Iffy culty

So there’s a book coming out called 100 Cult Films, and while some of the selections are at least somewhat arguable, hey, it’s an easy way to gin up a meme, right? I have boldfaced those I’ve actually seen:

    2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968
    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
    Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, 1982
    Blue Sunshine, Jeff Lieberman, 1978
    Brazil, Terry Gilliam, 1985
    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
    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
    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
    The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi, 1981
    Fight Club, David Fincher, 1999
    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
    Godzilla, Ishirô Honda, 1954
    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
    The Killer, John Woo, 1989
    Lady Terminator, H. Tjut Djalil, 1988
    The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, 2001-3 (2 of 3)
    Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, George Miller, 1981
    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
    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, Edward D. Wood Jr, 1959
    Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon, 1985
    Reefer Madness, Louis Gasnier, 1936
    Repo Man, Alex Cox, 1984
    Ringu, Hideo Nakata, 1998
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jim Sharman, 1975
    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
    Star Wars, George Lucas, 1977-2005 (3 of 6)
    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 Spinal 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

I admit to having once rented Café Flesh and then not actually watching it.

(Seen at Jennifer’s, though she says Peter started it, which is in fact true.)


  1. David Fleck »

    11 December 2011 · 10:52 am

    So what’s their definition of ‘cult film’? I have a hard time getting 2001 or The Wizard of Oz to fit my own definition.

  2. CGHill »

    11 December 2011 · 10:57 am

    It’s obviously not my working definition: influence > merit.

  3. smitty »

    11 December 2011 · 1:15 pm

    Pulp fiction?
    Two genres I can live without, and for the same reason: porn and horror. Neither depict the human condition in a way I think helpful.
    Not to be puritanical, but I think porn demotes sex to aerobic activity.

  4. unimpressed »

    11 December 2011 · 1:56 pm

    I think I’ve seen 35 of them and of that number, at least two only because they received the MST3K treatment.

  5. Andrea Harris »

    11 December 2011 · 5:23 pm

    “So what’s their definition of ‘cult film’?”

    Films gays and druggies watch over and over (druggies for 2001, gays for Wizard of Oz.)

  6. Andrea Harris »

    11 December 2011 · 5:32 pm

    Speaking of which — where is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original 1971 film not the Johnny Depp remake) and Phantom of the Paradise? In the case of the former, at least, it has a sizable following of the sort that make up audiences for cult films (gays, goths, hipsters), and the latter, if not actually one many people remember, certainly has all the (awful, awful) ingredients for cult filmage: over-the-top “acting,” cheesy plot straight out of… well, it’s more or less the same plot as “Phantom of the Opera” only Seventy’d up– and Paul Williams. Remember Paul Williams? He wrote all those songs, but he looked like a human troll. Naturally, in the Seventies, he was a movie star.

  7. Roger Green »

    11 December 2011 · 5:44 pm

    The only film on this list I have seen that you didn’t was Reefer Madness. It’s probably not worth watching unless you have at least a contact high.

  8. CGHill »

    11 December 2011 · 7:01 pm

    I did like LabRat’s definition:

    I don’t think it has to be good, or even technically qualify as a story, I just think it has to be something that, for whatever reasons, never gained mainstream popularity but did gain enough of a tiny niche with enough people that it still gets watched years or decades after it was made.

    Although this still really doesn’t explain the blockbusters on the list.

  9. Hatless in Hattiesburg »

    14 December 2011 · 11:15 am

    It’s all about meme…

    I’ll post my quibbles with this list of “100 Cult Films” after I answer the meme…

  10. I Always Wanted To Be In a Cult « doubleplusundead »

    15 December 2011 · 9:53 pm

    […] Nicole we find Dustbury listing 100 cult classics from a forthcoming […]

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