By their very nature, many of the movies that we have written about over the years are cult classics – Warriors, Clockwork Orange, The Exorcist, Waynes World and Groundhog Day to name but a few. Because we have featured them elsewhere, we have chosen not to include them again in this list. But be assured they’re not forgotten. Part of the definition of a cult movie is that it has a fan base that watches the movie over and over again. We think that all the movies in this list are worthy of multiple viewing. See if you agree.
10. Children of the Corn – 1984
Spawning at least six sequels and a remake, Children of the Corn is far and away the best of the collection. How often is that true of the first movie in a series? The strength of the movie is that we learn about the evil of the Children at the same time as the luckless adults who have stumbled into the nightmare town. Stephen King is something of an acquired taste but this is one of his better horror stories.
9. Bill & Teds Bogus Journey – 1991
The sequel to Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure, the Bogus Journey takes our time travelling twerps into the future for an encounter with a delightfully camp Death. The movie did poorly at the box office, largely because the music was completely out of sync with tastes at the time. This is unfortunate because this is a genuinely clever piece of work. The end sequence over the twin lead guitar playing of Kiss is worth watching just on its own.
8. The Fury – 1978
Ahead of its time The Fury was one of the scariest and most violent movies of the 1970s. With a strong cast and an eminently credible plot, the direction by Brain Di Palma makes The Fury a fine movie among his exceptional body of work. The special effects are particularly powerful and, towards the end of the movie, bring a darkness that really works.
7. Zoolander – 2001
When the main character of a movie is one sandwich short of a picnic it’s usually a recipe for great comedy. Zoolander is exactly that. As with many comedies, the story is completely spurious and that adds to it’s charm; this is feel good moving making of the highest quality. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson give the movie a rhythm that balances many fine cameos – not least an appearance by Donald Trump!
6. Clueless – 1995
Bang slap in the middle of the chick flick genre, Clueless is a well made satire on Jane Austens Emma. It’s a big step to lift a novel published in 19th century England and drop in 20th century Los Angeles. As in the novel, Alicia Siverstones character is not supposed to be particularly likeable. Nevertheless, Chers heart is in the right place and she gets there in the end. Someone has counted 53 different tartans and plaids in Clueless. If that isn’t evidence of a cult following, I don’t know what is.
5. Best In Show – 2000
From the team that bought us the fantastic Spinal Tap, Best in Show is another fly on the wall mockumentary about the world of dog shows. The dogs are largely irrelevant. It’s the owners who are the source of larger than life comedy. But as with much of Christopher Guests work, it would be easy to believe that these people are real. Watch this movie back to back with This Is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind. Top comedy from a top writer and director.
4. The Crow – 1994
With elements of action, suspense, romance, horror, sci fi and many other genres of film making, The Crow has become a cult classic largely because of Brandon Lee’s untimely death. This is slightly unfair as the movie is excellent in its own right. The idea of revenge from beyond the grave is interesting and we’re never quite sure if Eric is a good guy or a bad guy. This might have been different had the movie not been recut because of Lees death.
3. Battle Royale – 2000
From the fertile imaginations of the Japanese comes the extraordinary concept of school children set on an island to kill each other. Battle Royale is one of the top ten grossing Japanese movies of all time and is absolutely worthy of its place in our top ten. We shouldn’t forget that there’s life outside Hollywood should we. To many American minds at the time, the story was just too sickening. But then an examination of society norms from a foreign point of view was never going to be comfortable.
2. Trainspotting – 1996
A romp through the unpleasant world of drugs in Edinburgh, Trainspotting is carried by its exceptional screenplay. Released in the middle of the Brtipop explosion, the soundtrack includes music from Blur, Pulp, Underworld and Sleeper which helped the movie become the cultural phenomenon of its day. The Scottish dialect can be a little difficult at times but that shouldn’t put you off this fine movie.
1. The Princess Bride – 1987
Ostensibly a childrens story, The Princess Bride works on many levels. At the start of the movie, the grandfather describes the story as having everything and, frankly, it does. There’s plenty of swashbuckling, there’s action, there’s comedy, there’s a touch of romance, there’s pirates and there’s Christopher Guest. Can’t be bad. Many of us have grown up with this movie which is why it can be watched over and over again. And it’s time for that shameless House of Cards link as well….