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Sleazoid Express: A Mind-Twisting Tour Through the Grindhouse Cinema of Times Square Paperback – December 3, 2002
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From Library Journal
New York City's grindhouses (burlesque theaters gone to seed) are long gone, but sin-ema fans can relive the experience with this definitive study. Landis, founder of the eponymously titled cult classic periodical, and Clifford, his partner in grime, take readers on a tour of the Deuce, the psychosexual netherland on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Between the 1960s and 1980s, the area was home to numerous theaters before being razed and overlaid with family theme restaurants and chain stores in the 1990s. Organized by film genre ("Blood Horror," "Eurosleaze," etc.), the book covers the venues themselves as well as industry personnel, 42nd Street habitu s, and, of course, the deliciously offbeat and perverse films-Black Mama, White Mama; Women in Cages; and, this reviewer's personal favorite, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. Like Jimmy McDonough's The Ghastly One, an excellent biography on sexploitation auteur Andy Milligan, this book moves the chains down the field in grindhouse cinema's march for respectability. Great fetish film fun for all popular culture and film collections.
Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Drawing upon their "full-scale magazine with a website" (gol-lee!) Sleazoid Express, which is dedicated to exploitation cinema, Landis and Clifford revel in old Times Square and the porno shops, dirty-movie theaters, and titty bars it hosted before Disney and its ilk made it safe for squeaky-clean consumerism. Yet they eschew the square's typical denizens for a whole chapter on the Rialto, which featured "the American blood horror genre" more than nudie-cutie flicks; Herschell Gordon Lewis and his magnum opus, Blood Feast, put in honored appearances here. A lesser name of no lesser glory that also pops up is Larry Buchanan, whose Mondo Exotica (aka Naughty Dallas) was a documentary about Jack Ruby's Carousel Club; it and other movies with mondo in the title were loosely patterned after the 1962 hit Italian "shockumentary" Mondo Cane, and, besides being surefire Times Square attractions, constitute a distinctive, often icky genre all of their own. Though not for every film buff, this book will draw vintage-sleaze fans from both sides of the culture-wars skirmish line. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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My only criticism of the book is that there is not as much emphasis on the "story" of the author seeing these movies and the grindhouses he frequented. Although there, this book does not read like a nonfictional narrative of the author's explorations, which I was expecting from some of the book's descriptions. It is very much a guidebook, with the chapters organized by genre, director, series, and/or time period rather than according to the author's experiences or a novel-like structure.
Although the book wasn't written or structured in the way I expected, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and am loaning it to some of my friends who are also interested in these movies. And I know I will continue to refer to it whenever I have an urge to search out a whacky and uniquely offensive movie gem.
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It starts talking about a specific cinema, then mentions some film, and if...Read more