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Machete Maidens Unleashed movie poster 



Machete Maidens Unleashed

"This is the wild, untold story of the Filipino Exploitation Explosion"
. . . and my case against Grindhouse

(18 Aug 2010)  Writer/Director: Mark Hartley

For those of you who really believe these movies are harmless, the following quote is true, and it would be fine, if that's all it was, but it isn't:

PETE TOMBS "The 'Blood Island' series were really just American drive-in movies with a bit of Action, suggesting a bit of sex, some horror happening somewhere, a weird rubber-faced monster comin' at you.  . . . They went in the car with a girlfriend to make out, and every now and then they'd hear a scream, and they'd look up, and they'd see something kind of lurid happening, and they'd go back to their snogging, and I think that's how those movies were structured."

Putting Up not Putting Out
Tropicaire Drive-In on Bird Road Westchester Miami in the 1970sWhen I turned 17 in December of 1976, the first of these movies I saw was a Russ Meyer double feature "Up!" (1976) and "Vixen" (1968) at my local drive-in (pictured at right). (Shout out to my neighborhood: Westchester! and yes, the theatre is gone now.) It was a rite of passage just to see something Rated "R". I remember that the guy who took me to see them just hoped they'd turn me on (as they did him), and kept trying to make out with me. Men are stupid that way (his nickname was "Meathead"). These movies only made me feel slimed.

My objections to the content of Machete Maiden Unleashed's (MMU) preview, and my gut reaction against the inclusion of this film at Actionfest 2011 were made before I watched the film. That's something you really shouldn't do. One really can't say (doesn't have the right to say) without seeing the whole thing, but after seeing it, I knew I didn't need to see it: I lived it, and could have made all the points I needed to without it, but as it was included at ActionFest, it really gave me a jolt because up until then, I guess I always thought Action Movies were about heroes. And heroes don't exploit, degrade, or debase women. I was incredibly disappointed (the timing coincided with "Machete" being honored at ActionFest for, thankfully, stuntwork and not as a movie; and it marked a seeming increase in the popularity of "Grindhouse" films) that this trend might become a part of my beloved genre. Not on my watch!

Of course, after I opened my big mouth (didn't think anyone was reading!) and spoke out against it on the website, I then had to watch it at the festival. I was prepared to leave the theater if I felt uncomfortable, like watching a sex scene with your parents, or worse, sitting next to some creep in the audience who was getting turned on. Thankfully, ActionFest is not that kind of crowd. I think the men who asked me, afterward, what I thought of it, thought that I would change my mind and like it and think it was okay, but surprise, surprise, it only served to reinforce my initial "ew no" reaction, and gave me the words to say— more effectively than I could have even hoped—what is wrong with the kind of films this film covers.

I have nothing against nudity per se but it has to be equal. Men should be naked too, no double standard.  If the tables were turned, the men might understand why women don't like it. Stay tuned, because your day is coming. Love that Denis Leary line "I think you hear [us] knocking, and I think [we're] coming in." Someday, women will make these kinds of movies about men, just as a PAYBACK.

Before I began writing this (back in 2011), I read every MMU review I could find and cataloged them (links at the bottom) (if there are more recent reviews I have not read them). I suspected, and was proven correct, that most of the reviews were done BY MEN.  What is obvious in these reviews is that this movie is seen as not a merely documentary of "cheap and edgy genre fare" but a celebration. And yes, there is something wrong with that as well, but I am simply going to quote the movie in bold and let the movie say it all (and contradict itself), and I will comment below the quotes (or [in brackets] within the quote itself). 

By Men, For Men
JON DAVISON "Human life was cheap. Film was cheap. It was a great place to make a picture."  [The humor about the novelty and the conditions in the making of these movies is not lost on me. It does appear to be lost on men, however, that this stuff is FOR men.  Men are too often guilty of thinking of "everyone" as including women when it's really only the guys, for example . . ]

ROGER CORMAN "We were giving the [MALE] audience what they wanted to see."  "We did not have stars, so we had to exploit the subject matter [WOMEN]; and I fully accept the statement we were making exploitation films."  

