YouTube Saturday – lemme exploit that for you, ‘kay?

Yep, it's THAT time of the week again!

Exploitation films (and Grindhouse films as they may be known to some) are an interesting bunch. My experience of them is pretty much limited to stuff that has been produced post-1965 and mainly made in the last thirty years, and so I wanted to share with you on this YouTube Saturday the five exploitation films I think you gotta go and watch sometime.

And most ain’t for the faint of heart.

Crank (2006), is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (both are also the writers for it). Starring Jason Statham in the lead, it’s a pretty cut and dry exploitation flick. There’s crime lords and gangsters involved, lots and lots of violence, a drop or two of sex, drugs, a protagonist dealing with the worst day of his life and some crazy “Chinese shit” (more drugs). As with many films in the genre, the plausibility of the plot is not to be considered – just go with it, ‘kay?

Coffy (1973), was directed and written by Jack Hill. Not necessarily the typical blaxploitation film (it’s a sub-genre of exploitation films), it stars a young Pam Grier who is fighting to clean up the city that she lives in. Again, there’s a lot of sex and violence, but despite all the big thrills the film tries to throw your way, you do end up really siding with Coffy. Basically, enough characterisation happens that you do end up caring about the protagonist Coffy.

Ichi the Killer (2001), was directed by Takashi Miike. A Japanese film, you may be difficult to class it as an exploitation flick due to its country of origin, however the violence and stylistic leanings of it do mark it out as such a film in the Western sense. If there’s an extreme Japanese film you should make the effort of watching sometime, then this is probably it. Expect Yakuza, violence and extreme gore.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), was directed by Tobe Hooper. One of the defining films of the slasher sub-genre, it’s a pretty damn gory film. The attempt to give it a slight “these are events that really happened” is perhaps more chucklesome than anything else for today’s audience, though some films do still manage to convince some people that they are based on real events. As to what happens in the film – the title says it all.

Pink Flamingos (1972), was directed and written by John Waters. Perhaps the sickest film on this list, it doesn’t really do violence. It’s more about grossing out your senses and perceived concepts of what is socially acceptable. Interestingly it does refer yet again to criminal elements, but not in a way you would expect. The film pretty much has to be seen to be believed and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

That’s it for this week’s YouTube Saturday. Please let us know in the comments below if there’s any particular exploitation films you think we should watch sometime.


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