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Definition:


"Sexploitation

n [Film]
any film, although not nescessarily hard- or soft-core pornography, that depends for its appeal to the audience on its maker's unashamed and deliberate exploitation of its sexual content and of the alleged sexiness of its (female) star."
Green, Jonathon, Dictionary of jargon, 1987
First published by Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited, London

This graspable definition by Jonathon Green may be considered a good introduction for the explanation of the term "Sexploitation Movie". However, it still requires some additional illustration and restriction, before an own, more precise definition can be established at the end of this article:

The term "Sexploitation", of course, is a blend of "Sex" and "Exploitation".

Beyond the movie branch the term "Sexploitation" is generally applied for the deliberate use of sex to make a product commercially successful. The use of this term can be proved since 1942 (Berrey, Lester V. & van den Bark, Melvin; The American thesaurus of slang, 1942, 361/1.).

A typical film poster may illustrate the way sex is used for advertising sexploitation movies:

Striptease Girl (1952)


Within the movie branch the "sexploitation film" is a subform of the "exploitation film":

The expression "exploitation film" is generally used in contrast to "mainstream films". The first are films produced to generate fast return on investment by small production companies, with low budget, marketed in market niches.

"Exploitation movies" are usually marketed as B or C movies, mostly at unattractive times and places (late-night or afternoon; urban downtown areas, drive-ins). The plot is often neglectable. It only servers as pretence for the sensationalist exploitation of a contemporary subject, that promisses fast and easy profit with little investment.

Any pornmovie could be labelled "sexploitation movie", as it exploits the subject sex. However, the term is usually reservered for productions, which haven't crossed the border to pornography yet.

In this context the japanese sexploitation movies ("Japanese Sexploitation") should be addressed seperately:

Some of them have "specialized" in depicting violence and humiliation of women, that might cause legal trouble in certain countries. Some of the japanese sexploitation movie directors - from time to time - produced outright porns (e.g. in the "Pink Eiga"-genre with various subgenres).

Wheather or not the terms "Japanese Sexploitation", "Sexploitation" and "Exploitation" can be used to depict an own genre, may rightfully be disputed. Strictly speaking the terms express a judgement about the artistic value and a special marketing form, that can also be used for other classical movie genres and even for products beyond the movie branch.

Consequently, Green's definition quoted above can be precised as follows:

Sexploitation Movies:

"Films, that depend for their appeal to the audience on their makers' unashamed and deliberate exploitation of their sexual content and of the alleged sexiness of their (usually female) stars.
Negative demarcation: no pornography
no mainstream, but B or C movies with low budgets, designed for marketing in market niches"

Further reading:
Woods, Paul A. (Editor); The Very Breast of Russ Meyer; Plexus Publishing Ltd., London, 2004

Paperback - 192 pages


Bullets Bombs and Babes - The Films of Andy Sidaris; Heavy Metal Magazine, New York, 2003

Hardcover - 96 pages


Schaefer, Eric; Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!: A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959; Duke University Press, Durham and London, 1999

Paperback - 474 pages


Frasier, David K.; Russ Meyer - The Life and Films: A Biography and a Comprehensive, Illustrated and Annoted Filmography and Bibliography, McFarland & Co Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina; 1997

Paperback - 236 pages


Nashawaty, Chris; Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses
Roger Corman: King of the B Movie
, Abrams, 2013

Hardcover - 272 pages


Newman, Kim; "Exploitation" and "Mainstream", (Essay)
       in: The Oxford History of World Cinema; Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (Editor); Oxford University Press, 1996

Paperback - 856 pages


McCarty, John; The Sleaze Merchants: Adventures in Exploitation Filmmaking; St. Martin's Griffin, New York, 1995

Paperback - 212 pages


Quarles, Mike; Down and Dirty: Hollywood's Exploitation Filmmakers and Their Movies; McFarland; Jefferson, North Carolina, 1993

Paperback - 208 pages


Corman, Roger (with Jerome, Jim); How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime; Random House, New York, 1990

Paperback - 254 Pages


Mr. Skin's Skintastic Video Guide: The 501 Greatest Movies for Sex & Nudity on DVD; SK Books Inc., 2007

Paperback - 352 Pages


Mr. Skin's Skincyclopedia: The A-to-Z Guide to Finding Your Favorite Actresses Naked; St. Martin's Griffin, 2009

Paperback - 704 Pages


Lloyd, Suzanne (Editor); Wagner, Robert (Introduction); Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3D!; Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2004

Hardcover - 154 Pages
with 3d-glasses


Pennington, Jody W.; The History of Sex in American Film; Praeger, 2007

Hardcover - 232 Pages



DVD Documentary:
Greene, Ray; Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies (2001)

DVD



also see the entries "Sexploitation" and "Exploitation" in the following dictionaries:
The Film Studies Dictionary; Steve Blandford / Barry Keith Grant / Jim Hillier; Arnold, London, 2001
The new historical dictionary of the American film industry; Anthony Slide; Scarecrow Press, Inc.; Lanham, Maryland, USA; 1998
Reclams Sachlexikon des Films; Thomas Koeber (Editor); Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart, 2002
The American Film Industry - A Historical Dictionary; Anthony Slide; Greenwood Press, New York, Westport, London, 1986
NTC's Mass Media Dictionary; R. Terry Ellmore; National Textbook Company, Lincolnwood, Illinois, 1991
Kompakt-Wörterbuch Marketing: englisch-deutsch/deutsch-englisch; Wolfgang J. Koschnick; Schäffer-Poeschel Verlag, Stuttgart, 1997
The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Vol. II; Tom Dalzell / Terry Victor (Editors), Routledge, London and New York
Dictionary of jargon; Jonathon Green; Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited, London, 1987
Third Barnhart Dictionary of New English; Robert K. Barnhart / Sol Steinmetz / Clarence L. Barnhart; The H.W. Wilson Company, 1990
Encarta World English Dictionary, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London, 1999
Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Volume XV: "Ser-Soosy", Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1989

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