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The Best Exploitation Movies 

Updated September 23, 2019 797 votes 156 voters 31.1k views

List Rules Vote for your personal favorite Exploitation films, regardless of how popular or successful they were at the box office.

This is a list of all the best exploitation films of all time, many of which are streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The exploitation film genre, also known as grindhouse movies, may feature explicit sex scenes, nudity, drug use, sensational violence, gore, and the bizarre and this genre of movies seek to exploit current trends or lurid content. All of the movies on this list fit within the exploitation film genre and are voted on by people who really care about exploitation/grindhouse movies.

Make sure you always vote for stuff like Schizophreniac: The Whore Mangler or Caged Fury if you like it -- or vote them down if you thought they weren’t so hot. Other movies on this list include The Cocaine Fiends and Human Experiments, but if we missed any exploitation movies movies on this list, please add them yourself, as this is an open list, which means you can add any movies whenever you like (choices are subject to moderation). The films on this list cover the top exploitation films of all time and is currently ordered from best to worst, according to your votes.

So whether you're at home and want to watch these exploitation movies on DVD or streaming… or if you're seeing them in theatres for the first time, this list of the best exploitation movies will help you decide what to watch. So from the latest, to the greatest of the exploitation cinema, here is the full list of exploitation films, ordered from best to worst.

Exploitation movies have been directed by some pretty famous names, including Erle C. Kenton and Joe D\'Amato.

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Glenn Compitello 2 added Ruggero Deodato, Luca Barbareschi, Robert Kerman

Released: 1980

Directed by: Ruggero Deodato

Cannibal Holocaust is a 1980 Italian cannibal film directed by Ruggero Deodato from a screenplay by Gianfranco Clerici, starring Carl Gabriel Yorke, Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, and Luca ...more

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Glenn Compitello 2 added Diamond Dallas Page, Danny Trejo, Ginger Lynn

Released: 2005

Directed by: Rob Zombie

The Devil's Rejects is a 2005 American horror film written and directed by Rob Zombie, and the sequel to his 2003 film House of 1000 Corpses. The film is centered on the run of three members of ...more

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#73 of 852 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #140 of 301 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #10 of 137 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

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Glenn Compitello 2 added Paolo Bonacelli, Caterina Boratto, Hélène Surgère

Released: 1975

Directed by: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, commonly referred to as simply Salò, is a 1975 Italian-French art film written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, with uncredited writing ...more

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Dave O'Brien, Carleton Young, Harry Harvey Jr.

Released: 1936

Directed by: Louis J. Gasnier

Reefer Madness is a 1936–1939 American propaganda exploitation drama film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana—from ...more

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Glenn Compitello 2 added Jelena Gavrilovic, Srđan Todorović, Sergej Trifunović

Released: 2010

Directed by: Srdjan Spasojevic

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eleanor-evans added Christina Lindberg, Per-Axel Arosenius, Bo Arne Vibenius

Released: 1973

Directed by: Bo Arne Vibenius

Thriller – A Cruel Picture is a 1973 Swedish exploitation film in the "rape and revenge" genre written and directed by Bo Arne Vibenius under the name Alex Fridolinski. It tells the ...more

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Glenn Compitello 2 added Rob Zombie, Chris Hardwick, Karen Black

Released: 2003

Directed by: Rob Zombie

House of 1000 Corpses is a 2003 American exploitation horror film directed by Rob Zombie. Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up ...more

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#88 of 852 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #9 of 137 The Goriest Movies Ever Made #382 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

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Phyllis Diller, Horace B. Carpenter, William Woods

Released: 1934

Directed by: Dwain Esper

Maniac, also known as Sex Maniac, is a 1934 black-and-white exploitation/horror film, directed by Dwain Esper and written by Hildegarde Stadie, Esper's wife, as a loose adaptation of the Edgar ...more

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Mel Ferrer, Robert Kerman, Franco Fantasia

Released: 1980

Directed by: Umberto Lenzi

Eaten Alive! is an 1980 Italian horror film directed by Umberto Lenzi. The film is about a young woman who is searching for her sister after her abduction by a cult in the jungles of Sri Lanka.
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Pam Grier, Sid Haig, Anitra Ford

Released: 1972

Directed by: Jack Hill

The Big Bird Cage is a 1972 exploitation film of the "women in prison" subgenre. It serves as a non-sequel follow-up to the 1971 film The Big Doll House. The film was written and ...more
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Fred Williamson, Bo Svenson, Ian Bannen

