Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010, Mark Hartley)

Mark Hartley, director of the much loved Ozploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood, returns for another film about a criminally under-looked genre - Filipino Exploitation.  Though this genre may sound obscure even for the seasoned exploitation fan, we learn that the Philippines were actually used for some of best loved examples of the genre.  Dark Sky Films finally brings us the long awaited U.S. DVD release of this brilliant new documentary (released November 1st).

Machete Maidens Unleashed! illustrates how the Philippines were used to great effect (and little money) during the boom of 60's and 70's drive-in exploitation films.  Famous film maker Roger Corman explains how he chose this country because he knew he could get "more for less" (exotic locations for a cheap price).  Along for the ride are Corman proteges Jack Hill (The Big Doll House, The Big Bird Cage), Cirio H. Santiago (TNT Jackson, The Muthers), Joe Dante & Allan Arkush (Hollywood Boulevard, many of Corman's trailers) as well as local Filippino director Eddie Romero (Beast of Blood, Black Mama White Mama).  Also included are the stars of these films: Sid Haig, Judy Brown, Pam Grier, Margaret Markov, Christopher Mitchum and many more. 

Machete Maidens Unleashed! leaves no stone unturned in the history of Filippino exploitation.  We learn about the many hardships the actors and directors faced when filming in the dangerous jungles where the gun-toting army soldiers and dangerous animals were lurking around every corner.  The interviews go quite in depth, especially for such a niche topic, making this a dream for exploitation lovers.  Hearing the stories the interviewees had, especially the ones of the dangers they encountered, will keep you glued to your seat through the whole film.  Besides the film itself, this new DVD is packed with hours of bonus features including a reel of trailers of the films discussed (some of which are better than the films themselves), extended interviews, production stills and much more.  One of the most entertaining and informative documentaries I have seen on any subject, this DVD (with all of its bonus goodies) is a must have for exploitation, drive-in, horror, cult and B movie fans.

RATING:  10/10

Order Machete Maidens Unleashed! directly from Dark Sky Films HERE

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