Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980
Published by McFarland, 2011. 346 pages.
By Danny Shipka
“To all those who have received grief for their entertainment choices and who see the study of weird and wacky films as important to understanding popular culture.”
That is the little dedication in the beginning of the book, which I immediately felt a kindred spirit with the author, since, like many fans of cult cinema, have had to try and explain and/or defend their love of this genre. For someone who is new to this type of films, especially from the three countries covered here, this would be a great introduction. This is not an in-depth or critical study or college thesis where the author is trying to come up with some outrageous theory, but an general overview of the films, filmmakers, and what was going on in those countries during this time. As a newcomer to this, you will find quite a few titles to add to your “To-Watch” list, which honestly, is the best thing a reference book can do for the reader, making them want to seek out and watch the films that are discussed. And with that, author Shipka does a great job.
Sex, Sadism, Spain, and Cinema: The Spanish Horror Film
by Nicholas G. Schlegel
Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. 207 pages.
Most people know Caroline Munro as either a Bond Girl or the work she did with Hammer Studios. But Caroline has worked all over the world, with many great and talented people. So while we briefly asked her about Hammer, we tried to venture more into the other countries where she worked. This interview was conducted at that Cinema Wasteland show, in April of 2007. We especially want to thank Caroline for taking the time to talk to us.
You would think that after 10 years of holding these little marathons, putting movie viewers through some possibly horrendous films was not the nicest or smartest thing to be doing. Yeah…you would think. To those that think this just plain crazy, you are correct! But we do it anyway. The people that come out to help me celebrate my annual party are die-hard cinephiles that don’t mind getting on their hands and knees, drudging through the muck of cinematic garbage, or at least what some may call it. We try to find the higher points on these films, even though with some it is very tough to do that with, but we try anyway. It is our way to not only test our endurance, but also to highlight some of these hardworking filmmakers and their finished accomplishments. No matter how bad or good they might be, we feel they need to be remembered, even in the worse way.
We had no T-day virgins this year, but seasoned veterans that obviously are gluttons for punishment. While we thought for a while that Aaron Christensen wasn’t going to be able to make it due to an acting gig, he was able to work his way out for the first 4 movies before having to catch a train to meet up with his ride back to Milwaukee. That’s dedication. Honestly, I was thrilled that he did since it wouldn’t have been the same without him, since he has been here to every one of them since 2005. Also returning was Joe Wallace, Jennifer Kilzer, Craig Clark, Jason Coffman, Neil Calderone, and Brian Fukula. Brian also had to leave early, after the 3rd film, but we get him credit for making the trip out for what he could. My son Nick had to work this year, so he missed most of the movies, but did arrive in time to catch one of them. And of course, probably one of the real reasons these guys keep coming out for this event is all the amazing pizzas made by my wife Dawn, who was able to sit in the last few movies. We had the usual breakfast pizzas, Italian beef pizza, crab Rangoon pizza, but also some new ones like the chili rellenos pizza that was just incredible.
Once again, we got through 7 films, but managed to devour 12 pizzas this time. So with only 8-9 of us here for most of the day, we seemed to go through a lot more pizzas than last year. I’m sure the excitement of the movies just meant we were burning up more calories, making us hungrier. Yeah…sure…I buy that. But lets get to the movies.