Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thanks(ploitation)! Part II

by Patrick Bromley
Junesploitation is over. Long live Junesploitation.

After 30 days and literally hundreds of movies watched between us, our second Junesploitation has concluded, bigger and better than before. Last year's Junesploitation was something of an experiment -- a way to do a community event over the summer and an excuse to watch a bunch of exploitation and genre movies. We brought it back for the same reasons. And because it was a ton of fun.

This year's Junesploitation confirms that it's here to stay.

Like Scary Movie Month and F This Movie Fest, Junesploitation will now be an annual institution at the site. Enough of you have embraced it and enough of us (me) love it to justify making it a permanent part of what we do here at FTM. Hopefully most of you are happy to hear it. Those of you that aren't should keep in mind that we posted enough non-Junesploitation-related content these last four weeks to keep you busy even if you didn't participate. This begs the question: why didn't you participate?
Know how I know Junesploitation should come back next year? Because after 30 days and upwards of 50 movies watched, I'm not ready for it to be done. It's July 1 and I'm still going to be watching my Empire Pictures discs and my Blue Underground titles and anything on Full Moon Streaming. I'm sure it helps that I love this stuff and would be watching it all year anyway, but it's been great to really immerse myself in it for a month straight and talk about why I love it with all of you.

I know that exploitation and genre movies are not to everyone's taste. But the month is designed so that you could watch ANY movie from a given category. You don't have to pick an old Roger Corman drive-in movie for "Cars!" day. You can watch any movie that has a car. We had people watching everything from Beverly Hills Cop to Krzysztof Kieslowki's Three Colors trilogy to whatever crazy shit @manwithpetgull was finding every day. The fun of it is watching movies.

Because that's the the real reason we do it: so that we get to watch movies. That's what we're supposed to want to do, right? As movie loves and visitors to a movie site, we'll use any excuse to watch movies. Junesploitation is that excuse. Make it your excuse.

I'm so thankful not just to everyone who participated -- we like to brag about our community, but you guys actually put your money where your mouth is -- but also for the tons and tons of movies I got to hear about and now want to track down. You were all so great about making these titles sound fun and crazy when they were supposed to and sound terrible when they sucked. The love of genre movies came through in every post. I'm happy that we have a place where we can talk about highbrow Oscar bait and crazy exploitation movies with the same amount of excitement and passion. As someone whose heart truly lies with genre films, this is the kind of shit I live for.
So thank you all for a very special month. I would have days where site-related stuff would bum me out, but then someone would post an enthusiastic review of a super cheap '80s action movie and my spirits would lift. Watching movies, loving movies and sharing that love together is what drives me to keep growing the site and hopefully making it better and better. I can't tell you how much it meant to me every time someone ended a comment with "Thanks, Junesploitation!" Someone got to see something he or she liked and might not have seen otherwise. That's why we do this, and to see so many of you get into the spirit of the month and embrace all these crazy movies was a high point of the last 30 days.

On a personal note, I had better luck this year than last in that I enjoyed -- if not outright liked -- the majority of the stuff I watched. Looking back on what I saw the last month, there were plenty of disappointing and downright terrible picks. Those have already faded from memory. What sticks are the high points -- Southern Comfort, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, Deathdream, Four of the Apocalypse, The Heroin Busters...I could keep going.

This may also be the month that also pushed me towards finally liking Italian horror. I watched a shitload of Italian movies this month, and not just horror, either. There was science fiction, action, fantasy, crime movies, westerns, thrillers...the Italians are the fucking exploitation kings. I've come to find the cheap shocks and the dubbing and the weird shit that couldn't be done in any other movie very comforting. I can watch something like Lamberto Bava's Macabre and recognize that none of it adds up to anything "good" in the traditional sense, and yet it all kind of works in that context. I want to keep chasing it. I've got my copies of Shock and The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Strip Nude for Your Killer that I didn't get around to watching and I'm not willing to wait for next year's Junesploitation to roll around. Let's keep this crazy Italian party going. Bella bambina, 12 o'clock.
What were your highs and lows this year? Top three favorites? Bottom three? Anything you didn't get around to watching that you're going to hold until next year? Or are you like me and can't wait that long? Let's recap the month in the comments below.

