless that even the simple attempt failed. I’m glad that a lot of these movies especially the Blaxploitation films are no longer being made though I know I’ve seen a lot of the grindhouse and other crazy looking films on the shelves of the tsutayas on occasion I highly doubt they have a large enough following to actually make any real impact as they may have in the past. The biggest thing that I’ve been concerned with when considering the impact of Exploitation movies is the ramifications it has on the film industry and the impact that it has on the societal values of our current era. As we wat the continued decline in moral tastes and family values the movies push the envelope further to the poit that it’s actually fueling the decline to a degree because of the potential for young viewers to normalize this behavior and find it entertaining. I’m referring mostly to the sexploitation or extremely violent films that exploitation films like to create.
    That’s my personal opinion but there should be a line somewhere with out intruding on the freedom of expression or the ability of the director or arteur to create at the same time. I’m not sure what iti will take to treach that level of understanding within and without the community but I do feel like it is something that should be considered. A truly talented director should be able to produce a film based on content not body parts be they nude or severed.

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    • clintrump ⋅

      Response to Eddie,

      I agree that the Z movies might push the envelope to far with some moral issues and fuel a societal decline with the youth thinking some bizarre behavior is the “new normal”. I don’t think that young people should have access to these types of films, but with the Internet I think most young people have access to any Z movie produced though file sharing networks like pirate bay. Even though we are all trying to make social progress accepting people for who they are I’m not sure if this film category helps society as a whole, and mostly serves up a sort of shock porn. I also agree that a talented director can produce a successful film based on an interesting narrative rather than the shock factor associated with nudity, or violence.

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      • Eddie ⋅

        I wonder seriously if there’s a way to use this platform to push the envelope with social issues in a compelling way that drives the viewer to consider a wider range of issues outside their normal sphere of existence. I don’t think people are really shocked anymore by any of the stuff that’s on television these days, the levels begin to cross the lines of shocking to gratuitous. I suppose some people need the catharsis that comes from crossing the lines of social acceptability but I’m concerned because I realize that the things you put in is what you get out, those vibes don’t elevate yours any higher if anything they bring you down to a more base level of existence with the animals.

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    • ihatenickelback ⋅

      I think that the social impact of a film doesn’t necessarily need to be dramatic, widespread, immediate, or highly noticeable for it to be a significant impact. It can take time for the impact to set in, and the process of that impact setting is part of the impact itself. So despite the fact that certain some or most of these films might have not had the biggest fanbase, or the biggest, most populous reception, over time many of these films have been significantly influential – marked in history as aiding specific movements or allying certain minority groups, molding a different frame of mind or aiding in a wider range of accepted views – and the fanbase of many of them have grown largely as time has passed. I don’t know if it’s an immediate revolution that you were thinking would showcase a “real impact” but I think some of these films have discussed major issues in various ways which have revolutionized people’s frame of mind in a way that, however invisible and slow, is a very real impact.

      Also, what societal views are you considering so dangerous and caused by these kinds of films? What is a “family value” really? And what behavior is attempting to be “normalized” that is so wrong? If you specify your claims I think they would make more sense, otherwise my mind tries to guess and it doesn’t always turn out so well.

      If you’re talking about sexual expression and the discussion of taboo subjects such as open sexuality, LGBT issues, rape, assault, etc, then I’m not so sure stifling filmmakers rights for “the sake of the children” is really the right answer. And a lot of the imagery in the films having to do with these issues is indeed necessary, and if not necessary – effective, in order to put across certain messages to those who are in ignorant lala land with their hands over their ears. Maybe don’t show the movie to a child, let them discover it when they grow older. Not that difficult.

      If you’re talking about the grindhouse films with explicity sexual and violent content, then yeah I mean I would hope someone wouldn’t take from that kind of film that they should go on a bloody killing spree? Isn’t that common sense? There are crazy people in the world that take those messages that way but that’s why they’re called crazy. Movies like I Spit On Your Grave were highly artistic and effective in their discussion of rape and sexual assault against women and honing your strength and protecting yourself as a woman made victim.

      As long as there’s not hate speech involved, I’m pretty sure there should not be a bigger cork placed on the freedom of expression of directors, writers, other filmmakers, and artists.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorabari ⋅

    After discussing about Gestalt, I thought the reason why person who watches the original movie thinks that the remake one is not as exciting as the original one. I assume that he or she has already watched; therefore, the impact was imputed to the person. We talked about the dots that look like a triangle seen as a triangle, even though it’s actually not. It can mean that the theory is structured in the person’s mind. Back to the original and remake movies, the person who has watched either one first, at the second time, the person is not impressed as much as the first time because the impact or the story plot is already structured at the first time. For example, if a person has already watched Jurassic Park before, he or she might think that a movie about dinosaur can relate to Jurassic Park unconsciously because the person already watched it. If the movie impresses him or her better then it could be the better movie. When I saw the dots that look like a triangle, my brain might feel odd, so it automatically covers the blank between dots to make a true triangle. It’s affected to those movies. The brain might think that the movie of dinosaur is not completed; therefore, the impression of Jurassic Park covers up the imperfection, in my opinion.

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    • OOR ⋅

      I agree with you that remake movie is not as exciting as the original one. I feel like the boring remake movie is just copying storyline and everything from original movie. For example, ring which is the Japanese horror movie remakes by Hollywood, but as for me, it wasn’t scared that much scared when I watched it first time in japan. This is my personal opinion, Jurassic park is imperfection as you said, but I think that it doesn’t have perfect dinosaur movie in all over the world because we never see dinosaurs before. I feel that it is great movie that it also related with the imagination and experts how they live. Might be when people watch original one, other series of movies are not as exciting and surprising as original one. However, all of the series of the movies are not same as original movies and the newest one gets one of highest box office revenue in the world, so I feel like it still make people exciting and can’t begin even highest box office revenue. If it was followed the storyline and everything same as before, it can’t be happen. This is my opinion and I think that there is no dinosaur movies which are better than Jurassic park that’s why.

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    • ihatenickelback ⋅

      @Sorabari

      Very vague but still relevant metaphor related to the dotted triangle theory – a way I thought about this that goes along with your theory that people grade what they see on a scale based on other things they’ve seen in order to provide context, so let’s say in an imaginary world someone has never learned the shape “triangle”, but they have seen the shape, without knowing what it’s called, when they go to order a pizza slice. When this strange person sees the dotted triangle they will probably fill in the blanks and think “it’s a pizza slice” rather than “it’s a triangle” – all based on their personal context of what they know. Same idea, just made it extreme to clarify the meaning. So yeah, when it comes to movies, people tend to grade them based on how they step up to other movies or in your post’s case remakes.

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  8. clintrump ⋅

    After reading a few blog posts and reflecting my own views of sexuality expressed in film I think Pink Flamingos makes a statement about society. Even thought the film was produced in 1972 the visual images are still shocking and somewhat comical in a Jackass style of comedy. On one side I could see leftists claiming that we haven’t made much progress in accepting transgender people in mainstream society, and people leaning more on the right claim that exploitation films like this should be restricted to prevent children from seeing these images. I think both sides of the discussion have valid points to be taken into consideration, but I’m still not sure if the exploitation/ z movies help society progress? It seems that the directors of these films just want to use nudity, violence, and taboo subject matter to entertain, and shock audiences rather than educate. I’m curious to see what other class members think about these types of films, and what meaning we can take away from this category of film making.

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    • ihatenickelback ⋅

      I’m expanding on my original post (further down if you want to read up) to respond to your post, clintrump.

      It seems that you had actually debunked your own thought that “the directors of these films just want to use nudity, violence, and taboo subject matter to entertain, and shock audiences rather than educate”. Sorry for quoting – laziness! But yeah, in the beginning of your post you mentioned that you had been reading others’ posts and subsequently reflecting on your own views of sexual expression, etc. That right there is part of the educational value of these types of films. The “shock” you were experiencing and that many claim to experience while viewing this kind of film, such as Pink Flamingos, is actually in many cases your mind being challenged. Education isn’t just the collection of facts, but also the collection of other data and THINKING (caps are obnoxious but I can’t do italics). Thinking and self-reflection are good educational exercises.