Released: 1978

Directed by: Enzo G. Castellari

The Inglorious Bastards is a 1978 Italian Action/war film directed by Enzo G. Castellari, written by Sandro Continenza, Sergio Grieco, Franco Marotta, Romano Migliorini, and Laura Toscano, and ...more

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Janine Lindemulder, Ron Jeremy, Erik Estrada

Released: 1989

Directed by: Bill Milling

Caged Fury is a 1989 women in prison film about a group of prisoners who decide to escape from an all-female prison. The film was directed by Bill Milling, and stars Erik Estrada and James
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StarlandSeay added Connie Mason, William Kerwin, Jeffrey Allen

Released: 1964

Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis

Two Thousand Maniacs! is a 1964 splatter film written and directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis. It is the second part of what the director's fans have dubbed "The Blood Trilogy", a trio ...more

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Red1984 added Nude Nuns with Big Guns Asun Ortega, Devanny Pinn, Tawny Amber Young

Released: 2010

Directed by: Joseph Guzman

Nude Nuns with Big Guns is a 2010 nunsploitation thriller film. The film was the subject of one of the largest copyright lawsuits in California. The two lawsuits are the first time that two ...more
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Betty Connell

Released: 1968

Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis

She-Devils On Wheels is a 1968 American exploitation film about an all-female motorcycle gang called The Man-Eaters, directed and produced by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
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Geoffrey Lewis, Lurene Tuttle, Aldo Ray

Released: 1979

Directed by: Gregory Goodell

A women in prison film starring Linda Haynes, Geoffrey Lewis and Ellen Travolta. Director/writer/producer Gregory Goodell's only feature film to be released in cinemas, this film earned its ...more
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Andrew Lauer, Fred Vogel

Released: 2001

Directed by: Fred Vogel

August Underground is a 2001 art film written and directed by Fred Vogel, and co-written by Allen Peters. The first release of Toetag Pictures, the film follows the exploits of a serial killer ...more
I Escaped from Devil's I... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies
I Escaped from Devil's Island Jim Brown, Christopher George, James Luisi

Released: 1973

Directed by: William Witney

I Escaped from Devil's Island is a 1973 exploitation film about an escape attempt from Devil's Island. Roger Corman and Gene Corman produced this grim adventure saga which bears more than a ...more
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Crucified Girls of San Ramon Vonetta McGee, Gordon Mitchell, William Berger

Released: 1972

Directed by: Ernst R. von Theumer

The Big Bust Out is the US title of an Italian women in prison film, The Crucified Girls of San Ramon. The US rights were bought by Roger Corman for New World Pictures, who cut out 20 minutes ...more
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StarlandSeay added Ursula Andress, Stacy Keach, Franco Fantasia

Released: 1978

Directed by: Sergio Martino

The Mountain of the Cannibal God is an Italian cult movie starring Ursula Andress and Stacy Keach with English dialogue that was filmed in Sri Lanka. The film was also widely released in the US ...more
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Released: 1933

Directed by: Michael Mindlin

"Cult film buffs may be familiar with the cycle of "nudie cutie" exploitation films released in the wake of Russ Meyer's hugely successful The Immoral Mr. Teas, at the very end of ...more
Guinea Pig: Slaughter Sp... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Exploitation Movies
Guinea Pig: Slaughter Special Naoto Takenaka, Peter, 久本雅美

Released: 1988

Guinea Pig: Slaughter Special is a 1988 Horror film.
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Schizophreniac: The Whore Mangler John Giancaspro

Released: 1997

Directed by: Ron Atkins

Schizophreniac: The Whore Mangler is 1997 exploitation film written, directed and produced by Ron Atkins. The film was followed by two sequels, Necromaniac: Schizophreniac 2 in 2003 and The ...more
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Lawrence Eugene Williams, Ray Sager, John Shackleford

Released: 1968

Directed by: Herschell Gordon Lewis

Just for the Hell of It is a 1968 drama thriller film written by Allison Louise Downe and directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis.
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Rosalind Cash, Casey Biggs, Vernee Watson-Johnson

Released: 1978

Directed by: Oscar Williams

Death Drug is a 1978 American exploitation film that deals with the harsh and deadly affects of PCP, or "angel dust". The film starred Philip Michael Thomas as a plumber turned musical ...more