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

“Remembering Koh Masaki”

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The Awl’s Rich Bellis writes about Koh Masaki and the importance of Masaki’s visibility as an out gay man working in the Japanese porn industry. “By the time he died from peritonitis after an appendix operation, at just 29, Masaki had established a celebrity persona in a business where such a thing hadn’t existed before. […]

“The Happy Hunks of Tom of Finland”

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Andy Khouri celebrates “the Happy Hunks of Tom of Finland” at Comics Alliance. “Tom of Finland was the Jack Kirby of gay porn. Working in a section of the comics industry that most fans perhaps spend little time exploring, Tom was a masterful artist, a pioneer, and an inspiration. His work helped establish a gay […]

Retrospective: Vive Le Gutter!

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The Cultural Gutter turned ten in May, 2013 and we didn’t make much of a fuss about it. But ten years ago this week, Jim Munroe posted the manifesto that’s guided The Cultural Gutter, even as each subsequent editor has joined the Gutter and added their take on our mission. We thought this would be […]

“Smut, refreshed for a new generation”

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The New York Times profiles The Vinegar Syndrome, a company dedicated to preserving and introducing “a new generation to lost and forgotten films from what’s considered the golden age of American hard-core filmmaking, roughly 1969 to 1986.” (via @willmckinley)

RIP, Al Goldstein

Publisher of Screw magazine and pornography and free speech advocate Al Goldstein has died. The Guardian, The Village Voice, The New York Times and The Miami Herald have obituaries. And here’s a blog dedicated to the appreciation of Screw magazine’s cover art (NSFW & warning: possible triggers).

Naked Woman (Steep Hill)

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One night, when I was poking around on the internet for something mindless to play, I stumbled across a game called Naked Woman (Steep Hill). The description: “Control the fate of a naked woman riding down a steep hill. 20 options decide her doom. Feel free to suggest any other fates she can face!” My […]

Kirk and Spock, Tristan and Iseult

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At Teach Me Tonight, Kate Laity writes about Joanna Russ’ 1985 essay, “Pornography by Women for Women With Love”:  “While the entire collection makes fascinating reading, I want to focus on the chapter “Pornography By Women For Women, With Love” as it provides some interesting roots for the ongoing academic dissections of romance writing today […]

How Not To Write Smut

“I’d originally started writing a list of the mistakes made by poor smut writers, but I’ve decided that it would be more fun to write an absolute shit piece of erotica that illustrated, to an admittedly ridiculous degree, most of these errors.” Get your bad smut on here.

“Porn Fans Aren’t What They Used To Be”

“In an age when every conceivable permutation of pornography is immediately accessible for free online, the power dynamic between viewer and star has shifted. Most porn viewers are still quietly accessing the material from the privacy of their own homes, but because it’s so easy to get, the reverence has faded.” At the Adult Entertainment […]

Genesis of the Cultural Gutter

Way back in 2003, Jim Munroe conceived of a SXSW panel, “Why I Dig Working In The Cultural Gutter” and the Cultural Gutter is one of the results of that discussion. Heath Row’s Media Diet has a transcript of that panel.  

RIP, Sylvia Kristel

Actress Sylvia Kristel has died.  While she worked with many directors on many films, Kristel is best known for the 1974 film, Emmanuelle, and its many sequels. The Guardian and  The New York Times have obituaries. The Guardian also has a review of her memoir, Undressing Emmanuelle: “I was dressed, but people preferred me naked. […]

FantAsia Film Festival 2012

The FantAsia site is up and running with many, many trailers to get you ready for the festival. (Or at least, what films to keep an eye out for).

Remembering the Origin of Fifty Shades of Grey

Galleycat documents 50 Shades of Grey‘s history as the Twilight fanfiction story, “Masters of the Universe,” and its from The Internet Archive’s search (aka, The Wayback Machine) as it transforms from fanfiction to a published sensation. (via The Measure)

James Deen, A Star in Straight Porn That Women Like

Slate ponders a Good Living interview with James Deen, porn star, and “porn that women like–why does it make men so uncomfortable.”

Sexcula!

“Shot in Vancouver by one-time producer Clarence Neufeld and a cast of unknown exhibitionists, the adult monster spoof Sexcula is not only an almost lost piece of undeniably sleazy Canadiana, it’s also one of earliest monster movies made north of the border, a spoofy take-off on the Universal classic horror films.”  More at Canuxploitation!

Interview with Joe Gage/Tim Kincaid

At Fangoria, Sean Abley interviews Joe Gage, director of the Gay porn “Working Man Trilogy” (L.A. Tool and Die; Kansas City Trucking Co.; and El Paso Wrecking Co.) as well as a bunch of low-budget horror movies under the name, “Tim Kincaid.” (Thanks, Matt!)

Full and Uncut Interview with Alan Moore

comicbookGRRRL‘s Laura Sneddon has posted her full and uncut interview with Alan Moore.  An abridged version, “Superheroes are our visions of ourselves,” originally appeared in The Independent. Moore talks superheroes, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Lost Girls and attracting a female readership.

Jia Zhangke Speaks Out Against Cenorship in China

“The only reason that we cannot make genre movies is the barrier that censorship sets.” Jia Zhangke says more here.  Meanwhile a leaked diplomatic document gives  some insight as to whose taste is being served in recent Chinese historical epics.  Xi Jinping admires American World War II dramas:  “Some Chinese moviemakers neglect values they should promote…America […]

RIP, Yvette Vickers

Actress and Playboy Playmate Yvette Vickers has died. She was discovered by director Billy Wilder and acted in Sunset Boulevard and such atomic era classics such as Attack of the 50-Foot Woman and Attack of the Giant Leeches.  Sadly, her body was discovered after a curious neighbor noticed her mail untouched.

Cthulhurotica

Share your most tentacular and… tentual?… erotica with Cthulhurotica. I bet they’d even take your H.P. Lovecraft/August Derleth slash fiction…

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    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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    Friend of the Gutter Less Lee Moore interviews friend of the Gutter Colin Geddes about his work on the new horror streaming service, Shudder.

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    The Bowery Boys Podcast dedicates an episode to New York City in the history of comic books. “In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer helped bring about the birth of the comic strip and, a few decades later, the comic book.  Today, comic book superheroes are bigger than ever — in blockbuster summer movies and television shows — and most of them still have an inseparable bond with New York City.”

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    Pornokitsch’s One Comic Podcast looks at Red Sonja #10: “To everyone’s surprise, despite some of the covers and the character’s reputation, this isn’t the exploitative boobs’n’swordplay production it could have been. How did it achieve that? Listen and find out.”

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    Los Angeles Magazine has a gallery of self-portraits of Bunny Yeager and a bit about the career of a model and photographer most famous for her pin-up photographs of Bettie Page. “Having dedicated her life to photography and modeling, not to mention publishing 30 books on the subject (one of which shares a name with the Gavlak exhibition), Yeager had an influence on a generation of artist-photographers including Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman. Arbus even went as far to call her ‘The world’s greatest pin-up photographer.'” (Thanks, Stephanie!)

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