Hi there, I was thinking of writing a book about the 50 greatest cult films and classics of all time, does anyone have any suggestions as to what films I should include, what you would like to see in a book of this nature, and whatever else I could include in my writing of the piece. Very open to any suggestion, but mind you, I only want to do cult films up until the late 1980s because I dont think that time has prove cult films of the 90s and 00s to be classics.
You may find this book has already been written. Google Danny Peary.
Don’t listen to brad I think it’s a cool idea. Cult horror films are kinda a specialty of mine and I would be glad to recommend a few for you. Evil Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The Crazies, The Beyond, Zombi 2, Q the Winged Serpent, Halloween, Chud. You know this list could go on for ever. Especially if you are considering both cult films and classics. What is YOUR definition of a “cult” film? Can you give us anyway to narrow down the field?
Never said it was a bad idea, just that the subject has been well mined. By knowing what’s already out there, you can best decide if you have a fresh take.
here’s a bunch to pick from
just broswe crazy 4 cult’s art and it should give you ideas for some of the great ones like repo man, strange brew, big trouble in little china, ect.
phantom of the paradise
@Mariel. Thank you. I thought it was just me.
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers”: they are still remaking it fifty years later, have done so several times, and it was a small budget picture with a schlocky title (one of the suggested alternative names was “Sleep No More”) that became a box office hit and changed the face of sci-fi horror cinema. Appropriately enough, it has not only inspired remakes, but a host of similarly-themed movies.
In short, the most influential zombie movie ever made.
D: Jonuk’s keeping it to 50 films. Several of those films, namely “Dawn of the Dead” and “The Crazies” George A. Romero and “Zombi 2” by Lucio Fulci (as much as I enjoy Auretta Gay scuba diving and that catchy synth soundtrack) have no place on any list of cult films (especially when Romero’s own “Night of the Living Dead” trumps them for quality and influence) unless you are specifically talking about zombie films. However, none can match “I.O.T.B.S” in the zombie film stakes (unless your definition of zombies is limited to reanimated decomposing corpses, which wears thin after a short while).
I do, however, feel the original “Halloween” has a place on such a list. It’s much more effective than oodles of other slasher flicks. John Carpenter really goes beyond the typical with that one, more shadows and things that go bump in the night than the usual gratuitous gore.
“Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”: kick started the entire “blaxploitation” genre and was made on the proverbial shoestring budget, become very successful at the box office (considering the low cost of making it) and was more or less a one man show by Melvin Van Peebles (he directed, produced, scripted, edited, helped score and also starred in the film).
In brief, the first highly regarded zero budget blaxploitation action flick.
the first (or at least the first great) futuristic gladiator sports movie, with visuals and soundtrack inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange”, which leads me to another film…
“Funeral Parade of Roses”: the film that INSPIRED the visuals and soundtrack for “Clockwork” by Kubrick. Thematically daring and provacative even in the twenty-first century.
Those are just a few suggestions. You might like to explore Roger Corman films, in addition to martial arts flicks featuring Bruce Lee. Look at each primary of film, then find that one “cult film” that was the catalyst (or at least a major catalyst) for change in that genre. Such a compilation should look at films that had influence as well as quality…
You might also wish to consider the film, “I Am Curious: Yellow”, which was the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court case around the time of its release. Any film about cult movies should have some interesting historical anecdotes for the reader…why not focus on a film that was taken to court? It also spawned a counterpart (“I Am Curious: Blue”) and was the catalyst for similar Swedish documentary style films.
“Phantom of the Paradise” was another one I thought about…glad to see others have suggested it.
Again, the film is an anecdote movie. It generally struggled to gain an audience when released…except for Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where it became a big hit. They still have “Phantom” reunions up there, so I am told.
Why Mark Why would they have no place on a cult film list? Dawn and Zombi 2 are very influential films and the Crazies, although very overlooked is a great film. You are right though, with just 50 then there will be no room for “The Crazies” or “Zombi 2” but I think “Dawn…” has as much reason to be up there as “Night…”
What about Bergman’s “The Virgin Spring”
Anything by Jack Smith
John Derek’s Bolero
“The Crazies” is a great film? Surely you jest.
“Don’t call me Shirley”…
I had waited to see it for many years…as in close to twenty…got to see it on THE BIG SCREEN… and it left me very disappointed. It’s somewhat okay, but great film? Compared to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “The Stepford Wives”, you must be joking.
“Dawn of the Dead”? Overrated to ridiculous levels. It belongs in the J.N.S. school: “Just Not Scary.” At least not enough to justify it being placed as one of the all-time great horror flicks.
Please don’t get me wrong. Comparison between shopping centre drones and zombies, returning to the place they know? CLEVER! However, the whole “consumer zombies” thing was done better by John Carpenter in “They Live”…and I would say John took his cue moreso from “Body Snatchers” and “Stepford Wives” for much of that film.
