Lists · Movies · Podcast Unlimited

Top Ten cult films

office-space-movie-poster-1999-1020260136

“Well, me and my girlfriend, we love watching horror movies”

The Bollock Brothers – “Horror Movies”

The only thing more subjective than debating what is a classic movie is debating what is a cult classic movie. Those that use an overly generic definition of a cult classic such as, “a movie that wasn’t popular upon its initial release,” would have to include Citizen Kane, and It’s A Wonderful Life. Those that use a definition along the lines of, “a movie with a rabid fanbase,” would include many YA franchises, e.g.: The Twilight Saga, which have neither the good, nor “so bad, it’s good” status that many cult films possess. I also take umbrage to any definition that lists genres. Some movies can be categorized in  multiple genres. Is Akira considered a cult classic because it’s cyberpunk, horror, or anime? It is also insulting to insinuate that horror or sci-fi films could never be considered just mainstream “classics.” 

None of these answers are wrong. The fault is that “cult” label is so nebulous, and covers so much ground, that a wide net has to be cast. A cult classic is partially underrated and underappreciated. But then the paradoxes begin. It is part classic / part guilty pleasure. Part arthouse / part grindhouse. Part visionary, part mediocrity. Part comedy / part drama. It falls under the radar, but not too obscure.

The word “ironic” is often used; often to justify the inclusion of movies that are often described as, “so bad, it’s good.” None of those films are on my list. I placed more emphasis on the word “classic” than “cult.”

With that in mind, here are our lists:

The Top Ten Cult Classic Films

(not to be confused with films about cults)

Keith’s List

Movie (Year)

  • 10. Office Space (1999)
  • 9. The Warriors (1979)
  • 8. The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • 7. The Toxic Avenger (1984)
  • 6. Donnie Darko (2001)
  • 5. The Road Warrior (1981)
  • 4. A Christmas Story (1983)
  • 3. Clerks (1994)
  • 2. The Crow (1994)
  • 1. Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

My List

Movie (Year)

  • 10. Pass The Ammo (1987)
  • 9. Mommie Dearest (1981)
  • 8. A Christmas Story (1983)
  • 7. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
  • 6. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
  • 5. UHF (1989)
  • 4. Blade Runner (1982)
  • 3. Clerks (1994)
  • 2. Office Space (1999)
  • 1. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Honorable Mentions: Night of Living Dead (1968); The Harder They Come (1972); Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975); The Evil Dead (1981); Repo Man (1984); The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984); Brazil (1985); They Live (1988); Big Lebowski 1998

Next Podcast Unlimited List: Top Ten Christmas Songs

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