On The Cultural Gutter, I’m writing about Hammer’s These Are the Damned and Folk Horror for the Atomic Age. These Are the Damned came a few years after the third in the Quatermass series, all of which were also adapted for the cinema by Hammer Studios. It’s a curious film that effectively pulls off the difficult stunt of starting off as one type of story but ending up a very different type. It is equal parts crime melodrama, science fiction, and folk horror.
Steve McQueen stars as a San Francisco cop assigned to protect a witness against the Mob. Before the film winds to its thrilling conclusion on the tarmac of San Francisco International, viewers will marvel at McQueen’s casual cool and one of the best car chases in cinema.
A double agent operating in London dreams of retiring, but his life is complicated when he is assigned to assassinate a traitor: himself. With one foot in the pop art fantasy of James Bond and another in the grim world of John Le Carre, A Dandy in Aspic never quite succeeds at being either.
Marketa Lazarová is the story of two rival clans: the primitive Pagan raiders the Kozlíks, lorded over by a brutal patriarch; and the slightly more civilized Lazars who, while unwilling to participate in the bloody raids perpetrated by the Kozlíks, is more than happy to scavenge for anything he might think could be of value.
Before there was Emmanuelle, there was Emmanuelle. Emmanuelle Arsan, to be slightly more precise. Marayat Rollet-Andriane to be even more precise still. Born Marayat Bibidh in January 1932, in the city of Bangkok, she was the real-life Emmanuelle, the one on whose life the novel Emmanuelle was based.
A crumbling ruin. A mist-shrouded forest. A lone samurai making his way home late at night meets a seemingly defenseless young woman. So begins the horror of Kaneto Shindô’s tale of ghosts, vengeance, and the wrongs visited upon women by entitled men.
Examples of Egyptian filmmaking date back to the beginning of the 20th century, with Cairo becoming a hub of commercial filmmaking in the Arab world with the introduction of sound. It was there that the country’s first “Hollywood-style” film studio was established.