“Zombi 2”? I’ll say it again: I REALLY enjoy Auretta Gay scuba diving…as in REALLY enjoy that scene. For some reason, many of my fellow cinema patrons found the scene where she clicks on her scuba harness doo-hickey between her legs to be hilarious (they reacted as if Charles Chaplin had just taken a pratfall).
Don’t ask me why…I think some people have serious sexual hang-ups and express them by laughing out loud at inappropriate moments because of their own insecurities.
Did I mention I find Auretta Gay dishy? What DID happen to her?
However, “Zombi 2” is hardly a brilliant film. Good for what it is, but please don’t put it alongside the truly great horror flicks. It’s derivative all the way…pretty good execution, just very derivative.
Still, credit where it’s due, that music…very cool!
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
do u mean great films that are cult films or great cult films
Planet 9 is a great cult film to see with an audience but not a great film that is a cult film
I agree with what Den’s getting at. To call a movie a “cult film” is not a qualitative judgment. It just means that a select, but loyal audience has formed to champion the movie. Many cult movies are renowned for being awful. So Zombi 2 may be a cult movie, but that’s not necessarily a compliment.
remember the book can’t be about cult classics of all time if time is limited 2 before films like reservoir dogs and if u choose 2 do up 2 the late 80’s definitely include tetsuo: the iron man :O)
I think Brad S. is quite right. The world doesn’t need another book that compiles films from the same old boring “cult cannon” as the dozen or so already published books out there – with Eraserhead, Pink Flamingoes, Rock Horror, etc,etc. You need a more original take if you seriously want to publish something. I think it’d be more interesting to write a book about fifty cult films in search of a cult. Films that have all the elements of cult classics but no devoted audience.
Surprised nobody mentioned El Topo. Cult film per excellence.
Seriously, read through other cult film books (there are thousands out there) like Brad S. suggested, and figure out what hasn’t been covered yet. The rest is redundancy in wasteful shelf-space. There are SO many books about cult films out there.
(and all of them start out with “There is not enough literature on cult films out there”. Expert hint: don’t start out your book like that).
“You need a more original take if you seriously want to publish something”
that is why I recommended Bolero. Interesting film that would be fun to defend.
Den, as I’m unaware of Bolero having any defenders besides yourself, I’d be curious to see you take up that challenge and mount the defense. I have seen it and consider it among the worst films I’ve ever encountered, failing at even achieving eroticism despite having access to one of the most beautiful women of its day. So, beyond the fact that Bo Derek is hot and nude (I assume a Playboy layout at the time also provided that benefit), what is there to recommend Bolero?
Danny Peary has covered this territory (in 3 volumes no less)…HOWEVER….there’s always room for more…and plenty of cults that have popped up since Peary’s last volume…
The Big Lebowski
The King of Comedy
Eyes Wide Shut
Rules of Attraction
What definition of “cult” are we operating under here? For example, I really fail to see what’s “cult” about many of the films listed here, which granted have specialized followings (such as the Big Lebowski, for example) but have been seen and enjoyed by many, many, many people – and of those, many would probably consider whatever film being used as an example “a good film.” I tend towards the characterization of cult films as those that have specialized followings, but in a limited way, mainly because the film in question flies in the face of good taste or good filmmaking and has had limited circulation – basically there’s something transgressive or subversive about it.
Some of the films mentioned here follow in that vein – El Topo, early John Waters – but others seem to fall flat, and are generally considered classics (or at least respectable) by the movie going public at large – Dawn of the Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Office Space, etc
Bolero has the usual John Derek traits: copious nudity, machismo, old esteemed actors (George Kennedy here, Richard Harris and Anthony Quinn in other pics), and what may be director’s preoccupation with aging (it addresses impotence, the other films address death and simply being too old to do it).
It also has a strange relation to Valentino and his films + 80s teen nudity.
It is not a great movie in the usual but it is such an odd, personal and interesting one that it deserves some defenders
The Telephone Book !!!!!!
Ok well to start I am not writing a book that I already know has been written by several others in several forms for other people, I am writing it for me because I love the genre, and I can publish it myself if I wanted to. I want to write it on “great cult films” to clear things up, and do it according to era or decade. So far great suggestions I havent seen yet include the phantom of the paradise, which looks great from what I have seen., something I will definetly include that I have forgotten is Invasion of the body snatchers!
Santa Sangre would count as cult, right? Maybe listing Jodorowsky films is too easy …
How about Ms. 45?
Basket CaseToxic AvengerMan Bites DogEvil DeadEraserheadHarder They ComeReefer Madness
I don’t believe those were mentioned. Eight million kudos to whoever mentioned Buckeroo Bonzai.
Time After Time
The Third of night