So once again thank you to Matthew, manwithpetgull, Ivan, Brad L., Shannon Briggs, Steve K., Scott McHarg, Mac McEntire, Chaybee1, JP, Myke, Gabby Ferro, J.M. Vargas, Matt Sollenberger, Cameron Cloutier, Sol, Grant Malfitano, Ike, Jeff Quinn, AdamD, Tom Smail, Drew, Angela Hager, Mike, Joseph Finn, Grey Weirdo, Luke Ciancio, Tom Bartman, Patron Saint of Awesomeness, Albert Muller, janbottig, Gil, Chris, Mike Young, Dan Snyder, and to FTM's own Doug, Adam Riske, JB, Melissa Henderson, Mike Pomaro, Heath Holland, Erich Asperschlager and Mark Ahn...and to anyone else I may have forgotten or overlooked. Stuff like this is fun because of all of you.

Thanks to any of the readers who followed along every day but maybe didn't participate. Hopefully we made it look fun enough that next year you'll join in, whether it's for a few days or for the whole month.

Those of you who are new to us this Junesploitation, I really hope you'll stick around. I'm proud of our site and our community kicks dick all year long.

We're lucky to have all of you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Junesploitation forever.

92 days until #ScaryMovieMonth.


  1. High point was finally getting around to watching Cyborg. I love Cyborg. I'm also happy I knocked Above the Law and Cobra off my "ones to watch" list even though I didn't like either very much.

    I wish I particpated more (I think I did about a week of movies) but now I have two years of picks and favorites from all of you to sort through for next year and be better prepared.

    I am also blaming my bed because it's very comfortable and it screwed me over at least 10 nights where I started watching something but didn't finish it because I fell asleep.

    So, my point is, you guys are the experts in exploitation and you helped me out with recommendations and that I will sleep on the floor next June. I can't wait!

    92 days

  2. Junesploitation was so much fun for me, and I want to give a big hearty thanks to Patrick and F this Movie! for putting it on. My top 3 would be Trancers, Night of the Creeps, and probably Kill, Baby…Kill! It’s hard for me to come up with a “bottom 3,” because for the most part I enjoyed the “bad” movies as well. Some of the crazier ones that I’ll always remember are Night Fire (“Barry, would you please stop trying to drown me? It’s so irritating!”), The Messenger, and Ninja Death 1. The worst film I saw this month is probably Zeta One, which features the most frustrating and unsexy game of strip poker in the history of the Universe. The worst “good” movie I saw was The Brood, which was just so damn ugly in both tone and content (Galaxy of Terror comes in a close second there).

    Then of course there’s Starcrash, which is in a Universe all its own. Of all the movies I’ve seen this month, Starcrash is probably the one I’ll revisit the most. I mean, what can you say about a movie where the laser rifles have antlers?

    1. The fact that you got to see Trancers, Night of the Creeps and Starcrash all in the same month makes Junesploitation worth it alone. Thanks for kicking so much ass this month.

  3. One year, I promise I will make more time to participate in Junesploitation! In the meantime, it has been fun reading the reactions of other to what they have watched and the conversations about what those movies, so I have enjoyed this month on that level. Keep it up guys!

    Bring on Scary Movie Month!

  4. Thanks to all at FTM! Great times!

    Highlights for me were definitely the WTF did I just sit through, "Science Crazed". The endless vortex and magnetic field talk in "Metal Tornado". The laser titties in "Ninja in the Dragon's Den". The amazing Italian - John Old Jr. directed "Blastfighter". "Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead". And the instant classic - "Loose Screws A.K.A Screwballs II". Thanks again guys! And thanks to all the commenters on my posts. Much of the fun of Junesploitation is interacting with you all and I had a blast!

    1. You killed it, sir. Thanks for being such a big part of the month. Let us celebrate by doing The Screw.

    2. Haha! Thanks! Absolutely, Patrick. You guys have a great site and I'm happy to be a part of the fam.

    3. I forgot to mention another highlight is the fact you saw "The Further Adventures of Tennessee Buck" in the theater! My mind is still blown with that one.

  5. Between @manwithpetgull and @Chaybee1 I feel like I've got at least 3 or 4 Junesploitations worth of movies to catch up on, and that's such a great feeling.

    As for my favorites of the month, Truck Turner, Deranged, Compound Fracture and Scream Blacula Scream all really stood out as good stuff I might have skipped if not for Junesploitation. My bottom 3 are all I Spit On Your Grave 2, because fuck that movie. I'd rather watch Machete Kills every day for a year than ever even think about that movie again.

    Thank you so much for putting all this together, Patrick, and thank you to everybody who participated, whether you watched one movie or 30+ movies you were part of a great thing. #FHead4Life

    1. Thanks for the shout out JP! "Deranged" definitely moved to to the top of my list of things to watch after your review.

    2. I feel terrible, as I haven't seen ANY of the movies you listed as favorites. I have work to do.

      Thanks for always being the best, JP. We're lucky to have you.

