Cinema Sewer #18
By: chrysalis on April 3, 2006  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Editor: Robin Bougie
Cover Price: $4 (USA and Canada)
If the recent Steven King reviews on Digital Retribution have you concerned about the direction this site is heading in terms of its print reviews (I read those books over a decade ago, and I gotta say that while King's most accomplished work they are still fairly simple-minded like all his work, and still very mainstream) then Cinema Sewer should have you feeling right at home, a definitive turn of the wheel back towards a celebration of all that is depraved, smutty, and violently entertaining in movie esoterica.

Cinema Sewer is a hybrid movie 'zine/comic created by Vancouver comic artist and self-confessed movie geek Robin Bougie with assistance from guest contributors both in written and artistic content, the overall presentation akin to the most deliriously obscene and obscure comic (down to the colour cover encasing greyscale-adorned pulp pages) only filled not with the more usual comic book fare, but instead with reviews, interviews, rantings and drawings in rapturous celebration of exploitation cinema.

While previous issues (even the "horror issue") have inevitably reveled in Bougie's penchant for hardcore adult cinema alongside hefty doses of other obscure and ignored film genres, the newest issue #18 is dedicated entirely to the exploitation sub-genre of women in prison films. It's also Robin's most researched, least soap box-inspired issue to date (not that I didn't enjoy the porno = pussy power article or Robin's lamentations about the demise of 35mm porn theatres), including excellent mini-essays on the history of WIP films, the Female Convict Scorpion series, the films of director Roger Corman and Jess Franco WIP bitch extraordinaire Monica Swinn, as well as a plethora of reviews profiling movies even the most ardent exploitation fan may be unfamiliar with, a fact sheet on real-life female prison inmates (laced with exploitation imagery of course!) and some illustrated plot breakdowns of WIP pulp novels now apparently popular with eBay-haunting "modern day female homosexuals".

What makes every issue of Cinema Sewer so utterly entertaining and readable is Robin's enthusiasm – his love of trash cinema is what fuels this self-publication, but it is also what makes this 'zine so engaging. The man is also extremely well-versed in the subject matter, his expertise allowing analysis and comparison which those less dedicated will inevitably miss.

Equally endearing is how personal every issue is. Rather than opt for computer typeset each issue is lettered and laid out by hand, the text crammed in and around the extensive sets of drawings and helpings of promotional material which litter every page. Contributors are all close friends or like-minded trash cinema revelers, meaning even with outside content the end result is an unbroken cavalcade of sweet, smutty bliss as if spoken by a single, obsessed voice.

WIP fans simply must search this out, but even those with a passing interest in exploitation cinema will find their curiosity deepened by the fervour with which the topic is presented, and the fawning love of the genre which exudes from every page. Every issue of Cinema Sewer also leaves me with an even lengthier list of exploitation cinema titles to track down for my own viewing pleasure.

The only reason this issue 18 gets 4 and not 5 is that I think I liked issue 17 marginally better. No real reason for that, although the cover of 17 is my all-time CS favourite. I've also got to leave room in case the next issue is better, right?

Your local newsagent, DVD store or comic book provider is unlikely to be stocking this gem any time soon (unless you live in Vancouver or seemingly mostly coastal regions of the USA), so please please please (I interject to point out that I'm pimping without financial incentive here – I just want you to stop watching movies for a minute and instead read about watching movies) purchase this direct and help to spread the love (it also ensures the next issue can arrive in my mailbox all the sooner).

PayPal and cash are accepted for direct orders, visit the Cinema Sewer website – – for further information, availability of back issues and subscription details.
Movie Score
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