The Cultural Gutter

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"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 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


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

    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.'”


    At Playboy, Jake Rossen writes about the story behind the filming and the restoration of Manos: The Hands of Fate. “For a long time no one wanted to see it unless it was accompanied by MST3K’s taunts. Then, in 2011, a collector of film prints uncovered the original negative of Manos and embarked on an inexplicable project to restore the film with all the white-glove attention archivists give to Hollywood classics. His efforts would incur the wrath of a mysterious man with a fake New Zealand accent named Rupert, as well as Joe Warren, Hal Warren’s embittered son, who intends to preserve the Manos legacy at all costs.” (Thanks, Ed!)


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