      When it comes to society progressing as a result of these kinds of films, I would also say yes the films aid in that. I further explained this in my post but the artistic influence of these films, hand-in-hand with the “educational” value I just explained, come together to create a discussion. Nation-wide discussions are hugely progressive, I would say. Especially when discussing the “taboo” which changes over time with the progression of society.

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      • ihatenickelback ⋅

        Also in response to clintrump:

        One more thing, too! You reminded me when you mentioned Jackass. If anything, I think that the particular scene we saw in Pink Flamingos was like Jackass taken to a whole new progressive place of comedy. Jackass is just a bunch of silly dudes being Jackasses – and it’s funny! I love them. But when you look at the two together, one obviously holds a lot more social commentary than the other.

        Quick example here:

        Jackass: a bunch of dudes use a muscle stimulator on their “gooches”. Funny, goofy, classic.

        Pink Flamingos: a beautiful woman hangs out by herself, and then a perverted flasher dude gets creepy on her to she wags her penis at him. Yes, she reveals that she is indeed male-to-female transgender there and yes, she did it to scare the guy off or “shock” him. But, if you haven’t noticed there is a little social commentary there. She uses her “freak” factor to stand up for herself against a potential predator. The creepy flasher is being uh.. creepy and trying to prey on a beautiful lone woman, and if she hadn’t had a way to warn him off what could have happened? It’s left to the imagination. But luckily this woman was able to use her “taboo” factor to defend herself – causing it to be more of a strength than a weakness.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. shmoo ⋅

    I enjoyed talking about the horror film genre, and how the shock factor was more prominent because the violence was left up to the imagination. In the film Psycho, during the famous shower scene, the stabbing is done with over 140 cuts. Because of the time this film was released, I can imagine how frightening this must of been. But even still, I believe it can be just as scary today. The rapid movements and high pitched music makes it feel more real, like we as the audience can almost feel it happening. The blood runs down the drain, and this image mixed with pale white skin is very eerie. In today`s horror films, there is nothing left to the imagination. When watching these gore fests, I get more queasy than scared. It is more so in the jump scare and quieter films that I get scared. But knowing those images as close to reality as they can get, I view film such as Psycho in a very different way. It may take away the mystery and “unknown” quality, but now that I know what a stab victim looks like, it adds another layer of complexity. I can imagine the aftermath but appreciate the artistic nature of hiding this.

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    • theSiren_Song ⋅

      I guess some think there’s nothing left to the imagination when it comes to horror films these days, but to be honest, the whole reason I don’t watch horror films is because my imagination gets over-active and gets me freaked out. So i think there is some still left to the imagination, it just depends on the person I think. For those who love watching horror films, they loose the ability to imagine which makes the films scary. They become familiar with the tricks of the trade and everything becomes predictable for them. For those (like me) who HATE watching horror films, the lack of knowledge of common troupes and tricks of the genre cause my imagination to kick into overdrive and make things scarier, which is what the film-makers hope for.

      Like

      • ihatenickelback ⋅

        I find it funny sometimes because, as a fan of horror movie films and someone who gets nightmares way too easily to be a fan of horror films, I actually haven’t thought much about why I continue to be enticed by them and watch them. I don’t like being scared, so maybe I’m a masochist? Hahaha. I think it’s something about the “experience” of horror films, like you’re walking through a story similarly to how you walk through a Resident Evil game, along with the artistic value, that I enjoy.

        Why do I do this to myself??

        Like

  10. Nyphos ⋅

    I will never be able to be comfortable watching Pink Flamingos, but I think it’s a shame really. I think it says a lot about how I was raised and how hard it is to go against what was taught at a young age, at least for me.

    I was raised in extremely conservative home where violence was okay to watch in moderation but anything remotely sexual = going to hell. Though I’ve long since left that life and those beliefs, I think it really says something that I still get anxious and cold whenever something bluntly sexual comes up. I can’t speak for others or for society as a whole, but I believe that for me, these movies do have a purpose, even if it solely introspective. While I can’t say that I enjoy the experience, I’m glad that I’ve had it. I hope that these movies continue to push to be a bit more open and accepting of my own human nature.

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    • youngbillionaire ⋅

      I wasn’t raised as extremely conservative but as a child my parents did try to avoid kissing scene in film or commercials so I fell you. So I do agree with you that these movies do have a purpose and they should be seen by all age of people. I think kids could learn about life and human nature at a young age. I feel like movies is only the thing that could teach kids about the real life with out adults being awkward and stuttering in front of kids. Kiss scenes and romantic scene teaches how people interact in the real world and know such thing is positive of the children I believe, unless is it’s a sex scene or something.

      Like

  11. Sierra94 ⋅

    Exploitation films are truly a strange and bizarre beast. Even when expecting that, Pink Flamingo was a whole new level of insanity compared to everything else we have seen in this course. The music only enhanced that feeling even more. Reading a summary of Pink Flamingo’s plot did not make it feel any less bizarre. In comparison, El Topo seems like an interesting film.
    I have watched Psycho in Professor Carr’s film analysis course a few semesters back. It was decent and the shower murder scene was done very well, giving a sense of horror with its iconic soundtrack and imagery even though we do not directly see the stabbing, but it is not something I would like to watch again. I am not much of a fan of horror films or excessive violence in general with the exception of the three CGI Biohazard films that do not butcher the stories and characters of the video games and the first Silent Hill film (I did not see the second one, yet), along with a possible few others that are not coming to mind. That said, I do kind of hope that there would be a horror film, even a short one, set in the Star Wars universe akin to the “Death Troopers” and “Red Harvest” novels.

    Like

  12. IsThePartyOver ⋅

    There is no doubt that there is a systemic prejudice against women and minorities in the Hollywood film industry but whenever this discussion of underrepresentation comes up I think it is valuable to also include additional data, namely the enrollment of said “minorities” in film schools. I do acknowledge that many filmmakers do not necessarily go through film schools, however it can arguably be a good gauge of how much interested in making films there actually is from those underrepresented – this in itself can branch into broader economic and social issues such as the percentage of minorities that can afford going into higher education, etc; let’s not talk about that now. I did a quick research and to further confirm the existence of gender prejudice in Hollywood, according to this MTV article (http://www.mtv.com/news/2159771/female-directors-college/) half of film grads from NYU and USC (top American film schools) are in fact women. So, yes, women are interested in making films but are not given equal chances to enter the market, period – a suggestion for professor Karl to improve the presentation slides.

    All in all, I think this is all a chain reaction that begins in the way society work and has worked in the past. I also want to point out that misrepresentation, underrepresentation or minority-facing in Hollywood is in part ignorance from the side of the filmmakers, or better, lack of reference. While possible, it is hard for a X race/gender to write a Y race/gender character legitimately and feel connected, or represented by him or her. I’m inclined to believe that whatever art an artist create is a projection of him or herself, it is autobiographical, therefore you cannot expect him or her to write something that resides outside his reality. Knowledge can always be acquired yes, but it takes more than that to create films.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. GreenBanana ⋅

    we’ve watched few clips and discussed in the class and i thought it was an interesting topic. We’ve watched some silence films and there were all great but i thought the sound tack will make film more effective and entertaining. In the film Psycho produced by Alfred Hitchcock. In the killing sense, the directer used the BGM to make the sense more scary. The violence sense is not even shown much in the film but the background music are running loud and it can build audiences fear on that sense. It affectively used the imagination of audience rather than just showing the actual violence. Also this background music is often used in Japanese variety shows and i even heard of this before watching the Psycho. The fear of this film is subconsciously planted as we hear this for the first time. Also someone mentioned about Jaws was also has a scary background music when jaws is near people. when I was a kid that sound totally scared me and it runs in my head when i swim. These techniques are interesting because the scary thing is not shown in the display but the music build the scariness and make audience nervous. I also tried watching these sense without music and it wasn’t as scary as it was.

