Cult movies, also called cult classics, are movies who have gained a dedicated fanbase which usually partakes in communal viewing of the film or often quote it in everyday life. Most films that qualify for this category usually didn’t see a wide release or financial success in the box office making their popularity apparent in certain circles of film enthusiasts.
What’s your favorite cult film? Think they’d make it on our list of the 10 best cult movies of all time?
Top 10 Best Cult Movies of All Time
Death Race 2000 (1975)
People surely had high hopes for the new millennium during the mid to late 20th century.
Death Race 2000 (1975) is one of the films that imagined what the 2000s might have been like. And it sure wasn’t optimistic. In the film, we see a dystopian Earth in the year 2000 ruled by a Fascist state which calls itself the United Provinces.
The film’s title pertains to an annual death race sponsored by “Mr. President” in order to keep the masses of people preoccupied and entertained. In the race, cars compete to travel coast to coast while ensuring their survival and killing as many civilians as they can along the way.
Clerks (1994) is a day-in-the-life type of film about two clerks—one works at a convenience store and one in a video store next door. In the film, we get to know them through their interactions with the cooky and crazy customers that go into the stores they man.
We also become privy to their problems. For example, Dante, played by Brian O’Halloran, has a messy love life. In the film, he wants to rekindle an old relationship with an ex who cheated on him and happens to be currently engaged to another man.
Here’s proof that David Bowie can do anything. At the height of his avant-garde music career, he decided to expand his unique artistic expression by taking on the role of goblin king Jareth in Jim Henson’s fantasy film Labyrinth (1986).
The film, which also stars Jennifer Connelly as Sarah Williams, follows Jareth’s attempts at keeping Sarah forever in his realm as she tries to save her brother who Jareth kidnaps at the beginning of the film.
Aside from Bowie’s performance, Labyrinth is most notable for its artistic blending of live action actors with puppets and animatronics to construct the fantastic characters that live in the world of Labyrinth.
This movie is one of those it’s so bad it’s good movies. From a bad script to Elizabeth Berkley’s over the top acting, Showgirls (1995) was bound to have a cult following.
The film tells the story of Berkley’s character and her attempts at succeeding as a dancer in Las Vegas, hence the title. A small town girl, she meets various people which affect her career in both negative and positive ways. She eventually finds success after working her way up from a strip club to the Vegas main stages.
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) is one of the first to get the label as a cult classic.
Although dubbed by critics as one of the worst movies ever made, the film managed to get a loyal fanbase among B-movie fans.
In the film, a group of aliens goes to Earth in order to execute the titular Plan B which involves reanimating the dead and manipulating them as an army against humans.
The film is famous, or should we say infamous? for its low budget special effects and stereotypical aliens complete with flying saucers and all that extraterrestrial jizz jazz.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Big Lebowski (1998) is probably every slacker’s favorite film. Directed by the Coen brothers, this ‘neo-noir post-western black comedy detective story’ tells the story of a Los Angeles slacker only known as ‘The Dude’ who finds himself entangled in the affairs of a millionaire when he was falsely identified as him due to their similar names.
The film is your classic cult classic. Bombing in the box office, the would later on gain a cult following for its interesting characters, unconventional screenplay and a notable soundtrack from Carter Burwell.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) is a film following the story of two drag queens and one transgender woman as they go on a road trip in the Australian outback in an aptly colored pink bus to climb Ayer’s Rock while in full drag attire.
Of course, they get into troubles and meet fellow outcasts on their way there which brings them together as people.
This is Spinal Tap (1984)
A ‘rockumentary’ mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap (1984) is the film that popularized the term mockumentary as well. It is meant to be a parody of the documentaries about touring rock bands which became popular at the time.
The film follows the behavior of pretentious rockstars embodied by the members of the fictional band, Spinal Tap. In it, we see the British heavy metal band as they go on tour in the United States and documents their antics as inspired by actual rockumentaries like Gimme Shelter and The Last Waltz.
Here we have another film involving the raising of the dead.
Re-animator (1985) is a camp zombie film about two medical students who perform increasingly bizarre experiments in a basement. As you may have already guessed, they are doing experiments which involve, well, reanimating dead human tissue back to life. These experiments result in hilariously macabre events.
Although it reads like a horror film, Re-animator is really after getting laughs instead of shrieks given its terrible special effects and gag-oriented screenplay.
The Princess Bride (1987)
Probably one of the most quoted films in movie history, The Princess Bride makes it on the top our list of the best cult movies of all time.
A cult classic, the film is also an excellent piece of the fantasy and romance genre. It tells the story of Buttercup, a beautiful princess who goes on a journey to be with her one true love, Westley.
What more, the film holds a reputation for being pretty much an untouchable classic.
What’s your favorite cult movie? Did you find it on our best movies list? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!