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Schlock!: The Secret History of American Movies (2001)

Cast: Forrest J. Ackerman, Richard Miller, Harry Novak, more...
Director: Ray Greene
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Pathfinder Home Ent.
Genre: Documentary, Film
Running Time: 90 min.
    see additional details...

Pauline Kael once wrote that since movies were so rarely great art, if one weren't interested in great trash, there wasn't much reason to pay attention to them, and one could reasonably argue that few periods brought us more top-quality cinematic trash than the 1950s and '60s. With drive-ins and grindhouses across the United States making room for low-budget exploitation films of all stripes (such as horror, science fiction, teen exploitation, biker films, beach pictures, nudies, and much more) as the major studios were focusing their attention on big-budget blockbusters and television, this was a boom time for inspired trash, and Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies takes a look at the low-budget wonders of the 1950s and '60s, as well as the men and women who made them and the social and psychological subtexts lurking behind many of these movies. Schlock! includes interviews with Roger Corman, Peter Bogdanovich, David F. Friedman, Doris Wishman, Samuel Z. Arkoff, Dick Miller, Vampira, and more. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Must See for Movie Industry film buffs by ziondub April 4, 2004 - 11:10 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Do not let the cheap video vaneer of this doc fool you, this is an extremely well-crafted and executed film. This is a must see for anyone interested in the business of filmaking. I might be even so bold to state the message of this film is even deeper than A Decade Under the Influence in that it goes to great lengths to show what lay the foundation for the creative splurge in the seventies. Yes, some of these "exploitation" films are often crass, riduculous, and down-right unwatchable, but they were instrumental in introducing violence and nudity to mainstream Hollywood. Personally, I do not watch such films nor do I have much of an interest in seeing them now, but this doc shows the import of these innovators in their contribution to filmaking who have been ignored for decades in a way that makes the forgotten classics of the seventies appear as highly lauded and recognized masterpeices. Definately watch with the director's commentary. In case you're wondering, black sploitation is only treated in the commentary and the director gives a very cogent argument with regard to his "negligence" of certain sploitation genres.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.44)
43 Votes
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