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  14. TRONtravolta ⋅

    I really enjoyed that clips that were presented to us in class. While more modern movies and blockbusters have a larger budget than cult films and b –movies, I feel that they are lacking in originality at times. B-movies are usually a one of a kind, unique story, while Hollywood seems to be to occupied by making remake after remake. I feel that older Martial Arts films, such as Enter the Dragon, were entertaining even though it lacked in a major budget. Some obviously were over the top such as Teenage Mother, but still left me intrigued. One title that was mentioned in class was Toxic Avenger, which is one of the greatest B-Movies of all time. The special effects in that do not hold back when it comes to the films comedic style. I feel that movies from the 60’s and 70’s that were shown in class have a complete different feel from the movies that are being put out now. Instead of relying on an endless budget from a studio, these older movies had to make do with the lower budgets and less known actors.

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    • TaiwanSwag ⋅

      I absolutely agree with your opinion on the originality of B-movies. Even for a person who just started watching movies few years ago like myself, I already found a lot of the mainstream movies today are very similar to one another. I really like your interpretation of remake after remake, same concepts that were just presented differently. However, I wouldn’t really blame the mainstream filmmakers for this because they are working with higher budget, so they have to do something that could make a hit in the cinema. On the other hand, it is different for the B-movies because they have less budget to work with. As a result, they have to do something extraordinary in order to make profit, and that’s why a lot of those movies are very original but also bizarre and corny at the same time.

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  15. GreenBanana ⋅

    Now, we’ve talked about blaxploitation film and more stuff. i thought it was interesting because Nowadays we don’t still see much Asian actors in Hollywood but there are many black actors in current Hollywood sense. I was wondering how they could get into the Hollywood, and I thought Blaxploitation era helped them go though. African American people has tough time during period, and this blaxploitation was a turning point for them in the Hollywood. Until now we’ve watched several films but they were almost all white. These exploitation films are meant to make a hit based on stories like social issue or touching on sensational issues. it is true that those films includes many stereotypes about black people. Ive seen the film “Do the right thing” directed by Spike Lee. i thought it was a good film on touching social issue on racism during that time. As many of classmate brought up, Last samurai could be acted by Japanese but Tom cruise did. Why is Hollywood still casting white actors in Asian roles. As far as i know Ken Watanabe is a famous Hollywood actor from Japan but i believe he never assigned to a leading role or main character. Professor showed us the film called “Blacula” and i thought i was creepy. By title itself, I can already guess whats is this film is all about.

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  16. pizzaboy ⋅

    A lot of people have brought up the scene from Pink Flamingoes. Though it can be considered a shocking scene…for me…the more interesting characteristic of the film was how in tandem the vibe of the film felt with the original Last House on the Left and even I Spit on Your Grave to a lesser extent…primarily because I’ve only seen clips of the original version. For me it adds to a general feel of unease that can be examined in a post-war society. The atrocities of the Vietnam War were still hanging heavy in the air and these type of movies can represent the type of shock and confusion that the average person could have been experiencing in reaction to the war and the omni-presence of its presentation. It’s arbsurdities could even be linked to the darkness and absurdity explode in Apocalypse Now. Very poignant examples of art representing and even analyzing life for the sake of illumination.

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  17. KillDozer ⋅

    I sometimes struggle with what the point is to a lot of exploitation films. I have to imagine they never really made all that much money for the film makers, despite the fact that sex and violence typically sell very well, but there’s no mass audience, so what led some directors to work exclusively in this type of film? Could it be that some people just can’t stand to have they’re creative freedom stifled? I imagine John Waters or Russ Meyer would have gotten much out of working for a big studio, assuming that a big studio would have them, but left to their own devices there was no limit to the insanity they could bring to their films.

    When it comes to a movie like Pink Flamingos and the like, I have to wonder who’s really being exploited, the performers or the audience. If the director of a film is using the predictably of human perversion and fascination with violence to sell tickets, isn’t it the audience then that’s being exploited for profit? I sometimes think so. It’s like the film maker is assuming the worst about the general public, assuming that what they really want to see is something that they’d never openly admit to, which is often the case I guess. Movies about talking animals, space adventures, and small children thwarting home invaders with clever traps are all well and good, but secretly adults are more keen to at least take a peak at movies with titles like Flesh Gordon, Teens in Heat, and The Slut. When a film maker takes advantage of this fact, it’s the audience’s secret desires that they’re exploiting, not their performers. At least they got paid. Hopefully.

    Like

    • ihatenickelback ⋅

      I think you made pretty valid points. I would say that a true single answer may not be available, though. It’s probably a mixture of reasons and some thought out more than others in various ways. John Waters is doing pretty well for himself though, and in more positive ways than negative, and his work is very influential in many communities and in the art world in general. As for the others, one would have to do tons of digging to figure out all their motivations for each work.

      It’s probably a moot point. Interesting to discuss, though!

      Like

  18. GreenBanana ⋅

    In the lecture, professor Karl brought out the topic about Minority faces in the Movie sense. they were tend to be stereotyped about them like Blaxploitation in African American, and it could affect all minorities. I looked up the in the internet and Al Jolson being blackface performance in youtube(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIaj7FNHnjQ) some how it looked. I personally think this is kind of racist performance. dressing up in front of a white audience with blackface is not probably acceptable. and also Hollywood have done same things with all colors. Ive seen in “breakfast Tiffany’s” Micky Rooney acted as Japanese. I thought this was just ridiculous to Japanese. this would be racist to some sensitives.
    In the slide about minority i wouldn’t expected that there are more women than man, but women are treated like a minority. Also in the “film industry there is 5:1 ration of men working film to women”. I wouldn’t guess that much. This tells us that the women are not taking up much career in society, and i guess this applies to not just in film industry. Also there are basis towards race as well that means people like Asian women could be difficult to get famous in Hollywood film industry

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ihatenickelback ⋅

    Partially in response to many who have posted here already, the film Pink Flamingos definitely and obviously (like hitting the audience in the head with a hammer of truth) makes quite a few statements about society. I also think that it has a lot of artistic value. These types of films have a big opportunity in the art world (filmmaking included) to make a significant impact and set the bar aesthetically, visually, theme-wise, what have you, higher and higher (even if that means lower and lower in some cases haha).

    Pink Flamingos in particular was considered in conjunction with the movement called “Abject Art”, which is prominent in Dada movement works, for example. I’m posting a little excerpt from the highly reliable source beloved by educators, Wikipedia:

    “The roots of Abject art go back a long way. The Tate defines abject art as that which “explore themes that transgress and threaten our sense of cleanliness and propriety particularly referencing the body and bodily functions,”Painters expressed a fascination for blood long before the Renaissance but it wasn’t until the Dada movement that the fascination with transgression and taboo made it possible for Abject Art, as a movement, to exist… Well before the Abject Art movement was given a name by the Whitney Museum, New York City in 1993, the movement towards Abject Art had long been in existence.”

    There is obviously a fascination with the taboo, which exploitation films and z movies are a main example of, but it is not only for the weird and underground. The Dada movement and other forms of the Abject Art movement are heavily cited and put on a huge pedestal in the art world, and showcased often in the Whitney, as mentioned above, which is a hugely respected and influential establishment.

    I’m not sure these films’ (especially sexploitation films and the other films of John Waters) purpose is always necessarily to educate, but I do think that if you dissect it a bit there is an educational value – especially when considering the artistic value. Not only with each release is there a chance for some individuals in the audience to have their points of view widened, but also to consider taboo themes, images, and elements of society – hopefully leading to some more open-minded opinions. Sometimes being ridiculous and crude and exploitative isn’t just “shock” for shock’s sake. Sometimes that shock is your mind being challenged. If you sit down and think about that challenge you might learn something new about the world and yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • conan ⋅

      I totally agree with you about sexploitation films. But I think it is true that sexploitation films have the function of educating the audience. I think at least they make it easier to talk about sex. This kind of genre may not be enjoyable for everyone, due to the controversial subject matters, but for anyone who is able to accept those, there is surely at least one segment a person can find amusement. Directors such as Woody Allen always have realness to all of his films. I like how the exploitation films really pushed the boundaries and talked about the absurd things.

