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Top 25 cult films of all time - from boston.com

Old 08-18-06, 02:15 PM
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Top 25 cult films of all time - from boston.com

I found this list while browsing the Internet today. It is not a bad list; Office Space probably should be in the top 25 though.

http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/gallery/top_cult_films/
Top 25 cult films
Will "Snakes on a Plane" be an awful movie? Sure. Will millions go out to see the film anyway because it's become a pop culture phenomenon? More than likely.
In honor of "Snakes" -- and it's probable ascension into cult movie heaven -- we've decided to give you a list of our top 25 cult films.

(James Duffy, Boston.com Correspondent)

25. 'Donnie Darko' (2001)
Depending on how you define "cult" hit, "Donnie Darko" -- the existential, time-traveling story featuring a demonic bunny -- is probably one of the best examples. Although the movie was a box-office bomb in its release, DVD sales more than made up for the film's initial loss.

24. 'Fight Club' (1999)
When "Fight Club" was first released, critics lambasted and praised the film, with the negative reviews coming from many who felt the movie glorified violence. Even with a poor showing at the box-office, the film, inspired by the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same name, eventually became a success with the help of DVD sales.

23. 'The Princess Bride' (1987)
When a movie features Andre the Giant as a kind-hearted...well...giant, it's probably impossible for that film not to become a cult hit. 'The Princess Bride' is among the many films that make midnight showings in small theaters, and has found a rebirth in it's many re-showings on TV.

22. 'Akira' (1988)
The stunning Katsuhiro Otomo film deals with, among other themes, telekenetic powers and an apocalyptic future in a place called Neo-Tokyo, after World War III. Due to the movie's popularity, "Akira" is often attributed as the first anime to garner the West's attention.

21. 'Blade Runner' (1982)
Based on the novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. Dick, the Ridley Scott film was a sci-fi story, based in a futuristic Los Angeles. Much like the films on this list, though the movie lacked commercial success in North America, the film garnered renewed interest through VHS and then DVD sales.

20. 'Cannibal! The Musical' (1996) / 'Orgazmo' (1997)
"Orgazmo" follows a young faithful Mormon, as he dips into the world of pornography, fights evil, and becomes a super-hero with an unusual power. 'Cannibal! The Musical' is based loosely on the true story of Alfred Packer and the trials and tribulations he deals with on a journey from Utah to Colorado. When Trey Parker and Matt Stone gained success with South Park, each film, with the help of DVD releases, gained a cult following.

19. 'The Big Lebowski' (1998)
We've all known a "Dude" in our lives, but it took the Coen brothers to create a brilliant noir comedy based on that slacker friend. Why is "The Big Lebowski" on the list? Aside from midnight showings and DVD sales, the numerous pop culture references and the annual "Lebowski Fest", held in numerous cities, solidifies the movie's cult status.

18. 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' (1971)
This creepy classic, based on the kid's novel of the same name by British author Ronald Dahl, is a cult classic -- not just for kids -- but for adults as well. Is it because of Gene Wilder's acting, or maybe the psychedelic Chocolate Factory? No, it's probably the Oompa Loopas.

17. 'Showgirls' (1995)
Sure, 'Showgirls' is an awful movie, and Elizabeth Berkley's acting is over-the-top to the point that the movie is comical, but it's for these reasons that the film has made this list. An otherwise horrific movie has now became a campy, cult classic -- played at midnight showings around the country as one of the greatest bad movies of all time.

16. 'The Goonies' (1985)
Unlike many of the films on this list, "Goonies" found a huge amount of commercial success in its release. However, the film has gained a huge cult following in recent years, perhaps based on the fact that the children of the '80s that grew up watching the film, kept the film -- along with all its quotes and memorable characters -- alive. We think it's because of the Truffle Shuffle.

15. 'Rock 'n' Roll High School' (1979)
A movie starring the Ramones? Can things get any better? We doubt it. In this classic film, a high schooler recruits the Ramones to take on the brutal headmaster of their school, and hilarity and hijinks ensue, along with plenty of punk music. Rock 'n' Roll High School forever, my friend.

14. 'Night of the Living Dead' (1968)
George A. Romero's classic horror film set a standard for the genre, with a budget that would make any indie director proud. Though "Living Dead" wasn't the first film to use Zombies, Romero was the first to turn them into humans come back from the dead as cannibals. Genius.

13. 'Freaks' (1932)
As one of the creepiest and most disturbing movies ever made, "Freaks" has moved into cult status among fans, perhaps because the film used real freaks, or perhaps it's because "Freaks" has become a great pop culture reference. "Gobble, gabble, gobble, gabble...One of us, One of us."

