The Big Lebowski (1998)

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What’s It All About? Mishap ensues when Slacker Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski  becomes a victim of mistaken identity, confused to be the millionaire with the same name.

Where Is The Love? It’s really difficult to try to define The Big Lebowski, as there seems to be no coherent way to describe it. Part film-noir/comedy/crime/western/drama/mystery/thriller, The Coen brothers cult phenomenon is a Genre-bending acid trip that portrays the slacker lifestyle and the conflicts of trying to do absolutely nothing.

Cult Status A box-office bomb, The Big Lebowski is one of the few more recent films that gained attention through midnight movie screenings. In recent years, the film has grown to be part of pop culture, however many dedicated fans still exist. The film has given name to two species of spiders Anelosiumus biglebowski and Anelosimus dude. More bizarrely, the film has paved way to a new religion known as Dudeism, that is considered a modern form of Taoism and the teachings of greek philosopher Epicurus.

Directed by Joel Coen

Run Time 117 Min

Genre Comedy

What else should I watch? Fargo (1996), O Brtoher Where Art Though? (2000)

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Labyrinth (1986)

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What’s It All About? When Sarah regretfully wishes that her baby brother to disappear, she must complete an enchanted Labyrinth in order to rescue him from the Goblin King.

Where Is The Love? The Amazing puppets of director Jim Henson is really what makes this film. Today, cinema is crowded with CGI and overtly exaggerated use of special effects. For a modern audience, Labyrinth is actually refreshing, quirky and nostalgic of a time in cinematic history where special effects weren’t achieved entirely through post-production. Today, fans stills enjoy Jim Henson’s high concept musical fantasy. Since 1997, California has been the host to the annual Labyrinth Masquerade Ball tin celebration of the film.

Cult Status Labyrinth came out in the summer of box office hits such as Top Gun and The Karate Kid Part II, so it’s no wonder why a high concept fantasy film would fail so drastically to sequels and Tom Cruise. Considered to be a nostalgic piece of 80’s cult, Labyrinth found fame through video releases and has since been enjoyed by kids everywhere nearly 30 years after it’s original theatre release.

Directed by Jim Henson

Run Time 101 Min

Genre Fantasy Adventure Musical

What else should I watch? The Dark Crystal (1982), The NeverEnding Story (1984)

Mommie Dearest (1981)

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What’s It All About? Based on the best-selling memoir, Mommie Dearest recounts the traumatic and abusive relationship between the adopted Christina Crawford and her film star mother, Joan Crawford.

Where Is The Love? When Mommie Dearest was released, actress Faye Dunaway had great expectations for her portrayal of a deranged Joan Crawford. Little did she expect a Razzie for worst actress that year instead of an Oscar. Dunaway’s portrayal defines the film’s campiness – it’s exploitive,exaggerated and beyond the boundaries of  psychotic, that it just becomes laughable. Despite the argument of whether or not it’s an accurate portrayal of the one of the most iconic hollywood stars, Mommie Dearest is both campy and delightful, bringing mother and daughter bonding to the next level.

Cult Status Originally marketed as a contender for best picture, bad reviews and Faye Dunaway’s campy performance lead to midnight screenings. Audience’s flocked to the theatre with wire hangers to wave them in celebration of the famous “no wire hangers!” line. Since then, Paramount Pictures seized it’s marketing plan and began billing the film as a cult classic.

Directed by Frank Perry

Run Time 129 Min

Genre Drama Biography

What else should I watch? Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962), Strait-Jacket (1964)

Death Becomes Her (1992)

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What’s It All About? Two long time rivals coincidently decide to take an immortality potion in order to seek beauty and eternal youthand a chance to seek their revenge on each other.

