Mexploitation (some times called Cabrito Western or Mexican video-home) is a film genre of low-budget films that combine elements of an Exploitation film and Mexican culture and/or portrayals of Mexican life within Mexico often dealing with crime, drug trafficking, money and sex.
The Mexican narco-cine (Spanish for narco-cinema) or narco-películas (Spanish for narco-films/narco-movies), are a subgenre of the Mexploitation style films, focused solely on the violence and luxurious lives drug lords and drug cartels, the tittle and the storyline of this films is usually inspired in popular narco corridos (drug ballads, drug songs), and are marketed as low budget tie-in merchandising to the narcocorrido songs. Sometimes these films feature famous narco-corrido singers on them, and are rumored to be financed by drug lords themselves, however only few cases have been proven.
The typical Mexploitation film takes place in the countryside of major cities and drugs, sex, and crime are nearly always involved. These movies are usually low-budget and are filmed in a couple of weeks. They typically feature one or two famous B-movie actors in major roles with the rest of the cast being played by unknown actors.
Mexploitation movies made in the 60s and 70s in Mexico were closer to their American counterparts, with low-budget science-fiction films that often starred Mexican luchadores like El Santo and Huracan Ramirez. However, the early 1980s and 1990s saw a notable change with films increasingly dealing with real-life issues such as drug cartels and the murders of their rivals. Notable actors in these films include Mario Almada, Hugo Stiglitz, Sergio Goyri, Valentin Trujillo, Jorge Reynoso, Rodolfo de Anda, Fernando Almada, Rosa Gloria Chagoyán and David Reynoso.
Director Robert Rodriguez in recent times has been considered a pioneer of Mexploitation in the United States. His first film, El Mariachi contains many Mexploitation elements and his most recent film Planet Terror contained a fake trailer—then developed into a feature film—called Machete, which contains many familiar elements of the genre.
An exploitation film producer and distributor named K. Gordon Murray created a unique collection of horror films in Mexico which began to appear on American late-night television and drive-in screens in the 1960s. Ranging from monster movies clearly owing to the heyday of Universal Studios, to the lucha libre horror films featuring El Santo and the "Wrestling Women," these low-budget films and still were notably campy and inspired a small cult following.