12. 'Mommie Dearest' (1981)
If ever the term "camp" applied to a film, "Mommie Dearest" is among the movies to remember. Though the film was supposed to be a serious film about child abuse, the over-the-top acting of the film, especially by Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, made "Mommie Dearest" a cult classic among movie aficionados.

11. 'Toxic Avenger' (1985)
Ah, Troma Entertainment. You've given us so much in the genre of the B-movie. Their most famous, "The Toxic Avenger", became an iconic cult film that spawned its success out of midnight showings and fan support. Is the film's success surprising? Maybe, but then again, what's not to love about a toxic superhero from New Jersey?

10. 'Reefer Madness' (1936)
Back in the good old days of filmmaking, those behind the scenes would create movies full of propaganda and campy production to scare people into a certain mind-set. "Reefer Madness" is one of those films. After the movie was released into the public domain and found in the '70s, the ridiculous drama became a comedy and continues to be a favorite in the midnight movie scene.

9. 'Hairspray' (1988)
Who would ever believe that a movie starring Ricki Lake would make this list? Among John Waters' films, "Hairspray" was perhaps most memorable. Aside from tackling the issue of the absurdity of racism in the early 1960s, the comedy was also the last Waters film to star cross-dressing pop culture icon Divine.

8. 'Eraserhead' (1977)
David Lynch is a strange dude. In this late '70s classic, Lynch crafted a film set in a future where sexuality is taken away from humans, and creation is done by outside forces. With the film's use of surreal and dreamlike imagery, it's become an artsy favorite among hipsters from all walks of life. Is there such a genre as art-house horror?

7. 'The Warriors' (1979)
For "The Warriors," life in New York was tough. For one thing, you constantly had to protect your turf from rival gangs, and then there was the constant worry that your Indian costume would somehow lose its luster. The stylish, crazy, low-budget feel of "The Warriors" made the film an instant classic for cult movie buffs everywhere.

6. 'Clerks' (1994)
Though it lacked any real initial box-office success, Kevin Smith's indie classic about slacker inertia became a pop culture phenomenon after Miramax picked it up and released the movie onto video. "clerks" reappeared in both comic book form and in a cartoon series and launched the career of its director, all for under $30,000.

5. 'The Meaning of Life' (1983)
Why did we pick the least known of all the Python films? Probably because it's the most overlooked. Sure, "Life of Brian" and "Quest for the Holy Grail" are genius films, but this Python classic has a musical quirkiness and over-the-top silliness that makes it a comedy gem, and -- though it lacked box-office success -- has developed a strong cult following.

4. 'This is Spinal Tap' (1984)
As the ultimate, and perhaps first, "mockumentary," "Spinal Tap" has become a cultural phenomenon for film and metal fans alike. As with most of the movies on this list, "Spinal Tap" has generated numerous memorable lines, and brilliantly captured awkwardness on film.

3. 'Evil Dead' (1981) -- yes, the whole series
What caused “The Evil Dead” series to become such a cult hit? Perhaps it was the minimalist approach to the first movie that first turned fans on, or maybe it was the strength of Sam Raimi’s directing. Still, we'd like to think it was because of Bruce Campbell’s chiseled chin and uncanny ability to say, “this is my boomstick,” with absolute sincerity.

2. 'Plan 9 from Outer Space' (1959)
Ed Wood is an awful director. The terrible dialogue, the confusing plot, the cheesy special effects and costumes -- by far, "Plan 9" is the greatest bad film of all time. And for that reason, Ed Wood's classic has become a cult favorite among movie buffs and fanboys everywhere.

1. 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' (1975)
What more can be said about "Rocky Horror Picture Show" that hasn't already been made evident in pop culture? Among the cult midnight films in movie theaters across the country, "Rocky Horror" is at the top -- especially around Halloween -- and continues to garner fans each year. "Oh, R-o-o-o-o-cky."
Old 08-18-06, 02:21 PM
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I think Fight Club and Donnie Darko are a little lower than they should be in regards to followers, but that's a pretty spot-on list.
Old 08-18-06, 02:27 PM
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Almost the same as EW's top 50 list. Strange to see Hairspray in there instead of Pink Flamingos.
Old 08-18-06, 02:29 PM
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heh..."Ronald" Dahl
Old 08-18-06, 03:59 PM
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Is "Brazil" bigger than a cult movie now?

It is my favorite film of all time.
Old 08-18-06, 04:06 PM
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Wow...someone out there finally does a list RIGHT. No complaints here.
Old 08-18-06, 05:18 PM
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Very solid list - nothing included that doesn't deserve to be there.