Machete Maidens Unleashed BarbarizedJOHN LANDIS [more correctly says they created what the [MALE] audience wanted to see:] "Exploitation is really about ballyhoo; it's about marketing. So, in exploitation films, if you're selling sex . . . it's 'the girls with the biggest breasts, and the most beautiful teeth, and the most luscious thighs, and you can have them, if you come to this theatre' you know, I mean, that's what they're saying."  It more or less sums up the entire MMU movie when Landis says: "Never before have you seen material so ripe for masturbation!";  [FOR MEN.  While Landis is saying these are "tits-and-ass movies", the word "BARBARIZED!" is show on the screen while a soldier pokes a stick at women in a bamboo cage.  Yeah, we women are neither interested, nor turned on.] 

MARK HOLCOMB "The MPAA, the ratings board, didn't see these films. They could care less, so, little kids were going to see monsters raping women staked to poles."  [This resonated with my objections to the initial selection of ActionFest 2011 "Powder Keg" films (shown in the VIP Lounge) as the lounge screen is visible from the lobby by every child coming to see other movies being shown during the festival.  Thankfully, they ended up not showing, except one movie, which I had to misfortune to be in the lounge at the time of showing and both I and the male friend next to me looked away in embarrassment at one 'awkward' scene. At least I wasn't the only one uncomfortable.).

Sadly, there's no consideration that impressible young boys who have their first sexual feelings by being turned on by something barbaricly harmful to women, might want to recreate that in real life, like Ted Bundy warned.

Believe it or not, all these images are just from the trailer for MMU:

JOHN LANDIS "Everyone's affection [MEN'S affection not "everyone's"] for those movies  is based on tolerance. [That's putting a positive spin on it.]

JOE DANTE "In fact, if you look, from today's perspective, at 1970s exploitation pictures, they look like they're made on another planet. The basic elements of them are things that you couldn't put in movies today and get away with. And these pictures always played drive-ins where huge screens can be seen for miles around by cars driving back and forth, and the images in these pictures are astonishing." [If Joe Dante thinks so . . . ]

JUDY BROWN "The New World Company built their success on the exploitation of women."
ANDREA CAGAN "Women in cages, and in boxes, and confined . . ."

JOE HILL  "You're gonna have T & A and then a little torture."
[Because that is what turns MEN on?! (the Torture of Women)] 

DANNY PERRY then says "I just imagine the screenwriters saying Okay I've gone three pages and nobody's [he means no WOMEN] been tortured, let me just write that in: 'Strip. Torture.'" and he chuckles. What if we were talking bout men being treated this way? Would it be so funny?

JANE SCHAFER "All these girls were ready to take on new experiences, they wanted to get their careers going, and they wanted to be up on the screen, and if it involved cobras, okay."  [Thank you Ms. No Standards.]

JOE DANTE "There were no big stars who came out of those pictures and went on to huge movies, that wasn't the case." [They insert PAM GRIER saying "No shit!"  WELL I WONDER WHY!?! I know why:  Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?]

Spilt Milk
The affection and humor this documentary treats these films with is as MALE-centric as the movies themselves were. I am not buying that these "new experiences" would get the actresses' careers going. (Of course they didn't, and these men didn't buy it either, even if they were trying to sell it.) Actresses today could help their careers by realizing that once you show your tits, men are onto the next pair. 

And you are not empowering a woman by giving her a gun if she has to be objectified to use it (fully covered in what I wrote about Sucker Punch) with the possible exception of Pam Grier, who is a force to be reckoned with in all her movies, and retains her dignity somehow no matter what.  MMU is full of the lies men wrap around degrading and debasing women. The stupidest thing is the idea that these exploitation movies are 'liberating' for women. Those are just the words of a man coming out of a brainwashed (stupid) woman to alleviate his guilt, and her nagging suspicion that she was duped. 

ALAN ARKUSH "Who you could talk into going . . .
JOE DANTE . . . that was the trick."

JOE DANTE  "There was always a rumor that there was one girl who didn't come back."
ALAN ARKUSH  [laughs!]
[They laugh! Yes, it's so funny to accept an acting job where you might be exploited then killed.  So sexy!  Seems fitting to quote Paris Hilton "That's hot!"  (my reaction is like Jim Carrey reacting to the courtroom testimony in Liar Liar where he's drinking the water and then stops suddenly to scream "OH COME ON!")]

Profits . . .. at what price?

ROGER CORMAN [on The Big Doll House:] "I didn't like the film. [ ! ] I thought it had gone a little bit too far with the sex and the violence [Roger Corman thinks it's gone too far?! ˇImaginate!]. The film cost about $100,000, and grossed something like $4,000,000. When I saw the grosses I have to admit, my scruples faded away. I said, let's make another one!"
[The fact that he had scruples says a lot about him not liking the movie.]

