The Cultural Gutter

the cult in your pop culture

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Henry Hasse Has Had It With Science Fiction

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Pornokitsch reprints a letter Henry Hasse wrote to Ray Bradbury’s Futuria Fantasia under the pseudonym, “Foo E Onya”  in 1939 (and notes the Hasse rebutted his own letter in the next issue). “The editor of this magazine [Ray Bradbury], under the impression that I am still one of that queer tribe known as science-fiction fans, […]

“Reel Romance: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2015”

Nitrate Diva shares her favorite classic film discoveries of 2015! “A theme that connects most (though not all) of these movies is unlikely or unexpected romance. In Second Floor Mystery, two strangers flirt through coded messages and elaborate fictions, modeled on potboiler clichés. In Heaven Can Wait, a playboy reflects on the value of lifelong […]

“Idleness Is An Art Form”

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At Teleport City, the Gutter’s own Keith writes about the Emmanuelle films and the woman who inspired the character. “My first glimpse at European sex films provided escape into a theoretically obtainable world. I decided I wanted to travel, that I wanted to be a writer, that I wanted to trod the earth with nothing […]

“William Cameron Menzies: Chandu The Magician

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At Movie Morlocks, friend of the Gutter Kimberly Lindbergs writes about William Cameron Menzies and his film, Chandu The Magician (1932). “In recent weeks, you might have heard about the upcoming Doctor Strange film currently scheduled for release in November of 2016. The news caught my attention because I’ve always liked the comic book character […]

10 Comics I Liked in 2015

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I’m a little chilly after a strangely, even eerily warm Yuletide writing my annual list of comics I liked in 2015 suddenly snowed in in Montreal and then subjected to what I can only call, “Frost Giant Snot” on the long road home. As always, I try to choose comics I haven’t written about much […]

Soviet Erotic Alphabet

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Bturn has a gallery of images from a Soviet picture book in which naked people form the letters of the cyrillic alphabet. “The fascinating scans come from an alphabet picture book published around 1931, allegedly to fight widespread illiteracy across the vast Soviet territories. It was drawn by no less than Sergey Merkurov, the former […]

“Goodbye to Japan’s Manga King”

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At The Daily Beast, Jake Adelstein writes about comic creator and folklore scholar Shigeru Mizuki, the astounding breadth of Mizuki’s work and Mizuki’s challenge to revisionist history. “Mizuki rose to fame through his popular comics, but starting in the seventies, he created a variety of controversial works which looked at the brutality of Japan during […]

“The Art Of The Gag”

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Tony Zhou has a new video up at Every Frame A Painting. This time, he looks at Buster Keaton and, “The Art Of The Gag.”

Classic Musicals + “Uptown Funk”

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Nerd Fest UK has an edit of scenes from 66 classic musicals set to “Uptown Funk.” (Click the cc button to see which musicals have been used). (Thanks, Andrew!)

Magazines! So Many Magazines!

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The Media Digital History Library has so many media magazines–film, drama and radio reviews from 1894!  So many magazines! Old movie weirdos and old time radio enthusiasts, rejoice!

“Why Lesbian Vampire Movies Are Terrible (But Also Totally Amazing)”

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At Autostraddle, Sara Century writes about why Lesbian vampire movies are terrible and totally amazing. “As heterosexual vampire stories had their origin in the fear of female sexuality, displayed clearly in novels like Dracula which consistently robbed its female characters of sexual autonomy throughout the narrative, lesbian vampire stories are clearly based in the insecurity […]

“Vampires, Psychics and Ghosts: A Look At Queer Women In Horror”

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At Bitch Media, Sara Century writs about Queer women in horror. “The first horror films to feature queer female characters are some of the first films of any kind to portray queer women.”

The Pioneering Women of Electronic Music

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The Vinyl Factory has an interactive timeline of women in electronic music from Ada Lovelace to the 2014 Ada Project–with links to recommended listening.

