50 Cult Obscurities -

The Big Lebowski may these days be considered a cult movie, but it's much too mainstream. Here are some obscure flicks to track down that will be well worth the effort.
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Baby Face (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young woman, sexually exploited all her life, decides to turn the tables and exploit the hapless men at a big city bank -- by gleefully sleeping her way to the top. (71 mins.)
Director: Alfred E. Green
“ Baby Face is without equal as the finest example of unrestrained pre-code amorality and sexuality. And that’s the censored version! Exceptionally revealing and of historical importance is the opportunity to screen the pre-release and censored versions back-to-back and see what was trimmed and how it completely altered the final product. ” - ejandcj
On the Run (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When his wife, also working for the the police, but in a different department, is being brutally murdered... (88 mins.)
Director: Alfred Cheung
“ On The Run. Even with the presence of Yeun Biao, the star is actually Pat Ha (An Amorous Woman of Tang Dynasty) as a female assassin. Now, besides possessing deadly cunning, she is absolutely ruthless, pragmatic, and an ace sharpshooter. And there’s no haw haw I was wearing a bullet proof vest stuff with her – two bullets in the brain pain. ” - ejandcj
Nu ji zhong ying (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A nurse in a Japanese women's POW camp during World War II masterminds an escapee. (110 mins.)
Director: Chih-Hung Kuei
“ Bamboo House Of Dolls. Despite and because it mixes every convention in the WIP genre with drama, epic action, and plot twists galore, this is THE contender for title of #1 Best WIP Feature Film. Is it Bamboo House Of Dolls, or Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion? May I have the envelope please . . . ” - ejandcj
Deadly Is the Female (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is. (86 mins.)
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
“ Obviously not as violent as the later Bonnie And Clyde, nor as melodramatic as They Live By Night, Gun Crazy / Deadly Is The Female is a top contender for best criminal couple on the lam movie. Essential viewing. ” - ejandcj
Scarface (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall. (93 mins.)
“ One of the most violent films of pre-modern cinema, Scarface is one of the most important, influential, and unfortunately obscure as well. You must see it, after all, for YOU are to blame! ” - ejandcj
Night of the Werewolf (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
An evil witch brings back to life the infamous Elizabeth Bathory, who was executed several hundred years previously for murdering young woman and bathing in their blood. (92 mins.)
“ Night Of The Werewolf presents a classic Gothic horror with high production values [for a European genre film], enthralling locations, and an excellent cast. Spanish Castle Magic, indeed. ” - ejandcj
How to Make a Monster (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
When a master monster make-up artist is sacked by the new bosses of American International studios, he uses his creations to exact revenge. (73 mins.)
“ This is an exceptional example of fifties teenage monster mania with a witty script and excellent performances. Tight pacing, lots of props and memorabilia from prior AIP horrors, this movie manages to be satire, homage, and thriller all at once. ” - ejandcj
Truck Turner (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Truck is a bounty hunter who gets a job to track down a guy named Gator. When he and his partner find him... (91 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Kaplan
“ Truck Turner starts off fast and furious and then hits the supercharger. This a film that could never be made today, so revel in this fine piece of “specialty” filmmaking. ” - ejandcj
Heat (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
"Heat" is a parody of "Sunset Boulevard." Joey Davis, an unemployed ex-child actor, uses sex to get his landlady... (102 mins.)
Director: Paul Morrissey
“ Many Warhol / Morrissey fans don’t appreciate Heat because it is too professional and not ‘underground’ enough. It’s actually a very accomplished film with excellent performances, witty dialog, and good pacing. This is still an outlandish film in the John Waters mold, so it’s not for everyone. For those with a taste for bizarre and absurd humor, Heat is highly recommended. ” - ejandcj
The Brute Man (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  
A facially deformed and mentally unhinged man wreaks his revenge on those who deformed him with a series of brutal murders. (58 mins.)
Director: Jean Yarbrough
“ This 1946 Universal programmer is Rondo Hatton’s only starring role and last film, and he makes the most of it. He takes the character of a mad killer who murders everyone he comes in contact with and makes him endearingly sympathetic. ” - ejandcj
Kongo (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
This remake of West of Zanzibar made four years later tries to outdo the Lon Chaney original in morbidity... (86 mins.)
