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In Defence of Eurotrash

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Posted 25th April 2009 at 03:41 PM by Sam@Cult Labs
Updated 25th April 2009 at 09:19 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

In Defence of Eurotrash

Some people on Twitter don't like the term Eurotrash to describe movies and they feel it's a insult to the art of movie making and that those who might use the term are somehow ignorant and unenlightened about cinema.

They also feel that people who use the term are only reviewing cult movies to be trendy or ironic. I'd argue differently. It takes a certain knowledge of cult cinema to apply the term correctly and besides, if you've actually sat through some of the films produced by a studio like Eurocine or by Italian auteur/porno hack Joe D'mato, maybe you'd see that it can be a relevant and more importantly, fun term to use for such efforts. Rather than say "this film is a pile of shit" , I'd rather say it's a Eurotrash movie, which then allows a viewer to come at the film with a sense of humour and really enjoy it, flaws included. Some of these films have moments of real beauty in among the cornball dialogue, nasty violence and implied horse masturbation*

I'm not jumping on some fashionable, grindhouse inspired band wagon when I talk about the films, they've been a part of my life since I was a child. I grew up mainlining horror and European cult movies as my local video shop was a gold mine for entertaining weirdness.

For instance, I love Lamberto Bava's Demons. But is it a work of art? Would the director make any such claims for it or was he a journeyman, producing effective product for an established market? One look at the punks snorting Cocaine from a Coke can as a visual pun, or the ridiculous pimp character or the use of German Studs 'n' Leather 80s Power Metal band Accept's insane "Fast as a Shark" in the soundtrack will answer that question.

I'm sorry, but I come at these films as works of entertainment first and foremost and If the zoom happy, poverty row budgeting of a bottom tier Jess Franco movie amuses me, how is that a crime against cinema?

I still think he's a remarkable individual, capable of great things (watch The Bloody Judge to see him at the reigns of a decent budget) but that doesn't mean his stab at an Isla movie should be treated as art. It's a piece of nasty, sadistic eurotrash, designed to appeal to base instincts. It's cheapness will cause amusement and it's an exploitation movie, created to generate an income stream and nothing else. Ok, he does have some peccadillos that pop up in a lot of his films, but if putting your wife through various degrees of degradation means we have to regard him as some kind of auteur then I think I'm in the wrong job here.

Finally, Just because I announced on Twitter that some of my reviews were for Eurotrash movies, doesn't mean that I lump all low budget European fantastic cinema in that particular basket. Clearly, no one saw me refer to Mario Bava as the "Italian Hitchcock". At the same time, Danger Diabolik is an incredibly stupid film. A glorious, wonderful, bright, sparkly, colourful rush of a stupid film, with amazing ideas and an exacting visual sense, but it's still stupid and if anyone out there wants to scratch their beard and intellectualize it, that's fine too. I just like it for what it is.

If people think I'm a trend hopping idiot for writing this blog, well, each to their own. In my defense, if I've upset anyone with my choice of terminology, bear in mind that I've spent a large chunk of my life watching this stuff and I think I've got a fairly good grasp of what I'm talking about.

If you've only seen the twitter feed and not read what I have to say, take some time to read the stuff and you'll see that I love my topic and that the whole site is filled with people who feel the same way.


Sam (aged 35 1/4)


* As seen in that arthouse classic "Emanuelle in America"
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