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Wikipedia's List of cult films

Old 01-02-16, 12:22 PM
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Wikipedia's List of cult films

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cult_films

I'm planning to watch more cult films this year, and was wondering if wiki's list is a good source. Are there movies missing? or maybe someone can link to better sites?

I was a bit surprised to see Splice (2009) listed. I mean, I like the movie but I never thought it was a cult film. And shouldn't A Christmas Story (1983) be on the list?
Old 01-02-16, 12:26 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Do you know how many cult films there are? A shit ton.

Just pick and choose, man.
Old 01-02-16, 12:42 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

That's my plan after doing a list of cult films I own and stuff I might be Interested in.
Old 01-02-16, 12:44 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by hbilly View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cult_films

I'm planning to watch more cult films this year, and was wondering if wiki's list is a good source. Are there movies missing? or maybe someone can link to better sites?

I was a bit surprised to see Splice (2009) listed. I mean, I like the movie but I never thought it was a cult film. And shouldn't A Christmas Story (1983) be on the list?
No, A Christmas Story is about as mainstream as it gets, I mean one of the most popular Cable channels plays it 24 hours a day once a year. It's as Mainstream as it gets.
Old 01-02-16, 01:30 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

It's a cult film because it bombed and was forgotten, but then found a Rabid following when it aired on tv. The around the clock broadcasts are because of the cult-like popularity.
Old 01-02-16, 01:32 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Some ICM lists that I've been working on:

The New Cult Canon
My Duck is Dead
Badmovies.org
The Deuce
500 Essential Cult
Old 01-02-16, 01:38 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

There are differing opinions as to what constitutes a "cult movie." The Wiki list has a good number of movies and some that I wouldn't have on the list (ie Sound of Music). To me a cult movie should be out of the mainstream. An oddity.
Old 01-02-16, 02:46 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

I think a big part of the "cult movie" status during the 80s and 90s was the fact these films were difficult to see. You had to catch a screening at an old rep theatre or an art gallery or a midnight showing of an old 16MM print at some dive club you'd never go to otherwise. Your "cult"-like devotion was proven by the fact you'd go out of your way just to see a dumb movie (not even for the first time). Now that pretty much everything is available on DVD and streaming (the top of this page has a Blu-Ray ad for THUNDERCRACK for God's sake!), the whole "cult movie" label feels to me like its lost much of its uniqueness.
Old 01-02-16, 03:57 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
It's a cult film because it bombed and was forgotten, but then found a Rabid following when it aired on tv. The around the clock broadcasts are because of the cult-like popularity.
Finding success after theatrical release in and of itself doesn't make it cult. And ACS is about as mainstream as they come, it was just discovered later. I think the asian diner scene and the leg lamp give the "cult status" a little more weight, but it's well past that now.

But then again, I also don't consider It's a Wonderful Life to be a cult classic. The Wizard of Oz is debatable.
Old 01-02-16, 06:54 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
Finding success after theatrical release in and of itself doesn't make it cult. And ACS is about as mainstream as they come, it was just discovered later. I think the asian diner scene and the leg lamp give the "cult status" a little more weight, but it's well past that now.

But then again, I also don't consider It's a Wonderful Life to be a cult classic. The Wizard of Oz is debatable.
There's thousands of different things that can be a factor regarding something being "cult". The part I bolded makes no sense to me.

It's a Wonderful Life and Wizard of Oz are simply "classics", not "cult classics".
Old 01-02-16, 08:04 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
There's thousands of different things that can be a factor regarding something being "cult". The part I bolded makes no sense to me.

It's a Wonderful Life and Wizard of Oz are simply "classics", not "cult classics".
They're aspects that took on a life of their own outside of the movie.

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
It's a cult film because it bombed and was forgotten, but then found a Rabid following when it aired on tv. The around the clock broadcasts are because of the cult-like popularity.
Both It's A Wonderful Life and Wizard of Oz tanked on release as well and gained massive followings thanks to airings on TV. It's a Wonderful Life wasn't revived until the 70s when the Copyright was allowed to lapse.

