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: Reflections of Evil (2002)

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SYNOPSIS:

Julie, who died of a PCP overdose as a teen in the early ’70s, searches from beyond the ethers for her little brother, Bob, an obese watch-seller, who is dying of sucrose intolerance, in the early ’90s.

REVIEW:

It was 2002, when I received this film in the mail. At the time the creator, actor and director Damon Packard was marketing himself in rather odd fashions. I wasn’t sure … Continue reading

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Film Review: Evil Dead II Dead By Dawn (1987)

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SYNOPSIS:

“A young man named Ash takes his girlfriend Linda to a secluded cabin in the woods where he plays back a professor’s tape recorded recitation of passages from the Book of the Dead. The spell calls up an evil force from the woods which turns Linda into a monstrous Deadite, and threatens to do the same to Ash. When the professor’s daughter and her entourage show up at … Continue reading

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Film Review: Blue Velvet (1986)

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SYNOPSIS:

Jeffrey Beaumont is an honest young all American man. On an afternoon stroll he finds a human ear in a field near his home. His curiosities lead him to a twisted and wildly freakish syndicate of characters existing in his quiet picturesque little town, forever changing the way he views reality.

REVIEW:

Director: David Lynch
Cast:
Kyle Maclachlan-Jeffrey Beaumont
Isabella Rossellini-Dorothy Vallens
Dennis Hopper-Frank Boothe
Dean … Continue reading

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Film Review: Straw Dogs (1971)

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SYNOPSIS:

Dustin Hoffman plays a regular American mathematician, who gets into some trouble with local bullies. He is made fun of and then his wife is raped. When they attack his home, he fights back. His outbreak of violence is extreme. Upon moving to Britain to get away from American violence, astrophysicist David Sumner and his wife Amy are bullied and taken advantage of by the locals hired to do construction. … Continue reading

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Film Review: Wild At Heart (1990)

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SYNOPSIS:
“Lula’s psychopathic mother goes crazy at the thought of Lula being with Sailor, who just got free from jail. Ignoring Sailor’s probation, they set out for California. However their mother hires a killer to hunt down Sailor. Unaware of this, the two enjoy their journey and themselves being together, until they witness a young woman dying after a car accident – a bad omen.” (courtesy IMDB)

REVIEW:
David Lynch‘s … Continue reading

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Film Review: Targets (1968)

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SYNOPSIS:
“Peter Bogdanovich’s debut feature is a thinly disguised account of ex-marine Charles Whitman, who, after murdering his mother and his wife, armed himself with a number of rifles and handguns and on a sunny 1966 Texas morning, began a shooting spree that killed fourteen people and wounded thirty-two people. Bogdanovich’s version tells two stories concurrently, about an aging horror-film star who feels that his type of movie monster has become … Continue reading

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Film Review: Kissed (1996)

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SYNOPSIS:

Over the years, a child’s romantic ideals about death blossom into necrophilia, the study of embalming and the most profound relationship of her life.

REVIEW:

Titles of films can sometimes be very misleading, in the case of “Kissed” I am very happy to say that this is not a stupid romantic comedy. This is a highly romantic and a little bit depressing film dealing with the emotional responses of the … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Last Circus (2010)

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SYNOPSIS:

1937, Spain is in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War. A “Happy” circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by a militia. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers, where he single handedly massacres an entire platoon. Fast forward to 1973, the tail end of the Franco regime. Javier, the son of the clown, dreams of following … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1970s

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With The Andromeda Strain (1971) director Robert Wise proved that he was still as adept with science fiction themes as he was with the supernatural. A well constructed thriller, it tells of a group of scientists trying to analyse a strange alien spore which comes to earth. Stanley Kubrick, having explored the sterile depths of space in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), returned to a grungy Earth to show what might be happening in … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1960s

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Throughout the sixties, Hammer studios continued with their blood-and-thunder remakes, including The Curse Of The Werewolf (1960), The Two Faces Of Doctor Jekyll (1960), The Brides Of Dracula (1960), The Phantom Of The Opera (1962), Kiss Of The Vampire (1964), The Evil Of Frankenstein (1964) and Dracula Prince Of Darkness (1966). Hammer also delved into other aspects of fantasy over the next few years: Science fiction in Five Million Years To Earth (1967), lesbian … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1950s

