When filmmakers release movies, they intend for them to be popular. The title of blockbuster is typically one of the most coveted, and films are judged based on financial success. But for some niche filmmakers and some unique fans, there is a loftier goal; a higher title than blockbuster. It is the cult classic.
A cult classic is usually defined as a film with a relatively small group of die-hard fans. These films tend to be relatively unknown, usually have smaller budgets than blockbusters and are unique in a way that endears a tight-knit group of fanatics but fails to attract a mainstream audience. Cult classics vary in genre, style and general strangeness, and what may be considered a great cult movie by some could be viewed as garbage by others. This list attempts to compromise between the bizarre and the popular to bring you the top five films you may never have heard of.
Now this is a funny film. “Clerks” tells the story of a convenience store clerk who hates his job, hates his customers and hates his life. Throughout the course of the black and white 1994 release, the characters get into some pretty serious philosophical discussion. The film is a masterpiece of dry humor, and it’s no secret why it has earned cult status over the years.
This is an odd film. It starts off, like any other 80s high school film, by introducing the evil, popular clique. The first twist of this film is that the main character is kind of one of them. The second twist comes when she half-accidentally gets wrapped up in several murder plots. It’s the kind of movie that starts weird and gets much weirder. However stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater do an excellent job bringing this dark comedy to life.
This film, featuring Ewan McGregor’s breakout role as a heroin addict frustrated with society and his own life, is a brilliant and chilling representation of life as an addict. Complete with dead babies, cold sweats and very nasty toilets, this film gives audiences a look into a life few have ever wished they could have. The film’s many unforgettable moments have earned it a cult following.
2. “Dazed and Confused”
This film doesn’t have a story in the traditional sense of the word. It doesn’t have main characters either. Instead, it shows audiences a vignette. A snapshot of one night in the lives of many people within a small town. It refuses to follow one person more than any others, and it refuses to have an overarching plot that spans characters. “Dazed and Confused” and its young ensemble cast simply tells the story of the last day of school in a small town. That day and the following night look different for everyone involved, and there are a million little stories that take place throughout the movie. The film is an experience, and it may be one of the best, most unique movies I’ve ever seen. It earns its place near the top of this list.
1. “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
This film is a little more well-known than some of the others on this list. Nonetheless, I think it qualifies as a cult classic for its many highly-quotable moments alone. This is a hilarious film from beginning to end; truly one of the greatest comedies ever made. From the Black Knight to the Knights Who Say Ni, to the Sorcerer Tim and the Killer Rabbit, Monty Python’s masterpiece is filled with crazy characters and impossible-to-forget lines. This film has earned itself a very large cult following by many fans who can’t get enough of the wacky world of Arthur, King of the Britons. Without a doubt, this film deserves the number one spot.
Keagan Miller is a psychology junior and columnist for The Battalion.