Australian Cinema > types > exploitation

Exploitation Films in Australasia

See: Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild Untold Story of Ozploitation! (Mark Hartley, 2008) for a list of about sixty relevant films.

Carol Laseur provides these definitions (which she contests) of "exploitation" films.

Films made with little or no attention to quality or artistic merit but with an eye to a quick profit, usually via high-pressure sales and promotion techniques emphasizing some sensational aspect of the product. [3]


A film that exploits a subject for its commercial advantage by pandering to the curiosity and prurience of the audience. Such films may exploit current violent events ... or well known personalities. [4]

The films that she discusses in her article include these.

Bloodmoon (Alec Mills, 1990) thriller, horror, sci-fi; killer mutilates couples

Hostage: The Christine Maresch Story (Frank Shields, 1982) aka Savage Attraction; Gabriella Barraket, Clare Binney, Bert Cooper, Hank Johannes, Kerry Mack, Judy Nunn, Ralph Schicha

Howling 3: The Marsupials (Philippe Mora, 1987) Barry Otto, Imogen Annesley (Jerboa), Dasha Blahova, Max Fairchild, Ralph Cotterill, Leigh Biolos, Burnum Burnum

Sons of Steel (Gary L. Keady, 1989) rock star and his girlfriend strive to turn back time in order to avert a disaster in the near future; exploitation

Garry Gillard defines exploitation in these terms.

This is a case where the film as a whole is seen as an excuse to show something for which there is not sufficient motivation in the plot - something of a violent, or horrific, or - in this case - sexual nature. [5]

The context here is Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971), which Gillard argues exploits the bodies of both its young stars: in the display of the nakedness of Jenny Agutter, and of the dancing of David Gulpilil.


3. Ephraim Katz 1979, The International Film Encyclopedia, Macmillan, London: 396.

4. Ira Koningsberg 1987, The Complete Film Dictionary, Bloomsbury, London: 107.

5. Garry Gillard 2003, "Walkabout: simply a road movie?" Australian Screen Education, 32, Spring: 96-99.

Garry Gillard | New: 11 December, 2004 | Now: 17 May, 2020