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Grindhouse: The Forbidden World of "Adults Only" Cinema (1996) - Eddie Muller, Daniel Farris
exploitation film - grindhouse cinema - sex film - sexploitation
Grindhouse: The Forbidden World of "Adults Only" Cinema (1996) - Eddie Muller
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Vice Rackets! Narcotics! Nazis! Nudists! Cults! Wrestling Women! No sooner than the first movie camera was invented, it was put to sordid use. Grindhouse is a sexy and sardonic romp through the history of "adults only" cinema, from the roadshows and "hygiene" movies of the '30s, to the burlesque and vice movies of the '40s, to the Scandinavian Invasion of the '70s. Includes photos of rare posters and lobby cards as well as portraits of the auteurs of the films, such as Russ Meyer and David F. Friedman.
Eddie MullerEddie Muller is an American film writer and cultural critic. His website is http://www.eddiemuller.com/.
DescriptionGrindhouse: The Forbidden World of "Adults Only" Cinema is a 1996 non-fiction film book by Eddie Muller. Its subject is grindhouse cinema from the 1920s until the 1970s, after which the genre had become superfluous by the arrival of home video.
Interview by Gary Johnson at imagesjournal.com
From the 1920s through the 1970s, America's most fearless entrepreneurs created thousands of "adults only" features--exploitation films that promised "Sinsational!" treatments of the day's hottest topics. These films played red-light-district theaters and roadshows for almost half a century, until hardcore pornography and the advent of VCRs rang the death knell for this distinctive form of "art."
This world of sexploitation cinema is investigated in new book by Eddie Muller and Daniel Faris called Grindhouse. This book takes its readers on a journey through the history of "Adults Only" movies as played out in the grindhouse circuit. Starting with the sex hygiene and vice racket pictures of the thirties and continuing through the burlesque films of the forties, the nudist camp and nudie cutie movies of the fifties, and the roughies, kinkies and ghoulies of the sixties, Muller and Faris paint a picture of the sexual attitudes of the times and the hucksters who teased their audiences with promises of forbidden sights. --http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue02/features/grind-splash.htm [May 2004]
Review by Gary Morris
Surrealist poet Paul Éluard once said, "There is another world, but it is in this one." Adults-only grindhouse movies - from 1930s cautionary tales about syphilis to 1970s porno chic - were, until their death-by-video in the 1980s, one of those other worlds "in this one." While Hollywood dutifully cranked out all kinds of respectable fare, legendary back-alley entrepreneurs like Kroger Babb and Dwain Esper would sneak into small towns across the heartland, rent a dilapidated theatre or pitch a tent, create a stir with grandiose (and grossly misleading) posters, and show their titillating exposés to awed audiences until the police arrived to shut them down. The relationship of these men - and occasionally women, like Doris Wishman - to mainstream movie exhibition was something akin to a leech on a warm body, gleefully undermining an entity much higher on the food chain.
Grindhouse moves giddily through the decades, passing from '30s "road to ruin" pix to the '40s burlesque and dope films, and into the '50s, when grindhouses became "art houses." The two strains collided in 1955 when huckster Kroger Babb bought the U.S. rights to Ingmar Bergman's Summer with Monika. (Babb was notorious for his 1944 cinematic marriage manual Mom and Dad, which featured a birth in clinical detail.) Besides what the authors call "imported Euro-skin," the 1950s saw the ascendance of Russ Meyer with his classic of voyeurism, The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959).
Meyer, Babb, Wishman, Friedman and the others profiled in this book laid the groundwork for the emergence of both hardcore sexploitation in 1972 (Deep Throat) and the increasing ability of mainstream filmmakers to incorporate frank sexual elements in their work, before video (starting in 1975) slowly strangled the life out of the scene.
... --Gary Morris, March 1997 via http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/18/18_grind.html
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