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ThelmaTodd

VINTAGE EXPOITATION FILMS-DISCUSSION

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*This is probably the best known exploitation film. It was known as Reefer Madness (1936) aka The Burning Question aka Tell Your Children*

 

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The poster variations on this film are many. The ones I have provided don't even count those created after the rediscovery of the film in 1971!

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*Sex Madness (1938) aka They Must Be Told! aka Human Wreckage*

 

sexmadness.jpg

 

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sexmandess3.jpg

 

 

*"You'll clap at this one"* was a copywriter's tongue in cheek pun.

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Years ago, back in the mid to late 1960s, I had some young friends who got messed up on dope, starting with reefers.

 

Seems that it makes some people crazy, but while they're crazy, they don't realize they are crazy.

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Hi Fred,

 

 

I think that few of the people who flocked to these reefer films in the 30's did the stuff. They were most likely looking for sensationalism and titillation- spurred on by the suggestive poster art I have put up here today.

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Thanks Casablancalover!

 

I am pleased with the response so far! Besides just pictures and discussion, I think it an added benefit that the films themselves can be viewed, gathered together in one convenient place.

 

These films are a revealing reflection of ourselves as a nation. They indicate to us that there always were social problems in this country. (The 50's films I have posted show another side to the decade than just the "*Ozzie and Harriet*" myth) Some of these issues could only be dealt with at one time under the pretense of the film serving an "educational" purpose. The fact that the public flocked to these films to be titillated rather than "educated" shows how conflicted we are about vice.

 

One very common feature of the early "exploitation" film was what is called the "*square up*"; a text message at the beginning of the film telling us that the purpose of the film is to raise public awareness and to warn the rest of us against participating in the kind of activities about to be presented. There was usually a message at the end of the film as well reiterating these warnings. The "square up" was a necessary device at one time, when city govts and local bluenoses could get the showing of films censored or even banned outright. Even with such a disclaimer, the producers and exhibitors of such fare were always on shaky legal ground, as local communities could apply obscenity and indecency laws broadly, unguided by any federal or Supreme Court rulings. (The nation's top court didn't seriously address the obscenity issue until the 1960's) For these small operators, the number one priority, besides trying to make money, was just staying out of jail! What they were doing was quasi-legal; it was good business, albeit a risky one.

 

More to come this weekend! This genre is rich in titles produced. The internet and youtube in particular is a changing landscape, and it is a very safe bet that more of these films will become available with time. I am setting up google email alerts in order to be notified if certain titles get posted!

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The poster art variation to some of these early films, especially the ones that dealt with pot are amazing. The fact that the producers could hire graphic artists and ad people to create so many of them tells me that business had to be good. Here is one for *The Assassin Of Youth (1937)*

 

*assassinofyouthx.jpg*

 

This film is viewable in *Filmography*

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Here is another anti-pot film made in 1942, *The Devil's Harvest*. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to find a complete upload of the film. Two or three minute segments are available, but so far I have avoided posting such brief segments in the *Filmography,* preferring to offer complete films. (I can be pursuaded to include such if enough readers express sufficient interest. A great many of the classic exploitation films are available on the internet in only brief clips) Quality of presentation is an important issue with me and my standards tend to be high. Nothing is too good for my readers!

 

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devilsharvest4.jpg

 

 

 

Should this film become available in it's entirety, I will certainly post it.

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