Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rapesploitation

I Spit on Your Grave
I Spit on Your Grave
Rapesploitation flicks reached their heights in the 1970s' Exploitation Film movement but "Roughies" predate them by several decades. The majority of Rapesploitation films of the 1970s exploited the Women's Rights Movement of the era and almost all are Revenge Flicks. Like every field, there are earnest attempts, but the majority of these films were simply capitalizing on controversial issues of the times.

The Sexual Revolution of the previous decade paved the way for the release of more provocative films on a wider level but part of the Women's Rights Movement included the "Freedom to Choose" -- sexual partners without facing a social double-standard, to pursue a career instead of being a mother or homemaker, and so forth. As some of the worst examples in this sub-genre prove, the idea threatened a significant portion of American audience members of both genders for various reasons.

All of this coincided with the popularity of the Devil Flick, a sub-genre of Religiousploitation which usually features a female victim who utters sexually explicit language to the shock of all onlookers.
Possession, in this sense, was portrayed as rape. These films did much better with audiences, as more people related to them despite the prevailing attitude that many women "got what they deserved" or somehow "brought it upon themselves." Against a religious backdrop, everyone could become a victim.

Rapesploitation films usually took the side of victim, not always preying on the simpler and uglier emotions but sensationalizing the issue nonetheless. The worst absolutely used the guise of Women's Rights and Sexual Freedom as flimsy ruses by which to peddle smut.


Copyright 2014, The Weirding

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