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Tribute to 42nd Street


#1

What was considered to be the mecca of Grindhouse movie-going was New York’s 42nd Street. The old,rough and rugged Times Square which held movie-houses such as The Liberty,Rialto,Empire,Anco,Lyric,etc.

The thing that I would like to do with this topic is to retrieve as much information regarding anything to do with 42nd Street (Crica 1968-1989). Links,articles,multimedia and so forth, in preparation for Grindhouse that will be unleashed in a couple of months.



For starters, here’s A Clip featuring a tour of the area in it’s final days before being transformed into what it is now.



How about naming movies that take place in New York where you see the old movie-houses in the background and what flicks are featured on the marquee?

Check out the opening of the original Shaft. A sexploitation double-feature is currently playing on one of the theaters, Sex School and The Wild Females.



In Basket Case, Duane walks in front of The Apollo Theater (Famous for it’s Kung Fu triple-features) he later buys a ticket to see Sonny Chiba’s The Bodyguard.



Probably the biggest showcase for the vintage 42nd Street so far is Taxi Driver.



The Lyric (Theater in the above pic which has Maniac playing) was home to the porno flick that Travis took Betsy to. And take a good look at what’s playing on the other side of the street when they go outside and argue. Bucktown on a double bill with Ripped-Off (An Italian thriller starring Robert Blake and Ernest Borgnine) plus a big banner for Detroit 9000 can also be seen nearby!

And in the various sequences when Travis is driving around in his cab, keep a close look for other movies playing. You’ll spot:

Mr. Majestyk

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(On a double-bill with Return of the Dragon. Can you imagine going to that?!)

Candy Tangerine Man

Anita: Swedish Nymphet (Starring Christina Lindberg!)

Dolemite (On a double-bill with something called The Mafia Wants Blood!)

See any others?



Feel free to add other stuff. Just trying to keep the spirit of Grindhouse-viewing alive!


#2

DVDs for purchase(Trailer compilations)







Book reading:



Amazon review:

"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."



Interview with the authors:

www.sleazoidexpress.com/



Accounts from 42nd Street:



Bill Landis, co-author of Sleazoid Express, recalls the 42nd Street premier of Cannibal Ferox (Which U.S. title was Make Them Die Slowly) via linear notes on the DVD.



“Cannibal movies are a carnival ride. You may get sick, but that’s part of the anxiety fueling the suspense of the situation. Cannibal epics have been a 42nd Street staple since Umberto Lenzi’s Man From Deep River established the genre back in the seventies.

During the unbearably hot summer of 1984, Make Them Die Slowly constantly promised the Duece audience that it would be the ultimate cannibal film. You’d walk into any grindhouse and get assaulted by the unforgettable trailer. Scenes of cannibalism,dismemberment,castration,and,as the sadistic piece de resistance, a woman being hung by hooks through her breasts, all flew at you with machine gun rapidity. The trailer threatened that Make Them Die Slowly was “the most violent movie ever made”.



Make Them Die Slowly opened on a Friday night. I was working at a Times Square Theater five blocks away and immediately headed over to the Liberty Theater on 42nd Street when my shift was over. The Liberty was a red carpet grindhouse, not too dilapidated and very sexually unthreatening, without that pressure of perverts.



Aquarius Releasing was handling the film’s opening. Aquarius, with its office right on the Duece, had brought 42nd Street such memorably deranged imports as Jess Franco’s Barbed Wire Dolls and gore fests like Dr. Butcher M.D. Aquarius’ head, Terry Levine, an Austrailian, was friendly to film collectors, greeting them in his office and willing to sell particulary juicy trailers. Aquarius was premiering Make Them Die Slowly in grand style. The Liberty’s lobby was filled with oversized posters,small billboards and graphic lobby stills.



Make Them Die Slowly took hold of everyone and shook them from start to finish. It was an epochal event in horror movies. Much like Blood Feast two decades before, it challenged the audience’s expectations and surpassed them.”


#3

More memories from The RZA via his book, Wu-Tang Manual:



“I got my introduction to kung fu flicks in '78 or '79. You’d get a triple feature on 42nd Street for $1.50. At that point, all of 42nd Street had kung fu movies. They’d have three on this side of the street and another three on the other side and they’d rotate them. They’d play them with regular first-run movies. Any given night, you could see Fright Night,Motel Hell,Invasion of the Body Snatchers-plus two kung fu flicks.

…About three years after I saw The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, I was still going to kung-fu flicks, mostly with Dirty (Ol Dirty Bastard) We’d go to a 24-hour hour movie spot that showed pornos and kung fu-flicks. By that time, it was mostly prono on 42nd Street, but some of the porno places had a small room, maybe the size of a classroom, where bums would sleep and they’d show these kung-fu flicks.



