The Cultural Gutter

dangerous because it has a philosophy

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

The Stephen King Universe

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This week, Science Fiction Editor Emeritus James Schellenberg returns as a Guest Star. Screen Editor alex MacFadyen will return next month. You can easily glance off the top of any book by Stephen King–get a few frights and move on. But there’s a hidden world beneath almost all of his books, and not only is […]

“Starfleet Must Be Destroyed”

At Sequart, Julian Darius makes the case that Star Trek: Into Darkness damages the Star Trek franchise and that “Starfleet must be destroyed.” (via Mike White)

The Dragonlance Chronicles: Innovative, Ubiquitous and Terribly-Written

At Pornokitsch, Jared takes a look at The Dragonlance Chronicles’ influence on contemporary fantasy: “[C]ool or not, Dragonlance has done more than almost any other post-Tolkien property in influencing fantasy. Its narrative and conceptual tropes can be found in every nook and cranny of the genre, and much of the modern low fantasy resurgence can be traced […]

“Classical Filmmaking: The Theme that Drives all of Sam Raimi’s Movies”

Matt Singer explores two elements that recur in all of Sam Raimi’s films, Pandora’s box and, “The Classic,” a 1973 Delta 88. “Using The Classic to play Uncle Ben’s car may have just been a fortuitous way for Raimi to shoehorn in his beloved trademark, but in the larger context of his career, it imbues […]

Hollywood and Industrialized Plagiarism

At Geek Juice, Josh Hadley’s “Industrialized Plagiarism” responds to a Village Voice piece, “How To Defend Quentin Tarantino.” Read them together for QT, Hollywood SOP, Harlan Ellison, homages, plagiarism and more.

RIP, Larry Hagman

Actor and director (Son of Blob) Larry Hagman has died. The Guardian has an obituary. Joe O’Shea wrote a profile on Hagman’s birthday last September, which included Hagman talking about what he wanted done with his remains: “I would like to be minced. Did you ever see Fargo, when they put the guy in the […]

Clip from The Host 2 / Gwoemul 2

Here’s a clip from Bong Joon-ho’s The Host 2/ Gwoemul 2 (sequel to the 2007 film, The Host / Gwoemul). More river monster + a little behind the scenes look.

Henry Plinkett Reviews Star Wars Episodes I-III

Lonely serial killer and film smarty Harry S. Plinkett reviews the Star Wars prequels: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Trenchant analysis aside, current favorite segments are his love advice to Anakin and “Citizen Vader”–starts here and continues. (Trigger warning for those sensitive to ladies held captive in basements […]

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.

Human Centipede 2: Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy!

This week Gutter Guest Darryl Shaw fills in for Screen Editor alex MacFadyen. “I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. […]

Worthwhile Canadian Trilogy

Two great scifi writers, Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson, just published concluding volumes in their respective trilogies. Other similarities: both are Canadian, both have won Hugos, and their latest books are quite intriguing.

Unsatisfactory

Call me an online oddity: I ran out of steam, years ago, on doing the whole harsh-criticism thing in my review work. For a couple of reasons, summarized as “enthused librarian who points elsewhere for sad talk.”

Star Wars Episodes IV-VI Compared

Star Wars Episodes IV-VI compared, simultaneously and in their entirety. Watch while it’s available. (via August Ragone)

Future Epic

Over at Wertzone, Adam finishes up his look at David Brin’s 6-book Uplift saga: “Heaven’s Reach is, by far, the most wildly inventive of the six Uplift novels.”

10 Thankfully Deleted Scenes

Cracked presents 10 deleted scenes–with video clips–that would have ruined movies, from the very good, Alien, to the very bad, Revenge of the Sith.

Cartoon Trailers!

Cartoon Network has trailers for the upcoming animated shows, ThunderCats and Legend of Korra, the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender as well as an extended look at Green Lantern: The Animated Series  with a short peek at the LEGO Ninja show, Ninjago.

Summer Fun Time Reading ’11

It’s summer time and instead of beer bottles exploding out of coolers in a shower of refreshing ice, bikini-clad hotties and fireworks as we know it should be, everything is wilting and perhaps even melting. As far as I can tell there are only two possible explanations—Hot Lava Monsters have readjusted the earth’s thermostat to […]

In Praise of Joanne Rowling’s Hermione Granger Series

“It’s the end of an era. The entertainment which has stretched across books, movies, and countless marketing tie-ins, which has captivated children and adults for well over a decade and which has, for better or worse, managed to become the defining myth for an entire generation, is winding to its close. I speak, of course, […]

Evan Munday Does Like Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

Gutter Guest Star Evan Munday reviews the dance classic and possible rival to The Empire Strikes Back as greatest sequel of all time, Breakin’ 2:  Electric Boogaloo! “The makers of Breakin’ 2 know you’re here for the breakin’, and they are all too happy to provide….with only the barest lip service provided to a plot, […]

The False Consciousness of the X-Men

Matthew Yglesias says “Magneto Was Right”:  “The mutant pride message is a radical one. It’s too radical for those whose WASP male privilege in their non-mutant lives makes them instinctively want to identify with existing power structures. But a mutant who’s also a Jew, or a woman, or a racial minority, or has had blue […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and destruction, fearing strong conviction is a mark of simplicity and delusion.

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    Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

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    Get ready for a new season of Mad Men with this collection of Absurdist Mad Men promotions, which the Cultural Gutter participates in and even encourages. Duck Phillips rules an undersea advertizing empire and “Pete feels slighted.”

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    Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

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    Al-Jazeera America profiles John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary about Cambodian rock’n'roll and musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king. Enter the Khmer Rouge, communism and the war on intellectuals. Between 1975 and 1979, about 2 million Cambodians, roughly a third of the population, were rounded up and either were killed or died of starvation. Artists were particularly disliked by the Khmer Rouge, which saw creativity as decadence: Almost all of the biggest names perished during that era.”

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    Architecture Daily has an excerpt from City of Darkness detailing the development of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City. “By the 1970s, the City had filled out to its maximised form, with buildings of up to 14 storeys in height, and virtually no ground level daylight penetration save at its centre. Its density was estimated to have reached a mere 7 square feet per person. The yamen area had somehow remained an exception to the vertical development, leased to a missionary society in 1949 for use as an almshouse and old people’s home. Eventually, it defined the sole substantial void within the Walled City, with visible sky above it.”

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