100 Cult Films (BFI Screen Guide)by TheWanderingFish | created - 25 Jan 2012 | updated - 25 Jan 2012 | Public
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1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.
Votes: 481,134 | Gross: $56.95M
2. Akira (1988)
R | 124 min | Animation, Action, Drama
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop.
Votes: 120,711 | Gross: $0.55M
3. Ms .45 (1981)
R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.
5. Rape Me (2000)
Unrated | 77 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Two young women, marginalised by society, go on a destructive tour of sex and violence. Breaking norms and killing men - and shattering the complacency of polite cinema audiences.
Votes: 15,328 | Gross: $0.01M
7. La belle et la bête (1946)
Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.
Votes: 20,678 | Gross: $0.30M
9. The Big Lebowski (1998)
R | 117 min | Comedy, Crime
"The Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.
Votes: 600,291 | Gross: $17.45M
10. Blade Runner (1982)
R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
Votes: 548,120 | Gross: $27.00M
11. Blue Sunshine (1977)
R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller
A bizarre series of murders begins in Los Angeles, where people start going bald and then become homicidal maniacs. But could the blame rest on a particularly dangerous form of LSD called Blue Sunshine the murderers took ten years before?
13. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.
16. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Unrated | 95 min | Adventure, Horror
During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.
17. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications.
Votes: 429,493 | Gross: $1.02M
21. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Unrated | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Horror
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
Votes: 97,150 | Gross: $5.10M
22. Deadly Weapons (1974)
R | 75 min | Crime, Thriller
After the mob hits a guy with a list, one of the hoods keeps the list for himself to blackmail the people on it. When the mobsters find out he's a double-crosser, they off him, which angers... See full summary »
23. Deep Red (1975)
Not Rated | 126 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
After witnessing the murder of a famous psychic, a musician teams up with a feisty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen assailant bent on keeping a dark secret buried.
24. Dirty Dancing (1987)
PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Music, Romance
Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
Votes: 157,874 | Gross: $63.95M
25. Django (1966)
Unrated | 92 min | Action, Western
A coffin-dragging gunslinger and a half-breed prostitute become embroiled in a bitter feud between a Klan of Southern racists and a band of Mexican Revolutionaries.
Votes: 20,355 | Gross: $0.03M
26. 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: 643,357 | Gross: $0.19M
27. Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)
Not Rated | 105 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A reporter and a promiscuous young woman try to solve a series of child killings in a remote southern Italian town that's rife with superstition and distrust of outsiders.
29. Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977)
85 min | Adventure, Horror
A reporter and an anthropologist traverse the amazon jungle to unearth the origins behind a mysterious woman, reputed to have been raised by a cannibal tribe.
32. Eraserhead (1977)
Not Rated | 89 min | Horror
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.
Votes: 80,527 | Gross: $7.00M
34. Fight Club (1999)
R | 139 min | Drama
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.
Votes: 1,511,686 | Gross: $37.03M
35. Flaming Creatures (1963)
45 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror
With full disturbing and weirdo graphic plus sexual scenes, Flaming Creatures is one of most daring and controversial film of all time, According to Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures is a comedy in a haunted music studio.
37. Freaks (1932)
Unrated | 64 min | Drama, Horror
A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.
38. Ginger Snaps (2000)
Unrated | 108 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf.
Votes: 35,766 | Gross: $0.00M
39. The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
PG | 109 min | Comedy
A comic allegory about a traveling Bushman who encounters modern civilization and its stranger aspects, including a clumsy scientist and a band of revolutionaries.
Votes: 46,348 | Gross: $30.03M
41. The Harder They Come (1972)
R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Music
Wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers.
43. Häxan (1922)
Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Fantasy, Horror
Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe.
44. Hellraiser (1987)
R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller
An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.
Votes: 84,708 | Gross: $14.56M
45. The Holy Mountain (1973)
R | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.
Votes: 27,280 | Gross: $0.06M
46. The House of the Laughing Windows (1976)
110 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Stefano, a young restorer, is commissioned to save a controversial mural located in the church of a small, isolated village.
47. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
Approved | 69 min | Fantasy, Horror
A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.
48. Koroshiya 1 (2001)
R | 129 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.
49. 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: 331,964 | Gross: $7.76M
51. Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)
12 min | Short, Horror
Experimental short, featuring strobe-like erotic imagery with several shots of the Rolling Stones in performance and an original synthesizer score by Mick Jagger.
52. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
Votes: 312,111 | Gross: $7.27M
53. The Killer (1989)
R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss.
54. Pembalasan ratu pantai selatan (1989)
R | 82 min | Action, Horror
The spirit of an ancient evil queen posesses the body of a young anthropological student, who then goes on a murderous rampage.