  6. This has been seriously fun! Whether the movies were good or bad (I hit around 50%) it was always fun, and a good exercise in critical thought. As a lifelong wannabe movie critic I would like to thank F This Movie for providing a forum for myself and other like-minded movie fans to post our thoughts. I really enjoyed reading all the other F-Heads reviews and learning about tons of movies I have never heard of (just when I thought my movie cred was legit!).

    Favorites: Barbarella, Wake in Fright, Walkabout, Demons, Martyrs
    Least favorites: Stoker, Deep Red, The New York Ripper, Sharknado


  7. Such a great time everybody! I surpassed my goal of 20 movies and, though I didn't quite get as "grimy and grindy" as I had planned, I saw a lot of stuff that I really enjoyed, particularly from my home and native land (Happy Birthday Big C!): My Bloody Valentine (1981), Fido and Loose Screws AKA Screwballs II were all better than good.

    Other favourites from the month included Dead Heat, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, The Re-animator, From Beyond and Cheap Thrills - all in all I think I tended to enjoy a lot more of what I watched this year and I'm excited that we'll get to do it all over again in just 11 short months!

    Thanks everybody - I loved reading the reviews and comments just as much as watching the movies!

  8. I had a great time reading all of your reactions to legit exploitation movies. I found some pretty great genre stuff myself. My top three would be Black Narcissus, Enter the Dragon, and The Big Heat with honorable mention to End of Watch. I didn't hate any of the "bad" stuff I saw, but the three that didn't hold my interest that well were Sherman's March, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and The Big Chill. Thanks to the hectic nature of life itself, I regret not having time to watch Two Lane Blacktop, The King of Kong, Death Wish 3, and most of all I'm so mad I didn't get to watch The Killer for 80's action day because it's freaking impossible to find a copy to rent anywhere! You're all the smartest movie minds I know, thanks for making the month fly by.

  9. Oh, goodie, a 'what have we learned from this experience' teachable moment. :-)

    I wasn't going to participate in Junesploitation! this year. I'm a huge soccer fan, so The World Cup was (and it still is) taking precedence over most of my limited free time. But those first 12 or so days of Junesploitation! before the tourney started in mid-June got me into the one-movie-a-night habit. I work from 4:30PM to 1:00AM weeknights. This often led to awkward overnights when I would be watching two DVR'ed soccer matches (in their entirety, not skipping from goal to goal because, hey, it's The World Cup!) and, somehow, shoehorn a movie before, in-between or after the matches. While this led to some really bad movies being truly miserable experiences with the added weight of being sleepy/tired ("Trip with the Teacher," "King of Kong Island," etc.) the quality one's made the bad one's worth the trouble. Junesploitation! certainly helped me fill my just-started Google+ and Facebook profiles with much needed content, because recycling is good. :-)

    Most of what I watched on Junesploitation! was neither good or bad, just different from the stuff I gravitate towards, and for a curious cinephile like 'mua' willing to try anything at least once the thrill of experimentation is what kept me going. If you've seen a Jean Rollin movie you've seen them all, yet "The Living Dead Girl" and "Fascination" were different-enough from his usual films to zig when I was expecting them to zag. I've never watched pornographic movies, on home video or the big screen, and last month I watched two (in 35mm to boot) , "Roommates" and "Blonde Ambition," which were different-enough to qualify as entertaining even when cum shuts were dangling in front of my face (sorry!). "Friday the 13th: The Orphan" is fascinating, never really good and always batshit, and more deserving than the ass-looking streaming versions. And heck, even though I don't think I'll ever see "The Telephone Book" or "Fido" again I'm glad I checked them out.

    Pete Walker's "Schizo," "Terror at London Bridge" (Michael Knight bitch-slapping Jack The Ripper in the middle of the Arizona Desert? Sold!), "The Asphyx," "V/H/S" (misogynistic as heck but a tun of fun), Mario Bava's "Black Sunday," William Friedkin's "Sorcerer" and "Liquid Sky" were my particular high points. I'm a physical media guy, but this month 16 of the 29 movies I watched were streamed from either Amazon or YouTube. And, upholding its reputation as the movie-watching capital of the world, I saw five movies in NYC theaters (three in 35 mm) that just happened to coincide with Junesploitation! Heck, I saw Tobe Hooper's original "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" for the first time over the weekend in a theater. Had "Liquid Sky" not been a lock for Free Day and Revenge! the theme for Monday (which "TCSM" could be shoehorned into, but really?) I could have gone with a bang instead of the whimper that "The Brave One" turned out to be.