Where Is The Love? Rival Women – it’s a trope that has lasted since the beginning of storytelling. From Helena and Hermia in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Jane and Blanch Hudson in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, Audience love a good girl fight. However, Robert Zemeckis’ Death Becomes Her takes the phrase “nothing like a woman scorn” to the next level. Through narcissism, manipulation, adultery and questionably intricate murder schemes, the long time rivalry between Madeline Ashton and Helen Sharp is a delightfully campy nightmare.

Cult Status Though a box office success, Death Becomes Her was originally received with mix reviews. Today, the film is remembered by a few for its campiness and overly exaggerated scenarios and for Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn’s on-screen chemistry.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Run Time 104 Min

Genre Fantasy Comedy Horror

What else should I watch? Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962), Mommie Dearest (1981), The Witches Of Eastwick (1987)

A Boy And His Dog (1975)

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What’s It All About? A boy and his telepathic dog wander around a post-apocalyptic wasteland in search for food and women.

Where Is The Love? With such an odd-ball quirky premise, there’s no doubt why A Boy And His Dog has developed and earned a cult following. While being described as a darkly humorous fairy tale masquerading as a dystopian epic buddy movie, it’s really hard to describe what kind of tone the film sets out to achieve. Despite this, the relationship between Vic and Blood is so innocent and simple, that audiences can’t help to find a sweet spot as the two savage their way across the bizarre and unexpected dystopia of the post cold war era.

Cult Status While being a  modern favourite at midnight screening, A Boy And His Dog is one of the lesser known cult gems out there. However, since being claimed as the source of inspiration for the post-apocalyptic video game Fallout, the cult continues to grow everyday with increasing popularity.

Directed by L.Q Jones

Run Time 91 Min

Genre Comedy Drama Sci-Fi

What else should I watch? The Omega Man (1971), The Quiet Earth (1985)

Ghost World (2001)

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What’s It All About? The misanthropic adventures of Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Doppelmeyer as they wonder around their dead-end town the summer after high school graduation.

Where Is The Love? Infusing indian rock n’ roll, Satanists and pop culture Ghost World is the ultimate experience for the weirdo’s and freaks living in middle of nowhere’s towns. With limited commercial success, Ghost World was mostly praised by its underground comic book that the film was adapted from.

Cult Status Hipsters live for this stuff. The non-conformist mis-understood teenager trying to find her place in the world plot line has become a bit of an old screenplay cliché. However, underneath all of this, there is a genuine charm to Enid Coleslaw’s character that makes her so relatable – specifically when the film starts to break down ideas about Enid’s non-conformity and teenage angst to be just as a predictable and cliché as everyone else’s anger at the mundanities of everyday life.

Directed by Terry Zwigoff

Run Time 111 Min

Genre Comedy Drama

What else should I watch? Crumb (1994), American Splendor (2003)

The Shining (1980)

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What’s It All About? A family arrives at an isolated hotel for the winter, where strange supernatural forces threaten to drive the family into madness.

Where Is The Love? ambiguous, suspenseful and tauntingly disturbing – The Shining is unlike any other horror film for its time.While being a major role in influencing pop culture, there lies a certain following for the ideas, symbolism and deeper meaning surrounding Kubrick’s masterpiece of horror. For some viewers, the film is about the destruction of a family, for others, it’s allegory for the native american genocide. Nearly 35 years after its original release, the cult of The Shining is larger than ever, sparking debate and fear in to audiences everywhere.

Cult Status Upon its original release, the film wasn’t critical well received, even gaining director Stanley Kubrick a worst director award at the Razzies. Today, The Shining is often considered to be one of the greatest horror films of all time. Towards the end of century, the film started gaining in-depth analysis, specifically for the films unusual pace, cinematography and the level of ambiguity in its plot. Because of the diversity of interpretations, the films cult following usually surround themselves in discussions of the films heavy use of symbolism and imagery. In 2012, director Rodney Ascher captured the diversity and cultural ideas surrounding The Shinning in his documentary Room 237.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Run Time 146 Min

Genre Horror

What else should I watch? Carrie (1976), The Amityville Horror (1979)