Underground U.S.A.: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon by Xavier Mendik
Whether defined by the carnivalesque excesses of Troma studios (The Toxic Avenger), the arthouse erotica of Radley Metzger and Doris Wishman, or the narrative experimentations of Abel Ferrara, Melvin Van Peebles, Jack Smith, or Harmony Korine, underground cinema has achieved an important position within American film culture. Often defined as "cult" and "exploitation" or "alternative" and "independent," the American underground retains separate strategies of production and exhibition from the cinematic mainstream, while its sexual and cinematic representations differ from the traditionally conservative structures of the Hollywood system. Underground U.S.A. offers a fascinating overview of this area of maverick moviemaking by considering the links between the experimental and exploitative traditions of the American underground.
Xavier Mendik is the director of the Cult Film Archive at University College Northampton, and he is the general editor of the AlterImage series. Steven Jay Schneider is author of The Cinema of Wes Craven.
Table of Contents
Introduction - Explorations Underground: American Film (Ad)ventures Beneath the Hollywood Rader, by Xavier Mendik and Steven Jay Schneider 1. 'No Sicker Than You Were Before': Theory Economy and Power in Abel Ferrara's The Addiction, by Joan Hawkins 2. Radley Metzger's Elegant Arousal: Cultural Value, Eroticism, and Sexploitation, by Elena Gorfinkel 3. Curtis Harrington and the Underground Roots of the Modern Horror Film, by Stephen R. Bissette 4. 'Special Effects' in the Cutting Room, by Tony Williams 5. Real(ist) Horror: From Execution Videos to Snuff Films, by Joel Black 6. A Report on Bruce Conner's Report, by Martin F. Norden 7. Voyeurism Sadism and Transgression: Screen notes and Observations on Warhol's Blow Job and I, A Man, by Jack Sargeant 8. Doris Wishman Meets the Avant-Garde, by Michael J. Bowen 9. 'You Bled My Mother, You Bled My Father, But You Won't Bleed Me': The Underground Trio of Melvin Van Peebles, by Garrett Chaffin-Quiray 10. Full Throttle on the Highway to Hell: Mavericks, Machismo, and Mayhem in the American Biker Movie, by Bill Osgerby 11. The Ideal Cinema of Harry Smith, by Jonathan L. Crane 12. What Is the Neo-Underground and What Isn't: A First Consideration of Harmony Korine, by Benjamin Halligan 13. Underground America 1999, by Annalee Newitz 14. Phantom Menace: Killer Fans, Consumer Activism, and Digital Filmmakers, by Sara Gwenllian Jones 15. Film Co-ops: Old Soldiers From the Sixties Still Standing in Battle Against Hollywood Commercialism, by Jack Stevenson 16. Gouts of Blood: The Colourful Underground Universe of Herschell Gordon Lewis, by Xavier Mendik 17. Theory of Xenomorphosis, by Nick Zedd 18. Visions of New York: Films from the 1960's Underground", by David Schwartz 19. A Tasteless Art: Waters, Kaufman, and the Pursuit of 'Pure' Gross-Out, by Xavier Mendik & Steven Jay Schneider