Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top 100 cult films?

NPR has an article about a forthcoming book, '100 Cult Films'. They invite readers to nominate a 101st movie, with the winner's selection being used on air.

I read through the list of films, and wasn't particularly impressed. I'm not a great movie fan at the best of times, but I've not seen most of those listed, and I certainly wouldn't award many of them 'cult film' status - in fact, I'd dismiss many of them as no more than pornography, and certainly not deserving of space in a 'general' cult movie listing. Here's the list, with those I've watched underlined.

2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968
Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988
Angel of Vengeance, Abel Ferrara, 1981
Bad Taste, Peter Jackson, 1987
Baise-moi, Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Thi, 2000
Begotten, E. Elias Merhige, 1991
Behind the Green Door, Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell, 1972
La belle et la bête, Jean Cocteau, 1946
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Russ Meyer, 1970
The Big Lebowski, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998
Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, 1982
Blue Sunshine, Jeff Lieberman, 1978
Brazil, Terry Gilliam, 1985
Bride of Frankenstein, James Whale, 1935
The Brood, David Cronenberg, 1979
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene, 1920
Café Flesh, Stephen Sayadian, 1982
Cannibal Holocaust, Ruggero Deodato, 1979
Casablanca, Michael Curtiz, 1942
Un chien andalou, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí,1928
Coffy, Jack Hill, 1973
Daughters of Darkness, Harry Kümel, 1971
Dawn of the Dead, George A. Romero, 1978
Deadly Weapons, Doris Wishman, 1974
Debbie Does Dallas, Jim Clark, 1978
Deep Red, Dario Argento, 1975
Dirty Dancing, Emile Ardolino, 1987
Django, Sergio Corbucci, 1966
Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly, 2001
Don't Torture a Duckling, Lucio Fulci, 1972
Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton, 1990
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Aristide Massaccesi, 1977
Emmanuelle, Just Jaeckin, 1974
Enter the Dragon, Robert Clouse, 1973
Eraserhead, David Lynch, 1977
The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi, 1981
Fight Club, David Fincher, 1999
Flaming Creatures, Jack Smith, 1963
Freak Orlando, Ulrike Ottinger, 1981
Freaks, Tod Browning, 1932
Ginger Snaps, John Fawcett, 2000
The Gods Must Be Crazy, Jamie Uys, 1981
Godzilla, Ishirô Honda, 1954
The Harder They Come, Perry Henzell, 1972
Harold and Maude, Hal Ashby, 1971
Häxan, Benjamin Christensen, 1922
Hellraiser, Clive Barker, 1987
The Holy Mountain, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973
The House with the Laughing Windows, Pupi Avati, 1976
I Walked with a Zombie, Jacques Tourneur, 1943
Ichi the Killer, Takashi Miike, 2001
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh, 2008
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Don Siegel, 1956
Invocation of My Demon Brother, Kenneth Anger, 1969
It's a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra, 1946
The Killer, John Woo, 1989
Lady Terminator, H. Tjut Djalil, 1988
The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, 2001–3
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, George Miller, 1981
Man Bites Dog, Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde, 1992
Manos, the Hands of Fate, Harold P. Warren, 1966
The Masque of the Red Death, Roger Corman, 1964
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, 1975
Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow, 1987
Nekromantik, Jörg Buttgereit, 1987
Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero, 1968
Pink Flamingos, John Waters, 1972
Piranha, Joe Dante, 1978
Plan 9 from Outer Space, Ed Wood, Jr, 1959
Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon, 1985
Reefer Madness, Louis Gasnier, 1936
Repo Man, Alex Cox, 1984
Ringu, Hideo Nakata, 1998
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jim Sharman, 1975
Rome Armed to the Teeth, Umberto Lenzi, 1976
The Room, Tommy Wiseau, 2003
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975
She Killed in Ecstasy, Jesús Franco, 1971
Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven, 1995
Soul Vengeance, Jamaa Fanaka, 1975
The Sound of Music, Robert Wise, 1965
Star Wars, George Lucas, 1977–2005
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Todd Haynes, 1988
Suspiria, Dario Argento, 1977
Tank Girl, Rachel Talalay, 1995
Tetsuo, Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper, 1974
This Is Spınal Tap, Rob Reiner, 1984
Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Bo Arne Vibenius, 1974
Thundercrack!, Curt McDowell, 1975
El Topo, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970
The Toxic Avenger, Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman, 1984
Two-Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman, 1971
Two Thousand Maniacs!, Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1964
The Vanishing, George Sluizer, 1988
Videodrome, David Cronenberg, 1983
The Warriors, Walter Hill, 1979
Witchfinder General, Michael Reeves, 1968
Withnail & I, Bruce Robinson, 1987
The Wizard of Oz, Victor Fleming, 1939

