Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Sleaze Artists

Sleaze Artists: Cinema at the Margins of Taste, Style and Politics is a collection of essays on the subject of horror and exploitation movies, edited by Jeffrey Sconce. As is usual with this type of book the articles are of varying interest, and intellectual density and/or obscurity.

There’s an essay on the troubled but fascinating history of Maro Bava’s masterpiece Lisa and the Devil, in its various incarnations. The essay on sound and image in video nasties I’ve already spoken about. Other essays cover Doris Wishman’s sexploitation movies from a feminist perspective, the career of Todd Haynes, movies about homosexuality in the military, Aztec mummy movies and sundry other topics.

It’s reasonably interesting, but nowhere near as good as Xavier Mendik and Graeme Harper’s Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics or Tombs and Tohill’s superb Immoral Tales: European Sex and Horror Movies 1956-1984, or the Necronomicon series of books edited by Andy Black.

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