      Like

  20. postnroast ⋅

    I find the dada movement to challenge the audience to perceive artistic value of the work in contrast with simple taboo shock factors to be not taken at face value, interesting. The challenging of the mind in reference to artistic value. Abject art is a term I’ve never heard of before, but it does put a pin in my understanding of artist. I have forgotten that there is other motives to art other than market and value. There is desire, passion and discovery in art as well, and valuing art for drive can’t simply be put into a definition of gain and loss.

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  21. I never knew there was such thing called a Z-movie, but from class I’ve leaned there are such things called Z movies. Z movies are exploitation film. At first I was thinking it’s similar to B movies because they are both low budget films but I soon realized they are very different. Although both Z and B movies are produced in low budget and both try to be sensational they are very different. As it said in the power point in class Z poor character and plot development, it purely for the “sensation”. Sexploitation is also a new term I learned from the power point and sounded very interesting to me.

    Its also interesting how Ed Wood was supposed to make an exploitation film. I really enjoyed Ed Wood when I saw it in the power point I was quick to make the connection and thought it was very interesting, how Ed Wood is a B movie about making a Z movie. Or at least that the connection I made.

    Another interesting thing I thought is that games in Japan are Z rated games. Z is part of the CERO rating category. The Japanese rating system and it means it is only sold to those that are ages 18 and older. That is because these games are sexual or very violent. I’ve played Z rated games as I am 22 but I don’t think I’ve seen a Z movie so I would like to see some, when I get some time in the winter break.

    From leaning all these deep dark genres I think its important that these things exist, because with out these types of films would not be able to portray society to the fullest. Sure the A and B films show and portray society well but just in real life there is the bright side to life and the dark side. Z films are crucial to portray the deep dark side of society we live in.

    Like

  22. itsthesky20 ⋅

    I was surprised to see and hear about some of the bits and pieces of films that we have seen during this time of discussion. It’s interesting to see how low budget films come up with ideas and ways to get the audience to view them. So, one of their ways is to make films that are much more in the taboo area. Their films story lines are much more bold and liberated I would say, with almost no limitations. An example of that would The Pink Flamingos. A film that definitely is explicit on featuring things that were not usually shown in mainstream films such as sex and nudity. This film for sure became so shocking to the audience but definitely reached its target and got peoples attention.

    I think it is also interesting to see the differences in peoples reactions when viewing the film now. I’m not only talking about Pink Flamingos but also other exploitation films. Personally when I saw the different scenes that were shown in class I was caught a little bit of guard just because I dont get to see films with such strong topics and visuals like they would show in an exploited film. It was almost watching an adult film to me. However films like that was somehow accepted during that time. I think that was interesting.

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  23. Eddie ⋅

    I really didn’t know what to say about this film it felt cheesy and a bit forced to me so I’m not really sure what to think about it to be honest. The film was extremely low budget and badly scripted in my opinion. Z movies are definitely not on my radar and definitely something I’d be interested in watching again to be honest. Why go to the extreme to get people to look at your film if the quality is so poor, is it a desperate attempt to make money in the film industry or are they genuinely interested in making the film for the sake of the art or the joy of film? I’m not to certain I definitely feel like there is a line that is crossed in the process somewhere in between. I’m also curious who really goes and watches these films honestly and enjoys them?

    Like

    • Vera Lynn ⋅

      I think when it comes to movies like these, I don’t think it has anything to do with the love of film making or something like that. I think what it comes down to is someone wanting to push their ideology on other. And I would say that back in the 50s or so, these people would think to themselves “How do we get these kids to stop sexing and doing the drugs? I know! Lets make one of them moving pictures that they love to go see! That will grab their attention!” Then they would go and find a filmmaker who is just trying to pay rent to make the pile of a movie they have in mind

      The whole things really reminds of of bible game systems from mostly the NES and SNES era. They didnt really come out on the very first home game consoles, but rather a bit farther down the line. You also dont really see them on newer game consoles, in much the same way you don’t see overly preachy, on the nose films, unless its something like Left Behind, or Kirk Cameron Saves Christmas.

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  24. White Rabbit ⋅

    Are exploitation films still popular today? I am assuming not as much as they may previously have been. The concept of exploitation certainly is however. Even in the mainstream film industry, we see how concepts are exploited for financial gain. Although I did previously write a blog post about exploitation, I was curious to know if the military can be exploited in film? I am guessing so, since we see so many films depicting the military without necessarily directed or produced by the military itself. This approach can give a skewed image of our military, and feed on public perception.

    Maybe I’m not making sense, or maybe it should be labelled another way; in either case, the military seems to be a common topic in many films, especially with mainstream films.

    Like

    • I feel like its pretty non existent now a days because of all the criticism literally everything gets if it touches a subject like racism, or sexism.

      If there are still some out there, Im curious as well to see how it is.

      Like

  25. jonsnow ⋅

    I personally don’t enjoy watching these movies at all, but it is interesting to learn what social functions they serve and how exploitation films came to be. I like what Karl said in his handout about how some of the exploitation movies that were made featured underrepresented minorities, which made them feel connected because they are mostly overlooked in mainstream cinema. Even if these movies are sensationalizing or sometimes just straight up offensive, speaking from a minority’s perspective I can say it was still satisfying to see someone who looked like me starring in an American movie at all. I saw that some other bloggers shared admiration of Jackie Chan, who was definitely one of my childhood heroes. My dad highly encouraged me watching anything with Jackie Chan in it because he felt like he was my generation’s Bruce Lee, who was his childhood hero. Looking back, it did indeed make me feel more connected to American cinema because it showed me that non-white people can also have the starring role in a film. Even if it’s a low-budget film aimed at a niche audience, to my younger self watching a martial arts movie with nearly all Asian people in it, it was more of a “A movie is a movie! Any representation is good representation” type of thinking. I feel very different about this now that I’m older and we live in an era that claims to be more progressive and colorblind. I feel very strongly now that minorities being racially typecast and racially exploited in films is not only damaging to the films, but also hinders the progress towards a more diverse film industry that allows for people of color to play main characters or characters that are not stereotyped. Another aspect I found interesting in the handout was the explanation that exploitation films cover the social function of serving an oppressed audience a “visual catharsis of their darkest desires.” This fascinates me because it reminds us of human’s innate desire to defy “normal” and extend to the other end of the spectrum, to something we cannot fathom or express public interest in without seeming crazy. Films in general are a great place to exhibit the most far-out, craziest concepts and for viewers to indulge in watching something so seemingly far removed from reality. Exploitation films must have been so prevalent at the time because of the stricter morals the society seemed to impose and the harsh judgement that came from defying those morals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TaiwanSwag ⋅

      I really liked what you said about Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. I never thought about what those films which they were the starring roles could really mean. As an Asian myself, I didn’t feel I was the minorities because I was so used to watching mainstream movies from the United States and not realized that they rarely have an Asian actor in the starring role. Even in movies that they would be better off with an Asian actor they would still use Westerners and try to make their best impression. I used to think that it was because Asian actors were not as good as the Western actors, but now I think about it, it might be something even deeper, like what you said, colorblindness.

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      • jonsnow ⋅

        Right! I used to think the same thing when comparing Asian actors to Western actors! My extremely young self watching films starring Asian people would think “Wow! This Asian actor must be REALLY good in order to star in this Western movie!’ It sucks that we grew up in that mentality where because they’re not seen as much in films as white actors, we think that Asian actors or actors of color are any less skilled. It’s not like there’s a genetic advantage where white people are known to be the most skilled actors. That’s ludicrous. But we were conditioned to seeing actors of color as a rarity and an extreme privilege to even be featured in a movie.

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  26. uruwa ⋅

    People are always drawn to what they can’t have. During the time that movies like “Teenage Mother” were made, sexuality was something that just wasn’t discussed. At least not openly. There had to be a way to be able to talk about it or experience it without incriminating yourself, and so these types of movies were made.

