The Cultural Gutter

we've seen things you people wouldn't believe

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

“Where Have All The Midnight Movies Gone?”

Midnight Madness Programmer and Gutter Friend, Colin Geddes, is interviewed (along with many others) about the history of midnight movies from El Topo and Eraserhead till now.

To Kill A Mockingbird and Horror

“Even if we were to discount the element of Southern small town prejudice and the ugly courtroom trial that occupies the film’s center, this adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee is just plain spooky… and it is my feeling that it has bestowed upon us a legacy of horror that we […]

RIP, Bill Hinzman

Bill Hinzman has died. Hinzman played the first modern zombie, who staggered across the graveyard in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

What Do Zombies Mean to Americans?

Meanwhile, Annalee Newitz presents, “A Brief History of Zombies in America.”

Grr, Argh, Trailer Round-up

Grr, argh! Here’s a little undead creatures trailer round-up from the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness program:  Daybreakers,  Survival of the Dead and [Rec]2.  Grr, argh!

John Wayne Can’t Save You

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This month we’re mixing it up at the Gutter with each editor writing about something outside their usual domain. This week Carol Borden writes about movies. She can normally be found here. Blood Red Earth has been on FEARnet for weeks now. A horror movie set in the Old West with a Native American cast? […]

ROUND THE DECAY OF THAT COLOSSAL WRECK

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In the run-up to, and wake of, the release of Watchmen, it has become common currency to say that adapting Zach Snyder, et al undertook a massive challenge in adapting Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ complex, sprawling medium- and genre-defining work for the screen. But I’m going to suggest that they actually undertook an even […]

DANGEROUS BECAUSE IT HAS A PHILOSOPHY

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In Videodrome, shortly before the arrival of the least sexy waiter in the history of cinema (no link for this, you’ll just have to go rent the movie), Max Renn (James Woods, no hyperlink needed) and Masha (Lynne Gorman, IMDb listing not interesting enough to link to) share the following exchange on the nature of […]

THE SHOCK OF THE STIFF

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After breaking my own vow never to do a list article last month, I felt like I should come back with something a little more rigorous to make up. So here it is: a postmodern examination of the zombie, and a chance for me to use up all my five-dollar words. And yes, I will […]

Knitted Zombie Doom

Behold the power of a knitted Dawn of the Dead, Tom Savini from Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead (see the flickr slideshow if you’d prefer) and the knitted Shaun of the Dead all created by cakeyvoice. cakeyvoice sells them, too. (All props to jiang tou at spiltpopcorn for the catch)

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Paleofuture, Matt Novak writes about Idiocracy‘s unpleasant implications: “Sure. As an over-the-top comedic dystopia, the movie is actually enjoyable. But the movie’s introduction makes it an unnerving reference to toss around as our go-to insult….Unlike other films that satirize the media and the soul-crushing consequences of sensationalized entertainment (my personal favorite being 1951′s Ace in the Hole), Idiocracy lays the blame at the feet of an undeserved target (the poor) while implicitly advocating a terrible solution (eugenics). The movie’s underlying premise is a fundamentally dangerous and backwards way to understand the world.” (via The Projection Booth)

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    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley looks at “The 1979 Rockford Files Episode That Inspired The Sopranos.” “A gang from Newark’s South Side is hiding Vinnie Martine’s body in a restaurant freezer. Tony’s mad because Anthony Jr. got caught pranking another mobster. And a boss who’s trying to reform gets his mansion sprayed with bullets. Remember that episode of The Sopranos? If you do, your memory’s playing tricks on you, because all these things happened on a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files—written by Sopranos creator David Chase.”

    And McKinley defends classic television with, “In Praise of Vintage Television.”

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    Journalist Margot Adler has died. She is best known for her work as a journalist on NPR, but she also created the speculative fiction radio program, “The Hour Of The Wolf” and was the writer of Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979) and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side (2014). The New York Times, NPR and  Suvudu have obituaries.  Here Adler discusses Vampires Are Us. And here is an excerpt from Adler’s memoir, Heretic’s Heart (1997).

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    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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    Actor James Shigeta has died. Shigeta appeared in Die Hard (1988), The Crimson Kimono (1959) The Flower Drum Song (1961),  Bridge To The Sun (1961), Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), The Yakuza (1974) and many, many television shows.  The AV Club, Den Of Geek and Angry Asian Man have obituaries. Bridge to the Sun is discussed by Robert Osborne and Dr. Peter Feng on TCM.  At RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz writes an appreciation of Shigeta’s life and work. “Shigeta, who died yesterday at 81, was a marvelous performer, and his work as Nakatomi Corporation President Joseph Takagi in the original 1988 Die Hard is one of my favorite examples of how an imaginative actor can sketch out a life in just a few scenes and lines.”

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    At RogerEbert.com, Alan Zilberman explores the history of the eye in cinema from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) to Mark Cahill’s I Origins (2014). (via Matt Zoller Seitz)

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