Cult Film Reviews

A cult film (also known as a cult movie/picture or a cult classic) is a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans. Often, cult movies have failed to achieve fame outside the small fanbases; however, there have been exceptions that have managed to gain fame among mainstream audiences. Many cult movies have gone on to transcend their original cult status and have become recognized as classics; others are of the "so bad it's good" variety and are destined to remain in obscurity.

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Cult films often become the source of a thriving, obsessive, and elaborate subculture of fandom, hence the analogy to cults. However, not every film with a devoted fanbase is necessarily a cult film. Usually, cult films have limited but very special, noted appeal. Cult films are often known to be eccentric, often do not follow traditional standards of mainstream cinema and usually explore topics not considered in any way mainstream—yet there are examples that are relatively normal. Many are often considered controversial because they step outside standard narrative and technical conventions.

Film Review: Phantom of Paradise (1974)

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SYNOPSIS:

Composer Winslow Leach (William Finley) is determined to seek revenge on Swan (Williams), an evil record tycoon who steals his pop cantana of the Faust legend to launch his enemy’s palace as the mysterious Phantom of the Paradise and continues to plan his gruesome retaliation.

REVIEW:

With this review I think I will be straying a bit from my usual format since the film I … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Lost Boys (1987) – Review 2

Lost Boys

SYNOPSIS:

Two brothers and their mother move to Santa Carla with their grandfather. But what they don’t know is that Santa Carla is infested with vampires.

STARRING
Directed By:  Joel Schumacher
Starring:
Jason Patric
Corey Haim
Dianne Wiest
Jami Gertz
Kiefer Sutherland

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Film Review: Under the Skin (2013)

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SYNOPSIS:

A mysterious seductress preys upon the population of Scotland.

REVIEW:

A unique experience, new film “Under the Skin” is one movie that fits comfortably in the classification of “dreamlike”. Its ambiguous premise is what also makes it a compelling film to watch, one that centers lovely actress Scarlett Johansson at its core. Scarlett plays the role of a nameless character who spends most of the film … Continue reading

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Film Reviews: “Under the Skin” and “Upstream Color”

I caught two American science fiction mind benders at South Korea’s Jeonju International Film Festival last month that have been very divisive among viewers and critics. I enjoyed them both and recommend auteur Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, which is his long-awaited follow-up to his debut film Primer, and director Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Both challenging works are unique artistic visions, and have the following things in common: minimal dialogue, beautiful cinematography, enigmatic storylines … Continue reading

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Film Review: Dead Ringers (1988)

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SYNOPSIS:

Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.

REVIEW:

“I’ve often thought that there should be beauty contests for the insides of bodies.”

Cronenberg’s 1988 film is a harrowing character study involving not a single protagonist but two. Specifically, twins Stewart and Cyril Marcus who were found dead in their apartment of barbiturate withdrawal on … Continue reading

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Film Review: Ravenous (1999)

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SYNOPSIS:

Captain John Boyd’s promotion stations him at a fort where a rescued man tells a disturbing tale of cannibalism.

REVIEW:

One of the true underrated cult gems, “Ravenous” is a film that has managed to stay under the radar for quite awhile. With its new release to bluray, the film might finally have a chance to garner the respect that it deserves with a fresh cut arriving onto shelves. A film with a … Continue reading

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Film Review: Martin (1976)

Martin (1976)

SYNOPSIS:

rge Romero does for vampires what he has already done for zombies – an intense and realistic treatment that follows the exploits of Martin, who claims to be eighty-four years old, and who certainly drinks human blood. The boy arrives in Pittsburgh to stay with his uncle, who promises to save Martin’s soul and destroy him once he is finished, but Martin’s loneliness finds other means of release.” … Continue reading

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Film Review: Open Your Eyes (1997)

SYNOPSIS:
“The handsome and wealthy CĂ©sar is very successful with women and is having difficulties getting rid of Nuria, his last affair. His best friend, Pelayo, is unlucky with women and jealous of CĂ©sar. At his birthday party, CĂ©sar meets the gorgeous and sexy Sofia, currently dating Pelayo, but they are immediately attracted to each other and spend the night together in her apartment. The next morning, CĂ©sar finds Nuria outside of Sofia’s … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Fisher King (1991)

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SYNOPSIS:

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

REVIEW:

Every now and then a great film comes along that is worth mentioning. Director Terry Gilliam, was about to introduce one of his greatest creations that while still ladled with some of his trademark stylings, would be a commercial success AND … Continue reading

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Film Review: Escape from Tomorrow (2013)

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SYNOPSIS:

In a world of fake castles and anthropomorphic rodents, an epic battle begins when an unemployed father’s sanity is challenged by a chance encounter with two underage girls on holiday.

REVIEW:

Directed and written by Randy Moore, “Escape from Tomorrow” is a film with purpose. Positioned to be a parody on the Disney way, Moore has created that which should not exist. The extras on the disk go into greater detail on … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Fifth Element (1997)

SYNOPSIS:
“In the twenty-third century, the universe is threatened by evil. The only hope for mankind is the Fifth Element, who comes to Earth every five thousand years to protect the humans with four stones of the four elements: fire, water, earth and air. A Mondoshawan spacecraft is bringing the fifth element back to Earth but it is destroyed by the evil Mangalores. However, a team of scientists use the DNA of the … Continue reading

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Film Review: Sunset Boulevard (1950)

SYNOPSIS:
“In Hollywood of the fifties, the obscure screenplay writer Joe Gillis is not able to sell his work to the studios, is full of debts and is thinking in returning to his hometown to work in an office. While trying to escape from his creditors, he has a flat tire and parks his car in a decadent mansion in Sunset Boulevard. He meets the owner and former silent-movie star Norma Desmond, who … Continue reading

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Film Review: Ghost In The Shell (1995)

SYNOPSIS:
“The year is 2029. The world has become intensively information oriented and humans are well-connected to the network. Crime has developed into a sophisticated stage by hacking into the interactive network. To prevent this, Section 9 is formed. These are cyborgs with incredible strengths and abilities that can access any network on Earth.” (courtesy IMDB)

REVIEW:
Manga are Japanese comics that conform to a style developed in the late 19th century, … Continue reading

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Film Review: Cat People (1942)

SYNOPSIS:
“When naval construction designer Oliver Reed sees Serbian-born beauty Irena Dubrovna at a zoo, he flirts with her, and soon they fall in love and marry. Complications arise because Irena believes she is the victim of an ancient Serbian curse that causes her to turn into a panther if a man tries to make love to her, and the marriage is not consummated. Oliver sends Irena for treatment with psychiatrist Doctor Louis … Continue reading

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Film Review: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

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SYNOPSIS:

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

REVIEW:

“This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express, and I’m talkin’ to whoever’s listenin’ out there.”

Sandwiched between the sweet science fiction of Starman and the dark, quantum horror of Prince of Darkness, Carpenter’s 1986 film presents a happy medium blending more genres than most filmmakers cover in their entire careers. Poorly received by … Continue reading

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Film Review: Blood Simple (1984)

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SYNOPSIS:

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

REVIEW:

“If I don’t get away soon I’ll be going blood-simple like the natives.”

Garnering a title from Dashiell Hammett’s hard-boiled detective novel, Red Harvest (quote above), this Coen-directed debut film is equal parts horror and farce. It is also a fine representation of neo-noir with … Continue reading

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