MOVIE PROMO "Women in Cages: The sensational new motion picture that rips the veil off the dirtiest racquet ever conceived by the minds of vicious men." 

I wonder if Roger Corman has ever considered that the proliferation of these pictures may be a huge contributing factor in the ensuing epidemic of violence against women

Ted Bundy seemed to think so, and spoke out against  pornography (and these kinds of movies) the day before he died as a warning (while has gone largely igorned).

STEVE CARVER "A lot of the pictures had no, really, redeeming factors as far as the stories was concerned. They were very bizarre to say the least."

Men getting off on violence against naked women is not a good thing just because men enjoy seeing it.  Would they enjoy it if the tables were turned? Probably. Stupid question. Wish I could laugh.

Women Leads . . . again, at what price?
ROGER CORMAN  "One of the things that made these films noteworthy was the fact that very few people were making films with women leads."

BARBARA POKRAS  "Roger treated women in film, really, as heroes, and that was a departure."

DANNY PERRY  "Moviegoers were not used to seeing women doing Action, at all. "

JOE DANTE  "And even if they're little mousy girls at the beginning, by the end they're toting two machine guns and shooting down scads of guys." . . . "You not only had a female heroine, but you also had a female being abused." [He laughs]. Interjection:  UNBELIEVABLE HOW OBLIVIOUS HE IS TO THE FACT THAT THE FEMALE HEROINES ARE NAKED OR NEARLY NAKED. "So you got both sides of the coin and you appealed to the male audience, and you appealed to [he makes a skeptical smirk/chuckle] and any dates they may have had to bring, which I suspect were not many."  [Ya think?]

JOHN LANDIS "There are a lot of filmmakers who are responsible filmmakers, but sometimes what's fun are the   irresponsible filmmakers, who later, say, 'Well, of course, I was doing this . . . '" So he admits he knows that's it's irresponsible to do this. I wonder what he thinks the real-life consequences are?

ROGER CORMAN  "They were about women who were abused at the beginning, but then, taking over and having revenge." [AGAIN, UNBELIVEABLE HOW A MAN DOESN'T SEE THAT THE FACT WE HAVE TO BE ABUSED IN ORDER TO BE HEROES IS APPEALING ONLY TO MALE AUDIENCES.]

BARBARA POKRAS  "I think that was very helpful, overall, in terms of women establishing themselves on the screen as powerful figures, [in bikinis with guns] and being empowered as women." 

THIS IS THE IMAGE THEY SHOW . . . This is NOT empowerment for WOMEN, this is empowerment for OBJECTS. There IS a difference.


'Feminism' [Hah!]
ANDREA CAGAN  "Women really related to that, and began to love us as heroes."
I saw them in context at that time, and I don't know any women who loved them.  At best, we tolerated watching them to be with the dumb jerk who degraded us by taking us to see them. Women did NOT relate to them as heroes, they related to them as victims.  I had no interest in these movies. When I watch, them my repeated thought is "this stuff is just for men". 

I think it says it all that women have not embraced these films with any affection today.  They're, thankfully, a thing of the past.  I believe strongly that these movies contributed to violence against women in every form from domestic violence to serial killers. It totally depicted them as things.

And let John Landis interject REALITY with the male point of view.
JOHN LANDIS You hear people talking about the crassest, most exploitive, sexist, racist films, as liberating, and intelligent, and I'm thinking 'What are they smok-, I mean, you know, what?!"

[And then this clip, which could be the most damaging line ever, suggesting women like sex no matter what. It also suggests that women who like sex can't be raped as if there is nobody they would object to having sex with. It's just ridiculous.  What it is, is an excuse for men to rape, giving stupid men watching the idea that there are women you can't be raped.] "You can't rape me. I like sex." 

ANDREA CAGAN  "Feminism and women taking their power was worldwide at that time, so taking off our tops was kind of a powerful thing to do."  ["Kind of" She's still not sure because IT'S NOT!!!!]  

And now these ringing endorsements (<- sarcasm, in case you missed that):

MARGARET MARKOV  "It was, to a certain extent, liberating.

LENORE KASDORF  "Look, I can do this, and I can still be an actress, and I can still be [quote marks and rolls her eyes] respectable." [See, she doesn't even believe it as she's saying it.]