So ODB and I, we were always out at night around Times Square-starting fights,getting drunk,chasing women,going to the Roseland-and this one night, we were really high, we’d been out all night and didn’t want to go home. It was cold and we had a couple of 40-ounces and we’d thought we’d crash at this funky theater at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue.



So we went in, at maybe 4 in the morning, and sat down to watch whatever was on. Some we had seen before, but there was one that we’d never seen:Shaolin and Wu Tang. We walked in near the end of it, and just from the last few minutes I was like “What the fuck is this?” It ended and another movie came on and we watched that, and Dirty wanted to leave. But I was like “I got to see that movie.” We stayed and when it came on, it woke us up. It was the best kung-fu movie I’d ever seen in my life-the fighting, the ideas, the concepts,everything.”


#4

So awesome!! I have that movie too! (if hes talkin about Shaolin Vs Wu Tang)





My DVD review of 42nd St Forever Vol 1:



Synapse Films, the film distributor that brought you such classic exploitation titles as Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Nail Gun Massacre and Let Me Die A Woman have put together a tremendous trailer reel that will have Exploitation buffs around the world drooling. Its called 42nd Street Forever and its out now on DVD! Grindhouse Cinema was really quite a different experience than the usual mainstream cinema that most audiences went to see during the 60s, 70s and early 80s. These films were generally made on the cheap, but had real big thrills. The advertising (posters and film trailers) were designed to attract moviegoers by any means necessary. The promotional methods used for Exploitation films were really an art in themselves. The theatrical posters were filled with attention grabbing taglines, eye catching, colorful artwork and the trailers were usually equally exciting to witness. Since the advent of VHS and DVD, theres been quite a change in how films are marketed. Gone are the days when over the top preview trailers and exploitation posters ruled. Nowadays we get bland voiceovers and dull trailers that use the same old tired pop score tracks. When was the last time you saw a film trailer that actually made you want to go see a movie ASAP? The good news is Don May and the cool folks at Synapse Films haveput together a real treat for those of us who love film in all its weird and wacky forms. The trailers you will see on this new DVD are prime examples of what made Exploitation films so exciting and fun, not to mention unique. 42nd Street Forever begins with the trailer for “THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS” in which we see a masked gang of motorcycle maniacs wreaking havoc on innocent civilians. Get ready for lots of blood and gore! A perfect opening to this variety pack of Grindhouse film trailer treasures! The genres covered on this DVD range from Grindhouse Horror/Sci-Fi to Porno, Italian and US Crime Films, Blaxploitation, Sexploitation, Japanese Sci-Fi, Kung Fu, Nunsploitation and more! You’ll get a sweet and spicy taste of everything Grindhouse on this DVD…



Some trailer highlights to look for on 42nd Street Forever: Flesh and Blood Show (awesome trailer!) The completely hysterical I Dismember Mama/Blood Spattered Bride trailer featuring some really strange filmgoers, Ginger (nuff said), A highly frantic trailer for the Peter Cushing horror vehicle: Corruption! The Italian Stallion trailer (featuring a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone), Charlie and The Hooker (two nerdy alter boys trying to get some ass) John “The Wad” Holmes in 3-D!, a sexy rollercoaster ride (literally) in Panorama Blue, Wicked Wicked: the first film ever in Anamorphic DUOVISION! (I love the song the chick in the club sings), The Crippled Masters (two VERY unlikely kung fu heroes!), Superfuzz (Terrence Hill talking to a fish underwater in a crazy Sergio Corbucci crime film), The drop dead gorgeously hot Swedish sex kitten Christina Lindberg in a triple trailer line up for: They Call Her One Eye, The Depraved and Maid In Sweden, Chappaqua: This one is like an acid trip! Shocking Asia: one of the most downright nasty trailers I’ve ever seen! A very low budget, comical sci fi-horror film called The Deadly Spawn which claims its in the tradition of Invasion of The Body Snatchers and Alien!



THE TRAILERS:



THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS - FLESH AND BLOOD SHOW - WOMEN AND BLOODY TERROR/NIGHT OF BLOODY HORROR - I DISMEMBER MAMA/BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE - CORRUPTION - THE BUTCHER OF BINBROOK - GINGER - ITALIAN STALLION - CREAMPUFFS - THE 3 DIMENSIONS OF GRETA - HARD CANDY - THE CENTERFOLD GIRLS - PANORAMA BLUE - WICKED WICKED - TEENAGE MOTHER - CHARLIE AND THE HOOKER - MATANGO - THE GREEN SLIME - DESTROY ALL MONSTERS- THE CRIPPLED MASTER - WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS - THE PINK ANGELS - THE DEPRAVED - THEY CALL HER ONE EYE - MAID IN SWEDEN - BEHIND CONVENT WALLS - SECRET AFRICA - SHOCKING ASIA - CHAPPAQUA - WELCOME HOME BROTHER CHARLES - THE 44 SPECIALIST - THE BULLET MACHINE - DEATH DRIVE - THE RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS - STAR CRASH - THE LEGEND OF NIGGER CHARLEY - BOSS NIGGER - CONFESSIONS OF A SUMMER CAMP COUNSELOR - SUNSET COVE - SUPERFUZZ - DEATH WILL HAVE YOUR EYES - DEATH HAS BLUE EYES - A BLACK VEIL FOR LISA - IRONMASTER - RAPE OF THE SABINES - THE DEADLY SPAWN - DEVILS NIGHTMARE (Popeye Pete)


