These movies are cult classics with a massive following. All of which if you have not seen em’, go rent em’!
10. DONNIE DARKO
It's bizarre to look back on Jake Gylenhaal's career and remember that he was once in an indie film about time travel and death.
He seems like a relatively sunny, innocuous guy in real life, so it's always disarming to remember him in a dark blue sweatshirt with the hood up and a look so angsty that it could burn through the wall of a Hot Topic.
For obvious reasons, this movie became an instant cult favorite. It had a cast of desirables- Drew Barrymore, Maggie Gylenhaal, Jena Malone, Noah Wyle- who you wouldn't necessarily expect to see in a psychological thriller, let alone with each other.
The movie's title song, a cover of Tears For Fears' "Mad World," became an instant anthem for brooding and introspection. DONNIE DARKO isn't just any old pseudoscientific, wildly creepy indie film. It's a classic for the gloomy ages.
9. EVIL DEAD
All horror films are likely contenders for cult film status, but none have achieved such a committed following as EVIL DEAD and its two sequels. Campy horror, even if it seems cheesy to us now, was always originally scary, no matter how much we disbelieve it.
EVIL DEAD was banned from hundreds of theaters when it was initially released because of how "gruesome" it is, and this is why we still love it today.
It was the same experience for people who watched PSYCHO thirty years ago-"This is it? I'm not scared." But it doesn't really matter. Sometimes the joy of seeing people being brutally and horrifically murdered is even better when we can tell how fake it is.
Our culture is also insanely obsessed with zombies so seeing a bunch of college kids get murdered and turned into zombies is like a dream come true.
There's no doubt that EVIL DEAD will be a cult classic for a long time to come.
8. THE BIG LEBOWSKI
It's true that some would not consider THE BIG LEBOWSKI to be a cult film, claiming that it had a great deal of success and is loved by most. I wouldn't argue with that. However, no movie has fans like this one does.
The Dude is one of the greatest film characters of all time, and conveniently, is easily imitated as his dress is unfussy (robes, sunglasses, etc.) and his lingo is quick to catch.
This means there are conventions, costumes, bars, books, and even moments of self-reference that continue to fuel the fire. Jeff Bridges, whether he likes it or not (though I'm gonna assume he likes it), is The Dude.
In the recent TRON release, Bridges is even in a far-off dimension and is still able to slip in a line about his stasis: "You're really messin' with my zen, man."
Even if by some cataclysmic event it is decided that Halloween no longer exists, people will look for another reason to dress up as The Dude and put back more than a few White Russians.
It is natural to be habitually irritated by Wes Anderson and all that he creates. At this point, it can be difficult to believe anything Anderson does is true inspiration because it all just seems so intentionally twee.
But, as any snob will tell you, his earlier stuff was better. Personally, I prefer BOTTLE ROCKET to RUSHMORE but in terms of what generates the greatest cult response, it has always been Jason Schwartzman in glasses, a beret, and a ridiculous school uniform.
All the societies little Max Fischer was a part of, all the melodramatic ways of communicating his love to Miss Cross, and his many expressions that represent hurt and anguish-these are all reasons we can't get enough of this film. As is the case with most Anderson movies, there is a litany of marketable inside jokes, which is why you may see people wearing RUSHMORE Beekeepers' Society shirts or insulting your doctor friends when they come around dressed in scrubs.
6. DAZED AND CONFUSED
You had probably not thought about DAZED AND CONFUSED in a long time until the San Francisco Giants won the World Series last year. Then suddenly, Tim "I'm gangly" Lincecum threw the 1993 high school classic back your way—"Holy crap, that pitcher looks like Mitch Kramer."
He does, and it's a compliment. There are a lot of movies about high school-hell, there are even a lot of movies about the last day of high school—but none can compare to Dazed and Confused.
Ensemble casts, for whatever reason, seem to draw a big cult fan base and this is no exception. Maybe it's the thrill of seeing Ben Affleck as a giant douchebag interacting with Matthew McConaughey as the harmless teen-girl-predator.
