The Cultural Gutter

beyond good and bad, there is awesome

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

“Death And The Robot”


Robot  is the only one who really understand Death. Death is the only one who really understands Robot. (Thanks, Molly!)

RIP, Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Animator, director and producer Arthur Rankin, Jr. has died. Rankin is probably best known for his Rankin/Bass studio’s holiday television specials such as Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town and Mad Monster Party. He also produced and directed The Last Unicorn, The Hobbit (1977), The Return Of The King (1980), The […]

Maybe we’ll buy a boat

unaccompanied minor

In the house I grew up in, at the front of the garage, there was a pair of boat supports on the wall. No boat, just the two long arms sticking out at roughly skull level so you had to manoeuver awkwardly underneath them to reach the cars. My father built them out of 2x4s […]

“Rankin / Bass’s The Thing”


Trailer for Rankin / Bass’s The Thing. (Also, please enjoy The Thing re-enacted with G.I. Joe action figures).

The Tiniest of Sweaters


Althea Crome makes amazing and tiny, tiny knit art. Check out her website for galleries of her work and to watch her knit clothing for the puppets in the animated film, Coraline. Indiana Public media profiles Crome here. and see her brain cozy and all the other brains in Bloomington, Indiana’s 2012 Brain Extravaganza! (Thanks, […]

“The Cameraman’s Revenge”


A 1912 silent short film of infidelity and insects by Władysław Starewicz. (via @NitrateDiva)

RIP, Ray Harryhausen

Special effects master, Ray Harryhausen has died. Ray Bradbury pays tribute to Harryhausen.  All of Harryhausen’s creatures in 4 and a half minutes. Harryhausen talks about King Kong, Willis O’Brien, George Pal and his own career in 1991. John Landis interviews Harryhausen for the Bradford Animation Festival 2010. TCM remembers Harryhausen. And Leslie Hardcastle interviews […]

RIP, Carlo Rambaldi

Special effects master Carlo Rambaldi has died. Rambaldi is probably most famous for his work in ET, The Extraterrestrial; Alien; and Dune, but Rambaldi also worked extensively for Mario Bava. The New York Times has an obituary. Here are a video homage, another by Il Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia di Roma and a clip of […]

Interview with the Quay Brothers

“Depth, light, sound, music: Stephen and Timothy Quay speak on the many dimensions of film,” both animated and live-action, at Keyframe.

The Raid in Claymation

Enjoy full-on awesomeness as The Raid is recreated in stop-motion animation. (Thanks, Colin!)

Stop-Motion Tintin

Le Crabe aux Pinces d’Or is a 1947 Tintin film directed by Claude Misson. It is in French. (via @beatonna)

“Dance, Dance, Dance to the Radio”

Playmobil recreation of Joy Division performing “Transmission” on the BBC.

Making the Valley of Gwangi

In honor of Ray Harryhausen’s birthday, a little documentary on the making of Valley of Gwangi.

Manga Eiga: Old Japanese Animation

The Japan Society had a program featuring Japanese animation from the 1910s-1940s.  Even if you missed it, you can still see some shorts —a beautiful 1929 silent featuring Tengu; sing along with a 1930 papercut animation village festival; an unfortunate butterfly from 1931; tricks between a fox spirit and a pair of tanuki in 1933; […]

The 25 Best Horror Games of All Time

Gameranx dares name the Top 25 Best Horror Games of All Time! (via Denis at The Horror?!)

100 Years of Vincent Price, Illustrated

100 Years of Vincent illustrated on post-it’s.  One role per post-it.

Deep Animation

Sometimes something, in itself, is just perfect. Pes’ “The Deep” is. It’s an animated short of abyssal life using tools, keys and an ammunition belt. (via The Accidental Optimist)

RIP, Kihachiro Kawamoto

It’s a sad week for animation with the passing of Satoshi Kon and now Kihachiro Kawamoto. A student of Jiri Trnka, Kawamoto created beautiful stop motion puppet animation grounded in Japanese bunraku and Noh theater. Here’s his short, “Oni / The Demon.”

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

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

Ray Harryhausen, April 2010

Stopmotion and special effects master, Ray Harryhausen is interviewed at The Telegraph and discusses the Science Fiction League meetings he attended with Ray Bradbury, special effects now and Avatar.

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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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