Is there a place for exploitation films?
Updated: Sep 6
We are currently all living in a weary world that is difficult to recognise from only twelve months ago; with COVID19, BLM and the fallout of the EU referendum, which are all world changing events. So, what do we do while trying to escape from this madness that seems to be turning man against man and leaving the elite untouched at the top of a food chain they created?
I suggest watching a film, or even better an indie film. I hear cries from the audience - are you mad? The answer to that question is yes. The question I pose and will answer from my prospective, is there a place for exploitation films and exploitation directors in this day and age? In my opinion the answer is a resounding yes and my reasoning for this is as follows.
In our everyday lives we see the greed of the corporate giants (I’m looking at you Amazon and Google) who are immune from paying the correct tax as well as not providing their workers with even the basic standard of living conditions. As I digress, my point is that there is another beast that walks alongside these giants in the form of a mouse. Yes, I am talking about Disney. This beast has the intention to crush all its competitors by hook or by crook, but this is not something that is new. It’s just getting easier for them to do this, hence my suggestion of watching indie films.
Why? Because indie films are different, in so many ways you have not seen before. Some good, some bad and some ugly but all with an allure of their own. They are mainly in the first instance made for the right reason (if there is such a thing). I also feel there seems to be an ounce of love, passion, and naivety to it all. Surely that is better than the cash cow that is a remake, sequel or even the sequel of a sequel, with millions of pounds’ worth of CGI which you can tell is CGI. These films are lining the pockets of men who care only for the money reaped from their audience rather than the enjoyment felt by said audience. Could I possibly mean the Star Wars franchise? (Disney) I am not saying these films are bad, or not to watch them; but don’t let these films suggest to you there is nothing else but these films. So to my point, I feel society has become so anal in regards to what we can say and what we can do, it is refreshing when we have an exploitation director throw an exploitation film out there that unsettles and unnerves the audience from the safety of their norm. The viewer has not felt these emotions for such a long time or even at all in some cases. Why? because there is nothing outside of Hollywood, or so we are led to believe.
Whether you love or hate exploitation films, you are secretly intrigued to why someone has had the courage, or stupidity to create such a talking point. Someone has gone up against the machine and grabbed you from your safe place and ripped a reaction from your inner self that you did not think you had. Yet after this is all said and done, it is alas only a film. However as always, the prognosis for these fearless directors is of course rapid justice via the media who whip up the crowd into a frenzy which turns reasonable people into becoming unintentional bullies. Why? because no one wants to put their heads above the parapet and bring unwanted heat and criticism from the baying public distressed. So, the easiest thing for people to do is be enraged and subservient and follow the mainstream media compliantly in destroying these filmmaker’s credibility, livelihoods and sometimes their lives. All this because they dare make a different kind film, go up against the big beasts who in turn set the dogs on the indie infidel to rip them apart, only leaving the remains that are the whispers in the playground that remind us that such films ever existed. There are also the unfounded boasts from people who say they have seen such films, but in reality they never did. The voyeuristic nature of humans means that we will always need the exploitation film and filmmaker whether we like it or not. It secretly comforts our conscience that not one beast controls everything and there is something that is different. We don’t have to be indoctrinated or dictated into what is the acceptable norm regarding film or life. Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust is still talked about today, which cost 100,000 dollars to make, a fraction of your average mainstream movie. Long live the whispers of the exploitation films and their makers, who are in reality our uncomfortable bedfellows.