Director: William Cowen
“ Both film versions of West Of Zanzibar are laudable and have their merits, but Kongo emerges as more compelling and audacious. Depraved, sadistic, and utterly lacking in redeemable qualities, this is one of the films that drove the Catholic Legion Of Decency into a frenzy. Great stuff! ” - ejandcj
Angel's Dance (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A young hitman is asked to prove himself by killing an innocent woman. (99 mins.)
Director: David L. Corley
“ Get Shorty was a tongue in cheek gangster tale; Angel’s Dance plays it straight but hard on the twist. Criminally overlooked and obscure, see this one if you can. ” - ejandcj
Chained Heat (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Linda Blair plays Carol, a young woman who must serve 18 months in prison after killing a man (by accident)... (95 mins.)
Director: Paul Nicolas
“ This is the epitome of the Women In Prison cycle. Seldom has such overt sleaze been presented in such a quality and enthusiastic presentation. ” - ejandcj
Mr. Vampire (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The planned reburial of a village elder goes awry as the corpse resurrects into a hopping, bloodthirsty vampire, threatening mankind. Therefore, a Taoist Priest and his two disciples attempt to stop the terror. (96 mins.)
Director: Ricky Lau
“ Mr. Vampire builds upon the earlier Sammo Hung film Encounter Of The Spooky Kind, but is slicker and with more emphasis on thrills and chills than martial arts while still mainting a high level of (sometimes low) comedy. ” - ejandcj
Mondo Keyhole (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Howard Thorne is a rapist in Los Angeles: he meets women at work and at parties or he sees them walking down the street... (70 mins.)
Director: Jack Hill, John Lamb
“ Thematically this is a roughie, but that’s the setup, not really the emphasis. Fully realizing what every exploitation low budget film of the time promised but seldom delivered is the point! ” - ejandcj
Common Wealth (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The accidental discovery of a big fortune hidden in the apartment of a deceased man will fill the heart of a real estate agent with greed and dreams of a luxurious life, but the neighbours think otherwise. (110 mins.)
“ Although it contains a good amount of humor, Common Wealth is at core a psychological dark comedy thriller which gets progressively violent as events unfold. ” - ejandcj
Private Parts (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Young Cheryl moves into her estranged aunt Martha's rundown King Edward Hotel. One of its offbeat residents, disturbed photographer George, takes special interest in her. Cheryl begins suspecting that a resident was murdered. (87 mins.)
Director: Paul Bartel
“ This is an American giallo with perverse black humor and a rogues gallery of demented characters. If you like Paul Bartel's other features (Death Race 2000, Eating Raoul) this is a must see. ” - ejandcj
Erotic Ghost Story (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Three vixens have meditated for 1,000 years to able to shed their animal natures and become human. For the final month of their rigors... (90 mins.)
Director: Ngai Choi Lam
“ Erotic Ghost Story. The basic structure is classic Cat III exploitation: a little back story and setup, then rather explicit sex scenes, and finally gonzo over-the-top violence and cheesy but effective special effects. Much superior to the sequels. ” - ejandcj
Lost Souls (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Illegal immigrants from mainland China are smuggled into Hong Kong. They are captured by a gang, then raped, tortured, and murdered. (90 mins.)
Director: T.F. Mous
“ Lost Souls is not intended to be enjoyable, and the viewer’s loyalties and motivations are betrayed just as the characters are. A powerful work that will leave an impression – that doesn’t mean you will appreciate or even tolerate it. But you will remember it. ” - ejandcj
Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
When fellow operatives (and childhood friends) Matthew Johnson and Melvin Johnson disappear during an undercover mission in Hong Kong... (94 mins.)
Director: Chuck Bail
“ Wrongly regarded as ‘just a sequel’ to an average blaxploitationer, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of gold brings international talent to tell a tale with international implications. It’s a great ‘B’ action film that deserves far more attention than it gets. ” - ejandcj
Zhong gui (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A Hong Kong taxi driver suffers after being cursed by a sorcerer he accidentally hit with his cab. (88 mins.)
