2010, NR, 80 min. Directed by Elijah Drenner. Narrated by Robert Forster.
REVIEWED Fri., March 26, 2010
Even though devotees of this kind of cinema ought to know most of this material anyway, there's no denying that Drenner's documentary provides a solid survey of the history of exploitation filmmaking and grindhouse theatres. His film offers an overview of the subject that will probably prove enlightening to fans who tend to know a lot about their favorite areas of expertise and not necessarily a lot about how all these subgenres fit into the encompassing stream of film history. Drenner boldly begins his film with Thomas Edison, showing how exploitation is not of the film's onscreen subjects (as is commonly presumed) but of the public's desire and fascination for titillating subject matter – in other words, give 'em what they want. Many, many knowledgeable speakers address the distinctions between the terms exploitation and grindhouse, helping to create one of the most informative, incisive, and inclusive treatises on the topic.