The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

The Disturbing Nature of Ultraman

A meditation on Ultraman and Ultraman in manga form, drawn by “horror comics auteur” Kazuo Umezu:  “The boys who read this would grow up to read even more outlandish and violent mens’ comics; the girls would have a whole sub-genre of girls’ horror comics, jam-packed with beheadings, defenestrations, and entrails, some drawn by Umezu, for […]

Minoru Kawasaki: Look Back in Fun Fur

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Every April at the Gutter, the editors write about something outside their usual domains.  This month Comics Editor Carol Borden writes about movies. This is not even close to a full retrospective, because while Minoru Kawasaki doesn’t have a huge number of films, many of them are not available with English subtitles and I don’t […]

Ultraman + Ukelele

Ultraman consoles a sad kaiju he finds on the moon. Ukelele! Surfing! Hawai’ian vacation for everyone!

Kaiju Christmas 2010

It’s Kaiju Christmas over at wtfFILM. What the hell am I saying?  It’s Kaiju Christmas everywhere!

Taiwanese Giant Monsters, Discussed!

Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! and TarsTarkas.net join forces to discuss Taiwanese giant monster films and you can listen in!

Waiting for Gorgo?

Do you remember Gorgo? The giant monster that raced up from the oceanic depths and devastated London? The DMOA do.

Akira Ifukube Conducts

Akira Ifukube conducts the Osaka Symphony in a selection of his Godzilla works.

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

The BBC has a nice interview with Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion and SFX Overlord!

NYAFF 2010

The New York Asian Film Festival is coming up and actors Sammo Hung and Simon Yam will be in attending their films Kung Fu Chefs, Bodyguards and Assassins, Echoes of the Rainbow and Eastern Condors. But even if you can’t make it, it’s worth checking out the films and trailers for the Hong Kong/China and […]

Yokai, Dissected.

In the interest of Science: gallery of anatomical drawings of yokai, Japanese folk monsters. Hopefully, no actual yokai were harmed in making these drawings.

More Utagawa Kuniyoshi

A Doppelganger. A Giant Carp. A Tengu. The Curated Object has more images from “Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.”

Ultramen vs. Kaiju

Kaijutastic Ultraman poster art by Takayoshi Mizuki. (via The Japan Society)

There’s a cephalopod with a naginata.

The Japan City in New York City has posted a gallery of images from their current exhibition, “Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters:  prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.”  There’s a cephalopod with what looks like a naginata.  There are samurai and a giant skeleton. If you can’t make it to the exhibit, see some of it here.  (via […]

Kaiju vs Ultramen

Sometimes it seems like the world is an empty, awesomeless place. And then there is another clip from a Japanese variety/game show.  This one involves kaiju and Ultramen.

NYAFF 2009 and Hypnotic Escapism

The New York Asian Film Festival wants to help you escape joblessness, global pandemics and despair. Why don’t you let it? (Info here).

RIP, Ho Meng-Hua

It’s a sad time for fan of martial arts and Shaw Bros. Filmmaker Ho Meng-Hua has died. Ho started in the 1950s at Cathay studios, but his wuxia and kaiju work at Shaw Bros. Studios is probably more familiar to most fans. He directed Cheng Pei-Pei and Lo Lieh in The Lady Hermit and Danny […]

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Giant animals square off in Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. You might think Minoru Kawasaki is behind it. But you’d be wrong–Deborah “Debbie” Gibson’s behind it all. (Thanks, Steven!)

Let There Be Monsters

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An underground monster that can’t see, but senses your steps via vibrations. A giant ape that falls in love with a woman and fights lots of dinosaurs. And a hellish creature that fights on the side of humanity against mechanical armies and wayward elves. What do these have in common? I interrupt this critical essay […]

Where Does the Art Start?

It’s hard to know where the art starts and ends in this story about the in-fighting in the wrestling cabaret stylings of Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling. “It’s a bunch of grown men and women in costumes pretending to be professional wrestlers. It is to wrestling as ‘West Side Story’ is to actual gang relations.” Who knows […]

Kaiju Shakedown Goes Down Again

Like King Ghidorah, Kaiju Shakedown has succumbed to market forces. Again. Hopefully like King Ghidorah, Kaiju Shakedown will rise again.  Kaiju Shakedown’s writer, Grady Hendrix, is taking some time to figure out how.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    John Ostrander writes about the upcoming animated feature of The Killing Joke, his reaction to the assault on Barbara Gordon and his and Kim Yale’s reinvention of Barbara Gordon as Oracle. “The last story that Kim and I worked on together before she died was Oracle Year One, drawn by the wonderful Brian Stelfreeze. We showed that year as Barbara made the transition from broken hero to dynamic Oracle. She became a strong and much loved icon for the disabled community. In making her a hero again, Oracle allowed others to heal with her. The reader healed with her.” (via @profmdwhite)

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    deMilked has a gallery of lovely superhero watercolors by Blule (Clementine Campardou). (via S. L. Johnson)

     

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    In honor of director Mario Bava’s birthday, Shudder TV is having a Bava-thon with nine of his classic horror films chosen by friend of the Gutter Colin Geddes streaming free online all weekend. See the line-up here and watch here.

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    There’s a set of Star Wars cards autographed with amusing comments by Mark Hamill at imgur.

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    The Projection Booth watches Night Moves (1975) with special guest host the Gutter’s own Carol. “Arthur Penn’s Night Moves (1975) stars Gene Hackman as Harry Moseby, a private eye trying to find himself in a post-Watergate America. We’re joined by Nat Segaloff, author of Arthur Penn: American Director and Carol Borden of the Cultural Gutter.”

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    At Graveyard Shift Sisters, Ashlee Blackwell considers love in Ganja & Hess. ” It is up to the viewer to map a path that suits their understanding. What writer/director Bill Gunn (who plays Dr. Hess’ assistant) wanted was a disruption of mainstream fare. Gunn didn’t seem too interested in what Hollywood desired, and like many writers, wrote a screenplay that felt personal and needed to be written. It tackles so many themes, it’s almost difficult to begin. While most rely on it being vampiric and about addiction, it’s important to note the journey that Hess and Ganja embark on together. Their romantic entanglement may by one of the most fascinating aspects of the film that is commonly overlooked because it is challenging to simplify.”

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