Director: Chuan Yang
“ Seeding Of A Ghost is an excellent entertainment that presents excessive exploitation in a deadly serious fashion. The sheer over-the-top exuberance of this feature makes it a kissing cousin to Re-Animator, Evil Dead II, and Return Of The Living Dead. And it preceeded all these. ” - ejandcj
Sparrows (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Molly, the eldest child at a baby farm hidden deep in a swamp, must rescue the others when their cruel master decides that one of them will be disposed of. (84 mins.)
“ This film sent patrons screaming from the theaters in 1926. It is one of the most effective horror shockers of the silent era – at least the equal of Phantom Of The Opera. Even if you don’t usually partake of silent cinema, this film is so visually and thematically captivating you should never notice the absence of sound. A timeless masterpiece. ” - ejandcj
Massacre at Central High (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A high school transfer student, pushed to the edge by a trio of brutal bullies, resorts to murder to reclaim the school from oppression, and later turns against the students wanting to fill the vacuum of their oppressors. (87 mins.)
Director: Renee Daalder
“ Massacre At Central High is a complex and allegorical film that mixes sex, violence, murder, and madness with social commentary. This unjustly obscure film is well worth seeking out and highly recommended. ” - ejandcj
Bride of the Monster (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  
A mad doctor attempts to create atomic supermen. (69 mins.)
“ The film has been enshrined by the excellent Tim Burton biopic Ed Wood. Roughly half that film is concerned with Bride of the Monster and various legends surrounding the financing, casting, production, premiere, and film itself. Many scenes are lovingly recreated in great detail, but with some exaggerations. ” - ejandcj
A Thousand Pleasures (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Henpecked misogynist Richard Davis murders his shrewish wife and goes out to dispose of her corpse. However... (70 mins.)
Director: Julian Marsh
“ The central theme throughout the ‘Julian Marsh’ cycle seems to be that women wrongfully excite men who cannot have them because they really all want to be lesbians. A Thousand Pleasures and Kiss of Her Flesh are the ultimate products in the evolution of the Findlay B&W roughie. ” - ejandcj
At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A gravedigger prowls the city in search of a female to bear him a son. (84 mins.)
“ Somewhat crude and antiquated even for it’s time, though the same criticism can be leveled at White Zombie with Bela Lugosi (1932). Marins gives a powerhouse and charismatic performance where he credibly dominates the populace by force of personality combined with ruthless acts of violence. ” - ejandcj
She sha shou (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A young man who has been beaten, abused, humiliated and laughed at all his life finds that he has an unusual empathy with snakes... (99 mins.)
Director: Chih-Hung Kuei
“ If you can get through Killer Snakes more than once, I suspect you will find different layers of meaning and symbolism upon each viewing. Then it will transmute from low-grade Willard ripoff to a kissing cousin of the Japanese Pinku genre. There’s actually a lot of substance here, but if you can’t stand the heat, you’d best get out of the snake pit. ” - ejandcj
Dynamite Fighters (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Action film about Chinese resistance after Japanese invasion in 1930's (91 mins.)
Director: David Chung
“ Magnificent Warriors is inspired by Raiders Of The Lost Ark by way of The Seven Samurai. It’s an explosive Hong Kong action / martial arts film with an amazing amount of action. There’s some sugar to cut the vinegar, but the end result is quite tasty. ” - ejandcj
Viva (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Two suburban couples experiment with sex, drugs and bohemia in early 1970's Los Angeles. (120 mins.)
Director: Anna Biller
“ This is a homage and a parody of 70′s lifestyles, fashion, movies, and wigs. Sort of a cross between Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and a Russ Meyer opus (especially Vixen). It is always interesting, sometimes surreal, and often quite funny. ” - ejandcj
Eastern Condors (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An action film about a daring commando raid into Vietnam to destroy a munitions dump left behind by American marines. (93 mins.)
“ Even for non-fans of Hong Kong martial arts movies, this is one of the best Dirty Dozen inspired ‘B’ war/adventure movies along with such classics as The Inglorious Bastards and The Losers. ” - ejandcj
The Seventh Curse (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A young heroic cop in the jungle of Thailand attempts to rescue a beautiful girl from being sacrificed to the "Worm Tribe" she belongs to... (78 mins.)