The Gaping, Wooden Maw of Horror Wants To Kiss You

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Every October I like to write about something spooky. I’ve written about  Frankenstein and Dracula,  dead girls and dread, mummies and mutant sea creatures. This year, I thought I’d write about werewolves, but it didn’t work out. I considered Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko’s Torso, but Eliot Ness pursuing a Cleveland serial killer in […]

A History of Shaw Bros. Movies on Video

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At Hubpages, Stethacantus writes about the history of Shaw Bros. wuxia and kung fu movies on video and “How The North American Release of the Shaw Brothers Movies was Botched.”

The Black Cat at The Projection Booth

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Rob and Mike watch Edgar Ulmer’s The Black Cat (1934) at The Projection Booth. “The first big American studio film — and last big American studio film – directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, The Black Cat is, uh, ‘inspired’ by Edgar Allan Poe’s short story and stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in a taut […]

The Clothes Of Hercule Poirot (And Captain Hastings)

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Gentleman’s Gazette has a piece on the sartorial splendor of Hercule Poirot and of Captain Hastings in the BBC television adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Poirot mysteries.

“Billie Holiday on Swing Street”

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At The Alcohol Professor, The Gutter’s own Keith writes about Billie Holiday in a fantastic two-part piece. Part one traces “the history of Billie Holiday and NYC nightlife through the Harlem Renaissance to Café Society.” Part two covers “Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and the jazz scene in New York City clubs of a bygone era.”

“13 Barrier-Breaking Women of Early Cinema and Old Hollywood”

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Friend of the Gutter, Nitrate Diva writes about 13 women who helped shape cinema. “Hollywood is, in many ways, a more male-dominated environment today than it was 90 or so years ago. Scary, huh? In order to perpetuate a culture where more women make movies now, we need to recognize the women who made movies in […]

“(The Printing of) the Legend of Frances Farmer”

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“When she didn’t get an answer, Frances starting throwing punches.” You Must Remember This podcast looks at the life and legend of actor Frances Farmer.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The Los Angeles Times has an interview with Margaret Sixel, editor of Mad Max: Fury Road. “I wanted every single shot to progress the story. I don’t like repetition. And I think we applied that rule religiously throughout the film….I watched a film last night and they kept cutting back again and again and the expression on the actor’s face was exactly the same. I felt like, ‘You’ve used the shot three times already!’ That’s what I don’t like. There’d better be some progress.”

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    “During the 1970’s Black filmmakers found their voices by making films that spoke to urban audiences in a way that had never been done before. Films like Sugar Hill, Abby, The Zebra Killers and so many more packed theaters with audiences hungry for Horror Movies where the Black Guy didn’t die first. 40 years later, Black horror films have made a lasting impact within the Black community. These films are national treasures and should be a part of any film collection. The Museum of UnCut Funk pays homage to the Blaxpolitation Horror films of 1974.” Click through for more. (via @GrveyardShiftSisters)

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    Mubi has a collection of film posters designed by Eva Švankmajerová, Surrealist painter, writer and filmmaker. Learn more about Eva Švankmajerová with an posthumous interview with Gwendolyn Albert, the translator of her novel, Baradla Cave.

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    At The Toast, Mo Moulton watches Downton Abbey and discusses its portrayal of Neville Chamberlain. “Here, then, is Neville Chamberlain in 1925. He is fulfilling the expectations set by an extraordinary political family. His father, Joseph Chamberlain, ran a screw factory in Birmingham, where he became passionate about urban improvement as a method for bettering the lives of his workers. As Liberal mayor of Birmingham, he was an early, passionate proponent of what became known as “gas and water socialism”: he wanted to put those services within reach of every resident by putting them under the management of local government. So far, it’s hard to imagine the Earl of Grantham having much in common with this energetic, egalitarian entrepreneur.”

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    In honor of Black History and Women In Horror Month, Graveyard Shift Sisters take a look at Audre’s Revenge Film collective, which was founded by Monika Estrella Negra:  “Audre’s Revenge Film was created in order to promote visibility of womyn, queer, trans and intersex folks of color in the sci fi and horror universe.

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    Please enjoy an hour of rare Bollywood synth funk (and an interview with DJ Fitz who put the mix together). (via @BethLovesBolly)

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