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German exploitation

Related: Aufklärungsfilm - German erotica - Germany - exploitation - Groschenroman - Erwin Dietrich - Wolfgang Hartwig - Klaus Kinski - Oswalt Kolle - Edgar Wallace - sex report films


This page concerns German exploitation films and other forms of German culture that may be perceived as "exploitation".. It includes cultural artifacts from Germany, as well as German speaking countries.

Sex comedies and sex reports

Early years of German pornography began with series of softcore pseudo-documentaries started with Schulmädchen-Report: Was Eltern nicht für möglich halten by Ernst Hofbauer in 1970. The sex scenes had become bolder with time and by 1975, era of hardcore pornography began. Director Hans Billian was the protagonist of the period and the films were usually in line with the so-called "sex comedies", often depicting male performers as comic characters, like Sepp Gneißl in Kasimir der Kuckuckskleber (1977). Today's German pornography is generally very similar to the American "glamour" pornography [...]. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_pornography#Germany [Nov 2005]

Tawdry exploitation films

Germany is frequently overlooked as an exporter of tawdry exploitation films. Sure, we all know what a big deal the Germans were back in the silent era, and we’re similarly well acquainted with the country’s more recent arthouse heavyweights— Werner Herzog and the rest— but Germany is hardly the first country that springs to mind when one thinks about guys in tacky monster suits menacing half-naked girls. And that, my friends, is why everybody who cares about movies in which guys in tacky monster suits menace half-naked girls needs to see Horrors of Spider Island, the second of the highly eccentric low-budget horror flicks produced by Wolf C. Hartwig in 1959. Hartwig was, first and foremost, a smut peddler. Having gotten his start in 1953 with a taboo-breaking dramatization of the romance between Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun, he was certainly no stranger to controversy, and by the 1970’s, he had become one of the country’s most successful— and scandalous— film producers on the strength of the endlessly prolific Schoolgirl Report series of pseudo-documentary skin flicks. But nothing else he made can match Horrors of Spider Island and its companion-piece, The Head, for sheer weirdness. --Scott Ashlin via http://www.1000misspenthours.com/reviews/reviewsh-m/horrorsofspiderisland.htm [Nov 2005]

Horror films in 1950s Germany

Ah yes, the 50ies in Germany - "Wirtschaftswunder", Agfacolor musicals and book burnings. Yes, that's right: pulp novels were burned in order to keep youngsters from getting bad ideas, and a politically correct children's magazine celebrated the event (Hitler, eat your heart out). However, the threat could not be stopped...

Try and make sense of the fact that, in the Mid-Fifties, anybody would acquire the rights to Undersea Kingdom (1935), dub it and distribute it in regular cinemas, and you may feel just how starved for entertainment Germany was after the end of the Third Reich. Having been deprived of non-German movies, literature and music for years, the public was thankful for every bone tossed at thema, and the hunger was enormous: in 1958 alone, there were about 500 movies being dubbed.

In a reversal of the situation before 1945, anything American was considered inherently superior, especially as local Westerns or horror movies simply didn't exist - the very occasional shootouts in Heimatfilme or the dull 1952 Alraune just were no substitute. (The highly popular and disregarded genre Heimatfilme, the German/Austrian own "Western", was defined by a folkloristic, usually Alpine, setting and a few stock ideas, as well as much stock footage of wild life. Grim melodramas, stupid comedies and about everything else could make a Heimatfilm, and there are a few gems buried unter the dross.)

At the same time, for many critics, entertainment was a most suspicious, unclean and threatening concept - comedies dealing with marital infidelity got attacked just as regularly as "violent" Western movies. Struggling to overcome the moral disaster of WW II, those critics yearned for an idyllic world, an orderly place populated by nice people leading optimistic talks. Instead, they got Can-Can dancers, shoot-outs and grotesque aliens. --http://www.metamovie.de/film/misc/gerhor.html [Nov 2005]

Horrors of Spider Island (1960) - Fritz Böttger

Horrors of Spider Island (1960) - Fritz Böttger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Image sourced here.

'Horrors of Spider Island' was made in Germany and originally called 'Ein Toter hing im Netz', literally 'A Dead One Hung in the Net',

Produced by Wolf C. Hartwig

Schulmädchen Report #1 (1970) - Ernst Hofbauer

The Schulmadchen Report/Schoolgirl Report (1970) - Gert Wilden & Orchestra [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Schulmädchen Report #1 (Hofbauer, 1970, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066341/) and the dozens of sex report films that followed were anxious hybrids of reportage, sex education films and soft core pornography. The series, designed to titillate a assumed older male spectator, were clearly in dialogue with German student radicalism and the politicization of sexuality and nudity of the 1960s. The Schoolgirl Reports pointedly work against this discourse by locating sexual liberation and nudity in the middleclass milieu with pubescent and teenage girls. It functions to re-privatize sex and nudity and to rediscover the erotic and unpolitical charge ofthe young female body. The fictional psychologist in the film who compiles the report from his research authorizes sexual experimentation as a natural process that schools and parents can and should monitor; sexual liberationas a political force is recuperated as a middle class coming of age story. --Jennifer Fay, Michigan State University, http://www.uiowa.edu/~mmla/abstract-sample.html [Dec 2004]

Edgar Wallace

Die Edgar Wallace Filme - (1982)

Edgar Wallace is a German phenomenon. Pretty much all of his 100 plus mysteries are easily available in German translations, when you'd be hard pushed to even find a handful in their original English. His special mix of fast paced adventure and elaborate whodunnit resulted in a series of 32 German Wallace movies ("Krimis") shot between 1959-1972 by Rialto Film. They were so popular that other production companies soon followed suit and tried to get their share of the market. Even Jess Franco jumped on that bandwagon with Der Teufel kam aus Akasava (THE DEVIL CAME FROM AKASAVA, 1970). --http://www.dantenet.com/er/ERchives/reviews/d_reviews/daffodil.html [Nov 2005]

see also: Edgar Wallace - Weimar - Germany - film - Klaus Kinski

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