Top 10 Best Cult Classic Movies of Hollywood

News Desk2 months ago

1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

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The film adaptation of the 1962 novel is undeniably disturbing and violent. Yet, it is certainly campy. Of course, this is a Stanley Kubrick movie, so nothing should be shocking. Set in a futuristic English period, the movie follows the demented and deranged young Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his gang of “droogs.” It was a box office success that earned four Academy Award nominations. However, it seemed to become even more popular as time passed, and a new generation of fans watched. One might never listen to “Singin’ in the Rain” the same way again.

2. Fight Club (1999)

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David Fincher movies are not for everyone, and it’s important to keep up and pay attention throughout. So, perhaps it wasn’t a surprise that Fight Club, even with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in tow, wasn’t a commercial success upon release. However, due to its unique and highly controversial story about an underground fight club and the main character’s dissatisfaction with his personal and professional life, the movie drew a larger following as the years passed. Supporting roles by Jared Leto and late singer Meat Loaf only enhance the film’s legacy, which now is considered one of Pitt’s, Norton’s, and Fincher’s best.

3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

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Can we consider a movie that turned into a franchise of nine installments (as of 2023) to have cult status? Sure can. A controversial film at the time, which some theaters even banned because of its violent nature, has long been one of the most popular “slasher” movies of all time — even after critics panned it and theaters stopped showing the film. A slumber-party staple, the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface remains one of the most recognizable killers of this genre. In addition to the seemingly never-ending run of sequels and reboots, the movie opened the door to related video games and graphic novels.

4. Blade Runner (1982)

Amid the Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark euphoria for Harrison Ford was Blade Runner. It took some time, but this story on a retro-fitted future about the “replicants” and a jaded cop (Ford) tasked with taking them down has now long been considered a cult-fan must-see. This was also Ridley Scott’s directorial follow-up to Alien. The film’s “neo-noir” look and use of music to dictate the story’s pace have had a major influence on the science-fiction genre. For better or worse, the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was released in 2017.

5. Harold and Maude (1971)

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When looking at the textbook definition of a cult classic, one might not look too far past this Hal Ashby dark, romantic comedy. Far from a box office and critical success, Harold and Maude was revitalized through showings in repertory theaters and the popularity of the VCR. The May-September relationship between the young, death-obsessed Harold (Bud Cort) and 79-year-old free spirit Maude (Ruth Gordon) just seems to work. At least in the cinematic world, it proves that life is worth living, even to those who do not believe that’s the case.

6. Better Off Dead (1985)

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A host of professional critics, including the legendary pair of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, were not fond of the 1980s dark comedy. Meanwhile, John Cusack, the film’s star, initially thought it could be better. Well, to plenty of fans from the 1980s and a new generation of viewers today, Better Off Dead is one of Cusack’s (and the decade’s) most underrated movies. Cusack’s Lane Meyer wonders if life’s worth living after he’s been dumped by his girlfriend for the popular school ski team captain. Of course, plenty of hilarious mishaps take place for Lane to end it all, and the local paper still wants his “two dollars.”

7. Dazed and Confused (1993)

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Dazed and Confused should be considered the quintessential stoner film of our time. Not bad for director Richard Linklater’s breakthrough picture, which needed some time to gain traction. The film is quite relatable to those who attended high school parties or drove around with friends, regardless of the decade or generation. This coming-of-age-flick also features plenty of before-they-were-stars like Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey. There’s also a stellar ‘70s-laden soundtrack. A cable television staple, the movie’s themes of friendship and fitting in still resonate with today’s audiences.

8. They Live (1988)

Classic Mov Geeks

John Carpenter has directed some true big-screen classics: Halloween, The Thing, and Christine, just to name a few. Most have various levels of cult appreciation, but it can be argued that They Live tops that list. Roddy Piper, the late legendary pro wrestler in his finest lead role, plays a drifter who happens upon some dark sunglasses that are a window to a world run by aliens. Meanwhile, Carpenter delivers shots at Reagan-era greed, government control, and consumerism. Piper doesn’t say much, but his five-and-a-half-minute fight scene with Keith David, complete with an assortment of WWE-style wrestling moves, is one of the best in film history.

9. Repo Man (1984)

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It must be noted that Repo Man enjoyed critical success when it came out. That’s despite Universal Pictures’ hesitance to release the picture. In hindsight, we’re still not sure how the studio could have doubted the potential for this dark comedy with a sci-fi vibe. Emilio Estevez and the late Harry Dean Stanton shine in a movie with the perfect blend of reality flirting, punk rock, and comedy. Trying to hunt down a repossessed car that could lead to extraterrestrials, it’s a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and keeps the audience engaged

10. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

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The eccentric Paul Reubens took his quirky and successful stage character from The Pee-wee Herman Show to the big screen. And yes, Reubens and this particular persona are not for everyone. However, the result was an undisputed success for this Tim Burton-directed story of Herman trying to track down his stolen bicycle. The late Phil Hartman served as a co-writer, while Danny Elfman scored the film that brought audiences such memorable characters as “Large Marge” and the annoying but hysterical exchange, “I know you are, but what am I?”

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