2010 / Director. Mark Hartly.
Machete Maidens Unleashed is Mark Hartly's follow up to Not Quite Hollywood and examines the exploitation boom of the Filipino film industry in the 70s. The doco focuses most of it's attention on Roger Corman who took most of his productions to the Philippines during this era to exploit the cheap labor. This place allowed American filmmakers to produce big films for little money. The term "big" is used lightly because most of the films to come from this boom were almost unwatchable. "Blood, Breasts & Beasts" were the 3 Bs that all of these movies focused on and so long as there was some kind of catchy title, the drive-in audiences back in America (and Australia) lapped them up. Machete Maidens Unleashed features notable cult figures such as Roger Corman, Joe Dante, John Landis, Sig Haig, Pam Grier and others and I can't imagine the doco's appeal stretching far beyond cultish film geeks like myself. Even still, it failed to capture my excitement. Lacking is the enthusiasm that made Not Quite Hollywood so wonderful. NQH was full of nostalgic recollection and fondness whereas Machete Maidens is backed with negative recollections and stories of the locals being exploited. The Ozploitation explosion featured in NQH was about brazen creative endeavors but the Filipino trend was little more than a shameful money making venture. Don't get me wrong because there was some wonderfully bad movies to came from it, but the personalities sharing their thoughts in this film are not as romantic about it as were in NQH. John Landis is as animated as usual, in his wonderful cynical way but he doesn't heap praise... but rather asks "what the fuck were they thinking!?"