The Cultural Gutter

the cult in your pop culture

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

Jenkins’ List

Henry Jenkins writes up a handy list of some comics he’s enjoyed recently, divvied into stories of everyday life, superheroes, science fiction/fantasy/horror, and some unclassifiable items.

Pure, Unadulterated Munday

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Originally from the “New York and New Jersey area,” Evan Munday is a Toronto-based comic artist and illustrator with a day job as a book publicist. He’s a member of the illustration collective, SketchKrieg!, has written a young adult novel, The Dead Kid Detective Agency and illustrated magazines and books, most recently Jon Paul Fiorentino’s […]

Alan Moore Knows The Score

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“It’s nice to hear all the old songs, isn’t it?”–the Devil, The Black Rider I was surprised to hear the old songs in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910 (Top Shelf, 2009). I probably shouldn’t have been. The chapter title, “What Keeps Mankind Alive” distracted me, but I kept […]

Interview with Gail Simone

“I’m not interested in perfection, and I don’t think the readers are, either.” Gail Simone talks Wonder Woman, Hollywood, feminism and LGBT characters with After Ellen.

Just Under 9 Minutes of Wong Fei-Hung

Wong Fei-Hung’s been on my mind lately. Luckily, Kung Fu Cinema has a nice video (scroll down) of Wong Fei-Hung in the movies from Kwan Tak-Hing to Gordon Liu, Jet Li as well as Jackie Chan and actress Angie Tsang Tze-Man’s portrayals of young Wong Fei-Hung. There’s also a detailed companion article tracing the historical […]

Tales from Ursula

Did you know Ursula Le Guin worked on an Earthsea screenplay with Peeping Tom and Black Narcissus‘ Michael Powell? I didn’t. There’s more in her Vice Magazine interview. (via Kaiju Shakedown)

ONE TRILLION AND ONE LEANING TOWERS

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1. Overture IslandOn December 4, 2008, the future ended. The event that marked its end was the death of a 92-year old man from the not uncommon cause of heart failure. It would not have been an epoch-ending event save for one detail: the man’s name was Forest J Ackerman.

Gothtober 2008

Explore the mysterious mission de las calaveras in Gothtober’s 2008 Halloween advent calendar.

Tammy Faye Bakker’s Puppet Songs

You knew evangelist and Queer icon Tammy Faye Bakker used to have a puppet show, right? And her puppets weren’t muppets, they were scary, shellac-headed hand puppets. Way Out Junk has Oops! There Comes a Smile, a collection of Tammy Faye’s puppet songs and stories.

Afrofuturism

Preserved from usenet, Mark Dery’s 1994 essay on Afrofuturism: “Hack this: Why do so few African-Americans write science fiction, a genre whose close encounters with the Other—the stranger in a strange land—would seem uniquely suited to the concerns of African-American novelists? …. This is especially perplexing in light of the fact that African-Americans are, in […]

Visible Pantylines

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If there’s anything I learned from 1970s underwear commercials, it’s that nothing ruins a woman’s day like visible pantylines.  Back then I didn’t know exactly what visible pantylines were or why they were so embarrassing, but after reading Terra Obscura, I do and they’ve ruined my day.

Ten To Read

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I always enjoy the ‘Best Of’ lists that come out this time of year.  Seems to me that kind of potted commentary, however limited, offers a great starting place.  So in the spirit of year-end helpfulness, here’s a list of ten romances worth reading.  Historical and modern; sexy and mild:  they run the gamut.  I’m […]

Gothtober

Gothtober is a sort of online Halloween advent calendar. Click on the S.S. Gothtober and see a new short everyday.

Catwoman: Silicon-Injected

Who are Catwoman

In 2001, Catwoman was everything I ever wanted in a comic. I admit I was a sucker for her new look. A woman’s stompy black boots are her pride and Catwoman’s boots were stompy, black and flat after years of thigh high Pretty Woman stilettos. Not to mention that zippers with rings, black leather, kitty […]

Long Jeanne Silver

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A short list of the some of the most bizarre, more outlandish XXX fare of the 1970s wouldn’t be complete without mentioning an eye-opening 1977 Alex De Renzy feature film titled LONG JEANNE SILVER. In fact, of all the porn films in my collection, I’ve gone though the most trouble to get this particular one, […]

From the Mouths of Babes

Lessons learned from lesbian pulp.

Almost as if Mitch knew what would follow, she held the top of the sheet back while Leda moved down and lightly kissed Mitch’s breasts. A soft sigh broke free from Mitch’s throat and evolved into a plaintive cry. Leda pulled herself up and her lips found Mitch’s and crushed them, burning and moist. “Mitch.” […]

3 times the sleaze, 3 times the fun!

Sexploitation cinema provides a saucy slab of sleaze

Sexploitation, for those of you uninitiated, is a sub genre of adult film that for the most part predated the first hardcore sex films of the early to mid ’70s. These low budget pictures were nudity packed with full figured women, kooky dialog, and drive-in and grindhouse theater advertising campains that promised the world in […]

Just Try and Stop the Music, I Dare You

Mmmm-hmmm...The Village People need love too

While the success of the average movie is certainly based upon inspiring in the viewer a suspension of disbelief, great works from the camp genre succeed in their suspension of other qualities. Namely, good taste (what ever the hell THAT is) and the rule that most films are nothing but ball-less scrotums that give you […]

Kamikaze Hearts of Gutter Punk Lesbians

Make-believe, addiction, despair, two-bit sleaze and two-bit dreams.

During the “Sharon Mitchell film festival” held at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston on June 6th 2000, the legendary porn queen showed clips from her XXX films spanning her 3 decades long career and provided a running commentary for the audience. Sharon held the crowd in rapt attention while she revealed the title from […]

Sideways Storytelling

Seeing the whole plan in your mind.

If you’re the kind of reader who wants to know what happens next, then China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh might not be the book for you. This debut novel from 1992 has intriguing characters and a few strands of plot, but overall it operates a little more abstractly than most novels. The main […]

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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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