[184] However, it became influential in both marketing[185] and titling. Influenced by American films and early French fantasists, he drifted between art, exploitation, and pornography. Most definitions also required a strong community aspect, such as obsessed fans or ritualistic behavior. These films include financially fruitless and critically scorned films that have become inadvertent comedies to film buffs, such as Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959),[1] The Room (2003),[105] and the Ugandan action-comedy film Who Killed Captain Alex? Films which appeal to teenagers may offer subcultural identities that are easily recognized and differentiate various subcultural groups. What does cult classic mean? Films that fail to attract requisite amounts of controversy may face resistance when labeled as cult films. Culture These films, ritually watched every season, give a sense of community and shared nostalgia to viewers. Sometimes, the definition is expanded to exclude films that have been released by major studios or have big budgets, try specifically to become cult films, or become accepted by mainstream audiences and critics. [47] Mary Woronov, known for her transgressive roles in cult films, eventually transitioned to mainstream films. Donald Liebenson of the Los Angeles Times cites the violence and sexual imagery as alienating critics, who did not know what to make of the film. [108] Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson has further said that any film which succeeds in entertaining an audience is good, regardless of irony. Le mythique réalisateur de La Dolce Vita, Palme d'Or en 1960, évoque au travers de Huit et Demi, film culte du cinéma italien, son angoisse de la panne d'inspiration. spoiler free cult movie news from the movie sleuth. Entertainment They were already established in the art-house world and intentionally chose to work within paracinema as a reaction against the New Spanish Cinema, an artistic revival supported by the fascists. [20] Nosferatu (1922) was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. At the same time, other films have acquired massive, quick cult followings, owing to spreading virally through social media. Film Review Genre Scifia50955b463 [61]:127 As these groups intermix, they can influence each other, though this may be resisted by older fans, unfamiliar with these new references. Wiktionary (0.00 / 0 votes)Rate this definition: cult classic (Noun) A work of fiction that is extremely popular with a select audience but may or may not be successful at the … [18], Modern cult films grew from 1960s counterculture and underground films, popular among those who rejected mainstream Hollywood films. This film holds some of the most quoted lines in movie history. Students Abroad [88]:192–197 In online communities, different subcultures attracted to transgressive films can clash over values and criteria for subcultural capital. Joanne Hollows states that they were seen as turning cult films mainstream – in effect, feminizing them by opening them to distracted, passive audiences. In the 1980s, filmmaker Nick Zedd identified this movement as the Cinema of Transgression and later wrote a manifesto. Top 100 Best Cult Classic Movies List. This may take the place of – and even ignore – political readings of the director. [82] Transgressive films imported from cultures that are recognizably different yet still relatable can be used to progressively examine issues in another culture. [132] Science fiction, fantasy, and horror are known for their large and dedicated cult followings; as science fiction films become more popular, fans emphasize non-mainstream and less commercial aspects of it. 15 Best Cult Classic Movies Of All Time. [60], The critic Michael Medved characterized examples of the "so bad it's good" class of low-budget cult film through books such as The Golden Turkey Awards. Cult films previously banned are sometimes released with much fanfare and the fans assumed to be already familiar with the controversy. #56 Cult Classic Movie The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) R. Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. E.T. A cult film is one that has a passionate following, but does not appeal to everybody. [114] Cult film stars known for their camp can inject subtle parody or signal when films should not be taken seriously. [9] To reduce mainstream accessibility, a film series can be self-reflexive and full of in-jokes that only longtime fans can understand. Briggs highlights the mainstreaming of cult films by pointing out the respectful obituaries that cult directors have received from formerly hostile publications and acceptance of politically incorrect films at mainstream film festivals. Frequently cult films are films depicting controversial or distasteful persons, activities, or philosophies. Uniquely, its cult following preceded the film's release and included speculative parodies of what fans imagined the film might be. Thus, fandom can keep the mainstream at bay while defining themselves in terms of the "Other", a philosophical construct divergent from social norms. [27] Home video would give a second life to box office flops, as positive word-of-mouth or excessive replay on cable television led these films to develop an appreciative audience,[28] as well as obsessive replay and study. September 2015 [120] Academic I. Q. [39], Matt Hills' concept of the "cult blockbuster" involves cult followings inside larger, mainstream films. [53]:223 These films are resistant to simple categorization and are defined by the fanaticism and ritualistic behaviors of their audiences. http://www.theaudiopedia.com What is CULT FILM? Taylor further states that this was instrumental in allowing cult films to break through to the mainstream. Mainstream films and big budget blockbusters have attracted cult followings similar to more underground and lesser known films; fans of these films often emphasize the films' niche appeal and reject the more popular aspects. All this sounds rather dull, if not for the spark within the portrayals by Grant and McGann. The Night of the Hunter (1955) was a cult film for years, quoted