#5

[quote=“Laydback”]
DVDs for purchase(Trailer compilations)




[/quote]
Also…


#6

Nice review on the DVD there, Pete.

Yup. Love this flick too. One of the best intros ever:

“I MAY HAVE BEEN EXPELLED, BUT I’M STILL THE BEST!”

Thanks for the heads-up on that xxx-treme special edition! Didn’t know about that one comin’ out!


#7

I still think those Mafia Massacre Style/Gone with The Pope trailers are some of the best Grindhouse trailers Ive ever seen. That song “Tickety-Ticktaa!” SO GREAT! :slight_smile:


#8

I wish they would release Mafia Massacre Style


#9

Here’s some shots of the Taxi Driver scene:

http://www.silverscreens.com/cinesaucine/en/taxidriver.html

If you hit the zoom button on your DVD remote on the 5th and 6th pictures, you’ll see that Bucktown and Detroit 9000 are playing across the street!

7 Blows of the Dragon too!


#10

Great stuff LB!



Heres another mini review I did for this book:







If you love cult films and all the great poster art that was used to promote them then “Trash: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Posters” is the book you’ve been looking for. Trash contains 142 pages of some of the most eye catching and explosive exploitation poster artwork released in the 60s and 70s. The book covers many of the most exciting Grindhouse-Drive In genres including Sexploitation, Blaxploitation, Hixploitation, Nazisploitation, Horror, Kung Fu, Drugsploitation and much more! Being a graphic artist and Grindhouse junkie myself, I was thrilled to peel through the pages and see posters from some of my favorite cult films such as the Boulting Brothers’ British psycho thriller Twisted Nerve (1968), the Good Ol Boy classic White Lightning (1973), Jack Hill’s seminal Blaxploitation hit Coffy (1973), the brilliant technicolor nightmarish dream of Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977), Lucio Fulci’s ultra stylized gore classic Zombie (1979) and John Carpenters post apocalyptic adventure film Escape From New York (1981). The book is brimming with the kinds of imagery you just dont see anymore in movie artwork. What made Exploitation posters so fun was the fact that they were created mainly to make the films seem even more attractive and exciting than many of them actually were, of course many Exploitation genre films did indeed live up to the hype their posters conveyed. The posters and trailers were specifically made to drive people to the theaters and drive-ins. Today we get the same old Mr Movie Voice talking over completely dull trailers with the same old programmed pop song being played.



When these lower budget genre classics were being made, it was a different time. There were no DVD players or VHS tapes. The producers relied mainly on promotional campaigns featuring incredibly energizing trailers and of course, the poster art which would be displayed on billboards and in movie theater lobbies. These films were the true gems of outrageous cinema. Whether you were driving to an all night Horror marathon at a Drive In in the suburbs or a Sexploitation Fest at an inner city downtown Grindhouse in NYC, what you’d see up on the screen was wild, out of control, over the top and downright exciting.



Trash not only gives you lots of beautiful exploitive poster art, but author Jaques Boyreau gives you some nicely written, informative introductions to each of the Exploitation categories that are broken up over the 100 plus pages. I can’t reccomend this book enough! Thrill to the sights of some of the most enticing works of promotional art from the days of yesteryear when Exploitation was KING!! (PopeyePete)


#11

More 42nd Street sightings!



Thanks to the Grindhouse-marathon that’s currently going over at the movie board, caught some glimpses of the old area in one of my movie selections.



The New York Ripper-Late in the movie, the cops are on patrol searching for the ripper. The Lyric is showing Final Exam, a slasher.



Next door, 60 Second Assassin is on a double bill with Revenge of the Bushido Blade.



At a theater across the street, Banners for Carbon Copy can be seen (One of Denzel’s first starring gigs!)



Two more martial arts movies at unidentified theaters, Mean Drunken Master and Slaughter in San Francisco…Starring Chuck Norris! 8)


#12

Forgot to mention another sighting:

On Lenzi’s Eaten Alive, Janet Agren (During the opening credits) walks by a theater (I think it’s the Harris) which has Game of Death and Disco 9000 playing.


#13

I was watching Kinjite last night and saw some guy was selling tickets and above him it said “Emmanuelle and Maid In Sweden”.