PG-13 | 178 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle Earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.
Votes: 1,367,938 | Gross: $315.54M
56. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
PG-13 | 179 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.
Votes: 1,219,878 | Gross: $342.55M
PG-13 | 201 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.
Votes: 1,347,750 | Gross: $377.85M
58. The Road Warrior (1981)
R | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.
Votes: 145,033 | Gross: $12.47M
59. 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: 30,863 | Gross: $0.21M
60. Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
Not Rated | 70 min | Horror
A family gets lost on the road and stumbles upon a hidden, underground, devil-worshiping cult led by the fearsome Master and his servant Torgo.
62. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
PG | 91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.
Votes: 419,147 | Gross: $1.23M
64. Nekromantik (1987)
Not Rated | 75 min | Horror
A street sweeper who cleans up after grisly accidents brings home a full corpse for him and his wife to enjoy sexually, but is dismayed to see that his wife prefers the corpse over him.
65. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Not Rated | 96 min | Horror
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.
Votes: 96,805 | Gross: $0.09M
66. Pink Flamingos (1972)
NC-17 | 93 min | Comedy, Crime
Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive".
Votes: 18,378 | Gross: $0.18M
67. Piranha (1978)
R | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.
Votes: 15,467 | Gross: $6.00M
68. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
Unrated | 79 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop humanity from creating the Solaranite (a sort of sun-driven bomb).
69. Re-Animator (1985)
Unrated | 105 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.
Votes: 44,978 | Gross: $2.02M
70. Reefer Madness (1936)
PG | 66 min | Drama, Thriller
Cautionary tale features a fictionalized and highly exaggerated take on the use of marijuana. A trio of drug dealers lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to "reefer" cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music.
73. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical
A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
Votes: 113,837 | Gross: $139.88M
75. The Room (2003)
R | 99 min | Drama
Johnny is a successful banker who lives happily in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiancée, Lisa. One day, inexplicably, she gets bored with him and decides to seduce his best friend, Mark. From there, nothing will be the same again.
76. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, War
In World War II Italy, our fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture.
77. Sie tötete in Ekstase (1971)
Unrated | 73 min | Horror
A young doctor kills himself after a medical committee terminates his research into human embryos, considering it too inhumane. His wife then seeks revenge on those who drove her husband to... See full summary »
78. Showgirls (1995)
NC-17 | 128 min | Drama
Nomi, a young drifter, arrives in Las Vegas to become a dancer and soon sets about clawing and pushing her way to become the top of the Vegas showgirls.
Votes: 53,754 | Gross: $20.30M
79. Welcome Home Brother Charles (1975)
R | 91 min | Action, Drama, Horror
A proud black man does time in jail where he is subjected to heinous experiments. Once released, he goes about extracting vengeance on those who put him in prison. This includes both ... See full summary »
81. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.
Votes: 1,013,873 | Gross: $322.74M
82. Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988)
Not Rated | 43 min | Short, Biography, Drama
Karen Carpenter's battle with anorexia nervosa and the cultural influence of the Carpenters in the 70s.
84. Tank Girl (1995)
R | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
A girl is among the few survivors of a dystopian Earth. Riding a war tank, she fights against the tyranny of a mega-corporation that dominates the remaining potable water supply of the planet.
Votes: 26,468 | Gross: $4.06M
85. 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.
86. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
R | 83 min | Horror
In this cult horror classic, five friends pick up a traumatized young hitchhiker, and find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chain saw-wielding killer and his family of psychopaths.
Votes: 109,487 | Gross: $30.86M
87. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
R | 82 min | Comedy, Music
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.
Votes: 113,011 | Gross: $0.19M
88. Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973)
104 min | Action, Thriller
A young woman, muted after a sexual assault as a child, is trained to seek violent revenge on those who have wronged her after being kidnapped and forced to work as a prostitute.
90. The Toxic Avenger (1984)
R | 82 min | Action, Comedy, Horror
Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when meek mop boy Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose.
92. Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964)
Unrated | 83 min | Horror
Six people are lured into a small Deep South town for a Centennial celebration where the residents proceed to kill them one by one as revenge for the town's destruction during the Civil War.
93. The Vanishing (1988)
Not Rated | 107 min | Mystery, Thriller
Rex and Saskia, a young couple in love, are on vacation. They stop at a busy service station and Saskia is abducted. After three years and no sign of Saskia, Rex begins receiving letters from the abductor.
94. Videodrome (1983)
R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.
Votes: 67,679 | Gross: $2.12M
95. The Warriors (1979)
R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.
Votes: 78,492 | Gross: $22.49M
98. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.
Votes: 320,743 | Gross: $22.20M