The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

Interview with Lexi Alexander


The Kernal interviews director Lexi Alexander about the film industry, the ACLU investigation of gender discrimination in Hollywood, the connection between file-sharing and gender equality, trying to get an Arab-led series on television and the problem with crowdfunding.

Interview with Pendleton Ward


Rolling Stone‘s Neill Strauss profiles Adventure Time creature Pendleton Ward and talks to him about why he decided to stop running the show. “He sighs and looks down at his stomach. ‘It’s nice to just be sleepy and make stuff,’ he says. ‘That’s the root of what I like doing. Make stuff on my own […]

RIP, Sid Caesar


Comedian, actor and writer Sid Caesar has died. The New York Times and Variety have obituaries. Time has gathered clips of his work. The Archive of American Television has an interview with Caesar here.

RIP, Run Run Shaw


Film and television producer Run Run Shaw has died. Sir Run Run founded Shaw Brothers with his brother, Run Me Shaw. They produced hundreds of films in all genres, but were best known for their revolutionary kung fu and wuxia movies. Shaw also produced myriad television programs for TVB. The South China Morning Post remembers […]

Operation Scraping Netflix’s Data


“This database probing told me three things: 1) Netflix had an absurdly large number of genres, an order of magnitude or two more than I had thought, 2) it was organized in a way that I didn’t understand, and 3) there was no way I could go through all those genres by hand. But I […]

“Two Easy Steps To Make Hollywood Less Sexist”


Geena Davis has two suggestions for making films and television shows less sexist. They’d work well for increasing diversity of all kinds.  

“If it wasn’t them, they’d be playing their song”


Stephen Colbert talks about Daft Punk, among other things, on the Paul Mercurio Show: “Well, I’m beginning to see why they don’t do TV.”

“Michelle Rodriguez Made Me Cry At Comic-Con”


Kate Conway writes about how powerful she found the Women Who Kick Ass Panel in San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall C. “These dudes onstage weren’t selling themselves to me; they didn’t even care what I thought. Here we were, in the biggest room at Comic-Con, and I only felt disgust. And then, out came Michelle Rodriguez.”

RIP, Jane Henson

Muppet performer, designer and producer Jane Henson has died. Henson collaborated with Jim Henson to create The Muppets. The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times have obituaries. Here is a rare interview with Henson.

The Latest Whovian Feminist News

The Feminism of Dr. Who Tumblr rounds up the news: “First, it suddenly seemed to strike the media this week that Doctor Who is severely lacking in female writers….Second, the sequel for ‘The Bells of Saint John’ premiered this week.” Click through for a discussion of female writers in science fiction in general and a […]

50 Wonderful Things in 2012

Linda Holmes shares 50 wonderful things at NPR’s Monkey See blog.

Recapping The Jetsons: “Elroy’s TV Show”

At Paleofuture, Novak watches The Jetsons and the debates about television depicted in the episode, “Elroy’s Tv Show”: “The episode highlights the perennial debate over the role of TV programming in the American home. The latter half of the 20th century saw numerous fights over the regulation of TV programming and the battles were especially vicious […]

“Vasquez Always Dies”

Ever wonder why the competent and kickass action ladies always die? TV Tropes examines why “Vasquez Always Dies.”

Heroic Trio

heroic trio 80.jpg

Every April at the Gutter, the editors write about something outside their usual domains.  This month, Comics Editor Carol Borden writes about stars of action cinema. I like ladies of asskickery, women who can throw a punch or wield a sharp pointy weapon, preferably both. Since it’s April and we mix things up here at […]

Interview with Stuntwoman Bridgett Riley

Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill talks with Bridgett Riley about going from boxer to stuntwoman: “Women get minimal pads if any at times and high heeled shoes are sometimes a must depending on camera. Wardrobe sometimes makes us shoes that are stunt friendly. I like these wardrobe people. It just depends on the shot. The […]

Remembering Wong Tin-Lam

Johnnie To Kei-Fung and Ring Lam Ling-Tung remember their mentor in the Hong Kong television and film industry, Wong Tin-Lam.

RIP, Wong Tin-Lam

Veteran Hong Kong actor, producer, writer and director, Wong Tin-Lam has died. His work in tv and film spans the 1950s through the 2000s. Gutter readers are probably most familiar with Wong’s work for Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai like The Mission and Election (as well as comedies like Fat Choy Spirit and My Left […]

Mission: Kill the Werewolf King

Writers receive the sanction to assassinate a troublesome actor’s character, The Werewolf King in the 1980s tv show, Werewolf.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    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!)


    At Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill!, Todd reviews the two part Ghanian director Ninja’s film, 2016. “2016 is a movie that I am obligated to review by virtue of my having long ago joined the internet chorus of people trumpeting on about its insane trailer—and this despite the fact that all of you with any interest in seeing it have most likely tracked it down already. In that case, you already know that it is essentially a no-budget remake of Independence Day set in the suburbs of Ghana. And if that sounds like a massive over-reach to you, you obviously know very little about Ghanaian action cinema, and even less about the films of maverick multi-hyphenate Ninja.”

    Read about part one, here, and part two, here.


    Look, it’s the trailer for “The Abominable Snowman” a new episode of classic Thunderbirds. Huffington Post UK has more: “It’s exactly half a century since we heard the ominous tones of voice actor Peter Dyneley bringing us the Thunderbirds intro ‘5 -4 – 3 – 2 -1 Thunderbirds are go’, and to celebrate, the team are producing three brand new original episodes, based on audio-only recordings made in 1966, which means fans will get to enjoy the original voices, with some 21st century gadgetry thrown in on screen.” (Thanks, Todd!)


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