ANDREA CAGAN  "It's an interesting mixture of feminism, because there we were being exploited in a certain way [in EVERY way], and at the same time we were showing that we were powerful women."
Now I'm rolling my eyes, thankfully, they inject reality with the male point of view again:

JOHN LANDIS  "They took control, but they'll show you their tits."  

LADIES, Let's be clear here. This is MALE garbage! Don't promote nudity as liberating. Until we live in a world where women are safe, it's completely WRONG and irresponsible.

Back to Reality
Thank you John Landis.  Intelligent women know there is no power with nudity.  Men just dismiss you as stupid.  Doesn't matter if you're toting a gun if your tits are jiggling while you do it.  It's plain and simple: one cancels the other out.
If you portray yourself in a sexual way, you lose ALL RESPECT!

And what do they follow this "Feminism" segment up with?  Naked women segment!
JOHN LANDIS [again, telling you what men really think] "I don't buy that Feminist stuff."

And they interject a clip of a topless women covering her breasts saying "What are you talking about? It's a tit shot pure and simple." THE FILM ITSELF IS SAYING THAT THE FEMINIST ANGLE IS CRAP.

ITS ALL BULLSHIT:  GIVE WOMEN 'POWER' but then take it away by objectifying them.

JANE SCHAFER   "Feminism with aggressive women was not going to be palatable in the mass [MALE] market without tits and ass."  It's really sad that she still sees the world as male, sadder still that it's true. BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE. We can make our own market!

If that doesn't say they're stupid, well, just let them say it themselves.

ANDREA CAGAN  "Somehow we had to do that in order to get to the next step.  [Except they already said that none of them did. It didn't work to advance any of their careers.]  I didn't feel bad about it."  [methinks she doth protest too much] "I saw it as a path." To what? Have you ever heard of Andrea Cagan?

JUDY BROWN "Are we not taking this a little too seriously, intellectualizing this?"

And then the film itself once again negates the feminist spin the women are trying to put on it with this clip quote:
"This is not a film about the human condition, this is a film about tits and ass."


Censorship . . . Hardly
The film then goes into the Political theme of some of the movies, but then, no surprise, they totally negate all that as an excuse for more exploitation.

They discuss that filmmakers could get away with more stuff "because nobody's looking". And yet, they don't realize that in commenting on what you could and could not get away with in the Philippines, they ignore that the world was watching this crap.


"Women in Jeopardy" Theme . . . A metaphor for modern life
A man spits at a women who is on the floor, topless. He spits as her and says "Pig! Ready for the butcher."  and a voiceover with men shooting at fleeing women and a woman (assumingly wounded) with cleavage showing, writhing on the jungle floor: "Come, join the woman hunt, set your sites on the tastiest game."

As I watched I could NOT believe I heard this:
EDDIE ROMERO "Pretty basic formulas:  Women being kidnapped, and sold into slavery."
Basic! WAKE UP WORLD!  There are more female sex slaves today than in past eras combined.

And these movies are no small part of the war against women.

EDDIE ROMERO "These are not really the kind of films that I'd been longing to make. They were the films that I had to make considering what the market had to offer; what the market wanted."  [THEY CREATED THAT MARKET!]

Then, someone says he wasn't proud of the films, and pretty much disavowed them later in his career.


"They Don't Need Clothes To Strike A Pose"
JOE DANTE  "As the pictures went on, they became a little more threadbare [pun unintended], and when "Cover Girl Models" rolled around, it was pretty much the mideer? (end) of the period." But what it did have, was it did have was a lot of dresses because they were supposed to be fashion models, and we said, 'They're always over exposed, (and in unison with ALAN ARKUSH) but they're never underdeveloped. Very important."

AND THEN . . . there is a clip from the movie inserted with the voicover:
" . . . If his camera could talk, he's be in jail for statutory rape."



Speaking of statutory rape: This is one of the MANY things that is wrong with the world. Images that come to mind are Ultra music festival with young girls in underwear as clothing or body paint. But then look at Victoria's Secret. Young girls are supposed to aspire to that, but it's no longer something you wear in private. It's okay to wear whatever you want, and it's not an excuse for why you were raped? Really. Keep telling yourself that you are not sending a "fuck me" message when you're half naked. It may take getting raped to make you see the light, but it's wrong.  And it's very dangerous for all women.

"They wanted love, he gave them terror and death."
Just like real life.


Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
They go on to speak about Dir. CIRIO H. SANTIAGO'S movies (he made more than 100), "Firecracker" (1981)"The screen's first erotic kung fu classic" (she's topless) and "Vampire Hookers" (1978), and Producer/Director BOBBY SUAREZ'S "Cleopatra Wong" (1978), "Bionic Boy" (1977), "Dynamite Johnson: The Return of The Bionic Boy" (1979), and "The One-Armed Executioner" (1981).

It hit me that, in as short as the clips were they were showing of these movies, that they reminded me of scenes in other, later, Action Movies, like "Commando" (1985) (garden shootout), "XXX" (2002) (motorcycle on the barn), and "The Condemned' (2007) (helicopter scene).

Winding Down
In the overall 'big picture' about making movies in the Philippines, they cover FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA'S "Apocalypse Now", a circus, and the "Weng Weng" movies, a freak show (a 2' 9" actor Ernesto de la Cruz), and the effect of market saturation, distribution, critical,  and the demise of drive-ins/grindhouses. The unstable political situation in the Philippines ultimately killed filmmaking there.

Looking back, I credit New York Mayor ED KOCH (served 1978-89) with helping put an end to these movies. He sounded off about the growing crime in New York City and did something about it, including cleaning up Times Square where there were many porno  houses. To me, it was a dose of sanity to stop making objectionable movies. Like we came to our senses.

Likening "Jaws" (1975) to a ROGER CORMAN film, they mention "Pirhana" (1978), "Up From The Depths" (1979), and "Humanoids of the Deep" (1980), they make the point that when these movies imitated big hits, they flopped, and says the critics
helped kill them as well.

Female Action Leads
At the end when the credits roll, actress GLORIA HENDRY says "We did have an audience for these movies, which helped the studios go 'Ha-huh, I think I'll have another female Action lead, which is good, very good."  Riiiiggghttt. Like that happened.

Not until now has this even begun to happen with Gina Carano, and with Scarlett Johansson being given her own Black Widow movie. Cynthia Rothrock toiled practically in anonymity!  Of all the summer Action Movies for 2014, women are still relegated to being victims and girlfriends, or worst of all, nude and body painted (Mystique) when her character in the comic has a costume. All we have to look forward to is what Sylvester Stallone allows Ronda Rousey to do in the ultimate boys club The Expendables 3 (thankfully he has 3 daughters), and what power Tom Cruise gives Emily Blunt's character in Edge of Tomorrow.

ACTRESS NAME "I think salaciousness of them and the sexiness is so trivial by today's standards that you can really look at these films and you can say 'Gee these are really fun.'"

Is she crazy?


Fight for the Future
At the end of it all I am fine with the freedom to make a movie about whatever you want to make it about, however . . . I do not have to see it, and, I am free to say that I believe there is a cause and effect between the depiction of sexualized violence against women and real-life violence against women committed by men.  Ted Bundy said it all for me as well (transcript of the video at the bottom). 

When the world is safe for women, or when men are equally objectified and equally victimized, then we'll talk. Until then, I speak for all women when I say I don't want to promote this kind of film.  There are too many better movies than those with scenes where a naked girl takes a cell phone out of her vagina just before she is killed with a machete ("Machete").

I truly loved ActionFest (which, sadly, has not been held the last two years) and wanted it to continue to grow and succeed.  I was thrilled when they added the "Chick Norris" Award for 2012 and gave it to Gina Carano.  Women are more than 50% of the population and with the popularity of gaming, the market for strong women in Action Movies is growing. (As reflected in gaming.) We teach our sons to fight and protect themselves, but not our daughters, and our daughters need it more. Maybe a trend in teaching girls to fight will help them fight back and end domestic violence. Bullies understand only one thing, violence, so kick their ass. I believe there is a huge market for physically strong women in Action Movies, not the waif types like Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. WTF?! That's male casting. Can't believe it wasn't Gina Carano.  Our time will come.


REVIEWS of Machete Maidens Unleashed



1.  April 5, 2010 | Greg B. •  Cinesploitation:  Exploitation, Slease, Grindhouse, Sexploitation, and Horror News & Reviews  

        "Machete Maidens Unleashed!"

"It is the first detailed examination and celebration of Filipino genre films"

2.  August 3, 2010 | Andrew Nette • PULP CURRY: Crime, hard-boiled and curried

       "Machete Maidens Unleashed: American genre movies in the Philippine jungle"

"Machete Maidens Unleashed, which had its world premier in late July at the Melbourne International Film Festival."

