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Awake In The Dark
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Old November 14th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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The Greatest Cult Films Ever.

This is a list I put together years ago for Widgett's site - those of you who remember the early days of Corona's Coming Attractions remember him, no doubt. Anyway, it's a fun list with some unexpected choices. I thought you might enjoy it.

1. El Topo - directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Grim brutal western with a lots of little people and priests getting whipped. Very strange stuff. This was the first midnight movie and ran for many years in NYC.

2. If - Lindsay Anderson - Malcolm McDowell as a revolting student

3. Freaks (1932) Tod Browning -
Log Line - Can a full grown women truly love a midget?
Plot - The circus freaks decide to seek revenge on a gold digger marrying one of the homeboys. Yikes!

4. Performance Donald Cammell/Nicholas Roeg
James Fox (the Jackal in the original Day Of The Jackal) as a psychotic London gangster, Mick Jagger as a bi-sexual rock star with Anita Pallenberg thrown in for good measure.

5. Andy Warhol's Frankenstein - Antonio Marghariti
Log line - Brings the horror off the screen and into your lap. 3D all the way, baby.

6. The Ruling Class - Peter Medak
Peter O'Toole as Jesus and Jack the Ripper in one film. Based on a brilliant Peter Barnes stage play, this is a jaw dropping, hilarious and scathing send up of British society. Alistair Sim is hysterical and Coral Browne well into her forties is hot, hot stuff. Despite the fact that the film only has a quick flash of bare breasts, it it so trenchant an assault that it was rated X for many years.

7. Pumping Iron - George Butler
This film ruled Southern California for several years. Arnold's everywhere getting all Arnoldy on us. Franco Columbo is beautiful.

8. Atomic Cafe - Jayne Loader/Kevin Rafferty
Incredibly cool compilation of 50's educational films and PSA's about nuclear attacks.

9. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls - Russ Meyer - screenplay by Roger Ebert and Russ Meyer - sleazy, silly film made by two smart, naughty men.

10. Eraserhead - David Lynch
Henry is having very, very bad dreams.

11. The Peeping Tom - Michael Powell
Powell is an amazing director who loves cinema, dance, theatre with all his heart. This is a film about a guy who murders women and films their faces as they die.

12. Point Blank - John Boorman
Very stylish crime film with Lee Marvin - Boorman's good, very, very good. Unbelievably cool.

13. The Manchurian Candidate - Frankenheimer
If you only think of Angela Lansbury as Jessica in Murder She Wrote, watch this. One of the creepiest kisses you'll ever see on film.

14. Endless Summer - Bruce Brown
surfing movie, shot on a Bolex, got international distribution and changed indie filmmakers perceptions of what they could do.

15. King of Hearts - Phillippe de Broca
The beautiful and superb Alan Bates as a WWI soldier sent to France to disarm a bomb but instead winds up in an insane asylum from which he must escape and also save the souls inside.

16. Mommie Dearest - Frank Perry
Just to watch Diane Scarwid's little march across the room when the reporter is there makes this whole thing worthwhile. Faye Dunaway in a performance NO ONE saw coming.

17. Putney Swope - Robert Downey Sr.
The token black executive is put in charge of an advertising agency and decides it's time for a few changes. Very 60's, unbelievably cool.

18. Candy - Christian Marquand
Alrightio - a Buck Henry adaptation of a Terry Southern novel that sends up Voltaire's very funny Candide. If that isn't enough, this is the cast:
Marlon Brando
Richard Burton
Ewa Aulen (very, very beautiful)
Charles Aznavour
Ringo Starr
Sugar Ray Robinson
John Huston
James Coburn
Walter Matthau
Anita Pallenberg (one more time)
John Astin

PS - You wonít even recognize Brando when he first comes on screen though his only disguise is a tan.

19. Salo - One Hundred Days of Sodom - Pasolini
The brilliantly poetic and ultra-disciplined Pasolini taking the Marquis DeSade at his word - something no other director has ever done. WWII and a group of very powerful men have assembled a group of very young teenagers and children who are raped, forcefed feces and ultimately murdered. This is a deeply moral film with absolutely no gratuitous violence and has been banned many times, many places.


