Top 100 Cult Films: Part I

I read a blog post which commented on another blog’s post which refers to an an article about book which discusses movies.  So of course I wrote my own post; an astounding fifth order commentary.  We’re doomed as a species aren’t we?

It’s a list of 100 cult films.  I bolded the ones I’ve seen and added comments which are worth precisely what you paid to read this blog.

2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968

One of the best musical scores I’ve ever heard.  Play it loud and forget all the times you’ve heard it re-made.  Imagine hearing it for the first time.  Everyone babbles about how deep this movie is but don’t let that get in the way of simply enjoying it.  However, it’s not light fare for a first date or just to kill an afternoon.

Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988
Angel of Vengeance, Abel Ferrara, 1981
Bad Taste, Peter Jackson, 1987
Baise-moi, Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Thi, 2000
Begotten, E. Elias Merhige, 1991
Behind the Green Door, Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell, 1972
La belle et la bête, Jean Cocteau, 1946
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Russ Meyer, 1970
The Big Lebowski, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998

A good movie.  I’m not sure why it deserves cult status but so be it.

Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, 1982

An excellent movie.  How they made a Phillip K. Dick story into a movie with a logical plotline is a mystery.  The happy ending is bullshit.  Bonus points for a plot that includes Daryl Hanna’s thighs nearly crushing Harrison Ford’s skull

Blue Sunshine, Jeff Lieberman, 1978
Brazil, Terry Gilliam, 1985

I have watched Brazil approximately 2,345 times.  I never get tired of it.  Dystopia with humor.  Superb!  Terry Gilliam really is all that and a bag of chips.

Bride of Frankenstein, James Whale, 1935
The Brood, David Cronenberg, 1979
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene, 1920
Café Flesh, Stephen Sayadian, 1982
Cannibal Holocaust, Ruggero Deodato, 1979
Casablanca, Michael Curtiz, 1942

A surprise winner.  I expected it to suck and was blown away.  Sometimes the classics really are as great as people say they are.

Un chien andalou, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí,1928
Coffy, Jack Hill, 1973
Daughters of Darkness, Harry Kümel, 1971
Dawn of the Dead, George A. Romero, 1978
Deadly Weapons, Doris Wishman, 1974
Debbie Does Dallas, Jim Clark, 1978
Deep Red, Dario Argento, 1975
Dirty Dancing, Emile Ardolino, 1987

Are you shitting me?

Django, Sergio Corbucci, 1966
Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly, 2001
Don’t Torture a Duckling, Lucio Fulci, 1972
Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton, 1990
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Aristide Massaccesi, 1977
Emmanuelle, Just Jaeckin, 1974
Enter the Dragon, Robert Clouse, 1973
Eraserhead, David Lynch, 1977

This is student filmmaker crap that wouldn’t go anywhere if Lynch hadn’t done so well later in life that people are brainwashed to think he farted brilliance from day one.

The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi, 1981
Fight Club, David Fincher, 1999

This movie is a Rorschach test.  Either you’re a baffled metrosexual who doesn’t get it or you’re on the edge of your seat dying to join fight club and start getting bloody.  Excellent movie.

Flaming Creatures, Jack Smith, 1963
Freak Orlando, Ulrike Ottinger, 1981
Freaks, Tod Browning, 1932
Ginger Snaps, John Fawcett, 2000
The Gods Must Be Crazy, Jamie Uys, 1981

Meh.  Not bad.

Godzilla, Ishirô Honda, 1954

How can you not love Godzilla?  Though the version with Raymont Burr is pasted on top like spray paint on your car’s hood.  Subtle?  No!   For fun look for hints of the Green Movement cool aid drinker’s attitude that’ll become commonplace 50 years hence…you’ll see it in spades with this odd creation.

The Harder They Come, Perry Henzell, 1972
Harold and Maude, Hal Ashby, 1971
Häxan, Benjamin Christensen, 1922
Hellraiser, Clive Barker, 1987
The Holy Mountain, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973
The House with the Laughing Windows, Pupi Avati, 1976
I Walked with a Zombie, Jacques Tourneur, 1943
Ichi the Killer, Takashi Miike, 2001
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh, 2008
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Don Siegel, 1956
Invocation of My Demon Brother, Kenneth Anger, 1969
It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra, 1946

It’s only good because James Stewart relentlessly jacks into your brain’s sympathy centers and stomps on it.

