Top ten exploitation films

To hail the release of meta-slasher Rough Cut, we celebrate the baddest and bloodiest movies around

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Brit conceptual artist Jamie Shovlin's debut feature, "metamentary" Rough Cut, follows a crew on location in the Lake District as they try to remake scenes from an imaginary slasher called Hiker Meat. It's pieced together from Shovlin's extensive collection of clips from exploitation films - lurid, low-budget movies that thrived in the 70s by touting shock-value, and influenced directors from Tarantino to John Waters. With Rough Cut now out in cinemas, here our are exploitation picks.

Black Christmas (1974)

Also released as Silent Night, Evil Night, this Canadian slasher antidote for those overdosed on festive cheer is by Bob Clark, strangely also the director of upbeat Yuletide comedy A Christmas Story. Inspired by urban legend, it follows a group of sorority sisters stalked and killed over the Christmas holiday.

Deep Red (1975)

This Italian giallo from Dario Argento has a soundtrack from prog rockers Goblin, and follows a music teacher as he investigates the murder of a psychic medium. Argento chose to shoot it in Turin because at the time there were more practicing Satanists there than in nearly any other European city.

Lady Snowblood (1973)

Based on manga Shurayukihime, this Japanese Chambara film (a non-traditional, OTT style of samurai film that got its name from the sound of swords clashing) was a major influence on Tarantino's Kill Bill, and sees prison-born Yuki seek vengeance on men who destroyed her family.

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Using a "found footage" device that influenced later horrors like The Blair Witch Project, Ruggero Deodato's notoriously graphic Italian cannibal film - wrongly alleged to be a snuff film when first released - follows a missing documentary crew in the Amazon to film cannibal tribes.

Black Caesar (1973)

This blaxploitation film (name-checked in Public Enemy's track "Burn Hollywood Burn") has a music score by James Brown and sees an African-American who was brutally assaulted by a racist white cop as a kid head a Harlem crime empire and wage war on Italian mobsters.

The Sinful Dwarf (1973)

Shot in a Copenhagen standing in for London, this freakish Danish flick sees a cackling dwarf lure girls into a creepy apartment block where he lives with his mother, a washed-up cabaret-singer drunk prone to impromptu Carmen Miranda impersonations, and hook them on smack. 

Reefer Madness (1936)

Originally funded by a church group as a morality tale but re-cut and distributed on the exploitation film circuit as unintentional comedy, this propaganda film - rediscovered in the 70s - turns on the melodramatic consequences of high school students being lured into smoking pot.

Bad Girls Go To Hell (1965)

This campy sexploitation film from Doris Wishman - an influence on John Waters and films such as Thelma and Louise - follows a Boston housewife who, after bludgeoning to death with an ashtray the man who tries to rape her, goes on the road to escape the law.

Vanishing Point (1971)

This carsploitation film embraced the counterculture spirit of rebellion through its lone car delivery man Kowalski, who has accepted a bet to get a Dodge Challenger from Colorado to San Francisco in less than 15 hours, and has the cops on his tail.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

This Russ Meyer sexploitation number, from which glam metal band Faster, Pussycat took its name, was shot in the Mojave Desert, and sees three buxom, fast-car driving go-go dancers go on a crime rampage.

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