The Cultural Gutter

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

RIP, Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Animator, director and producer Arthur Rankin, Jr. has died. Rankin is probably best known for his Rankin/Bass studio’s holiday television specials such as Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town and Mad Monster Party. He also produced and directed The Last Unicorn, The Hobbit (1977), The Return Of The King (1980), The […]

Death to Life Day

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A lot of people my age have vague memories of a Star Wars holiday special back from some time in the 1970s, but beyond that their memories go blurry. Maybe they recall it had something or other to do with wookies, but specifics are difficult to drag up from the recesses of the mind — […]

“Rankin / Bass’s The Thing”

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Trailer for Rankin / Bass’s The Thing. (Also, please enjoy The Thing re-enacted with G.I. Joe action figures).

“When Little Joe The Krampus Met”

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Friend of the Gutter K.A. Laity has created a digital chapbook of her festive Krampusnacht story, “When Little Joe The Krampus Met, A Cautionary Tale.” Read the pdf or listen here.

“The Truth About Krampus”

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At Atlas Obscura, Al Ridenour writes about the Krampus, Krampusse, Perchten and LA’s upcoming Krampusfest.

Haunted History

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Just in time for Halloween, The Gutter’s own Keith Allison explores haunted history in New York City; Louisville, KY; Centralia, PA; London, UK; and Sydney, Australia at his website, Teleport City.

Rain City Superheroes at May Day

Seattle’s superhero community is planning on attending May Day demonstrations, just in case. Here’s footage from superhero Phoenix Jones’ Phoenix cam at last year’s demonstrations. Update: Report and footage from May Day, 2013

50 Wonderful Things in 2012

Linda Holmes shares 50 wonderful things at NPR’s Monkey See blog.

Krampus Papercraft!

Make yourself two little Krampusse just in time for Krampusnacht! Krampus 1 and Krampus 2.

John Carpenter’s Halloween

At Funny Or Die, John Carpenter presents, “John Carpenter’s Halloween!”

Things That Go Bump In The Night

(No, I don’t mean that kind of bump. Sheesh.  You people.) Given the timing of this column, and its proximity to Halloween, it seemed logical to write about the spooky side of Romance.  But it was a little harder than I thought to put together a reading list.  I wanted to concentrate on books that […]

“Cool Guys: The Ballad of Astron-6″

Spectactularoptical interviews the gentlemen of the Canadian genre film making collective, Astron-6, and includes a retrospective–with video!

“Sometimes It Doesn’t Get Better”

In discussing Astron-6′s horror movie, Father’s Day, Dave Pace notes that what seems to make viewers uncomfortable is not the violence but the nudity, the male nudity.  “What I don’t understand is the uncomfortable shifting around and the outright revulsion you will hear for the scenes where you just see regular naked men. I also […]

Auld Lang Syne

John Hodgman telepathically communicates the meaning of, “Auld Lang Syne.”

Comics-Themed Cocktails

Comics Alliance‘s Chris Sims has concocted his own comics-themed cocktails, including a comments section cocktail for comics fans.

“Merry Xmas from Chiron Beta Prime”

Jonathan Coulton’s “Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime” rocks in ASL, as performed by Stephen Torrence.

A Very Kaiju Christmas!

Some Kaijutastic Christmas displays–prominently featuring Godzilla!

In Honor of Amps that Go to 11

The Monkey See blog celebrates Nigel Tufnel Day with a serious consideration of “the greatest rock and roll record ever made: 1984′s soundtrack for the movie This Is Spinal Tap.”

Posada Documentary

A complete short documentary on the brilliant Mexican illustrator and satirist, Jose Guadalupe Posada from the Academic Film Archive. It includes both his calavera (or skeleton) and non-calavera prints.

Pumpkin Zombie Sculpture

A gallery of pictures of Ray Villafane’s incredible zombie pumpkin sculpture for the New York Botanical Garden.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    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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    At Never Get Off The Bus, Debbie Moon writes about Captain America: First Avenger. “When adapting existing material, it’s easy to assume that in order to reach point F, you simply have to work through points A – E. To set up Steve Rogers in the modern world, simply romp briskly through everything that happened before he got there. But your character may not be undergoing a single united emotional journey during that period. “

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    At Sequart, friend of the Gutter Colin Smith is taking an exhaustive look at the American superhero comics of Mark Millar–and by exhaustive, we mean, “28 Part.”

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    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley writes about his past as a soap opera fan and the return of a classic soap opera, The Doctors, and its significance for the genre.

     

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    Action choreographer, director and stunt performer Panna Rittikrai has died. Films Panna worked on, whether as a choreographer, director, producer and/or actor include: Born To Fight / Gerd Ma Lui (1986 and 2004), Tom Yum Goong (2005), Chocolate (2008), Spirited Killer (1994),  Power Kids (2009),  Dynamite Warrior/Khon Fai Bin (2006), Bangkok Knockout (2010) and all three Ong-Bak films (2003, 2008, 2010).  Film Business Asia, The Bangkok Post and Wise Kwai’s Thai Film Journal have obituaries. City On Fire and Far East Films also remember Panna. Here’s an interview with Panna from Thai Indie.  Panna kicks ass in this tribute video.

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    Actor and singer Elaine Stritch has died. Stritch worked extensively on Broadway, but she also appeared in September (1987), Small Time Crooks (2000), Monster-In-Law (2005), the British television series, Two’s Company3rd Rock From The Sun, My Sister Eileen and 30 Rock. The New York Times Variety and The Detroit Free Press. Saara Dutton remembers Stritch in her piece, “In Praise of Broads.” Here Stritch performs, “Zip” from Pal Joey, “Why Do The Wrong People Travel?” from Sail Away and “I’m Still Here” at the White House. Here she is in a 2008 production of Endgame. And here she is on Theater Talk.

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