A film designed by its producers to ‘exploit’, via clever marketing and promotion, the notoriety of certain sensational current events and trends and/or taboo subjects. The term was coined by Variety in 1946 and originally applied to US cinema. Exploitation films are usually low-budget and calculatedly commercial, venturing into parts of the market neglected by mainstream filmmaking. The term also implies an objective on the part of the producer to ‘exploit’ base audience desires to see more explicit descriptions of sex, violence, or drug abuse than are available in other films and media.
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