25th anniversary of Sleazoid Express Event

Jun ’05
12:00 am

This June, the groundbreaking cinema publication Sleazoid Express celebrates its twenty fifth anniversary. Sleazoid Express was originally founded by Bill Landis. In June 1980, living in the George Washington Hotel on 23rd Street with only a manual typewriter at his disposal, Landis created the first issue of Sleazoid Express.
The periodical became a one-sheet bi-weekly giveaway at bookstores, record stores and any sort of venue where people displayed a strong interest in film One theory driving Sleazoid Express was that there were no distinctions between art, underground and exploitation movies. Sleazoid Express also featured tie-in screenings at hipster venues such as the Club 57, the Mudd Club, and Danceteria. Classic exploitation and underground movies including Mondo Cane, Toys Are Not For Children and The Chelsea Girls were shown to overcapacity crowds. It held the first major festival of exploitation movies at New York?s culty Rocky Horror showcase at the 8the
By the end of 1981 Sleazoid developed into less of a periodical specifically about motion pictures than a document of Landis? participational experiences in Times Square. These included stints as adult theater manager, projectionist, ticket taker, and involvement in a host of vice related activity that fell between these cracks.
By this time in the mid-1980s, Sleazoid Express became portrayed by such periodicals as Rolling Stone and Film Comment. Sleazoid Express became recognized as the original movie ?zine,? as well as a living, breathing document of the red lit Times Square lifestyle.
These articles about Landis?s work in Sleazoid Express attracted the attention of burgeoning film writer and sexual documentarian Michelle Clifford. They collaborated on pieces for publications including Film Comment, The Village Voice, Hustler, Carbon 14, the book on the HIV situation Beyond Crisis and an ACLU handbook on the same, and Screw on the heyday of Times Square. Together the two collaborated on the biography of underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger, Anger: the Unauthorized Biography (HarperCollins, 1995).
Clifford took the Sleazoid aesthetic one step further by declaring no difference between pornographic, art, exploitation and underground films. In 1997, she founded her ?journal of sexual curiousity,? Metasex. Metasex concentrated on the illusion created by adult movies as compared to the real lives of their performers and makers and the entire vice lifestyle of the old Times Square.
In 1999, Clifford partnered with Landis to revamp Sleazoid Express and authored Sleazoid Express: A Mind Twisting Tour Through the Grindhouses of Times Square (Simon and Schuster, 2002), a look at the aesthetics of key exploitation films and genres seen within the theatrical settings of the old Times Square. The book reached a whole new young audience of film fans who had become familiar with the movies through the advent of home video and DVD.
Landis and Clifford continue to collaborate on Sleazoid Express and Metasex in monograph form, and have published eleven issues of their publications.
Sleazoid Express is on the web at www.sleazoidexpress.com and Metasex?s website appears at www.metasex.org. Both have recently relocated to Chicago and will be on hand with a new issue of Sleazoid Express to discuss and sign.