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Just as the thirties had been a golden age for Gothic horror films, so the fifties would do the same for science fiction. The power of the atom had undeniably hooked the public on the wonders of science. This, coupled with the development of rocket power and the first major UFO sightings, provided a wealth of exploitable material for the film industry. The first film off the launch pad was to have been Destination … Continue reading

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Key Genre Films 1940s

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The forties got off to a cracking start with Paramount’s Technicolor production of Doctor Cyclops (1940) starring Albert Dekker as a crazed scientist who discovers the secret of miniaturisation deep in the South American jungles. The film contains superb special effects sequences which required the construction of gigantic sets and props of everyday articles, including books, chairs, pot-plants and scientific instruments. Universal Studios, while reluctant to invest their horror films with big budgets, also … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Brother From Another Planet (1984)

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SYNOPSIS:
“A slave from outer space escapes to earth. Except for his three-toed feet, he looks like an ordinary young black man. He crash-lands on Ellis Island, appropriately enough, and ends up in Harlem. There he makes friends with the owner and the regulars of a bar. Because he can fix any machine (by simply touching it), he’s able to make money. He’s mute, which proves more of an advantage than … Continue reading

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Film Review: The Rapture (1991)

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SYNOPSIS:

A telephone operator living an empty, amoral life finds God and loses him again.

REVIEW:

By now, you should be plenty familiar with the idea of the “rapture” whether religious or not. However you might not have thought to associate it with Mimi Rodgers and David Duchovny. This early 1991 film takes on this bold subject area and actually succeeds with an unassuming winning cult film creation.

Directed … Continue reading

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Film Review: Fast Company (1979)

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SYNOPSIS:
“Standard ‘good guys versus bad guys’ drag-racing movie. Nice scene of the driver’s view during a funny car run.” (thanks to IMDB for that detailed synopsis)

REVIEW:
He might deny it on the audio commentary, but this seventies exploitation movie rates as one hell of an anomaly in the career of Canadian auteur David Cronenberg. Made after he’d delivered his creepy body-horror films Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977), and … Continue reading

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Film Review: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

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SYNOPSIS:

“Cableman Roy Neary is one of several people who experience a close encounter of the first kind, witnessing UFOs flying through the night sky. He is subsequently haunted by a mountain-like image in his head and becomes obsessed with discovering what it represents, putting severe strain on his marriage. Meanwhile, government agents around the world have a close encounter of the second kind, discovering physical evidence of otherworldly … Continue reading

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Film Review: Barbarella (1968)

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SYNOPSIS:

“After an in-flight anti-gravity striptease (masked by the film’s opening titles), Barbarella, a 41st century astronaut, lands on the planet Lythion and sets out to find the evil Durand Durand in the city of Sogo, where a new sin is invented every hour. There, she encounters such objects as the Excessive Machine, a genuine sex organ on which an accomplished artist of the keyboard, in this case, Durand … Continue reading

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Film Review: Blade Runner (1982)

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SYNOPSIS:

“In a cyberpunk vision of the future, man has developed the technology to create replicants, human clones used to serve in the colonies outside Earth but with fixed lifespans. In Los Angeles 2019, Deckard is a Blade Runner, a cop who specialises in terminating replicants. Originally in retirement, he is forced to re-enter the force when six replicants escape from an offworld colony to Earth.” (courtesy IMDB)

REVIEW:
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Film Review: Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun (1969)

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SYNOPSIS:

“A planet is discovered in the same orbit as Earth’s but is located on the exact opposite side of the sun, making it not visible from Earth. The European Space Exploration Council decide to send American astronaut Glenn Ross and British scientist John Kane via spaceship to explore the other planet. After a disastrous crash-landing Ross awakes to learn that Kane lies near death and that they apparently … Continue reading

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Film Review: Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

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SYNOPSIS:

“Based on the 1951 Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. Guy Montag is a fireman who lives in a lonely, isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public. It is the duty of firefighters to burn any books on sight or said collections that have been reported by informants. People in this society including Montag’s wife are drugged into compliance and … Continue reading

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Film Review: Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)

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SYNOPSIS:

“After conquering the oppressive humans in Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes, Caesar must now keep the peace among the humans and apes. Gorilla General Aldo views things differently, and tries to cause an ape civil war. In the meantime, other human survivors learn of the ape city, and decide they want to take back civilization for themselves, thus setting the stage of warring ape factions and … Continue reading

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