Sleaze Artists  

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"In her 1968 essay “Trash, Art, and the Movies,” Pauline Kael devotes a great deal of copy to extolling the rather scandalous pleasures of American International Pictures’ hippie schlockfest, Wild in the Streets (1968), at one point judging it more interesting than that year’s achingly important 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). No doubt to the calculated shock of her Harper’s readership, she goes so far as to defend the right of teen audiences to prefer Wild in the Streets over the era’s allegedly more sophisticated art cinema."--Sleaze Artists (2007), introduction

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics (2007) is a collection of film criticism edited by Jeffrey Sconce.


Bad Girls Go to Hell. Cannibal Holocaust. Eve and the Handyman. Examining film culturer's ongoing fascination with the low, bad, and sleazy faces of cinema, Sleaze Artists brings together film scholars with a shared interest in the questions posed by disreputable movies and suspect cinema. They explore the ineffable quality of "sleaze" in relation to a range of issues, including the production realities of low-budget exploitation pictures and the ever-shifting terrain of reception and taste.

Writing about horror, exploitation, and sexploitation films, the contributors delve into topics ranging from the place of the "Aztec horror film" in debates about Mexican national identity to a cycle of 1960s films exploring homosexual desire in the military. One contributor charts the distribution saga of Mario Bava's 1972 film Lisa and the Devil through the highs and lows of art cinema, fringe television, grindhouse circuits, and connoisseur DVD markets. Another offers a new perspective on the work of Doris Wishman, the New York housewife turned sexploitation director of the 1960s who has become a cult figure in bad-cinema circles over the past decade. Other contributors analyze the relation between image and sound in sexploitation films and Italian horror movies, the advertising strategies adopted by sexploitation producers during the early 1960s, the relationship between art and trash in Todd Haynes's oeuvre, and the ways that the Friday the 13th series complicates the distinction between "trash" and "legitimate" cinema. The volume closes with an essay on why cinephiles love to hate the movies.

Contributors. Harry M. Benshoff, Kay Dickinson, Chris Fujiwara, Colin Gunckel, Joan Hawkins, Kevin Heffernan, Matt Hills, Chuck Kleinhans, Tania Modleski, Eric Schaefer, Jeffrey Sconce, Greg Taylor


vii Acknowledgments 1 Introduction

part 1: Sleazy Histories 19 Pandering to the “Goon Trade”: Framing the Sexploitation Audience through Advertising Eric Schaefer 47 Women’s Cinema as Counterphobic Cinema: Doris Wishman as the Last Auteur Tania Modleski 71 Representing (Repressed) Homosexuality in the Pre-Stonewall Hollywood Homo-Military Film Harry M. Benshoff 96 Pornography and Documentary: Narrating the Alibi Chuck Kleinhans 121 El signo de la muerte and the Birth of a Genre: Origins and Anatomy of the Aztec Horror Film Colin Gunckel 144 Art House or House of Exorcism? The Changing Distribution and Reception Contexts of Mario Bava’s Lisa and the Devil Kevin Heffernan From Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style, and Politics, Sconce, Jeffrey;Schaefer, Eric;Modleski, Tania;Benshoff, Harry M.;Kleinhans, Chuck;Gunckel, Colin Downloaded on Sep 25, 2014, 12:20 AM at Published by Duke University Press, 2007. All rights reserved. part 2: Sleazy Afterlives 167 Troubling Synthesis: The Horrific Sights and Incompatible Sounds of Video Nasties Kay Dickinson 189 The Sleazy Pedigree of Todd Haynes Joan Hawkins 219 Para-Paracinema: The Friday the 13th Film Series as Other to Trash and Legitimate Film Cultures Matt Hills 240 Boredom, Spasmo, and the Italian System Chris Fujiwara 259 Pure Quidditas or Geek Chic? Cultism as Discernment Greg Taylor 273 Movies: A Century of Failure Jeffrey Sconce 311 Selected Bibliography 321 Contributors 325 Index

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