You Know A Cult Classic Like ‘Rocky Horror’ But What About ‘El Topo’?
It’s tough to make the perfect cult classic. All the pieces have to come together for the perfect storm of insanity but when it does, there’s nothing better. Most movie fans know the famous cult classics like ‘Clerks‘ or ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show‘ but what about the ones that got lost in the shuffle? This is a celebration of some obscure movie choices ranging from the 1940’s to a few years ago.
‘Mom and Dad’ (1945)
– What ‘Mom and Dad‘ did to shape filmmaking is legendary. This 1945 feature film feels like sex education but is basically an exploitation film. The infamy of this project comes from producer Kroger Babb and how he marketed ‘Mom and Dad‘. Babb went out of his way to make screenings special, even splitting the audience between men and women.
– Fun fact: Acting legends Helen Mirren and Malcolm McDowell once starred in a high-budget softcore porn. It’s said they didn’t know what kind of film ‘Caligula‘ was when they signed up but it still lives on in infamy as the raunchiest movie about Roman mythos. This film really wanted to be 1963’s ‘Cleopatra‘ but feels like the porn parody instead.
‘El Topo’ (1970)
– ‘El Topo‘ really defined what makes a “cult classic”. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s western is one, if not the first, midnight movie; a sub-genre made to embrace cult classics. Countless directors have said ‘El Topo‘ inspired them to get into the business and Jodorowsky remains an important figure in cinema history.
‘Hobo With A Shotgun’ (2011)
– We all know legendary actor Rutger Hauer is bad-ass but give him a shotgun and he’s even cooler! This Candian action film won over the hearts of film fans with the throwback to exploitation. Starting out as a fake trailer for ‘Grindhouse‘, ‘Hobo With A Shotgun‘ was made with every intention to become a cult classic.
‘What We Do in the Shadows’ (2014)
– Before this year’s ‘Thor: Ragnarok‘, you need to check out the director’s other films. In particular, ‘What We Do in the Shadows‘. Since this Taika Waititi film is so recent, it may be the most viewed cult classic on this list but it’s still fairly obscure. This mockumentary about vampires is not only hilarious but still slightly horrifying.
‘Pink Flamingos’ (1972)
– Created by the “Pope of Trash” himself John Waters, ‘Pink Flamingos‘ has to be seen to be believed. The star of the piece is Divine, the drag queen who made us scream and laugh all in the same scene. Divine dives into the role and allows himself to be used by John Waters as a way to be a cinematic terrorist.
‘A Serbian Film’ (2010)
– You don’t want to watch this film, which is probably why many of you haven’t seen it. ‘A Serbian Film‘ is without a doubt one of the vilest films ever. When rape is the easiest subject to swallow in a film..you know it’s gross. ‘A Serbian Film‘ is infamous among film fans as the most extreme film of this generation.
– This list could’ve been made up of Harmony Korine films but ‘Gummo‘ is picked to represent his work. Even his most mainstream film ‘Spring Breakers‘ is odd so you can imagine how obscure this can be. Like some others on this list, I believe Harmony Korine made this with every intention for the cult audience.
‘Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’ (1971)
– There’s a special place in many cinephile’s hearts for “blaxploitation” films. It represented a voice in filmmaking that was often stifled. ‘Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song‘ is the most important from that genre. Filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles changed the portrayal of black men in films but often gets shafted for the more famous ‘Shaft‘.
– You think animated shows like ‘Rick and Morty‘ are odd and trippy, ‘Wizards‘ perfected the insane cartoon. This animated cult classic is one of the strangest films of all time. Don’t know what Nazi imagery has to do with two wizards battling but that’s what this presents. So strange that Ralph Bakshi would follow this up with the animated ‘Lord of the Rings‘.
Let me know what you think of these picks. Have you seen any of them?
Comment below and share your thoughts!