Of course, for that cult known as Scientology, their favorite cult movie would have to be Battlefield Earth.
Old 08-18-06, 06:50 PM
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Really good list although Blade Runner should be higher
Old 08-18-06, 07:20 PM
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Office Space, Napoleon Dynamite?
Old 08-18-06, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Wow...someone out there finally does a list RIGHT. No complaints here.
Agreed. Even though it's a little too early, I think Napolean Dynamite should be on the list.
Old 08-18-06, 08:23 PM
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No Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Dawn VS Night. What say you? I'd go with Dawn.
Old 08-18-06, 08:57 PM
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I think you've got to make room for Star Wars Holiday Special on a list like this. Rarely mentioned outside of ranks of film-nuts, it's survived for almost 30 years on 4th generation VHS dubs of recordings that were originally made from it's single airing almost 30 years ago in 1978. Infamously and hilariously bad, this movie is a legend.
Old 08-18-06, 08:57 PM
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Blade Runner is a cult movie?
Old 08-18-06, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mondo Kane
Almost the same as EW's top 50 list. Strange to see Hairspray in there instead of Pink Flamingos.
Just what I was thinking. I would put Pink Flamingos in number two, personally.
Old 08-18-06, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Buford T Pusser
No Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Dawn VS Night. What say you? I'd go with Dawn.
EW had both Texas & Dawn. Their list:

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) director: Rob Reiner

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) director: Jim Sharman

Freaks (1932) director: Tod Browning

Harold and Maude (1971) director: Hal Ashby

Pink Flamingos (1972) director: John Waters

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) director: Tobe Hooper

Repo Man (1984) director: Alex Cox

Scarface (1983) director: Brian DePalma

Blade Runner (1982) director: Ridley Scott

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) director: Frank Darabont

Five Deadly Venoms (1978) director: Chang Cheh

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) director Ed Wood, Jr.

Brazil (1985) director: Terry Gilliam

Eraserhead (1976) director: David Lynch

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1966) director: Russ Meyer

The Warriors (1979) director: Walter Hill

Dazed And Confused (1993) director: Richard Linklater

Hard Boiled (1992) director: John Woo

Evil Dead II (1987) director: Sam Raimi

The Mack (1973) director: Michael Campus

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) director: Tim Burton

Un chien andalou (1928) director: Luis Buñuel

Akira (1988) director: Katsuhiro Otomo

The Toxic Avenger (1985) directors: Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) director: Mel Stuart

Stranger Than Paradise (1984) director: Jim Jarmusch

Dawn Of The Dead (1978) director: George A. Romero

The Wiz (1978) director: Sidney Lumet

Clerks. (1995) director: Kevin Smith

The Harder They Come (1972) director: Perry Henzell

Slapshot (1977) director: George Roy Hill

Re-Animator (1985) director: Stuart Gordon

Grey Gardens (1976) directors: Albert and David Maysles, et al

The Big Lebowski (1998) director: Joel Cohen

Withnail and I (1987) director: Bruce Robinson

Showgirls (1995) director: Paul Verhoeven

A Bucket of Blood (1959) director: Mr. Roger Corman

They Live (1988) director: John Carpenter

The Best of Everything (1959) director: Jean Negulesco

Barbarella (1968) director: Roger Vadim

Heathers (1989) director: Michael Lehmann

Rushmore (1998) director: Wes Anderson

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) director: W. D. Richter

Love Streams (1984) director: John Cassavetes

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987) director: Todd Haynes

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) director: Werner Herzog

Walking and Talking (1996) director: Nicole Holfcener

The Decline Of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years (1988) director: Penelope Spheeris

Friday (1995) director: F. Gary Gray

Faces Of Death, Vol. 1 (1978) "director": Conan Le Cilaire
Old 08-18-06, 11:27 PM
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No El Topo?
Old 08-18-06, 11:49 PM
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A Top 25 cult films of all-time by BOSTON.COM does NOT include The Boondock Saints huh?
Old 08-19-06, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by steelpotato
No El Topo?
El Topo is important historically, but I don't think it's done too well for itself as an enduring cult film. Don't get me wrong, though, I love the film.
Old 08-19-06, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by HN
heh..."Ronald" Dahl


ahahahahaa!!!