And I thank the heavens every night that there wasn't a girl quite as evil as Parker Posey's Darla when I was a freshman in high school.
I've lost count of the number of times someone has asked me, "You cool, man?" and I instinctively respond, "Like how?"
5. THE WARRIORS
I've always thought that living in New York in the 70s would be just like being in THE WARRIORS. It was that scary, right? All the subways were graffitied beyond recognition and everyone was in a gang-a gang seriously dedicated to staying consistent to a theme-and the city was empty except for some violent, violent people.
Movies about New York, when they're gritty, grungy, and anti-glamorized, are some of the biggest contenders for cult status because you can never properly get that vibe with an over-the-top budget.
It's really all about the low production quality that makes New York movies like THE WARRIORS feel a little bit more real and a lot more menacing.
If you ever find yourself in a shady area under an overpass, listen hard and you may just hear a faint "Warrrrrriors, come out to play-ee-ayyyy."
4. OFFICE SPACE
Everyone hates their job to a certain extent. It's natural unless you're Richard Branson and you can just spend your day flying around in a Concorde-speed jetpack. For the more unfortunate ones, hating your job can become a full-time job in itself, and before OFFICE SPACE, there was no solace.
But then this wonderful, hysterical movie came along starring the ever-young Jennifer Aniston as an overworked waitress and Ron Livingston as a hypnotized suddenly-chill guy, and we all had an outlet for our biggest job woes.
The overwhelming cult status of OFFICE SPACE was a shock, given how boring it is to hear other people talk about their jobs.
But what was eventually realized was that this was a great market for escapism, and all of a sudden, work life was everywhere in TV and movies. For better or for worse.
3. ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Indisputably one of the most fun songs to learn how to dance to is "The Time Warp" from ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. First of all, it's easy, and second, it will bring back happy thoughts of all the times you went to see the movie at midnight dressed in drag.
What, just me? Not a chance. Though I have done no actual statistical research, I am positive that no matter what city you're in, you can guarantee that on one night that week there will be a showing of ROCKY HORROR. Looking for fun things to do in Tallahassee? Come to a midnight showing of RHPS!
Want a great date idea during your stay in Cairo? Check out the local desert theater for ROCKY HORROR showtimes.
It is such a cult movie that there's an anticult for people who have never seen it and promise that they never will.
2. THE ROOM
Tommy Wiseau, director/producer/writer and star of THE ROOM, is a legend in cult cinema. Upon first glance at his film's frightening movie poster, you may think, "Is this a thriller about a murderous whack job with a wonky eye?"
Why, no! It's about one man with a golden heart, large bank account, impressive duds, and enormous talent in the bedroom, who is then betrayed by everyone he knows.
It's a classic, heartbreaking tale. When THE ROOM was initially released, it was marketed as a dark drama reflecting on how everyone you love will hurt you.
After it became a cult classic, due entirely to the absurdity of the plot, characters, set, and general exhibition of the entire movie, Wiseau then changed his mind and said he had intended for it to be a black comedy all along.
He could have said that it was meant to be an art house karate movie and we'd still watch it anyway.
1. HAROLD AND MAUDE
When Bud Cort showed up in THE LIFE AQUATIC as the lovable bond company stooge, it was the first time I'd seen him as anything other than a mild-mannered, suicidal teenager in HAROLD AND MAUDE.
(Cort has been in upward of fifty movies, so I must not have been paying attention.) The image of Harold in his high-waisted bellbottoms and fur-collared coat is so indelibly imprinted in my mind that I've blurred the lines between the character and the actor—Bud Cort is, and always will be, Harold Chasen.
The storyline of HAROLD AND MAUDE is too weird to make it a commercial success - teenage boy, obsessed with suicide, meets 79-year-old woman and falls in love, after which she kills herself-but the weirdness is exactly why it has become such a venerable cult classic.
There is something about a good suicide-love story that hits a soft spot with an underground crowd.