As long as film has existed, filmmakers have found a way to exploit it, as Elijah Drenner shows us in this shocking look at the cinematic underground, AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE. Drenner presents a complete and fully informed history of the Exploitation genre, from its early beginnings in films like Thomas Edison's TRAFFIC IN SOULS to the more recent trend in so-called "Torture-Porn" pictures like HOSTEL. Few realize just how outrageous and scandalous the films of the pre-Code era truly were, with a proliferation of sex and violence that Drenner brings back to the surface for a startling effect. The evolution of Exploitation is then documented in great detail, traveling through the stages of the early sex films, educational pictures, horror and the grand guignol, Film Noir, burlesque, teenage delinquency, Sexploitation, and gore (and that's just in the first half!). However debatable the content of these films may be, the cultural impact that filmmakers like Russ Meyer, Samuel Arkoff, and Herschell Gordon Lewis had on cinema is unmistakable. Robert Forster's dry narration often seems out of place given the sensational subject matter, but the colorful commentary of the Exploitation genre's most knowledgeable historians and filmmakers help to liven things up. An excellent ensemble of classic film trailers and vintage posters also accompany this informative look into filth, with key editing attributed to Andy Goldenberg, Dan Greene, and Drenner, himself.