With only 15 out of 100 on my list, I'm sure most of you have done better. How many have you seen? Let us know in Comments - or, if you're a fellow blogger, post the list on your own blog, indicate your 'viewed list', and ask your readers the same question.



bruce said...

King of Hearts... a college hit classic

irontomflint said...

Where is Easyrider?

Bill N. said...

Where is Zombieland? You might appreciate it Mr. G. I normally hate Woody Harrleson but he was made for this movie.

You saw more movies from the list than me. I saw only nine and after seeing the Big Lebowski I wish it was only eight.

Arthur B. Burnett said...

Greetings from Texas,
I can't believe they left out RED DAWN

Bryan Reavis said...

I have to question the authors criteria for "cult movie". Where's "M"? What about "Buckaroo Bonzai"? And really, Star Wars counts as a cult movie?

That being said, I've seen 65 of these. Wow, 65. I don't know whether to claim exposure to culture or wasted youth.

Anonymous said...

I have not heard of about 90% of these.I have watched about four or five

Anonymous said...

Only 10 films from before 1970 - FAIL. Reads like a bunch of npr slugs were sitting around after drinking their taxpayer-bought beers wondering what to do.

Anonymous said...

There are so many true cult films missed, and as you mention a bunch of soft porn listed.

Where is Hitchhiker's Guide... Star Wars... the rest of the Rings series & 2001 series... Apocalypse Now... the Fellini films...

Thought is is a largely rubbish list, I have seen 30 of them (that I can remember or will admit to)...

B_L said...

Good Lord, man! You haven't seen The Big Lebowski?

That is a serious problem.

Raptor said...

Where the frak are Red Dawn, The Way of the Gun, and Army of Darkness?

Anonymous said...

I find it strange that 2001 and the Wizard of Oz would be considered "Cult". Maybe they need to narrow down the definition of "cult". Maybe they also need to point out that it doesn't include porn.


Dave O. said...

Army of Darkness seconded!

ajdshootist said...

Where is The Outlaw Josey Wales best western ever or True Grit!

Mikael said...

I've seen 26 of those that I recall(there were a few more I wasn't sure of, or seen only part of).

Definitely a lacking list...

Chris said...

Star Wars a CULT film? That movie is as mainstream as it gets. Or The Lord of the Ring movies, or Dirty Dancing, It's a Wonderful Life, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz...

Somebody apparantly has no clue what 'cult film' means.

That said, I've seen 31 of them.

mikee said...

Quest for Fire. Or don't you want to know what it was like for cavemen to experience true enlightenment?

Joe in PNG said...

Where's "Flash Gordon"- the one with the Queen soundtrack and BRIAN BLESSED!?
The Lynch "Dune"?
"Battlefield Earth"?

And there is not one single Coleman Francis movie on the list. Shame, real shame, as a director that awful should be remembered for something, even as a warning to others.

RickyGotSkills said...

Buhler? Buhler? And, no mention of Pulp Fiction???? Really?

C. S. P. Schofield said...

I've seen 37. I would like to see the criteria for "cult film" status, as my understanding of the term was that films that were instant mainstream box-office successes didn't count.

Steve said...

I've seen nine of yours, plus two. Yeah, strange list, with several mainstream movies that definitely aren't "cult" films.

Star Wars? Lord of the Rings? Two of the largest grossing movie franchises in history. That right there disqualifies them as "cult" films. Similarly The Wizard of Oz, It's a Wonderful Life, Sound of Music, Casablanca, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mad Max, Enter the Dragon. Wait! That's all nine of the ones you and I match on. I've seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Harold and Maude, and H&M is really the only one I'd consider a cult flick. And it was that back in 1979 when I saw it at the midnight showing (part of the criteria for what identified a cult film back then).