BBC - Mark Kermode's film blog

« Previous | Main | Next »

Review: Ozploitation

Post categories:

Mark Kermode | 17:30 UK time, Friday, 13 March 2009

The exploitation genre you've been waiting for holds the key to all great cinematic culture.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions


  • Comment number 1.

    I always saw it as an evolution within this area of art, in which a fluke, or mutation, in cinema that inevitably works and gains unprecedented success; influences films later created in tribute to it or under its guide of originality. Nothing too complex really, just the theory of life- but for films.

    And thank you by the way for your latest podcast review on Hotel of Dog, Hotel for Dogs... whatever it was called your review and your stupendous, yet cannily accurate, adaptation of the trailer-style narrator's voice reduced me to tears of laughter.
    ...I will be sure to avoid the film more so than i ever would of done in the past.

  • Comment number 2.

    Oh and in addition to the comment on your last podcast.
    I live meters (literally) from Wakefield prison where the 'Bronson' character does now dwell in the custom cage he is confined within. And i assure you there are some rather extreme myths around here about how he's a cannibal and how the wardens feed him dead prisoners... among many others.
    It is a film i am very much looking forward to seeing yet more out of intrigue than anything...
    I could see even from my very first viewing of the poster that the film would bare resemblances to Chopper. Yet the possible influence or similarity in stylization of certain factors in the film of Clockwork Orange will be very interesting to see.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hmm, has anyone ever told you that you're quite the Adornian, Mark? I love the 'mould' idea, but do you think we actually NEED be so divisive? I've never really liked the high/low culture split, I think it's less cut-and-dry (more unkempt-and-moist). How about Neil Marshall making 'The Descent'? Yes, it's schlocky and scary, but it's also got real characters and real drama. On the flip side, even an awards-magnet like No Country for Old Men owes a huge debt to classic horror for it's shock and gore.

    Maybe instead of a culture being a mould growing on fetid cheese, it's more of an algae in water. In the end they both blend together so you can't really tell the difference (unless you try too hard)

    All the best,


  • Comment number 4.

    Dear Mark,

    I haven't seen 'Marley and Me', but from the description of the plot I heard on Radio 5 today, I was reminded of the Dean Jones-Disney movie 'The Ugly Dachshund'.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Make a low-budget horror movie"
    I fully intend to sir....and I won't hand you a copy to view either.

  • Comment number 6.


    i like your thinking!

    out of curiousity, would anyone say there is a british "mad max"? or similar, cant really think of anything off the top of my head.

  • Comment number 7.

    Suddenly it all makes sense.

    Mark. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (forgive sloppy quoting), is to become the culture minister of our great but somewhat pretentious nation and drag the country's art down into the gutter, where it shall fester and multiply and give forth the rich delicious mold of which you speak.

    High art living on the sweaty surface of sleaze. It's a radical idea, and deserves to be broadcast outside of a webpage vidcast. Champion this idea where'ere you roam, Dr Culture, and ye shall change the landscape of British art. You can do it. You can save the British film industry. It's on you

  • Comment number 8.

    Mark just to let you know

    "I Am Rubbish" was I Am Legend

    "Unwanted" was Wanted.

    "Are we Rotting in Hell" is I think Ice Cube's "Are we there Yet".

  • Comment number 9.

    Speaking of Baz Luhrmann's Australia, I have been meaning to put this link up on here for ages now. Its a video on youtube posted by Adam Buxton from the Adam and Joe radio show. Its his take on Australia. Enjoy! : )

  • Comment number 10.

    I saw Not Quite Hollywood last year I and loved it. It really opened my eyes to the true Australian movie culture. There was also more tits and gore than I've ever seen in a film before. Pretty full-on!
    Coincidentally, a lot of the films shown in the documentary are being re-released on DVD. You know what, they look really good, and I'd rather have a look at Stork or Patrick, rather than Australia. Sometimes the mould is better than the cheese.

  • Comment number 11.

    @ tom for president

    O Lucky Man! ??

    Typically obscure version of a british road movie ;)

  • Comment number 12.

    Well I don't like horror movies and i remember watching this documentary taken fromn a book (raging bull something) explaining that indy directors such as Scorcese, spielberg, Hollywood. So I believe money will be better invested in young indy british directors rather than making horrors/gore movies that a few of us won't go seeing.

  • Comment number 13.


    So sentimentality porn exists and needs to be dealt with, but torture porn is nothing to get worked up over?

    Address this, please.

  • Comment number 14.

    That theory is nicely encapsulated in the career of Kiwi Peter Jackson, who cut his teeth on splatter horror comedy stuff ("Eh"-sploitation?), which I still wouldn't watch in a million years.

    Nonetheless: No Bad Taste = no Lord Of The Rings.

  • Comment number 15.

    and ironically, Bad Taste was a lot better.

  • Comment number 16.

    Bad Taste is the only film I have ever seen that actually made me sick to my stomach whilst watching it! But then again that was probably the intention! Have never chanced watching it again as I was ill for ages afterward. They should quote me on the dvd cover! : )

  • Comment number 17.

    Although Not Quite Hollywood looks interesting I'm slightly put off by having Quentin Tarantino yet again having to stick his big chin into anything cult film related.

  • Comment number 18.

    It could be argued that Kubrick spent a lot of his time making 'trashy' movies. The problem is that the exploitation genre tends to attract (or is a result of) film-makers with mediocre skills. We need a few more 'Neil Marshall's' who can do these movies with a bit of flair.

  • Comment number 19.

    well i suppose this theory stands especially when you look at the careers of great directors like coppola and scorsese who learnt their craft under roger corman

  • Comment number 20.

    Your talk of getting into film-making through horror makes me wonder if the good Doctor has ever considered putting down his critical pen and picking up a camera. If so, are the horrifying results available anywhere for viewing?

  • Comment number 21.

    Mark, I am sorry, no.

    It's like saying: if you want to be a chef, learn to make hamburgers, go to work in a McDonalds' for a year.
    Or: before making the movie you really want to make, try making a movie like "Marley and me".

    I believe that very simply there are different audiences for different films and that all forms of higher art need some sort of outside help to exist because the big majority of people prefer the junk food variety of art.This has been so in history and will always be so.
    We wouldn't have the Sistine Chapel without the funding of a single pope who thought it worthwile to pay for it. And the fact that the majority of people prefer junk food doesn't mean that we all do.

    Also experience tells us that after one generation of hamburgers people have no idea about quality in food any more.

    And, by the way, I hated Slumdog Millionaire, I think it's dickensian manichean pseudo neorealism with a magic fairy tale stuck on top with sello tape.
    This film promotes the idea that the only possibility of emancipation from misery for a human being is through winning money in a lottery (for this is what the game show adds up to in the end when he gives the last answer without knowing it), not through improvement or work or true relationships with others.
    And only when he becomes a millionaire does he get the girl (who throughout the film only goes with the strongest/richest: what a role model!).
    What happens in real life is what you see in "Frozen River", where the father has taken all the money the family has saved for a new home to go and gamble in Atlantic City (thus running after the dream of "sudden luck through magic thinking" that Slumdog Millionaire promotes).
    In Frozen River there are no born-goodies and born-baddies: a hard life leads people to be hard and cinical, but it is still possible to be human and to care for each other, even if you are poor. The purpose of life is not becoming rich (ergo happy), but becoming human and generous (ergo happy).
    Of course you will say that nobody wants to see films like Frozen River, whereas everybody runs to be lobotomised by feel-good-magic-thinking-movies like Slumdog Millionaire.
    But I still prefer a good restaurant to McDonalds, even if McDonalds makes more money.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.