THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO EXPLOITATION MOVIES
by Alan Jones
Available in paperback
Movies come in many guises, from big Hollywood producti0ns to lower budget gems. My favourite of these has to be the B-movies with heart, the independent entries that give it all they’ve got despite not having much to work with in terms of financing. Throwing as much sex, death, violence and nudity into a movie as one can muster, often with shlocky effects to match, the exploitation genre is probably my most beloved of the movie world and it seems I’m not alone as FrightFest founder Alan Jones has recently published a book dedicated to the genre, titled THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO EXPLOITATION MOVIES.
Measuring 7.5″ by 10.25″, the paperback book is a genre fan’s dream come true. With 240 pages lovingly adorned with erotica, slasher, blaxploitation, road and martial arts movies, many of which I’ve never heard of before, the book details the year, cast and crew of 200 exploitation films complete with insightful analysis of each of the movies. Breaking down the films, author Alan Jones gives background to each of the movies as well as referencing others that may be similar or that certain cast/crew worked on, further enlightening the reader on where to look next for their next film fix.
The layout of the book is what really packs the punch and allows Jones to get his fine words across. The magnificent, often over-the-top film artwork for the titles mentioned in the book is splashed across the pages in full colour with some posters, such as Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS, taking up the entire page. These images never fail to grab your attention and act almost like an invitation to find out more about the movie and read what Jones has to say about them. From films like Brand of Shame, where a naked woman is being whipped by a cowboy, to the infamous image of the scantily clad woman armed with a knife from rape revenge flick I Spit On Your Grave, the film posters and still images speak volumes about the titles they represent and only encourage the viewer to add them to their viewing list. In most cases, the accompanying text is wrapped around the images with the pages taking on the colour of the artwork they feature.
There’s so many titles listed within this book, it’s hard to know where to start. Some are more familiar to fans than others, such as Maniac, Zombie, The Big Bird Cage and Cannibal Holocaust, whilst plenty of uncommon titles litter the pages. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of Truck Stop Women, The Hard Ride or Kiss of the Tarantula, but thanks to this book, now I have. Like uncovering a treasure trove, the book is chock full of gems just waiting to be discovered by the reader. Granted, not all of them might be any good, as opinion can be subjective, but there’s plenty that will surely appeal to exploitation fans even if purely just off their poster art.
With a witty, biographical foreword from Combat Shock writer/director Buddy Giovinazzo and an A-Z overview of the exploitation subgenres at the beginning of the book, THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO EXPLOITATION MOVIES is an absolute must-read for sleaze fans. With its index at the back, it’s handy to use as reference book but, ultimately, you’ll find yourself unable to put this book down as it invites you into a lurid world where sex-fuelled, gore-filled B-movies thrive.