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"Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!"


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Table of Contents

Introduction: "As Long as It Was in Bad Taste!"

"An Attempt to 'Commercialize Vice'": Origins of the Exploitation Film

"A Hodge-Podge of Cuttings and Splicings": The Mode of Production and the Style of Classical Exploitation Films

"You Gotta Tell 'Em to Sell 'Em": Distribution, Advertising, and Exhibition of Exploitation Films

"Thoroughly Vile and Disgusting": The Exploitation Film and Censorship
"No False Modesty, No Old-Fashioned Taboos": The Sex Hygiene Film

"The Monster That Caters to Thrill-Hungry Youth": The Drug Film
"Timely as Today's Front Page": Vice, Exotic, and Atrocity Films

"They Wear No Clothes!": Nudist and Burlesque Films

Conclusion: The End of Classical Exploitation

Appendix 1 - Major Exploitation Producers/Distributors and Their
Company Names

Appendix 2 - Filmography

Appendix 3 - Video Sources

Promotional Information

A social and cultural history of exploitation films

About the Author

Eric Schaefer is Assistant Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College in Boston.


" ... what Schaefer proposes here is nothing less than "a history of American attitudes about pleasure and desire"... Extensively footnoted, with three appendices, and a 14-page bibliography ... Schaefer reads exploitation as a "cinema of attractions", sensationally exhibitionist rather than narrative driven." Times Higher Educational Supplement, 30 June, 2000 "The one thing lacking in this staggeringly comprehensive study is a sense of how audiences at the time responded to adult-only shockers ... Did they take their paper-thin moralising seriously or howl at the film-making incompetence as midnight cultists do now? ... Schaefer perhaps lends the subject more gravitas than it can bear ... He's on surer ground in arguing its necessity to Hollywood as a kind of accursed Other -- the barrel-scraping fodder by which the mainstream industry propped up its legitimacy." Sight and Sound, August 2000 " ... [a] singular (and highly instructive) achievement... This is an important book, not merely as a study in a forgotten realm of film history but as a well-grounded social history, too." -- Richard Schickel, Los Angeles Times, September 19, 1999 "Deploying numerous film stills and reproductions of promotional material, Schaefer adroitly maps out the lurid, carnivalesque excesses that the studio system shoved to the margins in an effort to legitimate the movies as a new entertainment medium."--Publishers Weekly "The exploitation film has enjoyed a cult following as 'turkey cinema', 'trash', midnight movie camp, psychotronic cinema, and the object of ridicule on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Yet Schaefer's book shows us that it must be central to any understanding of the way Hollywood cinema operates. This groundbreaking work will open up an entirely new field of film history."--Henry Jenkins, author of Science Fiction Audiences: Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek "An astonishing scholarly achievement, one of the most impressive books I've read in a decade. Schaefer's research is broad and profound. This is not only the reference work on the subject; it is a model of elegant argument."-Matthew Bernstein, author of Walter Wanger, Hollywood Independent "When I was in the business I billed myself as 'The Expert Exponent of Exploitation.' I hereby bestow that shibboleth to the genuine, absolute, factual Expert Exponent, Eric Schaefer. Nothing more need ever be told about this subject."--David F. Friedman, who was there when a lot of it happened, producer of 'Daughter of the Sun', 'Blood Feast', and other exploitation classics "Anyone who thinks he's an expert on cult movies is delusional, unless he's read Eric Schaefer's remarkable volume Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! ... researched with astonishing thoroughness, Schaefer's book ... [is] an insightful social history that examines the evolution of American attitudes about censorship." Playboy

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