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Bad Girls Go to Hell. Cannibal Holocaust. Eve and the Handyman. Examining film culture’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