often and championed by fans, before it was reassessed as an important and influential classic. Comment. Henry Thomas [80] However, the sexploitation films of Doris Wishman took a feminist approach which avoids and subverts the male gaze and traditional goal-oriented methods. [78], Academics have written of how transgressive themes in cult films can be regressive. September 2016 Called "video nasties" within the UK, they ignited calls for censorship and stricter laws on home video releases, which were largely unregulated. [124], Author Tomas Crowder-Taraborrelli describes midnight movies as a reaction against the political and cultural conservatism in America,[125]:27 and Joan Hawkins identifies the movement as running the gamut from anarchist to libertarian, united in their anti-establishment attitude and punk aesthetic. Cult films and directors may be celebrated for their transgressive content, daring, and independence, but Tompkins argues that mainstream recognition requires they be palatable to corporate interests who stand to gain much from the mainstreaming of cult film culture. [23]:202–205 Much like later cult films, these early exploitation films encouraged audience participation, influenced by live theater and vaudeville. Despite this, these films remain well-known and prized among collectors. Drive While critics may champion revolutionary aspects of filmmaking and political interpretation, Hollywood studios and other corporate interests will instead highlight only the aspects that they wish to legitimize in their own films, such as sensational exploitation. March 2013 So, what in the heck is a cult classic? [39] Critics can also polarize audiences and lead debates, such as how Joe Bob Briggs and Roger Ebert dueled over I Spit On Your Grave (1978). Kathryn Bigelow Examples include Harold and Maude, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Queen of Hearts and many others. They can be used to provoke an outraged response from the mainstream, which further defines the subculture, as only members could possibly tolerate such deviant entertainment. Young Filmmakers The Rocky Horror Picture Show might be one of the best known cult classics out there, but it's not the only great one. [53]:224–230 Ernest Mathijs says that cult films often disrupt viewer expectations, such as giving characters transgressive motivations or focusing attention on elements outside the film. At the same time, they state that bourgeois, masculine tastes are frequently reinforced, which makes cult films more of an internal conflict within the bourgeoisie, rather than a rebellion against it. [158] Cult films can also drive tourism,[159] even when it is unwanted. Cinemablography This results in an anti-academic bias despite the use of formal methodologies, such as defamiliarization. [10] Remarking on the popular trend of remaking cult films, Claude Brodesser-Akner of New York magazine states that Hollywood studios have been superstitiously hoping to recreate past successes rather than trading on nostalgia. A cult film or cult movie, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a cult following. You can follow her on Twitter: RoseMooreWrites for tweets about comics, movies, and more. Tim Curry, despite his acknowledged range as an actor, found casting difficult after he achieved fame in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Like cult films themselves, authenticity is an important aspect of their popularity. [103] Although often described as primarily composed of obsessed fans, cult film fandom can include many newer, less experienced members. This can lead to controversy, censorship, and outright bans; less transgressive films may attract similar amounts of controversy when critics call them frivolous or incompetent. [129] Academic David Andrews writes that cult softcore films are "the most masculinized, youth-oriented, populist, and openly pornographic softcore area. For cinephiles, this abuse of the term typically leads them to conclude that the category has become meaningless and “elastic, (or) a catchall for anything slightly maverick or strange” (Bentley-Baker). Easy access to cult films via video on demand and peer-to-peer file sharing has led some critics to pronounce the death of cult films. Tiny Furniture The Ed Wood collection: a salute to incompetence. [42], Mathijs states that cult films and fandom frequently involve nontraditional elements of time and time management. Films that once would have been limited to obscure cult followings are now capable of breaking into the mainstream, and showings of cult films have proved to be a profitable business venture. [112], Chuck Kleinhans states that the difference between a guilty pleasure and a cult film can be as simple as the number of fans; David Church raises the question of how many people it takes to form a cult following, especially now that home video makes fans difficult to count. [75] Frequently banned films may introduce questions of authenticity as fans question whether they have seen a truly uncensored cut. Romance films, like any genre, have their own following. Of all the genres that are commonly observed in film, there is perhaps none as subjective and intangible as the “cult classic.” Whereas most film genres contain predictable traits and conventions that are revealed through specific iconographic cues, the cult film typically has no such indictors. [87]:439 Authenticity in performance[40]:157–168 and expertise[88]:196 can drive fan acclaim. [18] Academic Xavier Mendik also defines cult films as opposing the mainstream and further proposes that films can become cult by virtue of their genre or content, especially if it is transgressive. In some cases, reclaimed or rediscovered films have acquired cult followings decades after their original release, occasionally for their camp value. Consumers [21] Academic Chuck Kleinhans identifies the Marx Brothers as making other early cult films. Thus, cult films become a tool to reinforce mainstream values through transgressive content;[79] Rebecca Feasy states that cultural hierarchies can also be reaffirmed through mockery of films perceived to be lacking masculinity. [57]:200–211 