Writer: Mark Hartley
Composer: Jamie Blanks
Starring: Roger Corman, Joe Dante, R. Lee Ermey, Vic Diaz, Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Jack Hill, Gloria Hendry, John Landis, Marrie Lee, Dick Miller, Christopher Mitchum, Eddie Nicart, Eddie Romero, Brian Trenchard-Smith
More info: IMDb
Tagline: During the 1970s in the Philippines everybody wanted a piece of the ACTION!
Plot: Karate-kicking midgets! Paper-mache monsters! Busty babes with blades! Filipino genre films of the '70s and '80s had it all. Boasting cheap labour, exotic scenery and non-existent health and safety regulations, the Philippines was a dreamland for exploitation filmmakers whose renegade productions were soon engulfing drive-in screens around the globe like a tidal schlock-wave! At last, the all-too-often overlooked world of drive-in filler from Manila gets the Mark Hartley (NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD) treatment in Machete Maidens Unleashed! This is the ultimate insiders' account of a faraway backlot where stunt men came cheap, plot was obsolete and the make-up guy was packing heat! Machete Maidens Unleashed! features interviews with cult movie icons Roger Corman, Joe Dante, John Landis, Sid Haig, Eddie Romero and a large assembly of cast, crew and critics, each with a jaw-dropping story to tell about filmmaking with no budget, no scruples, no boundaries and - more often than not - no clothes. Strap yourselves in - and join us for a non-stop Filipino femme-fest, all the way from the jungles of the Pacific via the trash cans of the critics!
My rating: 8/10
Will I watch it again? Yes.
If you've seen NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF OZPLOITATION! (2008) from the same director then you know what you're in for. It's a blast. If you haven't then you're missing out on one hell of a fun documentary on movie making. This one follows a similar route but with the film industry in the Philippines in the 1970s where scores of (mostly) American films were made on the cheap and with the full cooperation of the government. As per usual there are lots of interviews, wild anecdotes and laughs. I'll watch anything that has Joe Dante, John Landis or Roger Corman in it talking about making movies, especially when it's from the 70s where everyone was trying to make the wildest pictures out there. The best part, albeit brief, is when the film focuses on the amazing Weng Weng of FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY (1981) fame. There's a recent documentary out there on him and I must see it soon or I'll explode! This is a blast and a half spending 84 minutes with these folks and on this subject that has brought us countless hours of entertainment. I look forward to seeing what Hartley's cooked up for us next. This is currently on Netflix instant.