Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies (2001)

Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies (2001)


Plot: You've heard of Hollywood, a town of tinsel and glamour, the town of Paramount, Columbia and MGM. But there is another Hollywood, a place where maverick independent EXPLOITATION FILMMAKERS went toe to toe with the big guys and came out on top! "SCHLOCK! THE SECRET HISTORY OF AMERICAN MOVIES" takes you behind the scenes with the legendary EXPLOITATION and SEXPLOITATION filmmakers of those golden "DRIVE-IN" MOVIE days. It's sexy! It's strange! And every word is true!

Ray Greene

For longtime exploitation buffs, "Schlock" may not tell you anything you weren't already aware of, but its highly entertaining nonetheless. The interviews with many legends in the field will be interesting. For novices interested in the cult genre, it is highly recommended. By covering the basics, "Schlock" provides everything you need to know to become interested in the topic of vintage exploitation films.

The main reason why this documentary works so well is ts explanation of just why these films are so important to American cinema and pop culture. While viewed as simple exploitation, they often reflect the more morbid fascinations of America and broke new ground in discussing taboo subject matter before Hollywood would even dare. The release of "Easy Rider" in 1969 proved that these films could be more than just exploitation. The interviews with Michael Bowen explains this.

Some may complain that this documentary only skims the surface. It is true that there is much more to the topic than is documented in this film. Scanning through the video catalog of Something Weird will prove this. However, its combination of archival footage and interviews with key figures makes it into an ideal introduction. (8/10)

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