Director: Ngai Choi Lam
“ The Seventh Curse. Did you ever feel the opening segment of Raiders Of The Lost Ark was the best part? The producers of Seventh Curse obviously thought so. Instead of beginning with the tomb raid segment and then returning to civilization the bulk of this picture takes place in the jungle environment. ” - ejandcj
Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Coffin Joe is still looking for the perfect woman to give birth to a son of his, and, cleared of the... (108 mins.)
“ This Night I Will Possess Your Corpse. This sequel begins right where the original left off with a [cheat] recap just like a Republic serial chapter. As with Evil Dead II, presented as a sequel, this is basically a remake of the original on a grander scale. Bigger cast, elaborate sets, better special effects, and more victims. ” - ejandcj
Paprika (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
A young country girl comes to town and works in a brothel in order to help her fiance get the money to start his own business. "Paprika" is the name given to her by the madam. (99 mins.)
Director: Tinto Brass
“ What other film presents lots of nudity and an ambitious story filled with sex and perversion and boasting high production values? The answer would be Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls. Difference is the humor in Paprika is subtle but intentional, whereas Showgirls is just an incredibly bad movie. ” - ejandcj
Killer Constable (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director Kuei Chih Hung was famous for his modern day crime thrillers, his horror flicks, and even his comedies... (98 mins.)
Director: Chih-Hung Kuei
“ This is a tour-de-force that dawdles occasionally for some drama and pathos before the next atrocity, torture, execution, or large scale battle. The body count is exceptionally high even discounting the off-screen deaths; it probably would have been banned had all the violence actually been displayed. ” - ejandcj
Erotic Nightmare (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
(88 mins.)
Director: Wai-Man Cheng
“ Erotic Nightmare is a great category III flick that features liberal doses of sex and gore. Not nearly so extreme to be notorious in the vein of The Ebola Syndrome, and much better made than many of it’s rather primitive brethren. Erotic Nightmare is captivating, provoking, and quite interesting without being overtly shocking or grotesque. ” - ejandcj
Hei mao (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Catherine is a violent and disturbed young lady who is shot down by the government in one of her escapades... (91 mins.)
Director: Stephen Shin
“ Black Cat takes the sociopathic drama La Femme Nikita, trims away the societal introspection, and packs it to the brim with action, violence, and sex. La Femme Nikita is thought provoking while Black Cat is a rush of adrenaline. The choice is yours. ” - ejandcj
Death Race 2000 (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
In a dystopian future, a cross country automobile race requires contestants to run down innocent pedestrians to gain points that are tallied based on each kill's brutality. (80 mins.)
Director: Paul Bartel
“ This is quite seriously one of the greatest cult movies of all time.
If you’ve never seen this film, you must seriously ask yourself, “Why not?”. ” - ejandcj
Long Arm of the Law (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
(100 mins.)
Director: Johnny Mak
“ This is a gritty, grimy, and violent crime actioner, also very realistic with a rough documentary feel. Produced very early in the ‘bullet ballet’ genre of urban crime dramas (by Sammo Hung), it created more cliches than it incorporated. ” - ejandcj
The Lady in Red (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
1930's gangster era film about Dillinger and his last girl. Written by John Sayles. (93 mins.)
Director: Lewis Teague
“ The Lady In Red is the finest of the many New World crime dramas, and belongs firmly in the top ten of the best New World productions overall. Essential viewing. ” - ejandcj
The Pick-Up (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two mob money couriers, Frankie and Tony, have their latest package of $1 million stolen by two con women, Dana and Marcia, in which the men must find the women to recover the money before they become marked men. (92 mins.)
Director: R.L. Frost
“ This is a low-budget noirish B&W crime thriller that was thought lost for many years. The feature drifts firmly into ‘roughie’ territory once our boys attempt to torture the girls into revealing the location of the loot. The girls are quite stubborn on this point. ” - ejandcj
Career Bed (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A mother is determined that her daughter will be a movie star, and will do anything--and have her daughter do anything--to make it happen. (79 mins.)