    Last and certainly least (I kid, I kid! :-P) it was so much fun to read everyone else basically going through the same 'didn't know this sucked/ruled until I watched it' experience that I was. Whatever manwithpetgull puts in his morning cereal to get him through so many movies in one day, I want some of that. Patrick going from outright-disdain to accepting tolerance of Italian horror has to qualify as a Junesploitation! miracle. It makes me wish F This Movie had a 'What We're Watching' section/forum so that we didn't have to wait until June or October to know what everyone else is watching. It's a fun read to know what everyone else is watching at any given time, and I wish this could be a year-round thing. Oh well... sob, sob. :-( :-P

    1. J. M you're reviews were great! Impressive that you posted first so many times as well :) I agree with your idea about a 'What we're watching section' that sounds cool!

  10. Thanks so much to Junesploitation and to everyone at F this movie and the F heads for just making this the best place to come to talk about movies. It has been so much fun discussing things with people and seeing other people's reviews. So many movies are now on my list for next year and I can't wait! So happy I took part everyday. I remember regretting falling asleep Monday 9th - A free space day, before I had a two more movies to add to the previous one (They were Troma's War and A million ways to die in the west. I really enjoyed Troma's war and wish that A million ways had a bit more dedication, the one I posted was Intruder) however I am still glad overall at what I did put up. At times I wasn't really sure how to review the film, such as Yeti: A Gay love story. I am looking forward to watching more Troma films now though. I feel exploitation movies were a gap in my film knowledge and think this month has really helped that. I have a few that I wished I had watched and some left over that I might just watch anyway rather than waiting until next year. Some are Tokyo Gore Police, Assault on Precinct 13, Shogun Assassin, Nuns on the run, I saw the devil and a few on Full Moon Streaming.

    Even the ones I didn't like I am still glad I watched as I feel it was all part of the experience. Saying that some of the ones I didn't enjoy so much were Vampie, The dead want women, Macabre and Naked Ambition: An R Rated Look at an X Rated Industry.

    The highlights for me were Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, The Funhouse, Lifeforce, The Big Racket, Starman, Two lane blacktop, Escape from the planet of the apes, The heroin busters, Angel Heart, Tourist Trap, Foxy Brown, House of 1, 000 Corpses, 48 hours and Death Proof. All of those I will re-visit as they were really great. Even some I left off there I would be happy to re-watch!

    This was so much fun, thanks again!

    1. P.s. I was just thinking I have posted everyday with a new to me movie hurrah! I also got to re-watch a few movies that I am so glad I got to visit again (Death Proof and Easy Rider come to mind first). I was laughing with my bestie at how odd some of the films I watched were (Evil Bong I am looking at you) but I am so glad I watched them. What a place, we really get to talk about all kinds of movies!

    2. Thanks for watching/reviewing so much this month, Gabby! Your list of highlights is a pretty amazing group of movies. Even with the less-good stuff, that makes for a great month. It's been fun having someone else on FMS to talk about those movies, too. I need to see Blood Dolls. You rule!

    3. Thank you Patrick :) it has been fun with FMS as well I look forward to slowly working through some you have said are worth checking out. And using it over SMM!

  11. I had a bit of a rough June and didn't get to participate NEARLY as much as I wanted to, but I'm STOKED that Junesploitation is going to be a firm annual fixture of F This Movie. It's a perfect fit.

  12. Thanks for all the love, guys! This is a serious group of cinephiles and I loved reading all your different takes on the classics and on stuff I'd never heard of. I think I'm getting some undeserved credit for watching multiple titles in one day; Gaby watched five movies yesterday! (And big respect for checking out Blood Dolls, I love that movie!) Going to spend the next month watching all the titles you guys watched that I'm too chicken-shit to admit I haven't seen (*cough* Blacula *cough* Death Wish III *cough*) so I can be all caught up and go really deep next year. Big big thanks to Chaybee1 for introducing me to the site and getting me to participate. I'm also excited to see what deeply loved personal favorites of mine Chris'll be shitting on next time around. Vargas, get the couch and the coffee table cleared off, cuz I'm gonna need a place to crash and a place to eat my cereal when I show up at your front door! See you guys for Scary Movie Month!

    1. Best of the month: Torn Priestess (Nuns That Bite)
      Worst of the month: Hostel Part III
      Most mentally damaging of the month: Deafula

    2. And Patrick, I think you meant "Bella Bambina, 6 o'clock." What I wouldn't give for a time machine with Jessica Harper's address circa 1977 programmed into it!

    3. Hope you'll stay with us in the months leading up to October. It's been great getting to read your reviews and having you as a part of our community.