I found the Comments Interesting.


Perhaps what I think is missing from your review, having seen it with you, is acknowledgement of the corrupt beauty that a lust for distribution and money drives in the cinematic arts. It is not Visconti or Bertolucci, but it is film, it had an audience.
The porn aesthetic, "B" grade production values, low resolution, coarse lighting and framing underlies a primaeval desire to create visual images that is both disturbing and insidously seductive.
Why do I look at moving images, irrespective of their credibility. What draws my eyes to images that are fantastically awful.
Machete Maidens Unleashed, if nothing else poses the question of understanding the willingness of a western liberal  [MALE] capitalist audience to consume images in the same way that it consumes fast food.


Good points, Craig, especially the seductive nature of the porn aesthetic, b grade production values and visual feel of the movies in Machete Maidens. Not only does the film raise questions about the way Western audiences consume images, it highlights the way that much of the Western film industry approaches film making in much the same way that a car maker scours the world for the cheapest labour.  . . .



3. August 4, 2010 | Ron Nachmann • Dangerous Minds

      "Machete Maidens Unleashed: A look at ‘70s Filipino Exploitation Flicks "

"Check the trailer—it's quite wild"



4. ?August 16, 2010 | ? • Trailer Addict
      "Machete Maidens Unleashed!"

"detailed examination and celebration of Filipino genre filmmaking"

"drive-in filler from Manilla"

"the ultimate Filipino femme-fest!"


5.  August 16, 2010 | Brendon Connelly • Bleeding Cooll

        "Very Tempting Trailer For Machete Maidens Unleashed"

"here's something about the film from it's official site:  'At last, the all-too-often overlooked world of drive-in filler from Manila gets the Mark Hartley treatment' . . . 'a jaw-dropping story to tell about filmmaking with no budget, no scruples, no boundaries and – more often than not – no clothes.' "

"And on to the red band-worthy trailer, to be watched at your own discretion:"

From Wikipedia:  A green band is an all-green graphic at the beginning of the trailer. Until April 2009, these cards indicated that they had been approved for "all audiences" and often included the movie's MPAA rating. This signified that the trailer adheres to the standards for motion picture advertising outlined by the MPAA, which include limitations on foul language and violent, sexual, or otherwise objectionable imagery.  . . .

Trailers that do not adhere to these guidelines may be issued a red band, which indicates approval for only "restricted" or "mature" audiences. These trailers may only be shown before R-rated, NC-17-rated, or unrated movies. These trailers may include nudity, profanity or other material deemed inappropriate for children.[10]

"Here's the full list of interviewees, in one big fat brick of excitement:
Carmen Argenziano, Allan Arkush, Alan Birkinshaw, Judy Brown, Andrea Cagan, Colleen Camp, Steve Carver, Roger Corman, Leigh Christian, Marlene Clark, Joe Dante, Jon Davison, Marissa Delgado, Nick Deocampo, R Lee Ermey, Leo Fong, Eddie Garcia, Franco Guerrero, Sid Haig, Gloria Hendry, Jack Hill, Darby Hinton, Mark Holcomb, Lenore Kasdorf, Rosanne Katon, Jayne Kennedy, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Paul Koslo, John Landis, Marrie Lee, Margaret Markov, Jan Merlin, Dick Miller, Christopher Mitchum, Eddie Nicart, Trina Parks, Danny Peary, Efren C. Pinon, Barbara Pokras, Corliss Randall, Susanne Reed, Ricardo Remias, Eddie Romero, Fred Roos, Laurie Rose, Digna Santiago, Jane Schaffer, Sam Sherman, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Dean Tavoularis, Pete Tombs, Joe Viola, Patrick Wayne, Celeste Yarnall, Joe Zucchero"


6. August 21, 2010 | Christopher Campbell • Cinematical
      "Trailer Park: Another Year, Machete Maidens Unleashed, Case 39"

"The above trailer is definitely NSFW, and not only does it sell me on the doc but also on all the B-movies shown and discussed."


7. September 11, 2010 | Todd Brown • TIFF 

   same article September 12, 2010 | Jay C. • FILM JUNK
     "TIFF 2010: Machete Maidens Unleashed! Review" 

   same article April 11, 2011 | Kurt Halfyard • TIFF 

     [Now screening at ActionFest, here is Todd's review of the latest cult-niche documentary from Mark Hartley]"
     "ActionFest '11: Machete Maidens Unleashed Review" 

"we're treated to a ton of fun clips "

"Machete Maidens Unleashed! is a fun crowd pleaser.

