Machete Maidens Unleashed DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.5
Video 8.5
Audio 7.0
Special Features 10
Total 9.0
Distributor: Umbrella
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: MA15+

9.0


Machete Maidens Unleashed

The latest outing from director Mark Hartley, Machete Maidens Unleashed follows a similar format to his rapturously received expose of low-budget ‘Ozploitation’ cinema Not Quite Hollywood, only this time around the focus is the oft-overlooked world of drive-in filler produced by the fledgling Filipino film industry throughout the 1970s. 

An increasingly appealing locale to American B-movie directors because of its low costs, lax health and safety regulations and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of cheap, fearless stuntmen, the Philippines formed the backdrop of dozens of drive-in movies produced throughout that decade, the majority of which were exploitation flicks featuring unconvincing monsters or variations on the fetishistic ‘women in prison’ motif. 

Comprising footage from dozens of interviews with the actors, writers, directors and producers who took part in this wild and distinctly lawless chapter in cinematic history, Machete Maidens Unleashed is another triumph for Hartley and a succinct, action-packed encapsulation of an unforgettable era that will never again be replicated.  The film tells of Filipino stuntmen throwing themselves through real windows like they’d seen US stuntmen do, unaware their American counterparts were using panes constructed of sugar, dying as they fell from towers and actually setting themselves on fire for take upon take, leaping into a nearby river whenever the heat became too intense.  Karate kicking midgets, sweltering jungles, papier-mâché monsters, busty gun-toting babes and topless femme fatales were all par for the course, and are captured here in all their fetid glory. 

In addition to a riveting feature the two-disc edition of the film contains some amazing extras, including an audio commentary with Hartley and several crew members, an hour’s worth of additional interview footage, a 64-minute Filipino exploitation trailer reel, test footage, featurettes and the 1976 exploitation feature The Muthers, starring the beautiful, elusive Jeannie Bell, in its entirety.  It’s a comprehensive and hugely enjoyable paean to this age of unbridled B-movie sleaze, where explosions and bare breasts took precedence over plot and where, for a brief few years, absolutely anything could happen.






 
 



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