A cult classic is like a hidden gem – it’s a movie that wasn’t a hit in the theatres. These movies are often SO cool and ahead of their time. They’re usually controversial or artistic enough to spark debate, which leads to passionate fan bases being created around them. If you haven’t seen one already, go check one out – you won’t be disappointed. Cult classics films have developed a cult following among certain groups of people who feel misunderstood by the mainstream.
Some cult classics become popular because they are so bad they are good. Others become popular because they are so misunderstood that people can’t help but be drawn to them. Whatever the reason, they have a special place in our hearts. They are the films we watch repeatedly, quoting lines and referencing scenes with our friends. They are the films that we watch when we need a good laugh or a dose of nostalgia.
If you’re in it for the weird stuff – aka cult classics – then buckle up. We’ve rounded up films that have gathered a following like no other, just because they were so over-the-top, way ahead of their time or so misunderstood by the mainstream. Whether it’s because they are too funny or just plain bad in all the right ways! So, let’s uncover 7 classic films that you have to watch ASAP, from forgotten gems to pure pop culture gold!
1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show has become one of the most recognizable cult classics of all time. The film stars Tim Curry as the alien Dr Frank-N-Furter, and it follows his exploits as he attempts to create a perfect man (Brad) and woman (Janet). The film is notable for its energetic soundtrack, outrageous costumes, and comedic parody of traditional horror and science-fiction films. It has since become an international phenomenon, spawning yearly costume parties and theatrical showings across the world.
2. The Big Lebowski
The Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski follows Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, an affable but aimless slacker who finds himself caught up in a bizarre mystery. The film’s offbeat humour, quotable dialogue, and cult-like following have helped establish it as one of Coen’s most iconic films. From its unforgettable cast of characters to its unique portrait of Los Angeles life; The Big Lebowski is a cult classic that’s sure to have you cheering and quoting lines.
3. Fight Club
One of those films that make you wonder “why did this fail in the box office, again?”.
Based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel of the same name. Fight Club stars Edward Norton and Brad Pitt as a pair of anti-establishment activists who create an underground fight club. The film dives head-first into subverting traditional concepts of masculinity, societal conformity, and class struggles.
It’s not surprising that Fight Club has become a cult classic; its themes of rebellion and nonconformity have resonated strongly with audiences.
4. Donnie Dark
Donnie Darko tells the story of a troubled teenager who begins seeing visions of a monstrous rabbit named Frank, who commands Donnie to complete a series of sinister tasks. The film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, uses surrealism and fantasy to explore adolescent angst, mortality, and religious faith themes. When released, the film enjoyed mild success but has since become a cult classic for its offbeat take on these complex ideas.
5. The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride was once a cult classic before it became a universally beloved classic. Directed by Rob Reiner, the film is a fairy tale adventure about a beautiful princess (Robin Wright) and a daring swordsman (Cary Elwes). The film’s blend of action, humour, and genuinely touching moments make it one of the most beloved cult classics of all time.
A love story that is hidden behind the content of a movie, the truest love of all, that of a grandfather for his sick grandson.
6. The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a drama about a banker (Tim Robbins) wrongfully convicted of murder, who finds solace in prison thanks to the help of a fellow inmate (Morgan Freeman). The film is considered one of the greatest of all time, but it was only a modest box office success when released. Over the years, its themes of hope, friendship, and the triumph of the human spirit have struck a chord with fans, leading The Shawshank Redemption to become a beloved cult classic.
7. Office Space
Office Space is a comedy about a group of disgruntled cubicle jockeys (led by Ron Livingston) who concoct a plan to embezzle from their soulless tech company. The film pokes fun at the expense of office life in a matter-of-fact, deadpan style. It has since earned the beloved descriptor of “Generation X classic”, and a legion of fans have been forever quoting iconic lines from the movie (“It’s not that I’m lazy… I just don’t care”).
There are so many cult classics to choose from, and it can be hard to narrow it down to just 10. Still, we hope our list will help you find your new favourite cult classic. Whether you appreciate the humour of Office space, the elaborate world-building of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or the emotions of The Shawshank Redemption, there’s sure to be a cult classic that speaks to you.