Dynamite Baby, Grindhouse Dynamite!

Written By: Terri Pressley

Grindhouse is an American term for a theater that mainly shows exploitation films. Named after the defunct burlesque theaters located on 42nd Street in New York City where 'bump n' grind' or striptease was featured.

Grindhouse films characteristically contain large amounts of sex, violence or bizarre subject matter. One genre of film featured were "roughies" or sexploitation, a mix of sex, violence and sadism. Quality varied, but low budget production values and poor print quality were common. Critical opinions varied regarding typical grindhouse fare, but many films acquired cult following and critical praise. Double, triple, and "all night" bills on a single admission charge often encouraged patrons to spend a long time in the theater. The environment was faithfully captured at the time by the magazine ‘Sleazoid Express’.

By the 1980s, home video and cable threatened to make grindhouse obsolete. By the end of the decade, these theaters had vanished from Los Angeles's Broadway and Hollywood Boulevard, New York City's Times Square and San Francisco's Market Street. By the mid-1990s, these particular theaters had all but disappeared from the United States and very few are in existence today.

The Robert Rodriguez film, ‘Planet Terror’ and the Quentin Tarantino film ‘Death Proof’, which were released together as Grindhouse, were created as homage to the genre. Similar films such as ‘Machete’ (also by Rodriguez) and ‘Drive Angry’ have appeared since. The video games ‘House of the Dead: Overkill’, ‘Wet and Shadows of the Damned’ serve as homages to grindhouse horror movies. The author Jacques Boyreau released the book ‘Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box’ in 2009 about the history of the genre. The genre is also the focus of the 2010 documentary ‘American Grindhouse’ directed and produced by Elijah Drenner. The film made its world premiere at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas on March 13, 2010.

See more about  HOT women locked away on an island of sex and torture at: Dynamite Baby, Grindhouse Dynamite!

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