Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Mirimax)


From Dario Argento to George A. Romero: Quentin Tarantino lists his 20 favourite 'exploitation films'


Being a filmmaker with a certain amount of experience in the style of exploitation films, Quentin Tarantino has offered up a list of some of the greats that have influenced him over the years.

The term “exploitation” is very loosely defined in cinema, and, in analysis, has more to do with the viewer’s perception of the film. That said, on a stereotypical instance, the film would include explicit sexual scenes, sensationalist violence, drug use and general titillating material.

Tarantino, who himself has made his name within this sub-genre of cinema, deployed successful traits of exploitation in his popular films Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction so turning attentions to his knowledge of the subject is a great place to start. Asked to contribute a list of his favourite types of “exploitation films” for the Grindhouse Cinema Database, Tarantino referenced two George A. Romero pictures, two from Jimmy Wang Yu and plenty others.

“Some of [the movies] don’t quite work,” Tarantino said of his list. “For instance, Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion, that was never released anywhere outside Japan… My point being, it has to have been played in a grindhouse… The same way like Halloween could be on [the list], but Friday The 13th…couldn’t, because that was a Paramount movie.”

See the full list, below.

Quentin Tarantino’s top 20 exploitation films:

  1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Tobe Hooper, 1974
  2. Dawn of the Dead – George A. Romero, 1978
  3. Night of the Living Dead – George A. Romero, 1968
  4. Halloween – John Carpenter, 1978
  5. Coffy – Jack Hill, 1973
  6. Rolling Thunder – John Flynn, 1977
  7. Five Fingers of Death – Cheng Chang Ho, 1972
  8. The Mack – Michael Campus, 1973
  9. The Girl From Starship Venus – Derek Ford, 1973
  10. The Last House On The Left – Wes Craven, 1972
  11. Master of the Flying Guillotine – Jimmy Wang Yu, 1976
  12. Wipeout – Fernando DiLeo, 1973
  13. The Street Fighter | Return of The Street Fighter | The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge 
    – (“You just have to kinda consider all three of them together.” – QT)
  14. The Psychic – Lucio Fulci, 1977
  15. The Lady in Red – Lewis Teague, 1979
  16. Thriller: A Cruel Picture – Bo Arne Vibenius, 1974
  17. Suspiria – Dario Argento, 1977
  18. The Chinese Boxer – Jimmy Wang Yu, 1970
  19. The Savage Seven – Richard Rush, 1968
  20. The Pom Pom Girls – Joseph Ruben, 1976

(Via: Grindhouse Cinema)