There’s a wide range of exploitation genres and sub genres to be described as this wikipedia page proves. Still in essence an exploitation film is a cheaply made film from the late sixties up to the eighties with the premise that sex and violence could be fun and that there’s an audience big enough to make a profit. I’ve always been intrigued in the appeal of exploitation. Why do I like it? Surely I don’t enjoy watching rape, or eating people’s intestines or both? Again the answer is in adolescence, but not in the obvious psychological terms of exploring borders, the stuff of teen angst and your wildest dreams. It’s in the terms of pure amateurism. The best of these movies are made with a lot of gutso and have a do-it-yourself attitude that is infectious.
It’s spring again and once again I’m reminded of the above quote of Steven Wright. Spring is the season for the weird and wonderful. Spring is the season of adolescence. Bulbs and other young growths are sprouting enthusiastically and surprisingly, often unsightly, but ready to grow into something beautiful. Two upcoming events underscore these sentiments. From April 5th to April 17th there’s the Brussels International Fantastic Festival and from April 17th to April 28th there’s the Imagine Filmfestival formerly known as Amsterdam Fantastic Filmfestival. Both festivals started out as small events organized by hopeful and enthusiastic exploitation shockjockies and have evolved into respected cultural events with an international appeal covering all aspects of imaginative film. I must admit that I always enjoyed the enthusiasm more than the respected, but there you go, no one and nothing will be young forever.
No matter how I enjoy exploitation I haven’t yet displayed it in the gallery for various reasons. For one it would not be appreciated by the girl I share the workspace of the gallery with. Somehow this stuff appeals less to women. Other reason is that the gallery is located opposite a kindergarten. Somehow this stuff is not considered to be for small children. Last, but my no means least, I feel a bit uneasy about displaying it publicly. Exploitation is a guilty pleasure. I won’t feel comfortable being looked at by unknown passers-by as being a bit of a freak. Exploitation is better be enjoyed in the private company of a few like minded fans.
This brings me to the excellent magazine CREEPY IMAGES. If you like exploitation and exploitation memorabilia you can’t afford to miss this wonderful source of pulp, rot and red paint on paper made by Thorsten and his crew. I’m privileged to have contributed to the last episode as I happened to have the German lobby card set for GRETA – HAUS OHNE MÄNNER better known with the more delicious English title WANDA, THE WICKED WARDEN directed by Jess “Fountain Of Youth” Franco and starring Dyanne Thorne from the infamous ILSA of the SS films. Now there’s exploitation royalty for you.
If you like exploitation memorabilia and want to purchase or browse through some and have a chat visit the gallery. All featured posters and stills in this blog entry are examples of what MOVIE INK. can offer. I don’t have a lot of the stuff, but what I do have is quite interesting. If it’s more convenient, you could also come over to Brussels on April 8th. The Brussels Fantastic Film Festival also hosts a convention and MOVIE INK. will be there with a nice selection. We will be among friends, but if you are a bit self-conscious like me, maybe a password of sorts will help to make contact. You don’t know the password? It’s easy, I say: “Is it weird in here?” and you reply …