exploitation

I’ll just come out and admit it: I like microbudget horror movies more in theory than in practice. I love the idea of hardcore fans with a lot of passion and no money getting together on the weekends with anybody who will work cheap enough and saying “Let’s put on a show! With decapitations!” Unfortunately, the end results of these Karo syrup and red food coloring soaked outings tend to show that passion is no substitute for talent and that a little money is often the difference between a bad movie and an unwatchable movie.

“The Bloody Ape” delivers on everything it promises. Boobs, blood, and offensive material are in evidence throughout. There is an ape suit, a racist mechanic, a racist cop, an anti-Semitic carnival barker, and a whole bevy of voluptuous Long Island princepessas getting nude for Keith J. Crocker’s camera. Shot on Super 8 for half the price of a root canal at Western Dental, “The Bloody Ape” should be fun given its story and its target aesthetic.

As part of my Horror Re-Education, or my attempt to go back and catch some of the films that I've missed throughout my tenure as a purveyor of horror, this week I checked out 1980's "Maniac". Whooboy.

A schizoid serial killer randomly stalks and kills various young women in New York, which he sees as revenge for the mistreatment he got while being raised by his own abusive mother.

Word of any new genre remake is likely greeted with a shrug by most horror fans. By this point, we've largely had to resign ourselves to the idea that any older film that had any meat on its bones will be brought in for a picking over. Even in that context though, "Last House on the Left" seemed a difficult choice. The 1972 original film that launched Wes Craven's directing career was gritty, brutal, and in many ways, of its time.

In 1967 Robert Aldrich delivered a war film that managed to succeed financially despite a growing tide of anti-war sentiment among the American populous. The film featured a formidable cast including Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, and Jim Brown amongst others.

It was the summer of 1971 when two future horror legends, Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham, gathered in the woods to shoot "Last House on the Left". Almost more important than understanding what happens in the film, it's crucial to understand the world that the film was born into. At the time it was made there was a counter culture suffering from the burnout of a failed social movement and increasingly harder drugs, and a mainstream America whose children were being decimated by the seemingly never-ending conflict in Vietnam.