Director: Joel Reed
“ Writer / Director Joel Reed (Blood Bath) shows considerable talent, a serious contempt for humanity, and a pitch black sense of humor in his first actual feature. This is one of the finest of the NYC B&W ‘roughies’, though the abuse presented here is strictly psychological. The primary victims of this assault are poor Susan and we, the audience. ” - ejandcj
Apache Woman (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Tommy is an innocent cavalry officer who falls in love with a beautiful Apache woman (Yara Kewa) after rescuing her from a nasty gun smuggler named Honest Jeremy. When Jeremy and his gang find Tommy, gruesome violence ensues. (90 mins.)
Director: George McRoots
“ Apache Woman is a nihilistic western that presents love, understanding, and self sacrifice as noble and superior to the more base instincts, but not necessarily as victorious. It is an odyssey in every respect, and an unjustly overlooked and obscure swan song of the Spaghetti Western era. ” - ejandcj
Female Prisoner 1316 (2004 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
In a nightmarish world of secret graveyards and machine gun executions, inmates must die... or kill to survive. Escape is no option, and is punished with... death, or a fate worse than death. (85 mins.)
“ Death Row Girls manages to be a classic exploitation romp that doesn’t forget to be an actual movie with characterization and plot. Staples of the genre: training scenes, solitary confinement, psychoanalytical mind control, and escape attempts. ” - ejandcj
The Glory Stompers (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Chino is the tough leader of a motorcycle gang who starts off a war when he abducts and mistreats the leader of the enemy biker gang, Darryl, and his girlfriend Chris. Things get violent when Darryl comes back for revenge. (85 mins.)
“ The Glory Stompers has many things that most biker films lack including tension and a time element. Certainly the film presents many aspects that had become cliche, but it surpasses everything before and after, and can be considered the pinnacle of the outlaw biker genre. ” - ejandcj
The Japanese Wife Next Door (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A new bride convinces everyone in her family to sleep with her. (60 mins.)
Director: Yutaka Ikejima
“ This is a send up of adult videos and of modern liberated women; there is lots of nudity, sexual situations, and discussions of sex. It often pushes the boundaries of good taste, but invites us to laugh along as it does so. Always good natured, it never shows the seamier side of salaciousness, and aims squarely for stitches in our sides instead. ” - ejandcj
Breeders (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  
The Manhattan General Hospital has admitted a string of young women who have been raped by something otherworldly... (77 mins.)
Director: Tim Kincaid
“ Stumbling upon a gem in the rough among low budget horror films of the eighties is almost as difficult as finding virgins in Manhattan. This is one of the great guilty pleasures of the eighties and way better than Night Of The Comet, dude. ” - ejandcj
An le zhan chang (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A pleasent trip to the Phillipines is turned into tragedy when the tour bus is kidnapped by a group... (96 mins.)
Director: Eric Tsang
“ Fatal Vacation. It’s astounding that the Philippine government allowed this production, much less cooperated to such an extent. Perhaps tourism is finally beginning to recover from this picture? I know I’m not going. Ever. ” - ejandcj
Zoom In: Rape Apartments (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Saeko, a somewhat enigmatic young woman, is brutally beaten with a rock and raped by a man wearing a dark-colored mask and black gloves... (68 mins.)
“ Zoom In: Sex Aparments (same movie?). Containing gruesome murders and grisly remains, this one is not for the squeamish. At the same time not overtly gory and leaving much to the imagination, it will fail to appease gore aficionados. But the primary inspirations appear to come from and blend the styles and substance of Dario Argento and Seijun Suzuki. Nuff said? ” - ejandcj
Hunchback of the Morgue (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Paul Naschy plays a hunchback with below average intelligence who works at the morgue. He is in love... (87 mins.)
Director: Javier Aguirre
“ Though many of the themes are recycled from earlier movies, this film pushed sleaze, gore, and violence to an unprecedented level. The excellent sets, script, and performances combine to make the tableau believable – something that H.G. Lewis, for example, never successfully realized. ” - ejandcj
That Man Bolt (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
To take a briefcase from Hong Kong to Mexico City, via Los Angeles, is it necessary to call on that man - Bolt? With the number of dangerous spies and gangsters who are after that briefcase, maybe Jefferson Bolt is not enough. (104 mins.)
“ That Man Bolt barely qualifies as blaxploitation, since there are only two black characters, but as a well paced and spicy mélange of international intrigue That Man Bolt is a BLAST. ” - ejandcj