Awesome trivia surrounding our mother country: veteran low budget filmmakers once considered the Philippines as “the ultimate B-movie feast from the far, far east.”
From the early '70s well into the '90s the Philippines was utilized by B-movie makers of all calibers for its inexpensive labor, exotic locations and distinct lack of rules.
Machete Maidens Unleashed, a documentary detailing the celebration of the Filipino genre filmmaking back in the days, reveals this mouth-watering discovery.
It also recalls how these movies were all about the three-Bs – blood, beasts, and breasts – and how it gave birth to a genre we now worship.
These low-budget, barely distributed, critically panned films became cult classics among American audiences, leading us to where we are now: at the forefront of 20th century B-movie cinema history. Really!
The documentary features interviews from the filmmakers and actors who made this no-holds-barred filmmaking possible – Patrick Wayne, John Landis, Eddie Garcia and the legendary Eddie Romero (he’s the brainchild, actually).
(Click here to watch the trailer, which contains the three-Bs mentioned above.)
Footages of cult classics The Big Bird House, Cleopatra Wong, Ebony, Ivory & Jade, Night of the Cobra Woman, Dynamite Johnson, Black Mama, White Mama, and a gut load of other films make their way into this hour and a half feature.
Karate kickin’ midgets, paper-mache monsters, and busty babes with blades – all Manila-made – comprises a genre of jungle, women in prison, kung-fu hybrids and monster movies we never had a chance to see 'til now.
Machete Maidens Unleashed is currently screening at the Toronto and Melbourne International Film Festivals. No news yet on when and where it will make its way our local waters, but heck, we’re four decades too late on this discovery and we’re still proud of it.
If you want to know more about Machete Maidens Unleashed, check out the film's website.
WORDS BY MIKEY AGULTO