The Cultural Gutter

taking trash seriously

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

“It’s Time To Retire The Disney Death”


At The Dissolve, Tasha Robinson writes about the use and overuse of the “Disney Death” in both Disney and non-Disney animated films. “Still, no matter how ambitious, sophisticated, and elaborate American animated films become, the Disney Death still dominates. It’s spread outside Disney to all sorts of films, from cartoons to adult stories; it’s a […]

The Graves of Russian Mafiya Bosses


Denis Tarasov has photographed the elaborate graves of Russian and Ukrainian organized crime bosses. They’re currently being shown at London’s Saatchi gallery. (via @jakeadelstein)

“How Corpses Helped Shape the London Underground”


‘In her excellent and morbidly fascinating book Necropolis: London and Its Dead, author Catharine Arnold describes in detail the subterranean presence of corpses found throughout the British capital. To no small extent, she makes clear, dead bodies were basically buried everywhere, to the point that, as Arnold pithily states, ‘London is one giant grave.”’ More […]

The Dangerous Dead in Notts

The discovery of a skeleton found with metal spikes through its shoulders, heart and ankles, dating from 550-700AD and buried in the ancient minster town of Southwell, Notts, is detailed in a new report.”More at The Telegraph. (via Disinformation)

Midnight Madness 2012 Trailers!

Trailers for this year’s Midnight Madness programme! Dredd 3D; Seven Psychopaths; The Lords of Salem teaser from a Rob Zombie concert; ABCs of Death; The Bay; and the much anticipated, John Dies at the End.  No One Lives; Hellbenders; Aftershock;  and Child’s Play/Come Out and Play are all playing Midnight Madness, but I haven’t found […]

The Death and Return of Superman

“The Death and Return of Superman,” acted out by many famous nerdy people. (Thanks, Mark!)

The Kids Are All Right

Despite my whinging last month, I do in fact both read and love a lot of young adult Romance.  I  may not be fond of the ‘Supernatural Boyfriend of the Week’ subgenre (and no, Stephanie Meyer did not invent it; it’s been out there for decades), but that still leaves me with a large field […]

The Raven

James Earl Jones and Christopher Walken read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”

The Grave of Bela Lugosi

Today is Bela Lugosi’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Bela!  J. W. Ocker writes about Bela’s perfection as a vampire and about the sadness of his grave.

Death in Games

Narrative Death, Game Mechanics Death (aka, screwing up and dying), No Death, Permadeath and Rewind: Alistair Doulin writes about death in video games.

The Return of the Sea King

Aquaman’s alive. He was dead, if you hadn’t heard. Glen Weldon writes about the Sea King’s re-ascening his throne and how hard it is to be an Aqua-fan.

Tragedy Systems in Grand Theft Auto IV

“Death is permanent and, in all works of fiction, predetermined. Except in video games, where most of the time it is neither.” At Hit Self-Destruct, Duncan writes about agency, time travel and death.

Elvis After Life

Shaken by the Strength and Mighty Power

It’s funny. I knew today was the anniversary of Elvis’ death. I didn’t realize it was the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ long black limousine sliding into the beyond. A good hunk of his afterlife has been in comics. Let us take a moment of silence for the man from Tupelo.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At The Brattle Film Notes, Kerry Fristoe writes about The Road Warrior and Lord Byron’s poem, “Darkness,” in The Road Warrior or Mad Max and Lord Byron Walk into a Bar…”


    There’s a free audio book adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’ Locke & Key at


    At Actionland, Heroic Sister Achillesgirl writes about subtitling the 1964 wuxia film, Buddha Palm. And she provides you with the subtitles and a link to the film!


    At Bleeding Cool, Cap Blackard writes about the contested homeworld of Howard the Duck. “If you’ve seen the much maligned Howard the Duck film or read any Howard the Duck stories published since 1979, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Duckworld. You know, an alternate Earth where everyone is ducks and everything is duck-themed: Ducktor Strange, Bloomingducks, etc, etc. Sounds like a recipe for a finite barrel of bad jokes, right? It is, and it’s also not Howard’s real point of origin. During his landmark initial run, Howard’s creator Steve Gerber had the down-and-out duck hailing from a world of talking animals, but all that changed when Gerber was kicked off the book and Disney flashed a lawsuit. Now, after decades of backstory fumbling, Mark Waid has reinstated Howard’s point of origin in a one-shot issue of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (Thanks, Mark!)


    At The Village Voice, Jackson Connor writes about the making of The Warriors. Amid the refurbished boardwalk and laughter of children, it’s easy to forget that Coney Island was once a place where tourists did not venture. For much of the latter half of the twentieth century, street gangs dominated this neighborhood. They ran rampant through the area’s neglected housing projects, tearing along Surf and Neptune avenues toward West 8th Street. Those gangs, or gangs like them, and that incarnation of Coney Island would form the backbone of author Sol Yurick’s 1965 debut novel, The Warriors, about the young members of a street gang. More than a decade after the novel’s publication it would be optioned and, eventually, turned into a major motion picture of the same name.” (via @pulpcurry)


    Edith Garrud taught Suffragettes jiu-jitsu and formed Emmeline Pankhurst’s Bodyguard. “The first connection between the suffragettes and jiu-jitsu was made at a WSPU meeting. Garrud and her husband William, who ran a martial arts school in London’s Golden Square together, had been booked to attend. But William was ill, so she went alone. ‘Edith normally did the demonstrating, while William did the speaking,’ says Tony Wolf, writer of Suffrajitsu, a trilogy of graphic novels about this aspect of the suffragette movement. ‘But the story goes that the WSPU’s leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, encouraged Edith to do the talking for once, which she did.'”


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