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
This film is a documentary that celebrates trash cinema--specifically, the terribly cheesy American films made in the Philippines in the 60s and early 70s. Why did they go to this country? Simple--it was dirt cheap! So, cheap film makers like Roger Corman and Eddie Romero went there to create tons of terrible films--and the filmmakers knew it was going to be bad. There was no pretense--the films featured silly monsters, women in prison and the like. And, the films had tons of action, violence and boobies. Ultimately, however, there actually was a GOOD movie made there ("Apocalypse Now") and soon after this, the industry came to a halt due to violence and revolution...and ultimately the fall of the Marcos regime.
So is all this worth seeing and celebrating? Well, it depends on you. If you occasionally LIKE to see a terrible film (such as "Black Mama, White Mama"), then you'll like seeing the documentary (that's me!). You'll relive trashy but fun films or get ideas for movies to rent (though only about half the ones mentioned in the film are available from Netflix). But, if you are sane, you'll probably just wonder why anyone would want to remember these terrible films! Overall, however, the film is worth seeing if you are the type who can appreciate it--and I sure did. Just beware...the film is violent and infused with breasts!
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