GRIND HOUSE GREATS
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 11/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In the 30's and 40's, the exploitation film business was at its peak. Promoters and producers like the legendary David F. Friedman and Dan Sonney "bicycled" their prints from town to town across heartland America. With titles like, "Child Bride," "They Wear No Clothes," "She Shoulda Said No," "Strip Tease Girl," "Reefer Madness," "Dance Hall Racket," "Victims of Passion" "Tia Juana After Midnite," Flesh Merchant," and "A Virgin In Hollywood" they packed drive-ins in the sticks, small town main street theaters and skid row scratch houses for a week and moved on. The movies, made for the lowest possible price, had several things in common: a subject too controversial for main stream studios, a moral message that incorporated a lurid title with the highest possible titillation factor, cheap sets, bad acting and the willingness of the "actresses" to wear skimpy clothing or none at all. "SEX AND BUTTERED POPCORN" (VCI Entertainment, ...) is a magnificent four disc, ten hour, set that mines this rich lode of exploitation films from six decades ago. "Sex and Buttered Popcorn" also the title of the stand alone disc..., is a terrific two hour plus documentary narrated by Ned Beatty with numerous film clips, lurid trailers and bonus shorts including a vintage Tempest Storm strip tease in color. Three additional discs, "Tease, Sleaze and Social Disease," "Sex, Sin and Salvation" and "Grandad's Forbidden Follies," each feature several full length classics of these accurately labeled sub genres and include ample bonus material, mostly vintage "nudie cuties" and wonderfully lurid exploitation poster art. I had a lot of fun watching this wonderful collection of often hysterically funny, pseudo serious films on so called taboo subjects. Far more entertaining in fact than most DVD releases. However,"S&BPC" is also a fascinating look at this misunderstood fringe of the film industry. Writer director Sam Harrison, III, should consider doing a sequel on the earliest days of the somewhat darker territory of the Peep Show "loops" and the people who starred in and distributed them."
Fun Flicks, So-So Documentary
K. Brown | Walnut, Ca USA | 01/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set is a great collection of campy flicks, shorts, and trailers. You get a diverse serving of full length features from the pioneering days of exploitation films, from dope maniacs to pushers to premarital relations to nudists.I was disappointed in the documentary on the roadshows. If you know absolutely nothing about the history of exploitation films and their distribution, you will learn a little something. Unfortunately, this documentary barely scratches the surface. You get a little narrative background on the nature of these films, followed by examples via clips from the films. Problem is, these "film clips" go on and on and on, where they could have illustrated the point with just a few quick snipets. This production needed tighter editing. Too bad, because this is a fascinating subject that has the potential to be a great documentary (KEN BURNS! Are you reading this?).David Friedman, who is featured in the documentary, wrote a really good account of his years in the roadshow and B-Movie biz called "A Youth In Babylon." Would love to see a film feature somewhere along those lines! If you have an interest in viewing the actual exploitation films
in their entirety, this is a good find. If you want a good historical background, pass this by and hope for a better documentary up the road!"
Fun but not terribly informative
Birt Acres | 03/03/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a fan of exploitation films, I was excited to see this documentary. Unfortunately it is merely fun, without any clear thesis. Particularly annoying is the fact that the filmmakers don't identify the film clips, so that one who is unfamiliar with exploitation films would not be able to find any of the individual films that interested him or her. Also, more focus is put on nudity than is necessary; the effect is to "undersell" drug films, eugenics films, and white slavery films, among others. (Indeed, the documentary does have considerable nudity, although it's usually fairly innocuous.) A much, much better introduction to exploitation films is Eric Schaefer's book " 'Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!': A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959." Watch this documentary for fun; read that book for information."