Authored by: Dolores Tierney

The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138950276
eBook ISBN: 9781315668819
Adobe ISBN:


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Although one hears little about it, Latin America has an exceptionally diverse tradition of what could be called exploitation cinemas ranging from the 1950s vampire and wrestling/horror hybrid movies of Mexican director Fernando Méndez (Ladrón de cadáveres/Bodysnatcher 1956, El vampiro/The Vampire 1957) to more contemporary cult horror films like La casa muda (The Silent House, Gustavo Hernández, Uruguay 2010). When Latsploitation, Exploitation Cinemas and Latin America (Ruétalo and Tierney 2009) was first published, it represented a significant move forward in English language work on these exploitation cinemas. What made Latsploitation exceptional in terms of work on the region’s cinema at the time was that, unlike most of the previous anthologies and continent-wide accounts of the region’s different national filmmaking endeavours, the authors of its seventeen essays did not focus on mainstream, art or political cinemas, but instead took on the task of analysing and accounting for these almost completely critically neglected exploitation cinemas, arguing for their inclusion as part of a bigger regional “picture of film production, exhibition and circulation” (D’Lugo 2012: 592). 1 With respect to exploitation cinemas, Latsploitation filled a gap in the then burgeoning field of exploitation cinema studies, bringing the hitherto largely ignored diverse exploitation cinemas of Latin American into its frame of reference. As such, Latsploitation was the first book in English of its kind. In the years since its publication, “latsploitation” as a term has gained increasing currency in academic studies. The term appears as a stand-alone entry in Annette Kuhn and Guy Westwell’s A Dictionary of Film Studies (2012), who define it as: “[A] distinctly Latin American variant of the exploitation film” (2012: 243). The term also appears in publications which seek to build on the Latsploitation anthology including Rosana Díaz-Zambrana and Patricia Tomé’s Spanish-language anthology Horrorfílmico: Aproximaciones al cine de terror en Latinoamérica y el Caribe (2012).

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