Sunday, August 27, 2006

Five Favorite Cult Movies

Cult movies is a fun category. It allows for kitsch to be cool. Bad can be good if its offbeat enough, but not too much.

For my cult films list of five they have to have been around for a while, to have earned cult status. So, there's no such thing as an instant cult movie. Something all cult films do have in common is that long after their original first run playdates have come and gone they have a loyal following. To me “cult” also implies an alternative feel to the film, many times they were made independently and typically focus on people and situations out on the periphery of reality, or beyond.

This list, as have all of them in this series of five faves postings on weekends, is limited to feature-length pictures. So, two half-hour films I love -- “La Jetée (1962) and “Un Chien Andalou” (1929) -- have to wait for another day’s list.

In another age any of the five favorites on my list below would have made good Midnight Show material at a repertory cinema near a university. Here are my five favorite cult movies:

“Brazil” (1985): Directed by Terry Gilliam; Cast: Robert De Niro, Jonathan Pryce, Ian Holm
“Eraserhead” (1977): Directed by David Lynch; Cast: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph
“Paris, Texas” (1984): Directed by Wim Wenders; Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Nastassja Kinski
“Performance” (1970): Directed by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg; Cast: James Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg
“Putney Swope” (1969): Directed by Robert Downey Sr.; Cast: Stan Gottlieb, Allen Garfield, Archie Russell

If the reader wonders why “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” isn’t on my list ... well, maybe I just saw it too many times in my theater manager days at the Biograph. In truth, after a couple of years of that goldmine of a Midnight Show, it wasn’t all that popular with the staff. The rice, and the toast, and the hot dogs ... it got old.


Eoghann said...

Here's mine:

Edward Scissorhands
A Boy And His Dog
Ilsa, She-wolf of the SS
Repo Man
Purple Rain

Vivian J. Paige said...

No way you could leave off Rocky Horror. Regardless of it getting old, it's still a wonderful, participative movie. :)

Triscula said...

Being John Malkovich
Donnie Darko
Super Troopers
Office Space
Monty Python's The Holy Grail