    It’s weird to look back on these, and watch clips while trying to realize that these were supposed to be taken fairly seriously. I couldn’t help but find them to be over-the-top corny and hard to get into. But I can see how they would have been thrilling to people when they were being made and shown.

    To be honest, I don’t have a lot to say about this genre. I didn’t find them interesting, and it’s not something I really think I’d look into further. It was an excuse to go watch something racey and borderline-pornographic without the guilt one might have felt afterwards during this time period. That’s all it really seemed to be for me.

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    • TaiwanSwag ⋅

      It was also shocking to me when I learned that these films were supposed to be taken seriously. I guess back in the days these were what people were looking for, like you said, things that they couldn’t get. With today’s standards, these films probably won’t even be considered as popular videos on Youtube in my opinion. I also think that these films are trying to attract people who wanted to see something that’s not very appropriate for the society at that time and not feel guilty about it. With the Internet today, people can watch whatever without anyone knowing what they are watching, and so I believe these kind of exploitation films probably won’t exist anymore in today’s cinema.

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  27. mkt18 ⋅

    I have never heard about the word, exploitation film. Through session, I learned about exploitation film. In order to film a movie, it is kind of necessary to take mainstream idea. I do not like horror film, so I do not watch it so often. However one of my friend prefers to watch it because screaming reduces her stress. I could understand. When I want to feel cry, I watch some impressed film like love story or sad story. I think exploitation film provides some experiences which the audience cannot do in real life. Sexploitation is the same idea as I wrote. The audience wants to see other world beside their real life. Also, it provides mainstream demands like scream, cry or laugh. To gain audiences, the film industries have to show they care about social issue, so Blaxploitation was born

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  28. Vera Lynn ⋅

    I really like films like Reefer Madness, mostly because I know they scared the shit out of people like my dad. I love my parents to death, but sometimes my father will say the most amazing things, and some of our conversations about drugs have made me want to make my own movies with these kinds of themes. As long as I live, I will never forget my dad asking me “you haven’t been shooting the weeds have you? Weeds will rot your brain out!”

    I also grew up an a pretty small farming town, and our school system was the kind taught abstinence and never mentioned safe sex. From about 4th grade on, once a year we would have sex “education” classes that usually consisted of a video telling us the evils of sex, and that the only sure way to not get pregnant, was to not have sex. The funny thing about my high school was that we actually had so many pregnant/teen mothers, that we had a daycare in the school for the students children. And if that were not enough, MTV came to our school as part of the True Life series about moms that were still in HS.

    The main point here is that when you sit down and watch a film like Reefer Madness, a lot of the “sex ed abstinence only” video we saw looked very much the same as Reefer Madness.

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  29. Derp ⋅

    When I heard of and watched exploitation movie, I instantly had a negative impression from the word “exploitation”. And the posters of those movies could be definitely offensive to some women, as they exploit women in a sexual way. But then, as we discuss more about this kind of film, I came to feel that they are actually something that we secretly need. I’m not saying that ill exploitation of women are fine: I’m saying that we all have somewhat dark desire. Some people are turned on to see violent sexual interaction, some people secretly have desire for murder, etc. Laws exist to restrict all human beings from actually taking part in immoral behavior. But suppressing those inner dark desire could lead to inflating it like a balloon and eventuall bursting it as a form of crime. Maybe, exploitation and B-movies can serve as a deflater of inflated dark desire. I feel a bit insecure to share my personal experience, but as a teenager who had unstable, sexual and violent emotions that never emerged at the age below 10, I was watching a lot of B-movies so that I can release all the dirty emotions and desires without harming anyone. Though I watched some messed-up movies, I have never committed crimes, because I was able to let the unwanted substance out of my mind every time I watched those movies.

    Maybe this discussion leads to whether video games produce real-life violence or not. Although very explicit video games like “GTA5”–a game in which you can be a criminal/weirdo/etc and cause a total massacre in a city/town by killing innocent civilians, policemen, and dogs (lol)–are played by countless people, they do not necessarily engage in real-life violence. Maybe it’s because the game is meant to realize something they would never do in real-life due to their moral and laws and release stress. (But then, it’s pretty funny that Pokemon Go, an innocent game played by various generations, was used for some crimes)

    In my opinion, the biggest alternative of exploitation films is anime in Japan. I do want to emphasize that some animes have outstanding stories, visual and many things that can be appreciated artistically and culturally. But I have to say that some animes contain strong violence, severely explicit sexual contents related to various fetish for a viewing pleasure. It can range from pedophilia, bestiality, etc. A part of me thinks that it serves the same function as an exploitation film: By depicting something that would never be allowed to do in real-life, people feel joy from releasing their inner dark desire. I do enjoy watching anime that has very messed up humor that contains both explicit violence and sexual contents. It just feels like a fresh release from all the strict morals we have to follow everyday. But a part of me thinks that these kinds of explicit anime obscures the moral of some people. Living in Japan, I hear some news about some people conducting perverted behaviors, including pedophilia.

    Taken both sides into consideration, I have a mixed feeling. While these animes and exploitation films could bring joy and relief, they could also lead to real-life wrongdoing. But what is responsible should be the moral and the restraint a person has, not the anime and exploitation films. No matter how hard people try to censor contents or put age restriction, the audience will find the way to watch those contents. It’s evident from how easy it is for people to access the internet and find porn. If the creation and the explicit quality of those things are inevitable, what we need to do is to enforce the moral, laws and anything that deters people from actually realizing their inner dark desire in real-life.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. TaiwanSwag ⋅

    I was really afraid when I saw that we would be watching and talking about horror movies at the beginning of the semester. These films are really not my genre because to be honest I am kind of scared. But after our first session I was actually surprised that horror and suspense films are not as simple as I thought they would be. I used to believe that those films are just compilations of scary elements and less about techniques and strategies when it comes to filmmaking. However, it was interesting to learn that those movies really try to abuse and exploit how our human brains work. They would show something that would lead us to think that something happened based on our experience and knowledge without actually showing the actions. This to me is especially applicable to my childhood times because I would accidentally watch something scary on TV and my imagination will tear me down when I was sleeping at night. Even just the darkness or a sound from the bathroom could have me thinking about it for hours with more imaginations to come. On the other hand, I also think that this actually makes horror movies harder to success because people watched so many horror and suspense movies now, we could probably tell what’s happening next so they would really have to pull something out to catch people off-guard.

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    • jonsnow

      I also am not a very avid watcher of horror films. I get crippling anxiety if I’m watching any film that purposely tries to frighten you. I just can’t enjoy the film at all or pay any attention to the plot because I’m too paranoid about the next scary moment. However i agree with you that it’s interesting to learn about the origins of some of these scary movies, that they’re not just designed to frighten you, but also to play on prevalent fears that are common at the time, like how monster movies would play on people’s fear of atomic disaster through portraying monsters born out of radiation. Nowadays apocalypse movies are quite a hit because of people’s fear and conspiracies about the end of the world. I remember a couple of years ago when the film 2012 came out and really rattled some of the hardcore believers. It’s also interesting how we can see how people’s fears may have evolved from past times or past horror movies.

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  31. TaiwanSwag ⋅

    2. It was very interesting to learn that although these kinds of exploitation films might be extinct from the modern cinemas, the elements in those films are still widely used in mainstream movies today. Like what we see in a lot of the B-movies and lower budget films, they put taboo and controversial topics to attract people’s attention. Then the mainstreams saw successes in those film and adopted this strategy. The most common exploitation that we see today might be sex-exploitation, as still there were a lot of people who wanted to see their favorites stars, especially women, naked or showing nudities in the movies. At the end, all these strategies are achieving the same goal, doing whatever to gain popularity and earn profit from the movie. I also agree with some people who talked about military exploitations in class and on the blogs. Today we see a lot of movies related to the militaries and wars, but the contents that they were showing might be just made up stories to fulfill public perceptions instead of showing what it really is like. In my opinion, I believe that a lot of the war movies are trying to show that the United States is the hero in the world. However, sometimes they are the ones who started the conflict for their own advantages.

