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Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010)

Machete Maidens Unleashed! Director: Mark Hartley Producer:Veronica Fury Associate Producers: Andrew Leavold & Mark Hartley

Featuring R. Lee Ermey, Sid Haig, Colleen Camp, John Landis, Patrick Wayne, Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Dick Miller, Carmen Argenziano, Paul Koslo, Gloria Hendry, Jayne Kennedy, Darby Hinton, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Marlene Clark, Jack Hill, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Margaret Markov, Allan Arkush, Fred Roos, Rosanne Katon, Lenore Kasdorf, Celeste Yarnall, Jan Merlin, Trina Parks, Laurie Rose, Eddie Garcia, Judith M. Brown, Jon Davison, Dean Tavoularis, Leigh Christian, Steve Carver, Eddie Romero, Leo Fong, Marissa Delgado, Alan Birkinshaw, Samuel M. Sherman, Susanne Reed, Franco Guerrero, Efren C. Piņon, Eddie Nicart, Joe Viola, Joseph Zucchero, Marrie Lee, Pete Tombs, Barbara Pokras, Chris Mitchum, Corliss Randall, Ricardo Remias, Digna Santiago, Andrea Cagan, Nick Deocampo, Mark Holcomb, Danny Peary, Jane Schaffer

Tagline: Was good to finally see it, but...

This is hard, I know Andrew has been working on his Weng Weng doco for at least as long as Mark Hartley worked on Not Quite Hollywood to get it up and it was great that it finally produced some work at the end of it.

It is what it is and although I would have liked to see more from the crews who worked in the Philippines (there were some great stories from what I have read about the Weng Weng doco), I am sure a lot of people will like it when it gets a wider screening, which it will do at the Fantastic Fest in Austin later this year and several other festivals.

The films featured in this documentary are a lot more niche and although Roger Corman's movies are featured, the focus was more on some of the obscure ones. I was surprised by some of the movies as I hadn't heard of Bionic Boy before and not many other ones outside the Weng Weng ones (there are six of them), the women in prison series and a few others.

As explained in the Q&A it was decided to focus on movies produced for the overseas market and not movies made for the Philippines as there are no copies of them in existence, which would have made it a lot harder to do the documentary. Some of the footage is a bit rough due to it having to be sourced from tape and the original trailers for the movies.

Due to budgetary and time constraints (it was made in just six months) the period covered is from the late 60s to early 80s and they did have to miss out some of the later films. I was a bit puzzled by the Apocalypse Now coverage, but I guess it was such a large production for the country they had to include it..

There were some interesting questions from the Q&A such as who wouldn't be interviewed for the documentary which was Pam Grier and Jeannie Bell. Unfortunately a couple of the directors from Philippines had died before the filming and one only very recently but it was good to see some earlier interviews with them in the film.

I also enjoyed hearing about how the documentary first came to be including Andrew Leavold's involvement and Mark Hartley's response to Veronica Fury's question on making another doco originally. Also the mention of Veronica researching a doco on the history of Australian pornography was interesting.

Was a bit of a curly question about the female leads in the women in prison films seeming very well adjusted despite some of their experiences making the movies. As it was explained most of them didn't really go on to film careers and have led normal lives since the 1970s. They also new what the filming was going to entail originally and were prepared for it.

There is one more screening of the documentary at the festival on a double bill with For Y'ur Height Only and I am sure it will get a lot of people in. I am still going to buy the DVD as I want to see what they put on it for the 'Search for Weng Weng' special feature.

Rating: 7/10


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