Fans of cult films, as in media fandom, are frequently producers instead of mere consumers. [13]:38 Academic Mike Chopra‑Gant says that cult films become decontextualized when studied as a group,[14] and Shiel criticizes this recontextualization as cultural commodification. These films acquired a legendary reputation as they were discussed and debated in alternative weeklies, such as The Village Voice. Smith states that the early films of John Waters are amateurish and less influential than claimed, but Waters' outrageous vision cements his place in cult cinema. [46] Actors can become typecast as they become strongly associated with such iconic roles. Video Of The Day Hollywood films, due to their nature, are more likely to attract this kind of attention, which leads to a mainstreaming effect of cult culture. Christian Bale Popular among fans of European horror for their subversiveness and obscurity, these later Spanish films allowed political dissidents to criticize the fascist regime within the cloak of exploitation and horror. (2015). [182] Although it was proclaimed a cult film and major game-changer before it was released,[183] it failed to win either mainstream audiences or maintain its cult following. [57]:190–191 Familiar with the film's reputation and having watched clips on YouTube, these fans may take the next step and enter the film's fandom. ", "Subcultural Studies and the Film Audience", "Fandom and Subculture: Fan Studies: Early Approaches", "Rewind: Major-Studio Flicks That Belong In The Grind House", "Good Bad Taste: 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' and the So Bad It's Good Fallacy", "Miami Connection Destroys the Myth of 'So Bad They're Good' Movies", "Cult film Is Good Business at Coolidge Corner Theatre", "How 'The Room' Turned Me Into a Cult Movie 'Star, "Vincent Price and Cult Performance: the Case of Witchfinder General", "FILM: 'Pink Flamingos': Cult of Bad Taste", "It's the Site of the Living Dead, as Cult Films Hit Web", "John Hughes Versus the Vampires: The Dilemma of the Midnight Movie", "The History and Meaning of The Dude's Abiding", "Midnight Movies and the Phenomenon of the Cult Film", "Doris Wishman; Exploitation Film Director, Cult Favorite", "Are 'cult' films a possibility for Malta? [153] Addressing concerns that DVDs have revoked the cult status of films like Rocky Horror, academic Mikel J. Koven states that small scale screenings with friends and family can replace midnight showings. [4] Some definitions exclude films that have been released by major studios or have big budgets,[5] that try specifically to become cult films,[6] or become accepted by mainstream audiences and critics. May 2018 Stoker's widow sued the production company and drove it to bankruptcy. Warren Ellis ", "The Princess Bride cast, director talk inconceivable(!) If they are the majority, they may alter or ignore long-standing traditions, such as audience participation rituals; rituals which lack perceived authenticity may be criticized, but accepted rituals bring subcultural capital to veteran fans who introduce them to the newer members. A movie that has a significant following. [87]:445 Star Wars, with its large cult following in geek subculture, has been cited as both a cult blockbuster[100] and a cult film. [142] Anime, according to academic Brian Ruh, is not a cult genre, but the lack of individual fandoms inside anime fandom itself lends itself to a bleeding over of cult attention and can help spread works internationally. Specialist stores on the fringes of society (or websites which prominently partner with hardcore pornographic sites) can be used to reinforce the outsider nature of cult film fandom, especially when they use erotic or gory imagery. November 2016 Valhalla Rising [98] Academic Emma Pett identifies Back to the Future (1985) as another example of a cult blockbuster. [160], As far back as the 1970s, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978) was designed specifically to be a cult film,[161] and The Rocky Horror Picture Show was produced by 20th Century Fox, a major Hollywood studio. [70][71] Transgressive elements that limit a director's appeal in one country can be celebrated or highlighted in another. In fact, it actually holds its place firmly in the 60s while defining the term cult classic. The early cult horror films of Peter Jackson were so strongly associated with his homeland that they affected the international reputation of New Zealand and its cinema. [50] Cult films can also trap directors. [128] This flattening of culture follows the popularity of post-structuralism, which rejects a hierarchy of artistic merit and equates exploitation and art. Citing misuse of the term, Mikel J. Koven took a self-described hard-line stance that rejected definitions that use any other criteria. Instead, the cult film is typically defined by its ability to develop an enduring, loyal fan base, despite the likelihood of a poor box office debut. Women In Film Unconcerned with genre distinctions, they drew inspiration equally from the nonconformity of European art cinema and experimental film, the gritty subject matter of Italian neorealism, and the shocking images of 1960s exploitation. [166] The rise of home video would have a mainstreaming effect on cult films and cultish behavior, though some collectors would be unlikely to self-identify as cult film fans. [17] This contradiction exists in many subcultures, especially those dependent on defining themselves in terms of opposition to the mainstream. What the MacGruber TV Series Can Learn From the 2010 Cult Classic. [127], Although seemingly at odds with each other, art and exploitation films are frequently treated as equal and interchangeable in cult fandom, listed alongside each other and described in similar terms: their ability to provoke a response. [23]:219–220, Mathijs and Sexton state that genre is an important part of cult films; cult films will often mix, mock, or exaggerate the tropes associated with traditional genres. [153] Cult films have influenced such diverse industries as cosmetics,[154] music videos,[85] and fashion. 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