Tips Unconventional Gems: Best Cult Movies You Need To See – Cult movie. From unknown gems with an undying loyalty from their tiny feet, to the mass cult following that followed Star Wars in the 80s (it’s now probably too big, mainstream and widespread to be considered a cult). Sometimes a film just strikes a chord and has a certain unique charm or understated quality that some more widely recognized or accepted films may not have.
Highlander is an example of a cult classic with a very different style, but it’s not much of a secret. It’s not one you can pull out of your cult flicks to recommend in the hopes of impressing a genre film buff who, chances are, they’ve seen it. Over the years, I’ve stumbled across many enjoyable underrated or underrated films, across many genres. Here are ten great cult movies you probably haven’t seen…
Tips Unconventional Gems: Best Cult Movies You Need To See
Paper House, based on Catherine Starr’s classic fantasy book Marion Dreams, is certainly not without its fans and notoriety. Bernard Rose’s film has certainly been somewhat overshadowed by his more famous horror film Candyman which came four years later, but Paper House, which sees a bedridden girl drawing in her sketchpad to pass the time, is very is good. At night his sketches come alive in his dreams, before they begin to take on a life of their own.
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There is horror, but Rose, as he would with Candyman, takes a psychological dive into his role (here played by a young Charlotte Burke). She is a girl who suffers from many problems other than health, and they all contribute to the appearance of her images during her dreams. Inevitably they turn to dreams. The late Ben Cross is excellent as his father, who has a more sinister representation in his dreams.
Like many directors with an impressive CV, sometimes there are films that slip a little under the radar. For Francis Ford Coppola you first jammed a conversation between the two godfathers. Walter Hill has an impressive selection of popular films in its back catalogue, including The Warriors, The Driver and 48 Hours. In the mid-’80s he masterminded an action/musical hybrid that had a potential cult following written all over it.
At the time, Streets of Fire represented the biggest budget Hill had directed, known for moderately priced genre flicks. A cast of rising young talent, including Michael Parry, Dan Lean and Willem Dafoe, had the requisite magnetism, if not star power. The film flopped at the box office before finding a second wind on video and reviews. It’s cool, it has its own style which is very cool. It’s 50s rock ‘n’ roll, with biker gangs and masses of leather, greased hair and cuffs, but it’s also pure 80s in its delivery and arrangement. From an unusual point of view, it has definitely benefited from the retro spirit of this century. The combination of these periods and the neo-retro style have definitely proved to be more popular.
Simple concept. Boy meets girl, there is an instant spark but he has to leave and go. Guy then accidentally intercepts a call warning of an impending nuclear strike on the city. He sets out to find her in the dead of night, with inevitable death on the cards, and mounting obstacles after the nuclear cat is out of the bag. Anthony Edwards is our everyman hero, an unconventional leader and interesting as such (you could say the same about Marie Winningham). The film has a wonderful L.A. night feel and the film takes place in a short period of time in one night.
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Very few people have seen Miracle Mail, which is a shame because it deserves a much wider appreciation. With a very modest budget, it wasn’t a huge gamble at the time, but still made a small impact with box office coffers. Director Steve de Jarnot also directed Cherry 2000, a short film. Miracle Mile is great though, and also memorable for its Tangerine Dream score.
William Peterson is no stranger to cinema. Manhunter began as an underground thriller. After the success of Silence of the Lambs, it received a lot of attention in the background, which sent some viewers back to see the first incarnation of Hannibal Lecter on screen. A year before Michael Mann’s masterpiece, Patterson starred in To Live and Die in LA, a film by acclaimed director William Friedkin.
By this time, Friedkin was still feeding on his previous hits, The Exorcist and The French Connection. A number of flops, including The Magician and Cruising, did some damage to his reputation (of course, a film like The Magician, for example, is ultimately hailed as an extraordinary cinematic work). This action-heavy crime thriller, with (of all things) a Wang Chung score, has Friedkin practicing creative sensation and stylistic discomfort. Patterson is great as a cop on the lead, then there’s (drumroll) Willem Dafoe (welcome back to the Willem list) who is fantastic as the film’s psychotic villain. Great action, soundtrack and oozing 80’s stylistic flash (and awesome scary hair/costumes), this one made it unfunny.
It is a sci-fi/comedy mixed with action. It must be very popular. When you think of the best movies of the 80s that perfectly represent the era, you should think of Hidden. The alien criminal’s body-swapping is on a wild spree, pursued by an alien cop (as Fed) and a human cop played by Michael Norrie. Director Jake Shoulder will almost certainly be better known for his controversial debut A Nightmare on Elm Street sequel Freddy’s Revenge (which has a huge cult following for a number of reasons).
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The Hidden is minimalist in its visual effects and keeps the creatures mostly (umm…) hidden, due to the films modest budget. It probably helps in the end, with a greater focus on the dynamic between world-weary Nori, and a strange ballad performance from Kelly MacLachlan. A lot of fun, a lot less, and more viewers need. It was a modest success at the box office considering its budget, and has definitely picked up a progressive audience. Even for myself, I discovered it too late after taking a pin on a nice Blu-ray edition release.
This sci-fi classic from New Zealand traveled pretty well, though the fact that it’s still not widely known in the States or Europe isn’t surprising. A man wakes up from a suicide attempt to find he is the last man on Earth. Weird things happen in time and eventually he comes across two other survivors.
The Silent Earth is an interesting and quiet film that may not provide the horror twist some might expect if they have I Am Legend in mind, but it is memorable with some great visuals in its own right. I just wish the movies primary artwork was a little less badass.
Like many of the films on this list, from the great director, After Hours itself was overlooked. Perhaps it didn’t do justice to the conflict of Martin Scorsese’s biblical epic, or the star power of his brilliantly enjoyable, if light, The Color of Money. After Hours, A Night Odyssey is Scorsese’s funniest film and perhaps his quirkiest. It is very understated and extremely pleasant.
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Griffin Dunn finds himself wandering around the city in a series of ever more bizarre mistakes that soon become a threat to his life. Amazingly at times with another unique Scorsese vision of New York. The film feels original, creative and brutally inventive and Scorsese clearly excels at black comedy.
One of Cannon’s first potential projects, a rather expensive (for Cannon) sci-fi opus could be a complete encapsulation of the company as it is. It’s downright trashy, very bad, you might say terrible in places, but also strangely brilliant in many areas, with a certain cannon. It’s bad/good. It is wonderful. It is at once cheap and slow, but great and skillful. Only the cannon can do this.
The film’s space sequences look fantastic, barring the inevitable moments where corners are cut (or money was), but Life Force has become somewhat fictional for its lead Lady Mathilda May, who bares almost the entire picture. is spending Of course in 2022 this makes Lifeforce a very definite exploitative relationship of the time, but taken in the right spirit/context, it remains enjoyable. A lot of great effects, a lot of action, in a film that is as strange as it is uniquely charming. The score is also excellent.
A young punk (Emilio Estevez) recently finds himself out of work at a slipshod repo company, run by Harry Dean Stanton. What follows is a funny black crime comedy with a sci-fi twist. Alex Cox has become a cult director who never lived up to the sheer appeal of Possessed by the Repo Man, or Sid and Nancy that came next.
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Repo Man had almost no audience upon release, but like many cult films got off to a slow start
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