Last edited by RichC2; 01-02-16 at 08:13 PM.
Old 01-02-16, 09:09 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Wizard of Oz didn't tank. It underperformed because it was MGM's most expensive film ever made up to that point. It was nominated for best picture for goodness sake.

It's a Wonderful Life did genuinely meet with little interest from audiences and critics of the time.
Old 01-02-16, 09:39 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

I would say that sometimes a cult movie "graduates" to the mainstream, as A Christmas Story has done. Would you really consider something like The Princess Bride or Citizen Kane to be a cult movie, today?
Old 01-02-16, 10:21 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by hbilly View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cult_films

I'm planning to watch more cult films this year, and was wondering if wiki's list is a good source. Are there movies missing? or maybe someone can link to better sites?

I was a bit surprised to see Splice (2009) listed. I mean, I like the movie but I never thought it was a cult film. And shouldn't A Christmas Story (1983) be on the list?
That list relies on way too broad a definition of "cult film." To call CASABLANCA, CITIZEN KANE, WIZARD OF OZ and WUTHERING HEIGHTS "cult films" is absurd by any standard. Although, to be fair, Danny Peary's book, "Cult Movies," a seminal work on the subject, includes the first three of those. When I was a film student 40 years ago, the reigning cult films were things like EL TOPO, PINK FLAMINGOS, ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, REEFER MADNESS, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. And, a little later, the Ed Wood films, particularly GLEN OR GLENDA and PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Edgar G. Ulmer's DETOUR was the first noir that became a cult film that I can recall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_Movies_(book)
Old 01-02-16, 11:54 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Wizard of Oz didn't tank. It underperformed because it was MGM's most expensive film ever made up to that point. It was nominated for best picture for goodness sake.

It's a Wonderful Life did genuinely meet with little interest from audiences and critics of the time.
It's a Wonderful Life was also nominated for best picture (and best director and best actor). It wasn't a big money maker, but the critics liked it. For example: Variety's review from Dec 18, 1946.
Old 01-03-16, 12:10 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen View Post
I think a big part of the "cult movie" status during the 80s and 90s was the fact these films were difficult to see. You had to catch a screening at an old rep theatre or an art gallery or a midnight showing of an old 16MM print at some dive club you'd never go to otherwise. Your "cult"-like devotion was proven by the fact you'd go out of your way just to see a dumb movie (not even for the first time). Now that pretty much everything is available on DVD and streaming (the top of this page has a Blu-Ray ad for THUNDERCRACK for God's sake!), the whole "cult movie" label feels to me like its lost much of its uniqueness.
This post isn't getting the attention it deserves. He is DEAD ON RIGHT.
Old 01-03-16, 09:51 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
That list relies on way too broad a definition of "cult film." To call CASABLANCA, CITIZEN KANE, WIZARD OF OZ and WUTHERING HEIGHTS "cult films" is absurd by any standard. Although, to be fair, Danny Peary's book, "Cult Movies," a seminal work on the subject, includes the first three of those. When I was a film student 40 years ago, the reigning cult films were things like EL TOPO, PINK FLAMINGOS, ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, REEFER MADNESS, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. And, a little later, the Ed Wood films, particularly GLEN OR GLENDA and PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Edgar G. Ulmer's DETOUR was the first noir that became a cult film that I can recall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_Movies_(book)
I think you are confusing "midnight movies" with "cult films". Midnight movies were usually bizarre and obscure, and wouldn't draw a general audience, so they would only get played at midnight showings where many of them did indeed find a cult following (EL TOPO, PINK FLAMINGOS, ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, REEFER MADNESS, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD were all famous midnight movies). Many midnight movies became cult films, but the two are not completely synonymous. A mainstream movie that inspires a passionate fanbase can just as easily be a cult film, as in the case of flicks like Star Wars, 2001, The Wizard of Oz, etc. There is a term called "cult blockbuster" for movies such as those.
Old 01-05-16, 12:18 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

My definition would eliminate mainstream hit movies, which would shorten this list iconsideately. What exactly, for instance, is the "cult" audience for The Sound of Music? Mainstream movies may indeed have cults, but that doesn't make the film a cult film. If so, the the term "cult film" is rendered meaningless, since any movie with a passionate following could be considered a cult film. I hope the term continues to be used to showcase movies that have been overlooked or forgotten since they were released. And not for films that get whole days on TV to be repeatedly shown over and over again.
Old 01-05-16, 01:37 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Cult Film can mean many things. There is a "cult" of Sound of Music fans. Subtitled sing a long events are frequently held at revival theaters.

