Most of us know at least one person who can’t get through the week without quoting their favorite cult film,whether it be Heathers, Carrie, Rocky Horror Picture Show or some other enthusiastically admired film.
But what makes a movie a cult classic? The term was originally coined in the late 1970’s but has now grown into many captivated fan bases.
Films that are able to be called a ‘cult classic’ were usually box office flops, or movies nobody really cared about at the time of their release but gained popularity in the years later.
Cult films are usually timeless, adored by people who watched them at the time of their release along with teenagers and young adults. Even today you can catch a midnight screening of Rocky Horror Picture show at the Art Theatre in Long Beach.
Even though I have never attended one of these legendary screenings, I’ve heard it’s quite an experience.
Along with a love of Whole Foods, Arcade Fire and ugly shoes, admiration of cult movies have become a defining characteristic of the young hipster.
This probably has something to do with the fact that these ‘cult films’ were ripped to pieces by the critics and virtually ignored by the public at the time of their release, and like any good hipster, they loved it just because it was hated.
While most cult movies were not positively received at the time of their launch, doesn’t mean they are all bad. For example: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – it’s a great movie but Roger Ebert gave it a 1/4.
Likewise not all Cult Movies deserved to be on the high pedestal their zealous fans have put them on, such as “The Room”, which one IMDB comment stated “watching this movie felt like being stabbed in the head”.
Why this movie still has a following, I’m not sure.