RIP Bill Landis (1959 – 2008)

Via Tim Lucas comes the news that Bill Landis is dead.

Bill Landis (1959 – 2008) created the Xeroxed fanzine Sleazoid Express in 1980. It featured reviews of the exploitation films playing New York City’s Times Square’s 42nd Street grindhouse and reports on the local scene. The later issues also featured reviews from acclaimed Jimmy McDonough.

Sleazoid Express (1980-1983, and later editions) was the house journal of the grindhouse movie scene in New York circa 1964-1984. Edited by Bill Landis, a projectionist and devotee of the crime-ridden sleaze houses, the magazine not only captured the genre affections but the whole Times Square milieu of drugs, violence and prostitution. Typical films shown in the movie houses, which centred around the city’s 42nd Street, included Bamboo House of Dolls, Blood Sucking Freaks, The Corpse Grinders, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, Miss Nymphet’s Zap-In and The Ultimate Degenerate.

Far from representing a marginal off-shoot of the movie business, the grindhouse films would be later plundered for ideas and imagery by mainstream cinema, while the trash ethic and aesthetic of the magazine itself would be effortlessly copied by many others.

Bill Landis co-wrote with his wife for 22 years Michelle Clifford, who is the principal author of Metasex.

Footnote: Bill Landis was fond of Alice Arno and Karin Schubert