Underground Film Journal

Mike Kuchar

Mike Kuchar giving an interview in his kitchen

Mike Kuchar began making underground movies as a teenager with his twin brother George in the early 1950s. The pair's early movies straddled the line between homage and parody of old Hollywood melodramas and genre B-movies.

However, in the early '60s, the brothers recognized that their styles were leading them in different directions, so they began making films separately.

Mike's most well-known film is the classic 1964 sci-fi epic Sins of the Fleshapoids, which he followed with several other ambitious projects, such as The Secret of Wendel Samson and The Craven Sluck.

According to the documentary It Came From Kuchar, in the early '70s, Mike went on a trip to India and Nepal that inspired him to drastically change his filmmaking style. His films began to feature a single subject with whom Mike could "fall in love" and "possess" like he felt he could not in regular life. One of these subjects was the underground cartoonist Mike Diana.

After George passed away in 2011, Mike took over his brother's film teaching duties at the San Francisco Art Institute. The films he now makes with his students are more in line with his earlier solo work in the 1960s.

Mike's filmography below has been pieced together from the Underground Film Timeline, the Film-makers' Cooperative and the Video Data Bank. However, Mike has directed so many films, no filmography will probably ever be complete.

Watch Streaming Films By Mike Kuchar:


Blue Vibrations (2014)
Dreamsville (2014)
Perplexities (2014)
Chasing Shadows (2014)
Chromatic Effusion (2014)
Generation Z (2014)
Soul Searchers (2014)
Lost Blues (2014)
Adam’s Apple (2014)
Nonsensical (2014)
The Spider’s Parlor (2014)
Summer Sins (2014)
Devil’s Den (2013)
Fallen Angels (2013)
Nightfall (2013)
The Dragon’s Son (2013)
SoulMates (2013)
Ascension (2012)
Happy Birthday! (2013)
Primordial Never Land (2013)
Testimony (2013)
Meltdown (2012)
Testament (2012)
Disordered (2012)
Tickled Pink (2012)
Starbound (2012)
Litany of the Seven Kisses (2011)
Midnight Carnival (2011)
Midnight Suite (2011)
High Rising (2011)
Free Form Frolic (2011)
Splatter Movie (2011)
Jungle Thrills (2011)
The Stone Boy (2011)
Room 666 (2010)
Medusa’s Gaze (2010)
Intoxication (2010)
Echo’s Garden (2010)
The Dreamer’s Tale (2010)
Debbie and the Demons (2010)
Opal Essence (2010)
The First Four Sorrows (2010)
Idolatry (2010)
Bedeviled (2009)
Animal (2009)
Dumped (2009)
Swan Song (2009)
The Tiger (2009)
Obsessive (2009)
Ephemeral Seizure (2009)
Stolen Sweets and Tattle Tales (2009)
Idyll (2009)
Witchery (2008)
Identified Subjects (2008)
Tarnished Utopia (2008)
A Brief Summer’s Tale (2008)
The Vernal Zone (2008)
Peek-A-Boo (2008)
A Midsummer’s Nightmare (2008)
A Dream of Roses (2008)
Song of the Seven Senses (2008)
The Faery Garden (2008)
Mother (2007)
Paradise Gone (2007)
State of Mind (2007)
Fruit of the Serpent (2007)
Scarlet Petals (2007)
Vortex (2007)
Incantation (2007)
Celestial Murmurs (2006)
Zoology (2006)
Lady Fortescue’s Nephew (2006)
Hush-A-Bye Baby (2006)
MidNight Mass (2006)
Sweet Dreams (2006)
A Poem for Summer (2006)
Haunted (2006)
Atonement (2005)
House of Souls (2005)
Actors Descending and Ascending a Staircase (2005)
Heaven Cannot Hold Them (2005)
In the Garden of Eros (2005)
Molly’s MayPole (2005)
Priority Adjustments (2005)
The Prayers of Cupie LaRue (2005)
NightRise (2005)
Day Dreaming (2004)
Pagans in a Christian World (2004)
Lure of the Woods (2004)
Romance (2004)
Miss Philly’s Valentine (2003)
Lily (2003)
The Fornicators (2003)
Inspiration (2003)
Leticia’s Poem (2002)
Shepherd’s Poem (2002)
Wind in My Sails (2002)
Boy Toys (2002)
Pagans in a Christian World (2002)
Grip of the Gorgon (2001)
Tryst (2000)
I Face the Night (2000)
Boy Toys (2000)
The Stranger in Apartment 9F (1998)
Purgatory Junction (1997)
Candy Coated Evil (1997)
A Widow’s Web (1997)
On a Shore Beneath the Sky (1997)
Statue in the Park (1996)
The Bristled Dagger (1996)
Cupid’s Infirmary (1995)
The Pictures of Dorian Gay (1995)
Blue Banshee (1994)
Madam Dante’s Inferno (1990)
Seascape (1984)
Faraway Places (1974)
Dwarf Star (1974)
The Cloud Tower (1973)
Tales of the Bronx (1970)
Variations (1968)
The Craven Sluck (1967)
Fragments (1967)
Madonna (1967)
The Secret of Wendel Samson (1966)
Green Desire (1965)
Sins of the Fleshapoids (1965)
The Pervert (1963)
Born of the Wind (1961)

With George Kuchar:
Pussy on a Hot Tin Roof (1961)
A Tub Named Desire (1960)
The Thief and the Stripper (1959)
The Slasher (1958)
I Was a Teen Age Rumpot (1958)
The Naked and the Nude (1957)
Screwball (1957)
The Wet Destruction of the Atlantic Empire (1954)


Underground Cinema 12: January-May 1971

Underground Cinema 12 was a midnight movie screening series of underground films that ran in theaters owned by Louis Sher, who founded “the nation’s largest circuit of art houses” in 1954. While Sher was the head of the Art Theatre Guild, Underground Cinema 12 was run by his nephew Mike Getz. The series began at […]

Canyon Cinema Cooperative: Catalogue Number One

In December 1966, the Canyon Cinema Cooperative in San Francisco, California published their first Catalogue of experimental and avant-garde films to rent. This was four years after the Film-Makers’ Cooperative had begun distributing underground films in New York City.

Idiolects #2 (August to November 1976)

For a small publication with no advertising to support it, publishing on a quarterly basis was an ambitious and impressive achievement for Idiolects. This second issue covers avant-garde happenings in New York City from August to November 1976, primarily film, but not exclusively.

Streaming: It Came From Kuchar

Underground filmmaking legends George and Mike Kuchar are two of the most eccentric and prolific directors of all time, making classics such as Sins of the Fleshapoids and Hold Me While I’m Naked.