Cult Musicals

by nicoleypoli | created - 04 Nov 2015 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

Cult musicals, not your classics with Judy Garland but the whacked out bizarre fever dream musicals (and music-centric films).

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1. Forbidden Zone (1980)

R | 74 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

The bizarre and musical tale of a girl who travels to another dimension through the gateway found in her family's basement.

Director: Richard Elfman | Stars: Hervé Villechaize, Susan Tyrrell, Gisele Lindley, Jan Stuart Schwartz

Votes: 4,041

Another one of my favorites. Danny Elfman and his brother made this, music by Oingo Boingo. Bizarre and wonderful. Susan Tyrell is magical.

2. Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

67 Metascore

A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham

Votes: 13,707

Music (and acting!) by Paul Williams and Jessica Harper. PG and that is okay. Incredible song writing and performances. One of my favorite movies.

3. Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Musical, Sci-Fi

Aliens land in the town of "Speelburgh" searching for the source of rock & roll. They find trouble with Dee Dee, Frankie and the pack.

Director: James Fargo | Stars: Pia Zadora, Craig Sheffer, Tom Nolan, Ruth Gordon

Votes: 455

Super cheesy. Originally meant as a parody of B sci-fi movies but they decided to turn it into a musical. It's hilariously bad but somehow the music is catchy. In a way it is rockabilly greasers vs. new-wave aliens. I'm partially ashamed at how much I love this.

4. Shock Treatment (1981)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Musical

Janet and Brad become contestants on a game show... but wind up as captives instead.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Jessica Harper, Cliff De Young, Richard O'Brien, Patricia Quinn

Votes: 3,998

A sequel to rocky horror. Jessica Harper is delightful with her sultry voice.

5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

58 Metascore

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.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 118,904 | Gross: $139.88M

A classic, duh, but would be remiss not to include.

6. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

85 Metascore

A transgender punk-rock girl from East Berlin tours the U.S. with her band as she tells her life story and follows the former lover/band-mate who stole her songs.

Director: John Cameron Mitchell | Stars: John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, Stephen Trask, Theodore Liscinski

Votes: 28,846 | Gross: $3.03M

Hedwig has one of the strongest stories of these kind of musicals. The music is also fantastic.

7. The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)

Not Rated | 128 min | Fantasy, Music, Musical

A melancholy poet reflects on three women he loved and lost in the past: a mechanical performing doll, a Venetian courtesan, and the consumptive daughter of a celebrated composer.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Moira Shearer, Robert Rounseville, Ludmilla Tchérina, Ann Ayars

Votes: 2,404 | Gross: $0.09M

The oldest movie I have on the list. It's classic with ballet and opera but it is gorgeous and so bizarre.

8. Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

R | 95 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

A confined but troubled rock star descends into madness in the midst of his physical and social isolation from everyone.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson, Eleanor David

Votes: 68,358 | Gross: $22.24M

9. The Blues Brothers (1980)

R | 133 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

60 Metascore

Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, John Candy

Votes: 162,814 | Gross: $57.23M

10. 20 centímetros (2005)

Unrated | 112 min | Comedy, Musical

58 Metascore

A narcoleptic transvestite who yearns to become a transsexual dreams up elaborate musical numbers in which she's the star.

Director: Ramón Salazar | Stars: Mónica Cervera, Pablo Puyol, Miguel O'Dogherty, Concha Galán

Votes: 1,697 | Gross: $0.00M

11. Get Crazy (1983)

R | 92 min | Comedy, Music

Mega-promoter Colin Beverly plans to sabotage the New Year's 1983 concert of small-time operator Max Wolfe. Wolfe's assistants Neil Allen and Willie Loman find romance while trying to save ... See full summary »

Director: Allan Arkush | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Allen Garfield, Daniel Stern, Gail Edwards

Votes: 934 | Gross: $1.65M

Music-centric and oh so good.

12. Tommy (1975)

PG | 111 min | Drama, Musical

66 Metascore

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Elton John

Votes: 17,310 | Gross: $34.25M

13. Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)

Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Horror, Musical

Zombified chickens attempt to kill the fast-food workers that cook them in a restaurant built on an ancient burial ground.

Director: Lloyd Kaufman | Stars: Jason Yachanin, Kate Graham, Allyson Sereboff, Robin L. Watkins

Votes: 6,959 | Gross: $0.02M

Troma, does musical. Worth it for troma, musical part is nothing to rave over.

14. Velvet Goldmine (1998)

R | 118 min | Drama, Music

65 Metascore

In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale, Toni Collette

Votes: 30,946 | Gross: $1.05M

I like glam.

15. Cannibal! The Musical (1993)

R | 95 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

The sole survivor of an ill-fated mining expedition tells how his taste for gold was replaced by that of human flesh.

Director: Trey Parker | Stars: Trey Parker, Dian Bachar, Stephen Blackpool, Stan Brakhage

Votes: 10,953

16. Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

R | 98 min | Horror, Musical, Sci-Fi

32 Metascore

A worldwide epidemic encourages a biotech company to launch an organ-financing program similar in nature to a standard car loan. The repossession clause is a killer, however.

