My Favourite Cult Filmsby donjon | created - 07 Apr 2011 | updated - 11 Apr 2011 | Public
All too often there are some great, original and interesting films made that don't get the audience they deserve. In no partcular order, these are 50 of my favourite films that haven't quite hit the heights of others and may have fallen under viewers' radar.
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1. American Psycho (2000)
R | 102 min | Crime, Drama
A wealthy New York investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.
Votes: 395,902 | Gross: $15.07M
Pat Bateman is one of my personal heroes. This superbly dark black comedy / serial killer flick looks at how a normal member of society can become a complete nutjob, without any of his friends or colleagues paying any attention to his homicidal nature.
2. Man Bites Dog (1992)
NC-17 | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A film crew follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand.
Votes: 30,885 | Gross: $0.21M
The blackest of black commedies; this is a real treat. A student film crew make a documentary on a serial killer, and as they grow closer to him, slowly become more complicit in his crimes. Superb stuff.
3. Brick (2005)
R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.
Votes: 90,210 | Gross: $2.06M
A 30's film noir throughback in a modern high school setting. This takes a bit of getting used to, but it is totally unique and contains some great performances.
4. Mean Creek (2004)
R | 90 min | Crime, Drama
When a teen is bullied, his brother and friends lure the bully into the woods to seek revenge.
Votes: 27,998 | Gross: $0.60M
Not massively original, but totally enthrawling. Stand by Me meets Deliverance!
5. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)
R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.
Votes: 82,975 | Gross: $26.12M
This really freaked me out when I first saw it, although it does lose some of its power on repeat viewing. Make sure to check out the deleted scenes to see the attrocity it could nearly have been.
6. Dead Man's Shoes (2004)
Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A disaffected soldier returns to his hometown to get even with the thugs who brutalized his mentally-challenged brother years ago.
Votes: 43,041 | Gross: $0.01M
A gritty UK revenge thriller that succeeds mainly because it is so believable. Top notch acting and script.
7. The Devil's Backbone (2001)
R | 106 min | Drama, Horror
After Carlos - a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War - arrives at an ominous boys' orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover.
Votes: 52,438 | Gross: $0.75M
Before Del Toro hit the big time he made this excellent ghost story which is a great companion piece to Pan's Labyrinth
8. Session 9 (2001)
R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery
Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.
Votes: 47,128 | Gross: $0.38M
Genuinally eery, this is a great underplayed psychological thriller.
9. Martin (1978)
R | 95 min | Drama, Horror
A young man, who believes himself to be a vampire, goes to live with his elderly and hostile cousin in a small Pennsylvania town where he tries to redeem his blood-craving urges.
Votes: 8,159 | Gross: $0.10M
Romero is famous for his zombie films, but this clever take on the vampire mythology asks a lot of interesting questions and avoids all of the usual cliches. I'm surprised this hasnt been remade yet.
10. Let the Right One In (2008)
R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Romance
Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.
Votes: 185,267 | Gross: $2.12M
A superb mixture of coming of age teen anxst intertwined with a vampire movie. This film is beautiful and touching and never falls into cliche
11. Nochnoy dozor (2004)
R | 114 min | Action, Fantasy, Thriller
A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.
Votes: 49,061 | Gross: $1.49M
Throw into the mixing pot a bit of Blade, a bit of Matrix, some Lord of the Rings, add a pinch of Star Wars and you have this unique modern Russian fantasy adventure. Make sure you watch the theatrical version with the super-cool subtitles.
12. New Nightmare (1994)
R | 112 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather Langenkamp play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?
Votes: 42,185 | Gross: $18.09M
All of the Nightmare on Elm Street sequels are dreadful, except this one which is a very inteligent twist on the original and says a lot about how we are affected by the media.
13. May (2002)
R | 93 min | Drama, Horror
A lonely young woman traumatized by a difficult childhood and her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her is sent into a murderous tailspin.
Votes: 28,770 | Gross: $0.15M
A modern emo take on the Frankenstein story that has lots to offer, including a half decent role for Anna Faris!
14. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
R | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Elvis and JFK, both alive and in a nursing home, fight for the souls of their fellow residents as they battle an ancient Egyptian Mummy.
Votes: 40,959 | Gross: $2.00M
Elvis and JFK fight a redneck mummy with a penchant for sucking OAP's souls out of their a-hole. Who could ask for more?
15. Shadow: Dead Riot (2006)
R | 81 min | Action, Horror
Evil voodoo-practicing serial killer Shadow gets executed for murdering pregnant women. Twenty years later the prison Shadow was put to death at has been turned into an experimental women's... See full summary »
Waaaaay over the top prison movie featuring Tony "Candyman" Todd. Utterly stupid and stupidly brilliant at the same time.
16. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family.
In a totally different league to the awful remake "The Uninvited", this is a haunting and emotional story that can be hard to follow, but that makes the pay off even better
17. Fudoh: The New Generation (1996)
98 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
In order to settle a business dispute, a mob leader murders one of his own teenage sons. The surviving son vows to avenge his brother's death, and organizes his own gang of teenage killers to destroy his father's organization.
This is overshadowed by some of Miike's other films, but this wacky little delight has enough unforgettable moments to make it truly unique.
18. Bijitâ Q (2001 Video)
R | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror
A troubled and perverted family find their lives intruded by a mysterious stranger who seems to help find a balance in their disturbing natures.
More Miike; the most messed up family drama you have ever seen.
19. Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989)
Not Rated | 67 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
A businessman accidentally kills The Metal Fetishist, who gets his revenge by slowly turning the man into a grotesque hybrid of flesh and rusty metal.
A fusion of man and machine and rocket powered roller skates. Another brilliant slice of Japanese cinema that would be impossible to mimic.
20. Electric Dragon 80.000 V (2001)
55 min | Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
A violent, guitar-playing, electrically charged boxer faces off against an electronic wizard half-merged with a metallic Buddha.
A classic bit of cyberpunk; this is crazy stuff and you just have to go for the ride. You'll never see anything like this again.
21. Shaolin Soccer (2001)
PG | 87 min | Action, Comedy, Sport
A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.
Votes: 62,801 | Gross: $0.49M
The worlds first kung fu soccer film with musical interludes? Ridiculous, but great.
22. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)
R | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller
A young man with superhuman strength is incarcerated at a prison run by corrupt officials and seeks to use his martial arts to clean up the system.
aka "Story of Ricky" or "Riki-Oh". This is a superb over the top prison kung fu movie. Dropping the soap in the shower will be the least of your worries.
23. Kerd ma lui (2004)
R | 96 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A group of athletes helping a poor village must stop an evil tyrant and his men from terrorizing the village.
Another entry from the Ong Bak school of Thai ass-kicking - this one features a (genuine) group of Olympic athletes attemping to protect a peasant village and save the world at the same time.
24. The Machine Girl (2008)
Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Horror
Maimed while seeking revenge, a girl becomes stronger than ever.
Completely over the tomp comedy action romp. Heavy on the gore but always has tounge planted firmly in cheek.
25. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
PG | 117 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy
Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.
One of the earlier Studio Ghibli offerings, but one of the best in my eyes. A great sci-fi fantasy story with a haunting score.
26. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor.
Votes: 190,348 | Gross: $4.24M
This marked the beginning of a great comeback for Robert Downey Jr. Unfortunately Val Kilmer and Shane Black weren't so lucky. This is a witty well paced mystery thriller that satisfies on several levels.
27. Midnight Run (1988)
R | 126 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
An accountant is chased by bounty hunters, the F.B.I., and the Mafia after jumping bail.
Votes: 59,080 | Gross: $38.41M
From the team that bought you Beverly Hills Cop, this buddy road movie was a rare chance for Robert de Niro to show his comedy talents.
28. In Bruges (2008)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be.
Votes: 332,246 | Gross: $7.76M
A great take on the gangster filck with some cracking dialogue and top performances - this had me in stiches. Ralph Fiennes steals the show late on.
29. Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee (2009)
71 min | Comedy
Rock roadie, Le Donk, has lived, loved and learned. Along the way, he's lost a classy girlfriend but gained a sidekick, Scorz-Ayz-Ee. He sets out to make Scorz a star with a little help from the Artic Monkeys.
A brilliant mocumentary with Paddy Considine's Le Donk taking center stage getting his amature rapper mate to a gig to support the Arctical Monkeys. Loveable characters meant I wanted this to keep going for hours after it had finished.
30. JCVD (2008)
R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Jean-Claude Van Damme gets involved in a bank robbery with hostages situation and reflects about his life during it.
Votes: 34,786 | Gross: $0.47M
Jean Claude puts in an acting masterclass (honestly), playing himself in this fictional tale about how his career might have ended up. A bizare concept, but it works really well.
31. El espíritu de la colmena (1973)
Unrated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy
In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.
A touching story showing the power of film. Beautifully shot and very low key and quiet - the camera does most of the work here which is sort of the point.
32. Being John Malkovich (1999)
R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.
Votes: 272,389 | Gross: $22.86M
This film is impossible to describe, but rewards you on so many levels - it is a must see. Still Kaufman's best script in my eyes.
33. Donnie Darko (2001)
R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.