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    • dinerbears ⋅

      I agree with your idea that no matter B movie or exploitation movie used their way to achieving same goal to gain and attract the attention from audience and popularity. I think no matter what way and what kind of topic the film if they can catch audience attention which mean they are kind of success. I also agree with you that war movie is trying to show that the united state is the hero in the world to make American interesting and wants to watched it. The War movie remind me Saving Private Ryan even thought this is not the B movie. it is main stream movie and received many award from Academy Award.

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      • I also agree, I think doing what you feel is great for the people and being able to catch the audience’s eyes through that is great!

        Although B movies arent popular as much now a days, I really wish independent film makers come up and create more and more B movies so they can become one of those great directors who made it from nothing. I always love a underdog story so that’s just my mind set on things.

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  32. TaiwanSwag ⋅

    I really wanted to share my opinions after reading the blogs and reviewing the breakout session PowerPoints. I remember watching Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon during the class and it was nothing like a B-movie. I absolutely enjoyed it and I thought the effects and the camera works in the film were extraordinary, especially in a B-movie. I never knew these movies, mostly Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan’s, were not the mainstreams. It shows that Asian actors could be just as good as the Western actors, however, we rarely see them in starring roles in the mainstream movies. I don’t know if it is something about discrimination or just pride for the Westerners in general, but I believe that there is something more than the acting skills itself. I remember someone mentioned about Scarlet Johansson starring in Ghost in the Shell which the main character is supposed to be a Japanese in the source material. Although they could have find someone who’s Japanese or even just an Asian for this role, they still went for Hollywood star Scarlet Johansson. This of course raised a little controversies and I believe there is something more than just the star power and acting skills.

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    • Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

      I agree with you, but I don’t think it is due to American pride or anything. Of course, as Hollywood is the biggest film industry in the world, they will concede privilege to the superstars and local actors and actresses. Surely, it is not always fair, but unfortunately, it is the way it is and they can choose whoever they want to the role. Even in this film that you mentioned, Karen Fukuhara, Katana from Suicide Squad, would be a good choice for the Asian role. Also, Lucy Liu could be good at the role, though I do not know for sure. However, they preferred to sign up a millionary superstar and known actress in Hollywood.

      Scarlet Johansson is definitively a great actress, but they could have given a chance to a specific actress for that specific character. I personally think it is a reflection of racism in society, which prevents marginalized groups to grow in the industry. But, despite that, I believe that we have been evolving a lot in that area. Examples like you cited, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, they might be characters of B-movies, but they will be always remembered positively in America.

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  33. dinerbears ⋅

    This post is my summary after I read the class power point on the blackboard. Most of movie categorized in B movie because they are low budget, they did not have that much time to produce because they have limited time and money and their using young actor because they are new and unknown actor because they are new so they do not need to pay that much money for them. Most of the B movie content related with monster, they topic that can catch teenager’s idea and easy to understand because they use the classic plot and simple message to deliver to the audience. I think B movie is also important for some director who likes shoot some controversial topic or some special type of movie this might be great area for them to produce their movie because there is low financial risk. B movie also remind me the horror movie we talked during the class final destination. They are one of the successful B movie in the present time since 2000 they already have 6 series. The first one their budget only 23 million but their office box is 112 million so for me I think if people talk about successful B movie first thing come up might be final destination. I think right now camera and editing software improve a lot compare with before. Even B movie or independent movie people still can see some good quality on it.

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  34. I felt that it was a great time to talk about how much ethnicity plays a role in film making because now a days, there has been so much criticism not only in film but in the world in general in regards to racism.

    People criticize film for being “racist” because there isn’t enough of one race in the film but when they do put a specific race in the film, critics would simply just turn around and complain about how much the film was terrible due to the fact that the actors weren’t doing their job right or the director was horrible.

    In this world, I feel like people would always complain about improvement. Sure the film industry is trying to become more international. But are they forced to? Im not sure.

    Animation recently has become more ethnic rather than having American heroes in it. For example, a couple of days ago, I watched a film called “Kubo and the Two Strings” which was a stop motion animation based in Japan. highly recommended to watch from me. I loved the film.

    I have faith in the film industry in regards to “Race” as it shouldn’t be forced in any case but should express film the way they want to.

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  35. RM ⋅

    I just want to begin by saying that faster pussy cat kill ! kill! Is most likely the weirdest bit of film I’ve ever seen. Well not exactly, I think maybe el topo tops it. El topo however is a whole other post, that movie has a lot to talk about. But lets get back to pussy cat. Man, there is an amazing amount weird. I have never before seen a character act outright as blond stereotyped as that one chick in the bathing suit acted. It was painful. I understood why it was made of course, the big strong intimidating women, as this was kind of a sexploitation/ midnight movie. I get the feeling a S&M image was in some ways what they were going for, a really stilted awkward and over the top one to be sure. It is interesting now to see these movies from a modern perspective. I could see this being made today but instead ending up on a youtube channel, with a suggestive thumbnail to bait viewers in. It has that sort of low effort sexual softcore entertainment value, the feeling of a student project. These as we were taught in class were of ten screen late at night, for bored , high, audiences. These films would never make it into the theatre these days because that niche is now filled by user generated online content. You no longer have to go out of your way to find bizarre things to watch. Certainly this is an era that has passed by. That said, the use of sex, sex appeal and half naked women, and men these days is even more in vogue as an advertising angle and as a draw for films. I would say that these days, women and men are even more hypersexualized and objectified. With the rash of superhero movies have come tons of buff muscled dudes, and lots of women in skin tight clothes. Not to mention the rise of shows with sex scenes more explicit than you would ever find in a movie like this. It’s not something that has gone away, rather it has moved further into the mainstream and become a central part of media culture today.

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  36. dinerbears ⋅

    in the midnight movie part, before I read the power point on the blackboard I felt most of exploitation movie is relate to the sex or other nudity scene because I have search exploitation movie trailer online. The result come up I find out the some similar which is their title is easy to understand they would not write to deep, even horror movie they still have few scenes which is necked women. After read the blackboard said that exploitation movie is low budge and poor character and plot. I can see there are low budget compare with B movie we watched during the class time the quality is a lot of different even both are low budget movie. It is make me curious the different between midnight movie and independent film because I feel there are some similar between this two types film. both are low budget, they might talk about some controversial topic on it, and used unknown actress because they are low budge they have to produce the film in short time. I can tell the different between B movie and exploitation movie because even they are low budget movie or using unknown actor and not famous director but B movie still has some quality on their script and have chance become famous actress and director. Is that exploitation movie would not release in the cinema?

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  37. Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

    The exploitation genre is surely important in the cinema history, considering its portrait of minorities groups in films. Of course, it has some issues, but mostly the movement supported non-American actors and marginalized groups on their entrance to the Hollywood universe. As an example, Asian characters were mostly portrayed in Kung Fu or martial art movies, what highlights the stereotype that all Asian people are Kung Fu fighters or Bruce Lee’s siblings. For one point of view is negative, but the exposition was an amazing deal to Asian actors actress, who wish to grow in the cinema industry. Another and most recent event is Karen Fukuhara, the actress who portrayed the comics superhero, Katana, in the Suicide Squad movie. As we discussed in previous classes, she is surely a nice actress and the film gave a very good exposition to her work, although, she didn’t have a main role in the film. Firstly, she appears suddenly in the movie, like she is just there to complement the squad and, moreover, she also don’t have many lines or major participation in the plot. So, it is positive that Karen gets known by this high budget film, but still, it is not the perfect scenario for her.

    In addition, the same Suicide Squad presents another marginalized character: the Slipknot, interpreted by Adam Beach. This is a guy is an Indian character that has the worst super power in the world, which is being capable of climbing anything. Despite being almost useless in the plot, he dies literally in 5 minutes. When I watched to this part in the cinema, I got kinda frustrated because I realized that Slipknot was not even required to be in the film. This is so shameful, considering that Suicide Squad portrayed an Indian character poorly as if he didn’t have anything relevant to add to the film. Historically in America, many Indian characters were often portrayed as villain or enemies, regarding historical conflicts between the ‘White Man’ and the ‘Injun’ (a reference to a documentary about how Indians are portrayed in Hollywood films, Real Injun). Well, at least, Adam Beach can say he was in the movie, so it was not that bad.

