Karate-kicking midgets! Paper-mache monsters! Busty babes with blades! Filipino genre films of the '70s and '80s had it all. Boasting cheap labour, exotic scenery and non-existent health and safety regulations, the Philippines was a dreamland for exploitation filmmakers whose renegade productions were soon engulfing drive-in screens around the globe like a tidal schlock-wave! At last, the all-too-often overlooked world of drive-in filler from Manilla gets the Mark Hartley (NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD) treatment in Machete Maidens Unleashed! This is the ultimate insiders' account of a faraway backlot where stunt men came cheap, plot was obsolete and the make-up guy was packing heat! Machete Maidens Unleashed! features interviews with cult movie icons Roger Corman, Joe Dante, John Landis, Sid Haig, Eddie Romero and a large assembly of cast, crew and critics, each with a jaw-dropping story to tell about filmmaking with no budget, no scruples, no boundaries and - more often than not - no clothes.... Written by
Entertaining documentary from Mark Harley discusses the making of countless exploitation films that were shot in the Phillippines. If you read up on the movie is really makes you think that it focuses in on those Phillipean exploitation movies but you're quickly going to realize that it's mainly about American productions that were shot there because producers could get such deals with rights, equipment and of course the jungle locations. Many famous faces like Joe Dante, Roger Corman, Dick Miller, John Landis, Sid Haig and Jack Hill are joined by some faces people haven't seen on screen for thirty-plus years (since they appeared in these movies). For the most part this is an incredibly entertaining film because the director does a great job at mixing in all the film clips with the countless comments being made. By the two-minute mark I actually had to pause the film so that I could get a pen and paper and keep track of some of the amazing clips that were being shown. Naturally, those who appreciate this type of cheap trash are the ones who are going to be the most entertained because once you've seen one of these pictures you're certainly not going to forget it and hearing some of the stories about the making of them are just priceless. Haig tells a hilarious bit about if you're in a strip club after midnight the owner would just lock you in (due to a law) and you'd have to stay there and party all night. Landis talks about the certain type of tolerance you had to have for these films. Many actresses who appeared nude in these films talk about how it made them feel powerful. Eddie Romero is the main focus from the actual Phillipean filmmakers and we get a few comments from him as well. Fans of exploitation are certainly going to enjoy seeing so many faces they recognize and this is certainly a great place to start if you're needing title recommendations.
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