What is a cult film? A cult film is a film that has acquired a cult following known for their dedicated and passionate fan base. An elaborate subculture is created that engage in repeated viewings, quoting dialogue and even audience participation. These movies could be box office bombs which gain a fan base once released to home videos and DVDs. Most people would exclude movies that were released by major studios or had big budgets. But for my purposes, I will consider movies based on their fan base rather than their studio or budget. I began thinking about cult favorites that I really don’t care for that everyone seems to love. Movies that I love and movies that I don’t care to see despite their popularity with others. I will list the movies with a brief explanation why it is include on my list. There is no particular order and not a complete listing. It’s just a few that come to mind. And I know I might shock people by the movies which are included.
Cult favorites which I don’t care for:
Labyrinth (1986): I know, I know. I can hear a few of my friend gasp in shock. I saw this film as a child and I never cared to see it again. It didn’t appeal to me then and it doesn’t appeal to me now. While researching this movie, I found reviews that tells me that I’m not the only one. For many fans, this movie holds a bit of nostalgia that I just don’t have.
The Nightmare before Christmas (1993): I know! More gasps! I didn’t see this film when it came out in theaters. I actually saw it years later and I still don’t understand the appeal. Yes, the stop-motion animation is stunning but the characters are not as beloved by me as they are to some.
The Warriors (1979): My husband loves this movie and I don’t. It’s a very simple story. One gang, The Warriors, is falsely accused of killing a leader and the other gangs are on the chase to find them. The Warriors race through the night to get to the safety of their own turf.
Fight Club (1999): Ugh! Everyone loved this movie. They quoted the rules of Fight Club ad nauseam. When I finally saw the movie, I didn’t understand the appeal other the fight scenes for guys and Brad Pitt for women (if you happen to be one who enjoys Brad Pitt which I am not).
Office Space (1999). While in college, I worked at a local bookstore and a few of my co-workers quoted this movie and would laugh hysterically. So I checked it out and I don’t get it. There were a few funny moments and memorable characters. We’ve all seen the memes that feature the boss. But other than that, this film isn’t my cup of tea.
Cult favorites that I love:
The Princess Bride (1987): I saw this movie as a child but really didn’t fall in love with it until I was an adult. It’s filled with great moments and great lines which are still being quoted 30 years later. I love the character, The Man in Black, as the mysterious person who is chasing Vizzini and his crew. It’s a great movie to watch over and over again.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974): The film is long and filled with great quotes. I’ve always enjoyed British humor and while some jokes can be a bit crude but others are hilarious. One of the best scenes is the debate about the swallows. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.
The Goonies (1985): I will admit this movie wouldn’t have made my list years ago. However, since my husband loves this movie and I’ve watched it with him, it started to grow on me. The humor in the movie is the subtle one liners that you wouldn’t notice until one day you finally hear it for the first time.
Zombieland (2009): I normally don’t care for movies (or TV shows which feature zombies) but this movie surprised me with its humor and its heart. Starting with Columbus’s Rules for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, to Tallahassee’s search for the world’s remaining Twinkies and the fact that the entire movie is carried by the four main characters as they search for a zombie free area.
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993): I know it’s not one of Mel Brooks’ best films but it’s one of my favorites. Like many Mel Brooks’ films, it is filled with great one liners and subtle twists that allude to other films. And it just doesn’t take itself too serious. It’s meant to be fun and tongue in cheek which when done right can be hilarious.
Cult favorites that I have no desire to see or finish:
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): I tried watching this film to see what the fuss was about and I couldn’t finish it. While I normally love musicals, The Rocky Horror Picture Show just isn’t one I enjoyed. This film has a huge following in which fans will dress up and dance and sing along with the film in theaters. Yeah, definitely not my cup of tea.
Legend (1985): My husband loves this movie and wanted me to watch it one day. I tried but soon lost interest and never tried to watch it again. I don’t know what the appeal is and I feel this is anymore 80s movie that many people who grew
Pulp Fiction (1994): This movie or any other Tarantino film I never want to see. His films just don’t appeal to me and I don’t see what the big deal is. However, I don’t think I’m Tarantino’s target audience anyway.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004): I’ll admit I have never seen this movie, nor have I attempted to watch it. From the trailers and the few scenes I have seen, it just doesn’t appeal to me. I know a lot of people quote this movie like it was a hilarious film, it just doesn’t seem funny to me.
Pitch Perfect (2012): I never heard of this movie until everyone started talking about the Cup Song. So I started watching it one day and could not stand it. There is one scene toward the end where all the girls start vomiting as they stood in a group. Why? I don’t know but it grossed me out so much that I turned it off then and there. I refuse to watch it or its sequels.
In conclusion, I find it interesting that many of movies on this list people would say the movies helped defined their childhood. And I look back on the films that I watched as a child and I don’t know if I’d say the same. I think more than movies defined my childhood like climbing trees, gathering the walnuts that fell from those trees and playing baseball in the park. There are even movies that I watched as a kid that I am perfectly happy never to see again. Most of these films I grew to dislike, love and don’t want to see as an adult. It may be a little different if I grew to love them as a child. I know my husband was very disappointed that some of his favorites main my dislike and don’t want to see lists. Oh, well to each his own. And don’t criticize, hate, or belittle someone because they don’t like a movie you hold so dear. Like beauty, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.