YEAH, a fun for a crowd OF MEN.

". . . John Landis - whose head would likely explode if he smiled any more, the man was clearly having the time of his life . . . Hartley dives headlong into how this explosion of the perverse and bizarre came to be in the first place setting it all into context while also reveling in the sheer lunacy of the films he's putting on screen."

"You like breasts? There are lots of them here, the large majority of them naked. Explosions? Lots of those, too, some also involving nudity."

"These were ridiculous films made under ridiculous circumstances and all involved seem just plain surprised that they managed to get away with doing it for as long as they did."

"Hartley dips into the serious side of things, too, don't get me wrong, but the director of this film seems abundantly aware that he needs to match the energy of those films if he is to have any chance of success and he does exactly that. This is one wild, wild ride."
 [emphasis here is as it was in the original article]


8. September 12, 2010  | Todd Brown • tiff. Midnight Madness and Twitch
      TIFF 2010: "5 Questions with MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED director Mark Hartley "
      The Official Blog of Midnight Madness "5 Questions with MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASED director Mark Hartley"

"it probably features a higher body count than anything in the official Madness selection, to say nothing of the copious nudity, crazy latex creatures and the presence of genre icons Joe Dante, John Landis and Roger Corman among the key interview subjects. Yep, this one's as crazy as they come."

"Cue the montage of jaw-dropping clips!"

"Has anyone done a tally of the number of naked breasts in the film?


"No, but I'll give a packet of Tim Tams to anyone up for the challenge! And please note, breasts are only one-third of the film's content – don't forget the blood and beasts!"



9. September 23, 2010 | Chris Bumbray • JoBlo
       "Review: Machete Maidens Unleashed (TIFF)"
and this site comes with a charming pop-up 

"for me-this thing was catnip.";

"a fun filled romp"


10. ?prior to September 24, 2010 | ? • festival genius
"Machete Maidens Unleashed""

"As shocking and lurid as many of the women-in-prison, jungle action, mad scientist and martial arts movies made in the Philippines were, the back stories may actually surpass the films in their shocking details. But when the films being discussed and shown in Hartley's trademark montage style are as wildly entertaining as FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY, MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND, THE TWILIGHT PEOPLE, THE BIG DOLL HOUSE and TNT JACKSON, it may be a tie."

"MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED might just be the funniest, fastest, most shocking film you'll see all year. Featuring hilarious and informative interviews with Roger Corman, Pam Grier, Sid Haig, John Landis, Joe Dante, Eddie Romero, Cirio Santiago and many more of the people who made the golden age of Filipino exploitation what it was."


11. October 4, 2010 | Scott Weinberg • FEARNET

       "Machete Maidens Unleashed!"

Skirts it by being descriptive.

"Enjoyably colorful and palpably passionate about its subject matter"

"offers eclectic (and adults only) film clips galore"
[well, thank you for that (emphasis added)]

  says these films aren't "quite as lovable" as the Australian films in NQH

  MH is "quite the excellent curator of globally tacky cinema"


12. March 3, 2011 | Chris Knight • National Post
       "Machete Maidens Unleashed: Queen of the B-movies"
      link to
full article at says "Sorry this article is no longer available"
     March 3, 2011 | Chris Knight • National Post 
       "Machete Maidens Unleashed: Queen of the B-movies"

"It's a fun look back at a simpler time in moviemaking, though it also serves to remind us that the likes of The Women Hunters and Vampires Hookers are still being made. The recent Nicolas Cage movie Drive Angry wouldn't look out of place in this documentary, and the upcoming Sucker Punch seems a direct descendent as well. The only difference, aside from bigger budgets, is computer-generated effects. Seems cyberspace is the new Philippines."


13. March 4, 2011 | Brian McKenzie • Criticize This!

       "Opening Weekend: The Adjustment Bureau, Curling, Machete Maidens Unleashed!, Funkytown, Rango, and Beastly"

"an exciting expose";

"**** out of 5 stars"


14.  March 9, 2011 | CS  Big Thoughts From A Small Mind 
        "Machete Maidens Unleashed Bares All For . . ."

"Since Hollywood is embracing the genre once again, it is only fitting to see the hidden gems of the 2010 TIFF finally hit theatres this past weekend."