The Killer, John Woo, 1989
Lady Terminator, H. Tjut Djalil, 1988
The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, 2001–3

Really?  No.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, George Miller, 1981

Yes!  All hail the vaguely gay, oiled up, football pad wearing king of all high drama; the Humungous!  If Australia existed for no other reason then as a setting for a movie this would be the movie.  Bonus points for the entirely logical premise that when gasoline is rare enough to kill to obtain it, the logical adaptation is to drive muscle cars around in the desert.  It’s more realistic than any movie involving a bicycle.

Man Bites Dog, Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde, 1992
Manos, the Hands of Fate, Harold P. Warren, 1966
The Masque of the Red Death, Roger Corman, 1964
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, 1975

Required fare of every college student and most sentient high schoolers.  The ending pissed me off…which probably amuses Terry Gilliam to no end.

Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow, 1987
Nekromantik, Jörg Buttgereit, 1987
Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero, 1968
Pink Flamingos, John Waters, 1972
Piranha, Joe Dante, 1978
Plan 9 from Outer Space, Ed Wood, Jr, 1959

This is total shit.  Grafting Bela Lagosi on shit doesn’t make it into a rose.

Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon, 1985
Reefer Madness, Louis Gasnier, 1936

Good grief this was horrible.

Repo Man, Alex Cox, 1984

One of my favorite movies.

Ringu, Hideo Nakata, 1998
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jim Sharman, 1975

A bad movie made fun because fruit loops act it out not because the material has special spark.

Rome Armed to the Teeth, Umberto Lenzi, 1976
The Room, Tommy Wiseau, 2003
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975
She Killed in Ecstasy, Jesús Franco, 1971
Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven, 1995
Soul Vengeance, Jamaa Fanaka, 1975
The Sound of Music, Robert Wise, 1965

A movie so good I can tolerate a musical with Julie Andrews.  No small feat.

Star Wars, George Lucas, 1977–2005

It’s easy to forget how awesome this movie really was.  George Lucas re-edited them and then made three movies all with the goal of destroying it.  Even his incredibly bad judgment can’t tarnish the original genius of the first series.

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Todd Haynes, 1988
Suspiria, Dario Argento, 1977
Tank Girl, Rachel Talalay, 1995


Tetsuo, Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper, 1974
This Is Spınal Tap, Rob Reiner, 1984


Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Bo Arne Vibenius, 1974
Thundercrack!, Curt McDowell, 1975
El Topo, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970
The Toxic Avenger, Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman, 1984
Two-Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman, 1971
Two Thousand Maniacs!, Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1964
The Vanishing, George Sluizer, 1988
Videodrome, David Cronenberg, 1983
The Warriors, Walter Hill, 1979
Witchfinder General, Michael Reeves, 1968
Withnail & I, Bruce Robinson, 1987
The Wizard of Oz, Victor Fleming, 1939

When I was a child this movie scared the living shit out of me.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it all the way through while sober.

My next post will list movies which any sane person would have added had they been exactly like me…which is everyone’s goal right?

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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6 Responses to Top 100 Cult Films: Part I

  1. Tom says:

    Fight Club. Brazil. Repo Man.

    You panned Spinal Tap?!? How?
    The movie that gave us “but this one goes to 11” deserves to be on the list. Useful in so many real-life situations.

    It’s a disgrace that Roadhouse didn’t make the list, for giving us the ultimate guy-movie line. That should be more than ample hint about what the line is (involving what the bad guy did in prison with guys like you/me)

  2. Pingback: The 100 Cult Movies thing. | Gun Free Zone

  3. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    I would argue that since the arrival of videotape (and subsequent developments) the term “cult film” has lost a great deal of meaning. A “Cult Film” used to be a film that people would go to some trouble to see, but which was not normally run on channel 4’s “afternoon movie” with any great frequency.

    Nowadays it seems to mean any film that a particular writer wants to write about.

  4. Phil B says:

    If you like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you will love Peter Jacksons film Bad Taste. Let me put it this way … you won’t be able to take it back to the store and claim you were misled by the title.

    His follow up to Bad taste was Brain Dead – and again you can’t say that the title misrepresents the film. Both uproariously funny.

  5. Nancy R. says:

    The Wizard of Oz scared the crap out of me, too. I still don’t enjoy it. But IIRC, it was on TV every year at Thanksgiving. The Ten Commandments came on at Easter.

  6. joetentpeg says:

    3 words:

    Cool Hand Luke

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