Director: Elijah Drenner
This doc felt weirdly slight, and I see now it was 80 minutes. It traces the history of film from its origins to what sorts of theaters carried schlocky, sexy, or violent films not produced by the studios.
But... it's weirdly focused on just New York and LA, forgetting these movies had audiences all over, and never curious about how they were (or were not) seen in the rest of the country. I'm not sure I buy of the main theses of the film, that the studios started making "grindhouse" movies because of the end of the vertical integration of studios and theaters that dissolved post WWII. But I would agree that eventually studios got involved with content formerly reserved for the grindhouse market. I'd just point to studios trying to differentiate from what was on TV once the Hays Code fell apart and the rating system came to be.
There are pretty good interviews, including Eddie Muller, and some creators of some classic schlock, much of which I haven't gotten around to seeing (pitching a 'Women in Cages' movie to Jamie is not as easy as one would believe). And I've never come across availability of Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. But I was pleased with which ones I'd seen. I think they gave Russ Meyers and his real legacy basically no consideration, and it's weird. There's no mention of kung-fu or other genre. Instead, they seem to want to follow a thread to porn that I'm not sure works if you remember actual porn theaters existing and that was an adjacent but not entirely related thing.
In short - it's fine, but feels... debatable? Like the narratives only work if you aren't thinking too hard.