DVDs for purchase(Trailer compilations)
"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:
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.”