Embracing the genre?! God I hope not, but EXCUSE ME! SAYS WHO?

"Since the censors rarely watched the types of films that many of the directors, including Roger Corman and Eddie Romero, were producing, they were able to get away with content that would be considered unheard of today. "


"The interesting thing about some of the responses is how many of the actresses viewed many of the B-movies as feminist films."

Not that many.

"Although many of the films featured a lot of female nudity and, in some cases, violence against women, the B-movie genre was the only genre to feature female leads in action roles. In many ways they were the first female action heroes. Despite some of the atrocities the characters may have endured, by the end of the film, they always rose up against their oppressors and saved the day. If you really think about it, there are very few action films nowadays that feature a female lead. Studios just do not see them as bankable action stars."
THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE THE MALE FANTASY VERSION of a FEMALE ACTION STAR!!!!  and also because they are aimed at male audiences.

"Hartley himself does not offer any judgment in regards to the genre. "

I beg to differ! What he chose to show reflects as his judgment.


15. March 25, 2011 | Sleazee Vulture • The Whore Church: Merchants of Awful 

"a bunch of the juiciest 70′s Filipino sleaze"




16. March 30, 2011 | Masked Slasher • DREADCENTRAL 
       Machete Maidens Unleashed!

"salaciously titled"

"what can only be described as one of the genre's most shameless periods."

"One need not spend countless hours wallowing through the mire that's showcased here (although why wouldn't you want to?) to gleam an appreciation for the subject. "


Really?! And what appreciation is that? That's what I want to understand.



17.  Mark Hartley on how he got the project—not his idea
        The Search for Weng Weng

         Interview by Colin Geddes at TIFF10





18. April 8, 2011 | Fred Topel • Screen Junkies

      "ActionFest Review: Machete Maidens Unleashed"

"Maybe it's a reflection of the subject matter, but most of the clips in Machete Maidens Unleashed did not make me want to see many of the films. "

Yay Fred! (I got to meet him and sit with him for a showing at ActionFest 2011—He's super nice and has great interview questions.)
"There are plenty of booby clips too. The discussion of a feminist movement shows the actresses are good sports, and the segment has nonstop nudity."

"It didn't do any damage to my Netflix queue but it's a good highlights reel."


*TURN SIGNAL with Kim Troby interview with TED BUNDY

The evening before his execution in 1989, serial killer TED BUNDY sat down for an exclusive interview with DR. JAMES DOBSON.  Bundy took responsibility for his actions but he blamed PORNOGRAPHY as a key factor in the killings of at least 35 women and girls.


I've lived in prison for a long time now, and, I've met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence, just like me.  And, without exception, EVERY ONE OF THEM, was deeply involved in pornography, without question, without exception.

Bundy requested the interview with Dr. Dobson because he had watched him serve on the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.  He trusted the focus on the family . . . founder to convey HIS WARNINGS accurately.

And what scares and appalls me, Dr. Dobson, is when I see what's on cable TV (chuckles) some of the movies, I mean some of the violence in the movies, uh, that come into homes today was stuff that they, that they wouldn't show in X-rated adult theaters 30 years ago. This stuff . . . 

[DR. DOBSON The slasher movies that you're talking about?]

That stuff is, I am telling you, from personal experience, the most . . . that is graphic violence on screen . . . particularly as it gets into the home to children who may be unattended or unaware that they may be a Ted Bundy who has that, that vulnerability to that, that pre-disposition to be influenced by that kind of behavior, by that kind of um, of um, that kind of movie, that kind of violence.

DANIEL WEISS with Focus on The Family Action says Bundy's words were prophetic .

I think there's a real disconnect in society where we can, even, even 20 years later, look at Ted Bundy and say “Hey we condemn what this man has done, it's horrible and tragic, and we don't like it” but at the same time we have entertainment shows all over the place like CSI, Special Victims Unit, and even, you know, a film today, My Bloody Valentine, which glorifies in this kind of SEXUALIZED VIOLENCE that Bundy was committed . . .

Bundy was really right to distrust the mainstream media because right now porn stars are on talk shows, they have best-selling books; and it's kind of like society is just covering up this idea that porn is harmful and it's just, you know, harmless fun.  Dr. Dobson knew better: He had shown as much by his service on the Attorney General's Commission.  And Bundy knew this to be true so he wanted to entrust that message to someone who would tell it accurately.