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A profile of the aesthetics and violence of 30 years of exploitation cinema... with all that that implies. Enjoy!

Video Information:
Music: Night on Bare Mountain by Bob James
Source: Multi (female revenge exploitation films)
Length: 3 mins 16
Download: Best Quality Divx avi (34mb)
Low Quality RealVideo9 (14mb)


Matsu aka "Scorpion"
Scorpion was betrayed by her policeman boyfriend who used her in a bust, allowing her to be gang raped. Before she can take her revenge, the cop has her imprisoned but she becomes more determined than ever to escape and have her revenge on her attackers, captors and the corrupt ex-boyfriend.

The character of "Scorpion" is featured here using the films "Female Convict 701: Scorpion" and "Female Convict Scorpion: Jail house 41". She is played by Meiko Kaji who also sings the theme songs in the two movies featured here (available on the Kill Bill soundtracks).

"Lady Snowblood"
Lady Snowblood was born for vengeance. Her mother, attempting to seek revenge for her rape and the murder of her husband, was caught killing one of her enemies and given life imprisonment. Unable to continue, she slept with prison guards until she had a child who could complete the act of vengeance. The mother died giving birth to Snowblood who is trained by a priest ready for her life of revenge.

The character of Lady Snowblood is also played by Meiko Kaji, using the film of the same name.

Coffy is a nurse whose younger sister gets involved in drugs and is severely injured by contaminated heroin. She sets out on a mission of vengeance and vigilante justice, killing drug dealers, pimps, and mobsters who cross her path.

The character of Coffy is played by Pam Grier using the film of the same name.

"Foxy Brown"
Foxy Brown seeks revenge when her government agent boyfriend Michael is shot down by gangsters but ends up the in cruel abusive captivity of the druggie gangsters before she can get her final revenge.

The character of Coffy is also played by Pam Grier using the film of the same name.

Frigga aka "One Eye"
Having never spoken a word since her rape as a child, Frigga is lost and fragile in a cruel world. Date-raped and drugged, Frigga is forced to be a whore by a man who kills her remaining family and takes her eye but unknown to him Frigga is training herself for bloody revenge.

The character of "One Eye" is featured in the movie "Thriller - en grym film" and is played by the actress Christina Lindberg.

Thana aka "Ms .45"
Shy mute seamstress Thana seeks revenge against all men after being attacked and raped twice in one day. She takes to the streets and Halloween parties of New York to hunt these sexual predators with her .45 calibre gun.

The character of "Ms 45" is played by Zoë Lund, from the film with the same name.

Beatrix aka "The Bride"
Female assassin, Beatrix, is attacked on her wedding day and left for dead by her ex-boss ex-lover Bill. She wakes up four years later from a coma and seeks revenge against him and his team of murderous assassins.

The character of The Bride is played by Uma Thurman, from the films Kill Bill (volumes 1 and 2).

Editing Notes:

Being an ultimately shallow video, the editing criteria was simple. Edit the three stages of revenge (abuse, training, bloody revenge), comparing and contrasting the different characters in terms of theme, style and movement. Structure became quite a difficult issue in the video. The first draft of the video was much more narrative-based, which went fairly deep into the stories of the characters. This was far too distracting so instead the characters are introduced in a very 2d way, labelled like comic book characters and given only brief insight into their backstory. This approach was much more suited to this kind of video. Once that was done the editing was mostly simple although some audio editing was required (the track is about half the size of the original recording). One thing I was going to add to the video but didn't was to have a composite end shot of all the revengers in one frame. I decided that I'd already created a strong impression of unity through the comparisons and split-screens and didn't need that extra step. I also just couldn't be bothered because I knew it would be a day's work.


This video was part of the Vividcon 2005 Premieres show and was received pretty well. The version shown at vividcon (and present on the vividcon dvds) was, due to my own foolish error, out of synch but that didn't seem to affect the reception much. As expected, there was a reaction to the content - exploitation films, particularly rape-revenge ones, are pretty offensive a lot of the time and while this is not intended as an agreement with the exploitative ways of the films a conscious decision was made to not make excuses for it and to leave it as it is. So, as a result, any reaction to the content (and cultural context) is justified and expected.

All in all I enjoyed making the video. There was a lot of great footage to use (almost too much!) and getting a chance to do something retro again is always something I relish in. I think I've probably had my fill of revenge videos for a while though :)



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2005 11:34 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry about the synch issue. I did the very same thing with one of my CV vids - uploaded the wrong file - but lucky for me, Naomi is more observant than I am, and caught it. Argh, this is the down side of getting the DVDs at the con! My sincere apologies for letting this get past me, and sympathies. No matter how hard I try to make everything perfect, entropy wins! I hate that. *g*
Aug. 24th, 2005 11:37 am (UTC)
It was always going to be a tricky one because it starts out in synch and then drifts - so it's only majorly noticable at the end. Then of course you have the problem of "Is it out of synch or is it just sloppy editing" :)
Aug. 24th, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC)
I remember now the other thing I wanted to say about this vid, which ultimately is about the movies more than the vid itself. I find it interesting that the traditional exploitation films have the heroines fighting mostly men, especially men that have done them wrong, and Kill Bill uses mostly women (albeit controlled by a man) as the people Beatrix fights against. I wonder if it makes it somehow more palatable to modern audiences? I'm not sure.

I also am wondering now if the trick of not knowing the Bride's name until late into the second film (?) is meant to mirror the mute heroines in a couple of the above films. All very interesting stuff.
Aug. 24th, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC)
Interesting idea. Not knowing the bride's name until the 2nd film has (I'm guesing) same purpose as why I labelled all of the characters with all these comic book names in the vid. It makes it unrealistic - should I have emphasised the fact that these were all real women then I think the video would have been insufferable. In Kil Bill 1 she is a comic book character - almost entirely 2d. The second movie adds that well-needed extra dimension in oh so many ways.

The mute idea is interesting - in the older exploitation flicks it is mostly horrendous: the women should have no voice so they have their voice removed. The two Japanese films also have characters that don't say much at all - they just stare venemously (Kill Bill 2 makes reference to this). The only woman who really does any talking is Pam Grier in her two movies but that's because it's a Blaxploitation movie and attitude is paramount. She still has to crawl deep into the seedy world that she despises before she can have any revenge and even then, as with all these movies, it can never overcome the fact that the audience have come to see her tits.
Aug. 25th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
I thought this was very successful. Not having grown-up when the majority of these were being released, I don't really take the content seriously. It's very cartoon to me, just like Kill Bill. I can understand why some people are really put off by the content, but I don't share the reaction.

Technically it's flawless. You're covering so much ground, but your organization and presentation of the storylines in groups (at first) really makes the content accessible to those of us that have never seen the movies. I really enjoyed the pop-art still sections--loved the switch to flatness and the coloring and style you chose. It was the extra punch that really sold the comic-book like labels and split screens.

Great stuff. Always look forward to seeing more of your work. :]
Aug. 30th, 2005 12:43 am (UTC)
This was a wonderful vid, I loved how you matched up so many of the themes and movements between the characters. So similar, so different, and yet not really.
Sep. 7th, 2005 01:33 am (UTC)
This was really excellent. Truthfully, I've never given much thought to "exploitation cinema," even when the Kill Bill movies came out, but the vid is powerful, and definitely makes me curious to find out more. Thanks for noting the characters and the movies in this entry -- I'm memory-ing it for later.
(Deleted comment)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )