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Here’s who did it first: Japanese Exploitation Cinema

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion

Unpopular opinion. For many reasons, when a guy (usually a guy) tells me his favorite director is Tarantino, it’s a red flag. Not that I haven’t enjoyed a few of his films since I was a teenager. I even thought some of them were kinda brilliant. But his brilliance lies in knowing how to dismember classic grindhouse/exploitation cinema and make a frankenmovie out of all the sexy, gory parts. It’s not in inventing a completely new monster that’s never been seen before. It’s in getting Hollywood to fund and make blockbusters out of what would otherwise not be shown in American theatres. He knows just how to maneuver through the system because he resembles it.

For example, movies like Kill Bill and Kill Bill 2 — one of his movies I thoroughly enjoyed — owes much of its content to the Japanese “Pinky Violence” genre — defined as “sexed up, bad girl action films” mainly produced by Toei studios from the late 60s to the late 70s. Films like LADY SNOWBLOOD, STRAY CAT ROCK: DELINQUENT GIRL BOSS, and FEMALE PRISONER #701: SCORPION were Kill Bill when Tarantino was in elementary school.

I know his fans give him accolades for his homage to these kinds of movies, since it demonstrates his “expertise” in the grindhouse genre, and that he also acknowledges he’s influenced by a lot of other people’s movies. What’s interesting to me is how much praise and how many awards he gets for rehashing scenes and characters and editing styles. He is amply rewarded for taking other people’s ideas and putting his name on them — kinda like the Vatican, every European museum, and way too many patent holders. Does he really deserve it, and does he really deserve the dogmatic worship? Watch these films from GATA Magazine’s The GATA Guide To Japanese Exploitation Cinema and let me know what you think!

Brought up on the Japanese exploitation cinema of the 1970s, film makers such as Quentin Tarantino owe a huge amount to these hyper violent and sexually charged gore features. Almost every other scene in the film Kill Bill owes its visual style and aesthetic to this lineage of films birthed out of the twisted minds of the people working at Tohei Company and Nikkatsu.
Lady Snowblood
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter
Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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