EJ Moreno on iconic cult classics…
What does it take for a film to be considered a “cult classic?” Many define it as a movie that is popular among a particular group, but for me, that isn’t always the case. Some cult classics can become larger than life presences in the industry, taking over fan conventions and getting remakes/spin-offs. For this listicle, my goal is to celebrate the films that are staples in the cult circuit – even if a movie is beloved by more than just a tiny group of cinema nerds. You may recognize some entries on this list, while others might be wholly new to you. But use this as a way to expand your watch list with some iconic cult classics. Now prepare to enter the strange side of filmmaking!
Transformers: The Movie (Suggested by Gary Collinson)
This 1986 animated film created a legion of loyal fans that loved their robots in disguise. Transformers: The Movie gained such a cult-following that Hollywood tried to cash in with some weak films from director Michael Bay.
Labyrinth (Suggested by Tom Jolliffe)
David Bowie and muppets? Labyrinth is the exact type of film you’d expect to become a cult classic, but this musical fantasy adventure is relatively standard for most 80’s babies. For an even more obscure Jim Henson film, check out The Dark Crystal.
The Greasy Strangler (Suggested by Tom Beasley)
The newest entry on the list is probably the sleaziest as well. If you will need a shower after viewing The Greasy Strangler as the film is equal parts hilariously and disgusting. Use this movie to disgust all your friends.
10. Bottle Rocket
Wes Anderson is known for his cult following, with each of his films cultivating a hungry fanbase. None of his films are quite as obscure as his feature film debut, Bottle Rocket. A commercial failure at the time of release, some very kind words for legendary director Martin Scorsese made this a must-see for plenty of film snobs. Following a group of Texans, as they attempt to become masterclass thieves, the film plays like an even stranger version of a Coen Brothers piece. If you are only familiar with Anderson’s more recent work, look back on his feature film and admire how far the director has made it.
1988’s Akira might be considered a cult classic, but it is also one of the most influential films of all time. Countless filmmakers use the Japanese cyberpunk movie as the bar when creating work in the sci-fi genre. In the early VHS days, this tape was traded around often with many anime lovers praising the film’s brutal and refreshing style. Set in 2019, Akira tells the complex story of bike gang leader Kaneda trying to save telekinetic friend Tetsuo from a shady government agency. Powerful as it is entertaining, do yourself a favor if you haven’t seen the film yet and watch it as soon as possible.
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