Film Exploitation Film Analysis

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Exploitation films have been produced since the beginning of film, but once the Production Code was no longer in effect, more these films could be produced and at a faster rate. One genre of exploitation cinema is the drug crime film. Starting as early as the 1930s, filmmakers made movies about the dangers of doing drugs. These films were often cheaply made and aimed at a small audience (Clark 4). They were theatrically simple, with an uncomplicated narrative: “these are films whose entire function (apart from making money) is to shock and titillate” (5). These early exploitation films were interesting to audiences because of “their promise of titillation, their professed educational mission, their topicality, and their construction of a social Other” (Schaeffer 18). Viewers were able to project fears onto the “Other,” allowing the antagonist to be the scapegoat for their own problems (23). Early exploitation drug films between the 1930s and 1950s were used as anti-drug propaganda, warning of their dangers. As the Production Code was …show more content…
However, this film seems to be aimed mostly at adults, not the youth that marijuana is a threat to. The principal speaks directly to the camera, but addresses the adults in the audience. However, this film certainly communicates that marijuana is a frightening drug that can and will ruin lives. It clouds judgment, leading to murder, rape, and insanity. Ralph, who goes insane, is used as an example of what could happen to someone who smokes marijuana. “The film did not enjoy much success in the 1930s [but] it was revived in the early 1970s […], where it gained a real following among potheads, who took ironic pleasure from the film’s almost demented anti-drug propaganda” (Mathijs & Sexton

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