      Also, see Death Wish 3. Thanks for being with us!

    4. Thank you for the shout out! Blood dolls is a lot of fun. You should stick around leading up to Scary Movie Month this site is the best and your comments are really cool to read.

  13. I'm super excited for Junesploitation to be an annual thing! That's the best!!!!

    The best things I saw were:
    Black Christmas
    The Woman
    House of 1000 Corpses

    This makes me realize I probably like horror more than I thought and now I'm stoked for #ScaryMovieMonth!

    The worst thing I saw was Caligula...so boring.

    Last year I found that watching movies in early July was difficult because no one was giving me a theme and all the choices were overwhelming! So, I'm going to go back through everyone's reviews and find the movies that people got really excited about and watch those!

  14. I had a great time watching films and reading all the reviews on the site for Junesploitation. As a avid listener of the podcast this was first time participating for anything on the site. I must say im really looking forward to scary movie month. Even though I couldn't do every day I still made time to read through reviews and make a nice long list of movies I need to see. My favorite I watched was revisiting TCM 2 (such a fun watch!) and worst was C.C. and Company.

  15. What a great month. To be honest im a little exhausted from it all at the moment, and am looking forward to having some early nights. I made a point of seeing a number of exploitation/grindhouse classics which I am very glad I did: The Warriors, Switchblade Sisters, Mighty Peking Man, Deathrace 2000, etc, plus a couple of F this Movie high recommendations: Drug War, Death Wish 3 and Starcrash. All Great.

    There were stinkers too, but even with those Im glad Ive seen them. Now I know that The Asylum is so humourless and inept that there is no enjoyment to be had, and while I may have been unimpressed with The Beyond I am yet to throw out the bathwater just yet based on Patricks ability to be turned on Italian genre and my (now) history of having my opinion changed significantly with Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 based on my frame of reference (first time with expectations, second time for what it is).

    I am Super glad to hear that Junesploitation will be a regular event. So happy. But, right now, Im also pretty happy that its 11 months away. High pressure movie watching can take a back seat for a few months I think. Once I have the time though the first thing im going to do is watch Kill Bill. So many moments Ive seen this month made me realise the depth that movie goes in, just in terms of inspiration. While I have higher favouirites of QTs movies, I think based on what ive seen this month and QTs obsessive love for 70s exploitation I think Kill Bill may be his Magnum Opus.
    As an unrequested idea for the future is there a way to have even greater level of interaction during these month long events? Maybe in the vein of the fest plus the drive in vibe of june, a twitter-in double feature? I dunno, just an idea. Would be great for something special at the midpoint to reinvigorate it all.

    Thanks Patrick and F this Movie! This place can't be topped!


  16. Sincere thanks for orchestrating the event. During the month I watched 17 movies including new releases, and immediately re-watched the five I enjoyed most: Edge of Tomorrow, Looper, and the Three Colors trilogy. The movies that didn't work for me were unknown selections viewed with an adventurous spirit. The low point was Earth to Echo because its extensive use of shaky footage made me nauseous.

    You know, I've learned something today. Whether we watch movies for pure entertainment or to understand ourselves better, it's important that we respect each other's choices and opinions, that we show gratitude to the people who make it possible, and that we support film-makers who work with passion, skill, and respect for the audience. Stay classy, friends, and F! This! Movie! :-)

    1. What a lovely sentiment. Even though it's a Jerry Springer joke, thanks for saying it. We can all stand to be reminded of it.

  17. Another June and another Junesploitation down in the books; my hats off to all who participated. I wasn't able to watch as many films during this years festival but I really enjoyed reading everyone's reviews.

  18. Sweet Merciful Crap, it's July already?!! I can't believe how quickly June flew by, and with it all of my well laid plans to watch at least a movie a day for my first Junesploitation! I did manage 12 movies, and in that, found a couple new favourites. And I have a list of almost 50 more movies to watch over the summer... Thanks for all the terrific recommendations guys!

    With my eyes set on Scary Movie Month, I have planned ahead and booked a month long stay for the duration of October at an isolated cabin, in a remote wooded area in the Great Canadian Wilderness... Jealous? You should be. Armed with 50 of my favourite scary movies, laptop, and a wifi signal, can you say BEST MONTH EVER?! CAN'T WAIT!!!

    Highlights of Junesploitation:

    The Woman
    The Funhouse

    All first time viewings and I cannot stop thinking about The Woman and Jugface. Wow oh wow.

    As I mentioned, I only managed about 12 movies, and most of them were definite winners, the most forgettable would had to have been Oldboy (2013).

    Thanks F This Movie, for yet another awesome experience!!