    On the other hand, the original goal of the exploitation genre was making possible to marginalized groups to have a more important participation in Hollywood. Women, African American, Asian, foreigners have definitely a bigger role in American cinema nowadays, but what is the cost of it? Personally, I think is more positive, because after all they, actors and actresses, may have better opportunities in the future.

    Therefore, the exploitation was necessary to increase marginalized groups’ role in cinema. It is surely more fair than before, but depending on the movie, they may be portrayed stereotypical, what is not good for their image.

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    • BIGANTEATER ⋅

      I dont consider myself a film buff but I do consume a lot of different types of art. I am also a musician and a self proclaimed hiphop historian. One thing that I have realized in the last few years is that very left, avant garde, underground art always rises to the top. And I think this has been true for B films as well. I think its a pretty common knowledge that big record labels look to independent and underground music scenes in order to find something new to commercialize and make a profit on. As one of the first semi successful b films involving muscles cars cruising through the dessert, I think its safe to say that the following that this film garnered prompted directors and productions to make more of these films which helped to start the slew of films which basically stars the cars and as apposed to the actual actors.

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      • In the last class there was a brief discussion about documentaries and how they played a role in American Film history. There is a movie called “Style Wars’” which old New York City in the early 1980’s. The film has a heavy emphasis on graffiti writers and the conflicts that come along with the street art life style. There are also brief mentions of hip-hop, rapping, and b-boying, which is all original and American. This documentary really takes the viewer into the subcultures of New York City, and is produced in a way to have a story line instead of just facts. I am not sure how old the other documentary that was mentioned in class to show success with the mainstreams, but Style Wars was shown in theaters and on television as a documentary. I feel that this could show an old American documentary about purely original American subcultures of street art and hip hop. Even if one is not interested in these topics, it is still produced in a great way, as much of the filming is at night. Many of the shots have great lighting, as they depend on the glare of train yards and street lights.

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    • liarina ⋅

      i agree with you because i will also the exploitation film is a great opportunity for any groups of people who devote their work in Hollywood such as African American and Asian. However, i also think there are two ways to see exploitation. One is that people can get the chance to shine but the exploitation is still somehow make actors stick with certain roles. For example, in blaxploitation, African American is usually associated with crime and gangster and Asian is always connected with martial arts and play as bad guys in the most of time. and luckily, for the case of blaxploitation, it is good that the film genre make the downfall for this kind of discrimination. But the case of Asian actor/ actress is still depending on the role in film. I hope that one day there is some one can do something to change or break this kind of stereotype in Hollywood so that everyone can actually get equal chances for their excellent works in film industry.

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  38. BIGANTEATER ⋅

    Faster Pussy Cat Kill s definitely cult classic and is a B film that I have actually seen multiple times. Its pretty nostalgic for me because it used to come on the tv channel “TNT” nearly everyday during the summer when i was in 5th grade I think. Its one of those films that although not financially successful, it transcended culture and became an iconic piece of the American identity in a sense. Im not sure how many times this film has been referenced in popular culture media but I specifically remember there’s this janet jackson song called “You Want This”. The video for that song is like a reenactment of Faster Pussy Cat Kill.

    The thing that stands out the most for me personally is the women. They are such bad bitches in the most polite way. And i think for me it was the first time I saw strong female characters playing the “tough guy” role. They take no shit from no one and do whatever they want. They also weren’t afraid to use their sex appeal to get what they want. As a young 13 old kid or however old I was, it blew my mind how these women were on screen flaunting themselves wearing no bra etc. I had never seen this before. If you want to ruin a kids innocent and burn a memory into their head, this film will definitly do that. This film and the role the women played was definitely a testimate of the times though. The feminist movement was starting to take off, women were fighting for their place in society, and this was reflected in the film which is why the female characters are so strong. Sadly the stereotypical “dumb blonde” roll is in this film does exist for a bit of comical relief.

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  39. I am really glad that the class was exposed to these types of films. Before seeing these films, I felt that plots were quite predictable. Almost as if there was formula that made up films, where there’s a struggle and the bad guy will eventually face defeat. These cult style movies and B-movies are great when it comes to shock value. Although the production and technical choices can be questioned, whether there is a stagnant shot or poor quality of sound, the artistic view seems to be unchanged. With big budget movies, it seems that there is always a compromise or change based on the likings of those supporting the film financially. This is illustrated in the Golden Age Film, “Gold Diggers of 1933,” where there was editing done before distribution. That film did not seem too graphic or sexual, but I guess that just shows how different times were and how much that they have changed. For this reason, I feel that these lower budget films have a rawer story, giving the viewer something fresh. Instead of having a big wig call the shots, it is nice to see films that are produced that give the original story line. While some can think that these films were exploiting women, some can view it as liberating women. Instead of keeping them in a conservative role, they can be free. Even if that means having these females portray characters with sexual tendencies.

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  40. armitage ⋅

    I think exploitation films are the best way to see what normal people are really thinking about. Art films tend to be more lofty and abstract and average people dont really relate to the message. A movies have to be regulated by censors and cant really have an impact. Exploitation movies as their name suggest exploit a segment of society, making movies about subcultures for those subcultures. If you ever wondered what kinds of things teenagers were doing in the 50s – 60s, you probably would learn more from watching a teensploitation film than a mainstream movie. the film may not be “Good” compared to modern standards, but it will more accurately reflect the intended audience.

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    • Pedro Rodrigues ⋅

      I agree completely. Firstly, the exploitation genre is originally related to the advertisement, which was pretty useful to expose ‘marginalized’ actors and actresses in the cinema industry. Also, the genre is known for making films to specific niches, giving more impact to that specific public and guaranteeing a more expressive revenue.

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  41. Nox ⋅

    I loved this breakout session, specifically because the taboo movies were shocking because it really showed how different Americas mindset was a few decades ago. The Teenage Mother trailer really stuck with me. America’s teen pregnancy rates have skyrocketed from that of the 50s and 60s, but the propaganda they put out to dissuade Teens from premarital sex was hilariously bad. Given the opportunity I would love to talk to someone who actually saw films like Teenage Mother as a teenager. Did it have a lasting impact on them? Was it taken seriously by their peers? I believe there’s a lot to be said in regards to America’s “wholesome family values” and Christianity, but I feel like I can’t appreciate this film and others like it the same way someone who was alive during it’s relevancy could.

    Regardless I plan on watching the film for myself and contrasting it to how sex is viewed by American teens today. The introduction of the internet and social media has drastically changed the landscape when it comes to sex and promiscuity, and I think it’s safe to say that most young Americans are more or less desensitized to films like Teenage Mother. At it’s release it was taboo and could be shocking for some to see such a young woman behaving in such a way, whereas in America we have shows like Teen Mom where we literally follow the lives of teenagers who have unplanned pregnancies and how they cope. In hindsight, this could’ve made a really good research paper, please continue to show this trailer in future classes Karl!

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    • theSiren_Song ⋅

      I wonder if this desensitized issue is part of the reason why Teenage pregnancy has become such an issue in the states. We see a film like this and laugh at the absurd-ness of it and then move on with our lives. It doesn’t make us stop and think ‘oh fuck this is a problem’.

      With abstinence programs being one of the number one choice among schools as “sex-education”, I don’t think the issue of teenage pregnancy is going away any time soon. Not when there are families like the one I grew up where the parents are super conservative and really try to restrict the material their children are watching, whether at school or on the internet.

      Like

  42. wakarinai ⋅

    Personally i think reefer madness was absolutely hilarious, and have seen it multiple times for the pure comedy of the movie. No, it was not intended to be comedy, and I remember my grandparents had told me about that movie when I was getting to the ripe age of being curious about weed. Still the movie cracks me up, and it the fact that it was meant to be serious makes it even more funny to me. But you see this type of tactic taken on today even wether you see it on the news or a TV shows. All show an complete inaccurate depiction of weed and make it out to be something that is purely evil. looking back at American history it was a small cash crop for the early United States, and many of our presidents even Thomas jefferson was famed for using it. Now, dont get me wrong and make me out to be a complete pot head just yet. I simply find it comical to see such inaccuracies played out on the television as truths and people actually believe it.