Another reason this list is bullshit is because it doesn't have "Memento."
Old 08-19-06, 12:23 AM
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Boondok Saints, Office Space and Napolean Dynomite I think are 3 huge cult classics and I guess I might add Equilibrium though to a lesser extent.
Old 08-19-06, 12:46 AM
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Napoleon Dynamite is what, a year old? Besides, even if it has a cult following doesn't mean it's a top film in any meaning of the word.
Old 08-19-06, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Dashed
Boondok Saints, Office Space and Napolean Dynomite I think are 3 huge cult classics and I guess I might add Equilibrium though to a lesser extent.
When half of the stores at the mall sell t-shirts that specifically reference the movie....and every teenager in the world has one, I think you've transcended cult.
Old 08-19-06, 07:08 PM
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I would have put The Thing on the list. That flopped at the box office, yet has a huge following.
Old 08-19-06, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gryffinmaster
I think Fight Club and Donnie Darko are a little lower than they should be in regards to followers, but that's a pretty spot-on list.
I agree with your sentiment. Fight Club and Donnie Dark should be higher, but by just a few spots. Really the list is fairly good. Some movies are left out of course or in spots that I wouldn't place them in, but otherwise it's decent.

Originally Posted by SuprVgeta
A Top 25 cult films of all-time by BOSTON.COM does NOT include The Boondock Saints huh?
See just how big of a cult film it is. Boston forgets to even include it. But I have to say that this is the first film that sprung to my mind that was left off.

Originally Posted by Dashed
Boondok Saints, Office Space and Napolean Dynomite I think are 3 huge cult classics and I guess I might add Equilibrium though to a lesser extent.
I would definitely include Boondock Saints to the list, but in no way could I even think about placing Napoleon Dynomite on the list. Besides my own bias that the film is pure drivel and shouldn't be considered a movie, it's popularity is ever waning, and I think that rather than a cult film it will turn into more of a passing fad.

The jury is still out on Office Space though. Great movie, but I just don't know if I could put it on the list. Equilibrium is another contender that I'm not sure I could put on the Top 25 Cult films of all time. Perhaps on the Top 75 Clut film in the 60s or 70s.
Old 08-19-06, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mondo Kane
EW had both Texas & Dawn. Their list:

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) director: Rob Reiner

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) director: Jim Sharman

Freaks (1932) director: Tod Browning

Harold and Maude (1971) director: Hal Ashby

Pink Flamingos (1972) director: John Waters

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) director: Tobe Hooper

Repo Man (1984) director: Alex Cox

Scarface (1983) director: Brian DePalma

Blade Runner (1982) director: Ridley Scott

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) director: Frank Darabont

Five Deadly Venoms (1978) director: Chang Cheh

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) director Ed Wood, Jr.

Brazil (1985) director: Terry Gilliam

Eraserhead (1976) director: David Lynch

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1966) director: Russ Meyer

The Warriors (1979) director: Walter Hill

Dazed And Confused (1993) director: Richard Linklater

Hard Boiled (1992) director: John Woo

Evil Dead II (1987) director: Sam Raimi

The Mack (1973) director: Michael Campus

Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) director: Tim Burton

Un chien andalou (1928) director: Luis Buñuel

Akira (1988) director: Katsuhiro Otomo

The Toxic Avenger (1985) directors: Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) director: Mel Stuart

Stranger Than Paradise (1984) director: Jim Jarmusch

Dawn Of The Dead (1978) director: George A. Romero

The Wiz (1978) director: Sidney Lumet

Clerks. (1995) director: Kevin Smith

The Harder They Come (1972) director: Perry Henzell

Slapshot (1977) director: George Roy Hill

Re-Animator (1985) director: Stuart Gordon

Grey Gardens (1976) directors: Albert and David Maysles, et al

The Big Lebowski (1998) director: Joel Cohen

Withnail and I (1987) director: Bruce Robinson

Showgirls (1995) director: Paul Verhoeven

A Bucket of Blood (1959) director: Mr. Roger Corman

They Live (1988) director: John Carpenter

The Best of Everything (1959) director: Jean Negulesco

Barbarella (1968) director: Roger Vadim

Heathers (1989) director: Michael Lehmann

Rushmore (1998) director: Wes Anderson

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) director: W. D. Richter

Love Streams (1984) director: John Cassavetes

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987) director: Todd Haynes

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) director: Werner Herzog

Walking and Talking (1996) director: Nicole Holfcener

The Decline Of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years (1988) director: Penelope Spheeris

Friday (1995) director: F. Gary Gray

Faces Of Death, Vol. 1 (1978) "director": Conan Le Cilaire
I prefer EW's list (I can't believe I just said that) overall, except the inclusion of The Shawshank Redemption as a cult film. There is no way you can tell me that it is a cult film or has a cult following. That movie is huge and is always played on TNT and other television stations. I love their inclusion of Brazil, They Live and some others.

Memento definitely deserves to be on the list of cult films.

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