Did the arrival of XXX effectively
In books, mostly
yes. I’m talking about the so-called sleazy paperback
book trade, which prior to the 1970s, was profitable enough
to draw the major interest of organized crime. (Sin-a-rama
is a cool book on the subject.)
Did then the arrival
of XXX effectively kill sexploitation in movies?
Only partly. The black and
gave way to hardcore and “porn chic,” and many sexploiteers—including
female directors, Roberta Findlay and Doris Wishman—slid into
making XXX features.
But sexploitation films continued
to be produced. As long as there were drive-ins and privately
owned theaters. Roger Corman’s career as a B-movie mogul,
for example, really took off with his disassociation from AIP
(American International Pictures) in 1970, and the formation
of his own company called New World Pictures. His first movie
for New World? A sexploitation film. “The Student Nurses.” Other
examples of classic Corman sexploitation fare include Big
Doll House, Women In Cages, and Big
In “Women In Cages,” Pam
Grier (as “Alabama”) utters a classic line, in which she might
also be assuaging guilt-ridden sexploitation—even exploitation
film—viewers. (She says it after just being whipped by her former
lover):“We all have our devils, my dear. Now cut me loose!”
“Pets” is another startling politically incorrect, low-budget
sexploitation movie, which opened in grindhouses, competing
with XXX movie fare.
It memorably introduced
Candy Rialson, who later made sexploitation films for Roger
The subgenre of
sexploitation can further be divided into sub-categories:
The “Cautionary Tale” (my
personal favorite and a source for the novel):
A subdivision of this might
include the “slippery slope” story, which usually follows young
women involved with stripping, drugs, and finally some
form of prostitution—even death.
A more recent sexploitation/tabloid variation; part cautionary tale, part slippery slope.
(Drew Barrymore rules in this; great flick.)
Another made for TV sexploitation pip; part cautionary tale, part slippery slope.
(Jolie has some incredible scenes.)
(Lesbian sexploitation, too; but the doomed romantic underpinings are genuine;
makes it work for me. [Drugs vs. Loveguess which one wins?])
There’s a parallel in “cautionary” young adult fiction, as well.
(Beauty Queen by Linda Glovach)
(Not a real diary. Same
Linda Glovach was a contributor.)
The “juvenile delinquent”
or the “amoral youth” story—which has had a more modern incarnation
in the novel, Less Than Zero, and, going back, Lord
Of The Flies, which explores the primal darkness in us all.
A more modern dark sexploitation
tale might be Larry
Clark’s “Kids” and “Ken Park,” both of which
I’ll admit were very influential on me while writing the novel.
The Defilers is an
early '60s take on the J.D. genre (or “amoral youth” story),
which has been called a classic of the roughie sub-genre.
A huge sub-category of sexploitation
paperbacks featured the “journey
into Lesbos” theme, which is often coupled with a
Art by Eric Stanton. (Love that doorknob)
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Richard Perez has the
ears of the angels—lend him yours.
—Barry Gifford, author: WILD AT HEART, PERDITA DURANGO
Perez's is an exciting
talent and his work goes far beyond most of what is
—Henry Flesh, author: MICHAEL and the Lambda
Dolores & Serena:
for Russ Meyer—
assuming, that is, if Meyer was around and still at his peak.”
Josh Alan Friedman, author: TALES OF TIMES SQUARE, WHEN SEX WAS DIRTY
They were young and immoral!...
subdivisions of sexploitation?