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Machete Maidens Unleashed

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Karate-kickin' midgets! Paper-mâché monsters! Busty babes with blades! Filipino genre films of the '70s and '80s had it all. Boasting cheap labour, exotic scenery and non-existent health and safety regulations, the Philippines was a dreamland for exploitation filmmakers whose renegade productions were soon engulfing drive-in screens around the globe like a tidal schlock-wave! At last, the all-too-often overlooked world of drive-in filler from Manila gets the Mark Hartley (NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD) treatment in Machete Maidens Unleashed!. This is the ultimate insiders' account of a faraway backlot where stunt men came cheap, plot was obsolete and the make-up guy was packin' heat.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Carmen Argenziano, John Landis, Roger Corman
  • Directors: Mark Hartley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Dark Sky Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XZ99W8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,651 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a very entertaining and informative documentary. Directed by Mark Hartley, who also headed up the Ozploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood, you'll get great insight into how American filmmakers came to work in the Philippines during the 1960s and 1970s, bringing the world hundreds of cheap, low-quality but highly entertaining movies. They capture the crazy conditions under which these movies where made, making this a time capsule of schlocky goodness.

The iconic Roger Corman serves as the starting point for these films, as many of them were made under his New World imprint. Corman brings his usual dry sense of humor and bottom line/all about the money efficiency. John Landis is hilarious and serves as the perfect hyperactive foil to Corman's coolly detached straight man. Joe Dante comes in and out with how the trailers for these films were cut--because with sleazy cinema like this, it's all about how you sell it to the audience. Getting butts into the drive-in stalls and grindhouses for beasts, breasts, and blood was the name of the game.

A lot of actors, directors and writers are here, giving their take on what it was like to be part of these wacky films. Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Dick Miller, Jack Hill, R. Lee Ermey, and many more tell their stories. They all acknowledge that with the exception of Grier, no one became a major star and her stardom came in part because she had been freshly discovered by Hill. But they seem okay with that and were essentially happy coming along for the ride. No one is jaded or nursing old wounds. Everyone is in good spirits and quick to point out the absurdity of the movies. No one was under any illusions that what they did was high art. Such self-awareness makes for enjoyable viewing.
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Format: DVD
I never feel as though I can truly explain the appeal b-movies have for me. I usually end up mumbling something about how unpredictable they CAN be (although sadly, not often enough), or that, in the midst of an otherwise unbearable film, there may be one crystalline moment that is so good in relation to the surrounding badness that it has an extra pop that rarely happens in mainstream films. Whatever; even re-reading what I just wrote sounds like pure justification for guilty pleasures, gratuitous nudity, and mondo extreme filmmaking.

Luckily, as films like American Grindhouse, Not Quite Hollywood, and Machete Maidens prove (along with several others I haven't had a chance to see yet), I'm not the only one who has an appreciation for these flicks. Like the other two I mentioned, this one also concentrates on the underground/ b-movie industry of a particular country rather than a specific genre, in this case the Philippines. So we get clips from early 60's to late 70's horror, blaxploitation, war films, women's prison films, and, strangely, spy/kung fu/midget movies. Meanwhile, those actors and filmmakers who are still around comment on their roles in the industry, and there is usually some film critic to put the output in context.

The formula for these documentaries is fairly simply; if you've seen one, you'll know what to expect from the others. That isn't a knock against them - I don't know anything else that would be more effective.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Gave it a 5 as documentary type films are hard to hold interest and they did a very nice job with this -- and for folks like me that graduated High School in the 70's, this is a warm nostalgic place---- we remember loading up the car with beer and take out pizza on the way, hitting the Drive in and watching these so -- seeing the background behind it all and so forth, was something I got into a lot. So for all you drive in generation out there ---this will be a treat, and if you have developed a liking for these films, then I suggest getting this even more -- seen a preview for it? The DVD is as crazy, campy and as fun as the preview you saw was -- so if that tripped your gears, you won't regret making this a purchase.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
In the 1960s and 70s, drive-in movie theaters and big city grindhouses were eager to book the wildest and most action-packed fare they could find, and low-budget producers were always on the lookout for something unique to offer their viewers. Many of them found it in the Philippines, a country full of exotic locations, cooperative officials and folks willing to work cheap. Local producer Eddie Romero began exporting his cut-rate horror and crime pictures to American distributors in the 60s, and before long U.S. filmmakers were traveling there to shoot crazed jungle epics, women in prison thrillers, bloody horror stories and violent wartime dramas. It certainly helped that Philippine extras and technicians would work hard for low pay, and that local stuntmen didn't seem to worry much about risking their necks for a good shot; as one producer put it, "Human life was cheap, film was cheap -- it was a great place to shoot a movie!" Filmmaker Mark Hartley, who shared the crazed true story of the Australian exploitation movie scene in his documentary Not Quite Hollywood, shares the inside scoop on the wild and wooly world of filmmaking in the Philippines in the 1960s and 70s in Machete Maidens Unleashed! Featuring interviews with Gloria Hendry, Colleen Camp, Sid Haig, R. Lee Ermey, Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Allan Arkush and many more eyewitnesses to the madness of movie making in the Philippine jungles, Machete Maidens Unleashed! was an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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