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Sleazoid Express: A Mind-Twisting Tour Through the Grindhouse Cinema of Times Square

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Warning: Watch your wallets and stay out of the bathroom!
In a bygone era, when Times Square was crammed with porn shops, gun stores, and drug pushers, disenfranchised moviegoers flocked to the grindhouses along 42nd Street. If the gore epics, women-in-prison films, and shockumentaries showcased within their mildewed walls didn't live up to their outrageous billing, the a
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by Touchstone (first published November 19th 2002)
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Jordan West
This book succeeds at providing a fascinating, warts and all examination of the old-school grindhouse theaters, but unfortunately typos and errors are fairly plentiful, and the individual films and genres covered have been the subject of more thorough, superiorly written studies such as RE/Search's Incredibly Strange Films, The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film, Stephen Thrower's Nightmare USA, and the Andy Milligan biography. Also, despite the authors' undeniable enthusiasm for their subject, t ...more
A great book is a love letter... to characters, a story, a location... and this one's all three. Landis & Clifford's tribute to the exploitation films of the 60s-80's and the scuzzy NYC theatre/porn district where they lurked is one of the funniest AND most depraved books I've ever read. The pokerfaced descriptions of ridiculous movies("The Dirty Dolls so thoroughly defies any normal standards of filmmaking that it's a bewilderment of riches"), the fleapits that showed them ("you didn't even ...more
Grindhouse Mattie
What a great idea! A trip down the dangerous, mind numbing 42nd st. Deuce during it's heyday, the 60's and 70's. Sadly, it spends little time recreating Times Square in the days of the grind house and too much time with long winded synopses on the movies that played there, a great number of which I have seen and don't need to know what their about, and a few facts, I might add, were a bit off. Trust me, I know, but it's still a decent read.
Dr. Detroit
Luckily for those of us not fortunate enough to have lived anywhere within shouting distance of New York's notorious 42nd Street grindhouses, we can live vicariously through the single-minded devotion paid to the subject by authors Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford. "Sleazoid Express," named after the magazine founded by Landis in 1980, takes an unflinching, disturbing, and downright fascinating look at the mildewed, downtrodden, and often filthy theaters in Times Square whose stock in trade was ...more
I was a NJ teenager in the 70's. A bunch of us would take a bus to Port Authority to run around Manhattan. We caught a few of these flicks in the Deuce even though we were underage. One time we missed the last bus back and tried to sleep in the balcony of one of these theaters. Way too crazy there to sleep. I thought i appreciated most z-movie fare until I read this book. I see there were a lot more flicks that went further down the road of transgression than I knew about. I'm glad the author su ...more
as a lover of trash cinema and low budget flicks, i really liked what this guy has put together in this book, part film review time capsule, but also a bit of what it was like in those seedy gross and disgusting late night theatres of new york back before disney put the stranglehold on any thing that had to do with culture and creativity. this is a good book and anybody who loves film should give this a try. and some of the flicks represents here are finally making to dvd, and boy howdy are the ...more
Sad to find out author Bill Landis recently died of a heart attack. Thankfully he gave us this, a masterpiece reference on old Times Square, before he went. Each chapter is devoted to a different Times Square theater and the kind of movies shown there. Serves as a great film criticism book and a nuts and bolts description of the atmosphere of Times Square in the old drugs-and-hooker days. Almost as good as Sam Delaney's memoir on Times Square and that is indeed high praise.
What a great book. But don't read it if you don't care about grindhouse cinema of the 60s and 70s because it will bore the crap out of you. It's all about those jacked up "D" list (almost porn but not) movies folks used to make and run in Times Square back when it was good and seedy (or, depending on your perspective, before it got cleaned up and Disney-fied). And trust me, they do NOT make them like they used to. I loved this book.
Jason Coffman
I've never been certain to feel cheated or relieved that I never got the chance to visit the legendary grindhouse circuit of "The Deuce," and this book didn't help resolve that uncertainty! A vivid oral history of the storied grindhouses and the bizarre films that played them, "Sleazoid Express" is highly entertaining and essential as a historical document of the heyday of 42nd Street culture.
This book sits under my nightstand. I read a little piece of it every few days. I don't even love most of those old movies, I just love reading books by people who are completely and utterly obsessed by something. I also enjoy the fact that the male author dedicates "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" by McFadden and Whitehead to his wife, the female author, in his acknowledgments. Good one.
Mar 18, 2007 Ben rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pretentious film students who should know better. People with appealing taste.
Absolutely one of my favorite books of all time. If you've spent your life yearning for the glory days of Times Square-with all of its prostitutes, drug dealers, porn theaters, and gigantic movie palaces gone to seed showing films like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, LET ME DIE A WOMAN, and MANDINGO--then this book will do everything but actually take you back to 1978-1986.
Jul 15, 2007 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who love bad movies
Shelves: non-fiction, film
I read this book in a couple of weeks up in NYC and had a lot of fun with it. It's obviously a rush job (LOTS of typos and strange grammar), but the info is good and it's really cool to see how much Times Square and The Deuce have changed. Almost sad, really.
After reading it, I wanted to watch every movie that they mentioned in it. Even the terrible ones.
The book is what it claims to be and delivers! It introduced some new-to-me films/directors and made seeing the Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse film in the theatre even better!
Jun 29, 2008 Kym added it
Where porn, horror, exploitation all cut their teeth! I think the sub-title says it all "A mind-twisting tour through the grindhouse cinema of times square"
Automatically transport one into the 42nd street of old(when times square didn't have a Toys R Us). The detail is mind-numbing.
you can almost smell the old times square - wonderful for a movie head like me
Jan 07, 2008 Johnny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: perverts. movie nerds. flashers. peeping toms.
You can almost feel the floor of the theater sticking to your shoes.
Morbus Iff
Wonderful fact-filled storytelling of 42nd, more.
Hater Shepard
makes Pink Flamingos look like Cecil B DeMille!
Jon marked it as to-read
Nov 13, 2015
Emma Stocker
Emma Stocker marked it as to-read
Nov 08, 2015
Dan Cramer
Dan Cramer marked it as to-read
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Daniel marked it as to-read
Nov 01, 2015
Susan Johnston
Susan Johnston marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2015
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