Demonic teens, hillbilly horror, porno chic and rape-revenge: what spurred the radical, transgressive and often sadistic film of the ’70s?
Shockers! takes an unprecedented look at the mainstream and obscure films of this generation, from America and beyond, arguing that often disreputable genres and cycles best shed light on the turbulence of the decade.
Cult film experts explain how contemporary fears of intergenerational conflict and criminality – as well as newly permissive attitudes towards sex on screen – allowed previously illicit filmic imagery to proliferate in American and British classics, such as The Exorcist and A Clockwork Orange, as well as films from Australia, East Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
Rich with cultural and political context, this book offers the first global perspective on the shocking cinema of the ’70s. Shockers! reveals how contemporary fears of intergenerational conflict and criminality, as well as the dispersion of erotic imagery into popular culture, are visible in the Pinku films of Japan, the Udigrundi films of Brazil, the ＂Ozsploitation＂ phenomenon in Australia, post-Franco independent cinema in Spain and the disturbing films that came out of Italy’s anni di plombi (＂the leaden years＂). It describes how filmmakers in different countries were all similarly empowered by the growth of independent means to produce, distribute and exhibit film. Fusing low-brow entertainment with social commentary and artistic ambiguity, their films tapped into the countercultural movements of the ’70s - the Vietnam War protests, global student strikes, and struggles for racial and gender equality. The book also explores legacy of these films, through interviews with a wave of leading American filmmakers directly inspired by the radical gestures of ’70s cinema.
Shockers! is ambitious in scope and depth, offering the first definitive study of ’70s cult film from around the world.