A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 08, 2010
Mexploitation (Mexican + exploitation)

"Mexploitation” (Mexican + exploitation) is a film genre, like the similarly named “blaxploitation” films. The films are usually low-budget and feature crime, drugs, sex and violence. Texas-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez has called his low-budget film, El Mariachi (1992), a “Mexploitation” film, but such films were made in the 1960s and 1970s (before Rodriguez popularized the name). “Mexploitation” has been cited in print since at least 1980.

The word “Mexploitation” can also mean anything (such as a job) that exploits people of Mexican descent, but the film usage is the more popular definition.


Wikipedia: Mexploitation
Mexploitation is a film genre of low-budget films that combine elements of an Exploitation film and Mexican culture and/or portrayals of Mexican life within Mexico often dealing with crime, drug trafficking, money and sex.

Common qualities
The typical Mexploitation film takes place in the countryside of major cities and drugs, sex, and crime are nearly always involved. These movies are usually low-budget and are filmed in a couple of weeks. They typically feature one or two famous B-movie actors in major roles with the rest of the cast being played by unknown actors.

Mexploitation movies made in the 60s and 70s in Mexico were closer to their American counterparts, with low-budget science-fiction films that often starred Mexican luchadores like El Santo and Huracan Ramirez. However, the early 80s and into the 90s saw a notable change with films increasingly dealing with real-life issues such as drug cartels and the murders of their rivals. Notable actors in these films include Mario Almada, Hugo Stiglitz, Sergio Goyri and David Reynoso.

Director Robert Rodriguez in recent times has been considered a pioneer of Mexploitation in the United States. His first film, El Mariachi contains many Mexploitation elements and his most recent film Planet Terror contained a fake trailer--then developed into a feature film--called Machete, which contains many familiar elements of the genre.

K. Gordon Murray
An exploitation film producer and distributor named K. Gordon Murray created a unique collection of horror films in Mexico which began to appear on American late-night television and drive-in screens in the 1960s. Ranging from monster movies clearly owing to the heyday of Universal Studios, to the lucha libre horror films featuring El Santo and the “Wrestling Women,” these low-budget films and still were notably campy and inspired a small cult following.

Mexploitation
What is Mexploitation?
The question of what mexploitation is pops up a lot. It’s not exactly a genre. The most simple definition would be Mexican exploitation films, but that’s also a bit simplistic, and ignores the unique characteristics of mexploitation. So, it’s not blaxploitation with mexicans instead of black people, although that seems to be what Robert Rodriguez wants to make it into with his “Machete” project.

However, mexploitation does generally fit the common definition of exploitation film as:

“Films made with little or no attention to quality or artistic merit but with an eye to a quick profit, usually via high-pressure sales and promotion techniques emphasizing some sensational aspect of the product.”
-Ephraim Katz

Urban Dictionary
mexploitation
a new breed of media designed to appeal to people of mexican decent. like blaxploitation, except for mexicans. ie- i thought this term up.
handy mandy, the mexican bob the builder ripoff on disney, is the only example of mexploitation that comes to mind right now
by bobertdude Dec 2, 2007

Wikipedia: Robert Rodriguez
Robert Anthony Rodríguez (born June 20, 1968) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor and musician. He shoots and produces many of his films in his native Texas and Mexico. He has directed such films as Desperado (1995), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Faculty (1998), Spy Kids (2001), Sin City (2005), Planet Terror (2007), and Machete (2010). He also produced the latest installment in the Predator series, Predators (2010).

Google Books
Fronteras
By Maximo Espinoza
Los Angeles, CA: Holloway House
1980
Pg. 122:
“They say they’re trying to make understanding movies about Chicanos an they show us just killing each other. I call it Mex-ploitation.”

“That’s a good word,” a voice from the entourage said.

Google Books
A collection of essays = una colección de ensayos
By José Antonio Burciaga
Edinburg, TX: Pan American University Press
1988
Pg. 130:
We are being taken seriously now because corporations see us in large numbers that compute into dollars. Some call this affirmative action. Others call it cultural imperialism. I call it Mexploitation.

Google Books
Rebel without a crew, or, How a 23-year-old filmmaker with $7,000 became a Hollywood player
By Robert Rodriguez
New York, NY: Dutton
1995
Pg. 150:
What happens when they get in there after hearing that this is the opening night movie, expecting something great, and then all they see is my blow-off Spanish home video mexploitation flick?

Boston (MA) Herald
Books Boyle’s `Curtain’ rises on Mex-ploitation “The Tortilla Curtain” by T. Coraghessan Boyle (Viking)
[05 Edition]
Boston Herald - Boston, Mass.
Author: JUDITH WYNN
Date: Sep 10, 1995
Start Page: 069
Section: FEATURES

CBC News Online
INDEPTH: TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL
Sequel surprise
CBC News Online | September 4, 2003
(...)
And look at Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado, his follow-up to the Mexploitation flick El Mariachi. Was Desperado a sequel? Was it a remake? It looked like a bit of both.

OCLC WorldCat record
Mexploitation cinema : a critical history of Mexican vampire, wrestler, ape-man, and similar films, 1957-1977
Author: Doyle Greene
Publisher: Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., 2005.
Edition/Format: Book : English

Entertainment Weekly - PopWatch
After the mexploitation of ‘Machete,’ what’s nextploitation?
by Keith Staskiewicz
September 5, 2010 12:00 PM ET
Taco trucks, ponchos and machine guns fill Robert Rodriguez’s gonzo ode to all that’s loco and south of the border, as Danny Trejo slices and dices his way through scores of anti-immigration politicians and border vigilantes. It’s pretty much the ne plus ultra of the genre Rodriguez calls “mexploitation,” in which he has dabbled since his half-a-shoestring debut, 1992′s El Mariachi.

Nerdist
Tex-Mexploitation
by Jay Fralick on September 8, 2010
I was so proud of myself thinking I coined an obvious term for this film, but as it turns out, if it’s that easy, it’s probably been done. As a matter of fact, when I looked up Mexpolitation, the first article I found mentioned Rodriguez’s El Mariachi and the Grindhouse trailer for Machete as important points in Mexploitation.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, September 08, 2010 • Permalink


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