Votes: 643,824 | Gross: $0.19M
Teen angst meets sci-fi in this totally unique, 80's set mystery. Look out for a classic role from Patrick Swayze and an early appearance from a young Seth Rogen. Shame director Richard Kelly has not yet lived up to the potential he showed here.
34. Moon (2009)
R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Votes: 286,764 | Gross: $5.01M
Proper sci-fi: clever, original, non-reliant on special effects and great use of models. A brilliant performance from Sam Rockwell.
35. Hardware (1990)
R | 94 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
The head of a cyborg reactivates, rebuilds itself, and goes on a violent rampage in a space marine's girlfriend's apartment.
Votes: 10,668 | Gross: $5.73M
I've seen so many films that remind me of this (although this borrows heavily from Terminator), this shows that it is possible to do sci-fi on a budget.
36. Cube (1997)
R | 90 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Six complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless maze containing deadly traps.
Votes: 177,284 | Gross: $0.50M
Another film that has been borrowed heavily from since. A great example of how to make an intresting film on a tiny budget - this is a great concept and has has some top set pieces.
37. Naked Lunch (1991)
R | 115 min | Drama
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.
Votes: 39,628 | Gross: $2.54M
A complete mindbender of a movie unlike anything you'll of ever seen before. A writer gets sucked into the bizare story his writing in a drug fuelled delirium.
38. Brazil (1985)
R | 132 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
A bureaucrat, in a retro-future world, tries to correct an administrative error, and becomes an enemy of the state.
Votes: 164,513 | Gross: $9.93M
Still the ultimate adult fantasy and easily Gilliam's best work. Boasts a great cast and incredible set and costume design. A true masterpiece.
39. The City of Lost Children (1995)
R | 112 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi
A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.
Votes: 58,900 | Gross: $1.51M
Jeunet and Caro conjour up a bizarre fantasy world that is a pleasure to be a part of. The film misses a couple of beats that stops it being a classic, but it still holds a special place in my heart nonetheless.
40. Dark City (1998)
R | 100 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun.
Votes: 168,399 | Gross: $14.38M
Some not quite on the mark acting stops this from fulfilling its potential, but it's dark broody atmosphere and unravelling mystery still set it apart from similar fare.
41. Stardust (2007)
PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he'll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.
Votes: 226,057 | Gross: $38.63M
Looks like a kids film, but has a lot for adults to enjoy too. A charming traditional fantasy adventure romp, with brilliant performances from De Niro and Pfeiffer stealing the show.
42. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
R | 101 min | Comedy, Drama
A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.
Votes: 384,589 | Gross: $59.89M
Loveable road movie with every cast member shining. A feel good indie stunner.
43. Son of Rambow (2007)
PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
During a long English summer in the early 1980s, two schoolboys from differing backgrounds set out to make a film inspired by First Blood (1982).
Votes: 28,454 | Gross: $1.78M
A brilliant reminder of the joys of childhood. The 80s setting helps make this a film that will live long in the heart of anyone who grew up watching films in that era.
44. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Votes: 120,449 | Gross: $17.84M
Proof that Adam Sandler is capable of making a decent film, this is a real gem from PT Anderson
45. Raising Arizona (1987)
PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Crime
When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.
Votes: 108,601 | Gross: $22.85M
An early Coen brothers classic, and probably their funniest film after Big Lebowski. Nic Cage puts in a career best performance way too early in his career!
46. Top Secret! (1984)
PG | 90 min | Comedy
Parody of WWII spy movies in which an American rock and roll singer becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany.
Votes: 50,360 | Gross: $20.50M
Overshadowed by Airplane and Naked Gun, this is more of the same from the Zucker brothers and still has me in fits whenever I see it.
47. The Man with Two Brains (1983)
R | 93 min | Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi
A brain surgeon marries a femme fatale, causing his life to turn upside down. Things go more awry when he falls in love with a talking brain.
Votes: 21,118 | Gross: $10.10M
Zany bit of goofball fun with Steve Martin at his very best.
48. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
PG | 96 min | Comedy
A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.
Votes: 172,545 | Gross: $44.54M
Great nerdy comedy full of quotable lines.
49. Office Space (1999)
R | 89 min | Comedy
Three company workers who hate their jobs decide to rebel against their greedy boss.
Votes: 214,390 | Gross: $10.82M
Anybody who has worked in an office will be able to relate to this. Simple, but effective comedy.
50. Best in Show (2000)
PG-13 | 90 min | Comedy
A colorful array of characters compete at a national dog show.
Votes: 48,755 | Gross: $18.62M
The team that bought us Spinal Tap turn their attention to the suprisingly hilarious world of dog shows. The format and characters are instantly familiar, which help make this a real cracker.