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  43. mkt18 ⋅

    The genre of Exploitation and Sexploitation are interesting. I just learned about self censorship, so this Exploitation film is completely different from it. Actually, I did not like films of sexploitation because it was crap story and show woman nude many times. And it did not educate about sex and social issue actually even though the purpose of Sexploitation is to bring up social issue publicly. Comparing to Blaxploitation film, this was not successful to educate people. However, I like concept of sexploitation because I can see that the producer creates freely filming the movies. They could break easily taboo. I like their freedom of filming. It is difficult to break moral in this era, so I was surprised when I watched Exploitation film at the first time because it was very extreme comparing to recent film.
    Both genre of Exploitation and Sexploitation film is important for development of film industry. Breaking taboo makes new rules what the film industry should do or not while filming. This genre was ended in short term period, I think because it was too extreme to show. It was difficult see like this film today because there is some limitation to show film, so it was good opportunity to watch this genre.

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    • liarina ⋅

      i agree with you because i also find sexploitation films are extremely hard to watch for several reasons. First, like you mentioned, the storyline is usually terrible, it is like the director or film producer just put something randomly and make it to a film only for money. To use the purpose of education for people to spread out the ideas of sex. However, with the crappy story, the film sometimes just end up to stereotype woman such as the certain body image that girls should be slim and tall. In addition, it also show A LOT of nude image to make people thing that is what to be called sexy which just make me feel awful.

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  44. mkt18 ⋅

    We covered the concept of the B-movie through lecture and we covered about morals and taboos in film industry. I think it is important to follow moral because the film industry has a responsibility to show thing and gain profit. For mainstream movie is necessary to obey mo rarity because many people watch it. However, it is difficult to take a line between moral and not moral for mainstream film. For example, violence scene is difficult to define moral or not moral. Some audience can accept the scene of violent but some audience cannot accept that scene and think about it goes aginsts moral. It can be happen depend on person. Therefore, I think that mains stream film is great because it does not harm moral and admire the audience who have different background. B-movie is also good genre because it does not need to follow the moral and it is accepted to break taboo. They can challenge everything, and if their new idea is interesting and the audience prefers it, it can be mainstream topic someday. The era of B-movie ended, and now mainstream film become popular. It is interesting the background of films how they try to follow rule or try to break taboo.

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  45. theSiren_Song ⋅

    Ah… B films. The materials used by my friend groups to create excuses to get drunk. Many of them are meant to be incredibly serious but the way they’re so poorly made (for whatever reasons whether its budget to time crunches to unable to get capable actors) B films are always good for a good stress relieving laugh and a good drinking game with friends.

    B films may be a little on the crappy side (resulting in excellent drinking games) but they really did bring something new to the film industry table that I never thought of. They really actually attempted to called out the double standards of our society through the use of exploitation. And it kinda made me wonder how insensitive we’ve gotten as a society to the real problems at hand. We see women being exploited through use of sexual objectification in these films and we laugh, even knowing that on a daily basis some of us, or those close to us, will have to deal with it. These films were made to try and teach us something and in the end what did it do? It made us laugh and we moved on our with lives.

    Teenage Mother calls out an issue we seriously have today. When this was released, it should have been a way to get us curious and researching ways to prevent teenage pregnancy, but in the end teenage pregnancy is a HUGE issue in the states all due to lack of education. When we as a classed watched a clip, we all laughed. Have we really become that de-sensitized to serious topics like this? And if so, what will it take to make our culture realize this topics and double standards B-Films call out are serious issues we shouldn’t laugh about?

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  46. liarina ⋅

    Exploitation film is an interesting topic to me since the it combines every popular element, and it is successful because of it which can related to the cult movie. However, I have to say it is a little bit difficult for me to watch Pink Flamingo because the concept of the film is so strange. Even though I checked into it on the internet, I am still having problems for understanding the film since in my opinion, Pink Flamingo is way beyond madness. In addition, while talking about cult movie, although Karl screening Vanishing Point for us during the class. But my personal favorite would be Night of the Living Dead 1968. Due to the certain cored follower, cult movie can be considered as the arts that the director present any crazy ideas that related to the current popular trend. Directed by George A. Romero, the story talk about the night when people become living dead. The story was based on the popular culture of Ghoul, making the film became a big hit and being praised as culturally and historically successful. And it also brings up the tread of zombie movie even until today which is interesting for me because how can you imagine that one movie can change the whole movie genre and people’s taste of films and that’s something I find surprise to learn in class.

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  47. Peach ⋅

    Exploitation Movies

    One form of exploitation that remains constant throughout all the era’s of film and Hollywood’s constant change (but let’s be honest it doesn’t change as much as we are led to believe it does), is sexploitation. Sexploitation in films already sounds bad enough on its own but when delved into deeper, and presented with multiple actual examples of it, we see that it’s much more serious and sickly then we first think it is.
    Females are always sexualized in TV shows, movies, magazines, cartoons, books, sports, advertisements, and of course, real life. Sexualization has been around for since God knows when, and at this point, it’s just foolish to think it’s possible for it to disappear altogether. What we can hope for though is improvement. It is definitely possible for sexualization in Hollywood to become, at the very least, rare. In our current year, 2017, it’s becoming noticeably better in terms of women and media. Most recently, we have Hidden Figures, a film centered around three African-American women making history, we had an all-female remake of Ghostbusters, of course met with criticism upon it’s announcement, we’ve got multiple animated films with strong, empowering woman in the lead including Moana, Maleficent, and Frozen. Of course there are more, these are just what came to me from the top of my head as they are/were the most popular around their respective release dates.
    But, as much as it pains me to, I must take a step back from our current evolved era and bring it on back to the era of the 30’s, 60’s and 80’s. Now you can guess from how women were treated out in the open in reality, then how they were portrayed in films. Much, much worse. When I think of a woman, I think along the lines of “power”, “cunning”, “beauty”, and “influential”. So it’s quite difficult to me to think of “women” from a man’s point of view. But that’s ok because Hollywood shows me exactly how society, or ahem, men, view us. Adding to the fact that I must refer to portrayals of women from an era way before my own, I can imagine the words that must have popped up in a person’s mind upon hearing the word “woman”. “Young”, “Sex”, “Easy”, “Object”, are a few that come to mind. Too often have women been represented as weak, helpless, and always doing anything and everything all to either impress a man or obtain a man. Their sole purpose for being put on this planet was to please men, says Hollywood. No matter the genre, horror, romance, drama, comedy, sci-fi, Hollywood could find a way to sexually exploit women. The saddest and most infuriating part of it all is, it’s what the audience back then wanted to see. (not just “back then” but even now…) Hollywood wasn’t just flinging out these movies left and right because they felt like it, it was because sex sells, sexploitation had proved itself time and time again that it makes money, and the audience ate it up. Who knows if women were OK with being sexualized back then, can’t exactly ask them now, maybe they enjoyed being treated as objects and leered at by men everywhere. But I bet anybody this wasn’t the case.
    There is a scene in the film “The Big Short”, where the film sort of mocks sexploitation, or maybe they were also just sexualizing women, where Margot Robbie is in a tub, naked of course, explaining a business term because that’s the only way to get the audience hooked and to actually watch and listen. They literally say, “We know this all may sound confusing and hard to understand, so here’s Margot Robbie in a bath tub to explain it a little more clearly for you” or something along those lines. That movie is quite new, and it just goes to show that Hollywood knew/knows exactly what they were doing, now and back then. Bringing it on back to “then”, we were shown a short clip of “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”. This film, even from just a couple minutes viewing, was extremely hilarious and/or sad to watch. How blatantly women were slapped onto the screen wearing nothing but bra’s and panties-like outfits was hilarious. But they had also shown a strong, male-overpowering side of women too. The scene where one of the women easily beats up the man in the film was refreshing enough to watch.

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