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman | Stars: Paul Sorvino, Anthony Head, Alexa PenaVega, Sarah Brightman

Votes: 21,977 | Gross: $0.14M

Great visuals, costumes and story. Personally, the music does not do it for me.

17. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)

G | 89 min | Family, Fantasy, Music

A young boy travels to an imaginary world where, assisted by his family's plumber, he must save other piano playing kids like himself from the dungeons of his dictatorial piano teacher who also mind-controls his mother.

Director: Roy Rowland | Stars: Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Hans Conried, Tommy Rettig

Votes: 3,332

Jello Biafra's favorite movie.

18. Labyrinth (1986)

PG | 101 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

50 Metascore

A 16-year-old girl is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King.

Director: Jim Henson | Stars: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson

Votes: 109,573 | Gross: $12.73M

19. Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)

PG | 100 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

66 Metascore

A Southern California girl befriends three furry aliens after their spaceship lands in her swimming pool.

Director: Julien Temple | Stars: Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans

Votes: 18,304 | Gross: $3.92M

Odd interruptions of song, not a true musical but a fun movie nonetheless.

20. Cry-Baby (1990)

PG-13 | 85 min | Comedy, Musical

In 1950s Baltimore, a bad boy with a heart of gold wins the love of a good girl, whose boyfriend sets out for revenge.

Director: John Waters | Stars: Johnny Depp, Ricki Lake, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrrell

Votes: 49,360 | Gross: $8.27M

21. Heavy Metal (1981)

R | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, John Halas, Julian Harris, Jimmy T. Murakami, Barrie Nelson, Paul Sabella, Jack Stokes, Pino Van Lamsweerde, Harold Whitaker | Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks

Votes: 27,402

22. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008)

TV-PG | 42 min | Comedy, Musical, Sci-Fi

An aspiring supervillain must balance his career and his pursuit of a beautiful do-gooder.

Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, Simon Helberg

Votes: 39,019

23. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

PG | 76 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

82 Metascore

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Director: Henry Selick | Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey

Votes: 260,085 | Gross: $75.08M

24. Black Roses (1988)

R | 90 min | Horror, Music

Demons hypnotize the general public by posing as a rock and roll band.

Director: John Fasano | Stars: John Martin, Ken Swofford, Sal Viviano, Julie Adams

Votes: 1,060

25. The Wiz (1978)

G | 134 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross

Votes: 12,328 | Gross: $21.05M

The Wiz is not quite cult, but it legitimately a fever dream.

26. Rock & Rule (1983)

PG | 77 min | Animation, Fantasy, Music

A malevolent rock star kidnaps a female singer to force her to participate in the summoning of a demon and her band must help her stop him.

Director: Clive Smith | Stars: Don Francks, Gregory Salata, Susan Roman, Samantha Langevin

Votes: 2,714 | Gross: $0.03M

27. Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005 TV Movie)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

An outrageous tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the classic anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness (1936).

Director: Andy Fickman | Stars: Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell, Alan Cumming

Votes: 5,773

28. Human Highway (1982)

88 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

The new owner of a roadside diner stuck in a town built around an always leaking nuclear power plant plans to torch the place to collect insurance. However, an assortment of bizare ... See full summary »

Directors: Dean Stockwell, Neil Young | Stars: Neil Young, Russ Tamblyn, Dean Stockwell, Dennis Hopper

Votes: 558

29. Sons of Steel (1988)

104 min | Comedy, Musical, Sci-Fi

In a futuristic Australia, a scheme to blow up the Sydney Opera House is discovered. The only way to stop it is to send an agent back in time to prevent the plotters from hatching it.

Director: Gary L. Keady | Stars: Rob Hartley, Roz Wason, Jeff Duff, Dagmar Bláhová

Votes: 74

30. Can't Stop the Music (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

A pseudo autobiography of disco's The Village People.

Director: Nancy Walker | Stars: Ray Simpson, David Hodo, Felipe Rose, Randy Jones

Votes: 3,259 | Gross: $2.00M

31. O Lucky Man! (1973)

R | 178 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

This sprawling, surrealist musical serves as an allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism, as it follows the adventures of a young coffee salesman in Europe. Many actors and actresses play multiple roles, giving the movie a stagy tone.

Director: Lindsay Anderson | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Ralph Richardson, Rachel Roberts, Arthur Lowe

Votes: 6,819

32. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

Approved | 121 min | Comedy, Musical

Armed with the titular manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.

Director: David Swift | Stars: Robert Morse, Michele Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony 'Scooter' Teague

Votes: 3,826

33. The Apple (1980)

PG | 90 min | Music, Musical, Sci-Fi

In 1994, a young couple enters the world of the music industry, and subsequently the world of drugs.

Director: Menahem Golan | Stars: Catherine Mary Stewart, George Gilmour, Grace Kennedy, Allan Love

Votes: 1,606

34. The Return of Captain Invincible (1983)

PG | 90 min | Musical, Fantasy, Comedy

In World War II, Captain Invincible used his superpowers against the Nazis, and he was a hero. But when they accused him of supporting the Communists, he retired to Australia. Now, after a ... See full summary »

Director: Philippe Mora | Stars: Alan Arkin, Christopher Lee, Kate Fitzpatrick, Bill Hunter

Votes: 601



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