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Cultural Gutter: Into the Woods

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.

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Cultural Gutter: These Lonely, Haunted Places

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.

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Mars Men

Mars Men kicks off with a little kid stumbling upon a hidden cave in which he finds a small statue of Yud Wud Jaeng. The kid insists on calling him “Hanamajin”, and the rest of the cast—following that kaiju movie rule that everybody has to follow the 10 year old’s lead—follows suit. Even Yuk Wud Jaeng, when he shows up, does this.

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Fighting the Unknown

As the series begins, Quatermass and his team are in a quandary after their most recent manned space flight vanishes without a trace, only to turn up later when it crashes into a farmer’s field. Rushing to the site, Quatermass is baffled to discover that of the three astronauts launched into orbit, only one is still in the ship.

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The Super Inframan

The greatest compliment you could pay an exploitation film is to say it looks like they designed the poster first and then recreated it on screen. This formulation describes Inframan perfectly. It is, in many ways, a perfect film, in that it is resoundingly successful in achieving what it sets out to do.