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Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 19601980 [Paperback]

Danny Shipka
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £40.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 May 2011
The European exploitation film industry of Italy, Spain and France during the height of its popularity from 1960 to 1980 is the focus of this entertaining history. With subject matter running the gamut from Italian zombies (Zombi 2) to Spanish werewolves (La Marca del Hombre Lobo) to French lesbian vampires (Blood and Roses), the shocking and profoundly entertaining motion pictures of the "Eurocult" genre are discussed from the standpoint of both the films and the filmmakers, including such internationally celebrated auteurs as Mario Bava, Jess Franco, Jean Rollin and Paul Naschy.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc (31 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786448881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786448883
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,104,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in European cult movies, trash movies or giallo, this is an amazing book. I thought I would be dipping in occasionally, looking up the odd entry from time to time, but no, once I had started reading I could hardly put it down. Even the most trashy or sexist films are dealt with in the same enthusiastic tone as anything else and put into some sort of social or political context. Obviously written by a real enthusiast, this is a thrill to read. Films that you thought just you and a few friends really liked, Danny is holding up to the light and rating just as highly as you. Its an expensive book but not a wasted page. The pictures could have been in colour but there are lots of them and they are well chosen. The most obscure titles are not included but I'm just so grateful to have this. One of the only and surely the best overviews of a very specialist but much loved area of film, ignored for too long by all but us fans. Excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perverse Titillation! 9 Jan 2012
By Steve Smethers - Published on
The book Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980 by Danny Shipka is a remarkable chronicle of a genre of film and its creators that has not previously been told by media or film historians. Accented with reprints of posters and other promotion memorabilia from the period and narrated in an entertaining style, Perverse Titillation covers the shocking, yet relevant, social, political and cultural phenomena that gave rise to a brand of cinematic storytelling that spread throughout the world. As Dr. Shipka points out, these films were very popular in American movie theaters and drive-ins, and greatly influenced more modern Hollywood filmmaking. The book is not a defense of the content of these movies or their auteurs; rather, Perverse Titillation helps us understand these films in the context of their times. Anyone who teaches film appreciation courses, popular culture, women's studies or general social and/or media history classes would find this book to be a valuable resource for reference or as a supplemental text.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner you're sure to enjoy. 6 Mar 2012
By JFerrante - Published on
There are two really great things about this book: the personal narrative, and the comprehensive research. The personal narrative brought by Shipka lets the reader tap into what we all feel when we watch any film and the thorough bibliography lets you do some additional research for that particularly interesting movie. Overall, it's a good read with some really good insight from the author.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Shipka Gives European exploitation Film the Respect it deserves! 16 April 2012
By Nadia Ramoutar - Published on
Dr. Shipka's book is an incredible accomplishment in film analysis and film history. His research on the films, the culture and countries of origin are mind blowing. He has given an incredible amount of attention and insight into a field that is horribly under represented in the Film Studies arena. I for one was not a major fan of these films and until reading his book often dismissed them as low budget productions of small importance. He shows us, however, how and why these films do more that shock or repulse, they do more that "titilate" or terrorize. The films serve an important social commentary about very significant times in a country's history and social standing. Dr. Shipka has painstakingly watched these films obviously in such a significant way as to offer new insights to fellow scholars and film students alike. This book is inspiring and insightful and holds a precious space on my book shelf of film analysis' books for it's unque representation of my youth in Europe. I applaud his courage in doing such a book and his dedication in bringing it to marketplace. Thank you Dr. Shipka. As a fellow film scholar, I can't wait to see what you do next. I appreciate your pioneering spirit and your wonderful movie posters!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exploring The Guilty Pleasures Of Euro Exploitation... 29 April 2012
By 4-Legged Defender - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
[Perverse Titillation - The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980 by Danny Shipka - 2011] As someone who's had a penchant and unshakable weakness for Eurohorror films on TV since the mid 60's when I was a young impressionable kid, and a Eurocult enthusiast since the early 70's when once-reputable theaters in my neighborhood morphed into grindhouse grotto's almost overnight, I had to hear someone else's insights into these once-ignored genres of cinema, which thankfully have come to be re-evaluated if not respected and newly appreciated in languid hindsight decades after the fact.

There's something here for all levels of aficionados, from entry-level and occasional fans those rabid and militant like myself, who own hundreds of these flicks. Shipka's style of writing is informative though not too academic or dry, and is occasionally humorous, and each country is given its own segment chronicling the history and relevance of these films, followed by a filmography with synopses of most of the films discussed. There is a bit of redundancy here, as a film's plot is unveiled during the course of the country's output, and then rehashed verbatim later in the filmography review. But, for most, this is a petty complaint. The section on Italy is the longest as they produced more of these films than the other two countries combined, but unfortunately, only the most well-recognized films are covered, there are no rarities unearthed, no gems of unknown enjoyment for those versed in this genre. Naturally, there are details chronicling the careers of grandfathers Bava, Freda and Margheriti, along with godfathers Fulci, Argento and D'Amato, but Umberto Lenzi's early gialli are conspicuously absent. There is a healthy dose of early Italian gothic horror flicks, mondo oddities, cannibal and zombie fests, exorcism and naughty nun niblets, and the sex and sadism cinema we all have grown to know and love (some of us a bit more than others, I might add). A fine overview of all categories are mentioned, though maybe not plumbed in the extreme, as I might have liked - another minor gripe, but as someone who literally owns every film documented in this book, I claim entitlement to my opinions.

The chapter on Spain's output was the favorite for me, as it involved a highly detailed and well-crafted chronicle on the most prolific of all sleazemeisters, the blasphemous but legendary Jess Franco, who's made some of the best and worst exploitation flicks to ever come off the assembly line of questionable viewing. An exceptional homage laid out properly. Too many folks dismiss Franco for his failings, but here was a deserved tribute to the auteur demon of decadence. Also noted were directors Armando De Ossorio, Jorge Grau and Paul Naschy. Great stuff.

The French were never big on the sadism and violence that perpetuated the Italian and Spanish flicks, having a preference for the sexual aspects instead, so the installment here focuses more on the few truly notable entries like Franju's 'Eyes Without a Face' and the psychedelic sins of Jean Rollin ("Narrative? What narrative? Who needs a stinking narrative when we have lesbian vampires?") And let us not forget the impact of Just Jaekin's 'The Story of O' and the first two 'Emmanuelle' films that made it safe for the arthouse crowd to sit side by side with the raincoat crowd during the 70's. Good times indeed.

The best feature this book held for me was the fantastic selection of rare foreign poster art reproductions that are peppered throughout - even in B+W they're wickedly fetching and, after finishing the book, you'll find yourself ransacking it again for more visual 'perverse titillations'.

All in all, a necessity for those whose interests in this arena are high - four stars for jaded souls like me who are on a constant, unhealthy search under every rock for a film that slipped under the radar, but a full five star book for those with a normal quotient for 'Perverse Titillations'. Essential.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Perspective on the film industry 15 Feb 2012
By Jordan - Published on
Of all of the books out there that talk about the film industry, few are as well researched and clear as this. It's obvious the author put much time into the creation of this book, as it ties together stories from his childhood in a very real way. All you horror movie fans out there need to check out this book. It's a fun, twisted kick of a history lesson on some of the neatest films out there. If for no other reason, the film education and exposure you get from this book is incredibly interesting. I don't see the point in getting upset about this book when there are so many more controversial (and terrible) books out there. Nothing to argue about that. :)
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