At its core there is something very British about folk horror, so tied is it to the landscape of rural and semi-rural England, the ancient Pagan rites and cultures that, because they did not write anything down, lend themselves so readily to mystery, interpretation, and myth-making. Eventually, however, as an American lad, I started thinking about American folk horror and, as is my way, the places where American folk horror and science fiction intersect.
Ancient sacred sites and secret government installations benefit from remote settings for a number of reasons. Suddenly the ancient English countryside is a patchwork of chain link fences, barbed wire, “No Trespassing” signs, mysterious aerials and satellite dishes and armed guards at checkpoints.
On The Cultural Gutter, I’m writing about Folk Horror for the Atomic Age. These Are the Damned is 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, equal parts crime melodrama, science fiction, and folk horror.
On the Cultural Gutter, Over the Moon, Comrade is my look at the Soviet science fiction adventure Cosmic Voyage and the film that inspired it, Fritz Lang’s Woman in the Moon.
On The Cultural Gutter, I’m fighting the Battle of the Brains, a look at the classic B-movie Fiend Without a Face.
On The Cultural Gutter, Kungfu-Powered Afrocyberpunk Pulp is a look at Steven Barnes’ 1983 novel Streetlethal, which is sort of cyberpunk meets Mack Bolan starring Luke Cage in a story about magic orgy mushrooms.
On the Cultural Gutter, we’re going on a tour of the universe via The Cosmic Crooner, all about Frank Sinatra’s bizarre Trilogy, a third of which is devoted to a swingin’ tour of the future.