Casablanca is a cult film in the sense that the "Bogart Cult" was a real thing that started at Harvard and spread nationwide in the '60s and '70s. You might not realize it, but the Bogart Cult is the reason he is a household name today. There was a huge revival wave of his work and he became more famous in death than he was while alive.

Last edited by Mabuse; 01-05-16 at 01:44 PM.
Old 01-05-16, 02:30 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

To me, a cult film is one that has been generally dismissed by most everyone, both critically and popularly, but there exists a small but extremely devoted core audience for the film. Night of the Living Dead started as a cult film, since it was mostly neglected by critics (for those who chose to review it, they were almost unanimous in reviling it) and was never a high-profile release, but there was that small, loyal group of supporters who championed it. It's no longer a cult film, as it's broken out into the mainstream, helped tremendously by its public domain status and the advent of home video.

A more recent example would be Gummo. The average moviegoer has never heard of it, and it has a 33% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it has a group of hardcore fans who are quite adamant in their appreciation of it. I'm not one of them, but there's no denying that it's a cult film.

DVD Josh's assertion that home video has killed the concept of cult movies seems wrong to me. I can see his point as far as access to films goes, but I think that home video has actually boosted the number of cult movies. For instance, twenty years ago, Make Way for Tomorrow was practically unknown, but Criterion's release of the film has created a cult for it. The average person has still never heard of the film, and it has very few reviews listed at Rotten Tomatoes, but Criterion's discs have won the film a small but very devoted group of fans.

So, just because Thundercrack has been released on DVD and Blu-ray doesn't mean that it can't still be a cult film. The audience that will appreciate it (its cult) will grow due to the heightened exposure the new release brings, but it's not going to EVER be enough in line with mainstream sensibilities to break out from being a cult film into being a "classic," nor will the average Redbox user ever even hear of its release.
Old 01-05-16, 06:28 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Couple not on the list
ZACHARIAH
JOE(1970)

One of my favorites, a must see, SHACK OUT ON 101. A true, one of a kind oddity.
Old 01-05-16, 08:43 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

For a while I used that Wikipedia article for a checklist. Their definition may be too broad, but was as good a list as any. (It's gotten a lot longer since then.) People are going to agree on a definitive list of cult movies right after they settle on the definitive list of films noir.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 01-05-16 at 09:20 PM.
Old 01-06-16, 10:33 AM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

A cult film is like a secret. A select few know the secret. Some may accidently stumble across the secret, or someone who knows the secret will let someone in on it. If the secret gets out and everybody knows it, the cult film is no longer a cult film.

The midnight showings of Rocky Horror, with the dress up, props, etc., went on for quite a while without anyone knowing about it. The only way to find out about it was for someone you knew to turn you on to it. Eventually the media heard about it and the secret was out. TV news, newspapers and magazines ran stories about it and then everybody knew about it and would go check it out.
Old 01-06-16, 01:10 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

By that definition, there are very few cult movies. I saw Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story in a theater. That was a secret, because Mattel's lawyers are trying to suppress it. No one was ever keeping Pink Flamingos a secret, and I think everybody considers that a cult film.
Old 01-06-16, 02:10 PM
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Re: Wikipedia's List of cult films

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
A cult film is like a secret. A select few know the secret. Some may accidently stumble across the secret, or someone who knows the secret will let someone in on it. If the secret gets out and everybody knows it, the cult film is no longer a cult film.
You got a point there. John Woo was a cult director and then suddenly everybody heard of him and it wasn't a cult anymore. As one colleague of mine put it after a New York Times article on Woo in 1993: "He's not our dirty little secret anymore."

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