Tuesday, December 23, 2008

R.I.P. Bill Landis

A posting by Lee Peterson at the Mobius Home Video Forum reports the sudden death of exploitation cinema expert, fanzine publisher, 42nd Street projectionist and actor Bill Landis from a heart attack.

Landis, who would have turned 50 next year, published the legendary fanzine SLEAZOID EXPRESS between 1980-1985 and later revived it for six issues with partner Michelle Clifford (with whom he also published the fanzine METASEX) in 1999. The couple collected the best of their writings in the Touchstone/Simon & Schuster book SLEAZOID EXPRESS, published in 2002. He also wrote the book ANGER: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF KENNETH ANGER, reviews for the SOHO WEEKLY NEWS, articles and interviews for FILM COMMENT, THE VILLAGE VOICE, the early years of FANGORIA (his Andy Milligan interview remains one of the most important and amazing documents in FANGO's long history), and other publications.

One of exploitation cinema's most important archaeologists, Landis was the first writer to pay serious attention to the works of filmmakers like Milligan and Michael & Roberta Findlay, and film series like the OLGA pictures, FLESH trilogy and the ILSA saga starring Dyanne Thorne. A whole generation of fanzines, beginning with Michael J. Weldon's original PSYCHOTRONIC, were cast in his image. This IMDb bio tells more, and a whole assortment of promotional interviews can be found here.

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