20. The Honeymoon Murders
This film is thoroughly unpleasant yet, not quite as unpleasant as the key art for the advertising poster. Really sleazy, definitely the kind of film good mothers forbid their children from seeing. Even today it reeks.


21. Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill - Russ Meyer without the nudity.
God, this film has energy. John Waters all time favorite film starring Tura Satana. Honest to God, thatís her real name. Great editing, lots of action, tons of cleavage and not a boring moment in it. A real redneck melodrama in your face.


22. Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte - bad boy Hollywood director Robert Aldritch at the absolute top of his bizarre game.
Weird doesnít even begin to describe this film. Atmospheric to the hilt with one of the most gruesome murder scenes ever put on film. It shocks even today. Bette Davis perfecting her now famous impersonation of a vulture with the dtís. Gothic Louisiana odd ballitry shot in black and white with lots of extrras and lush orchestral score. See it on acid if at all possible.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #2
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Point Blank ..that's on my top 10 fave movies of all time .. cult or otherwise.

Of course, I wanna add to the list:

A Boy and His Dog: interpretation of Harlan Ellison story with a really young Don Johnson directed by character actor LQ Jones

Vanishing Point: A nilhistic (sp) stream of conciousness (sp) story disguised as a great car chase flick

Zardoz: Another Boorman flick and fairly unwatchable but pretty hilarious; just the wig on Sean Connery alone is worth a stare

Street Fighter (and sequels) Sonny Chiba movies that go a little beyond the normal chop sockey movies; Chiba comes across like a low rent Toshira Mifune in films shot and edited in an almost psychadelic style

Forty Guns: Overly stylized Sam Fuller western

Rocky Horror Picture Show: c'mon .. the ultimate cult flick
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Old November 15th, 2007, 05:27 PM   #3
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Pink Floyd's The Wall. The best soundtrack, photography, and animation combination I can think of to date.

The fully-restored version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (not those earlier bastardized versions, though Giorgio Moroder's version with a modern soundtrack was excellent).

And of course, Once Upon a Time in the West. Leave it to an Italian to come up with the ultimate western.

Regards;
Martin
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Old November 15th, 2007, 06:23 PM   #4
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Naked Lunch
Bad Boy bubby
The Forbidden Planet

Not exactly cult films, but I've always loved 'Fight Club' and '12 Monkeys'.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 07:33 PM   #5
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Stranger than Paradise by Jim Jarmusch -- first movie I ever saw that made me think, "Cool! I could do that."
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 08:42 PM   #6
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Definitely the Evil Dead series, with Army of Darkness being my favorite.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 02:17 AM   #7
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Dr. Strangelove's always a hoot.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:07 AM   #8
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The Thing (82)

Gremlins 2 the New Batch.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 11:01 AM   #9
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Many years ago, I liked The Stunt Man. I had a copy on Laserdisc (yes, it was that long ago) and would watch it over and over again. Thought it was great.

Borrowed a copy on DVD from a friend about two months ago, and sat back to watch it again, expecting to have the same experience. Now, I see that the story pacing is way off, drags in places, and some of the shots are just, well, WRONG. Steve Railsback is irritating , couldn't act his way out of a paper bag IMHO. And a lot of technical and continuity issues just jump off the screen -- I mean, the parachute's wrong for a WWI movie, for cat's sake.

Oh, well. Tastes change over time. At least Peter O'Toole was his consistent good self.

Martin
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Old November 24th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #10
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I'd like to add "May" to that list, but those I recommended it to hated it. Maybe I am the extent of the cult fanbase of that flick.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 05:57 PM   #11
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sorry the biggest cult film has to be the wicker man
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Old November 25th, 2007, 11:00 AM   #12
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Does '2001 : A space odyssey' count?
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Old November 25th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #13
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When I think of cult films, I think of a remark I heard about Werner Herzog: He doesn't have a cult following, he has an actual cult.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 10:15 AM   #14
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"May" was fantastic!
"The Re-animator" is a guilty pleasure or mine.
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