Indeed, and it also taps into the (still living) zeitgeist of “media as nihilistic entertainment”, with the future holding more and more bloody recreations of the games of ancient Rome. Other films like Rollerball also carried this vibe.
There was a real feeling at the time that popular media like film and television would engage in a race to the bottom and feed our worse natures, and honestly that was always a pretty safe bet. A more recent film that continues in this vein is Series 7, which posits a reality show where contenders kill each other. I like this film, and think it may fit the cultic mold.
It’s somewhat hard for me to tell what is actually a cult picture and “prestige” pictures that probably most people, say, younger kids, wouldn’t probably have seen (yet).
I don’t really know how to define a cult picture: there are certainly “arthouse” movies that didn’t do much box office, but were respected at the time. Even Lynch, in many of his pictures, is very well-known…and yet…there’s some kind of cultish aspect to many of his personal pictures.
Hard to say, really!
If you, @JakeGittes, a have better sense than me, as it seems like, where does Antonioni’s “trilogy” (or tetrology, depending on if one includes Red Desert) fit in on the cult scale?
They’re classics, and I think any general film book will mention those, but there’s a sense in which they’re so alien from anything ever made elsewhere, almost inscrutable that I’m tempted to come down on “cult” for those, despite their notoriety and endless interpretations by film scholars.
If they’d been able to actually finish it, I think it’d be NotLD-level classic. I mentioned it in this thread:
Shudder is currently streaming a great print of this movie.
Re Million Dollar Legs:
It is available on the Internet Archive.
Very well regarded and publicized in the USA, IIRC. Farnsworth was great, and apparently Norm McDonald’s inspiration for dealing with his cancer.
Oh, this was on “The Last Drive-In” last season. Quite good, I thought. The question of whether any of it really happened was raised.
I don’t think I’d regard it as “torture porn” but perhaps my definition is idiosyncratic. (I think of “torture porn” as a movie where you’re meant to enjoy the pain inflicted on others and to side with the one inflicting it.)
In a cast full of near-30-year-olds playing high schoolers, Clint Howard is the only actual teenager and he looks about 35. (They gave him a wig a few years later for Evilspeak and he looks a lot more plausible as a young student.)
Before all the images were broken, I specifically referred to TDB in the "They Don’t Make 'Em Like They Used To" thread as a kind of low-but-not-micro-budget filmmaking you don’t see any more. I am perhaps inexplicably fond of it.
Er, yeah, it was nominated for six Oscars and won two.
But time can make a “cult film” out of anything, eh? Janet Gaynor won the first Best Actress Oscar for 7th Heaven (1927), but aren’t all silents now relegated to cult status?
I’m down with that one. That’s crazy and unique enough to be included in the HOF
Speaking of which…
There are two versions, but in my opinion it’s a million times more effective, more creepy and strange without the narrator (Ed McMahon). With narration, it’s almost comical… I mean, the cheesy things he says, and the cheesy, horror host way he delivers his lines were quite funny to my ears and undercut the expressionism and psychosexual message. Allowing the visuals, sound, and performances to speak for themselves made it a better film.
No worries - it’s a thin line, with lots of gray areas.
2001, for example, is considered a cult movie by some - those who are more inclusive and allow big budget, major studio films - I think due to the audience it attracted - college students, who were getting high and seeing it repeatedly, it had that cult-like following. Today it’s seen more as a universally appreciated masterpiece. But it’s one that’s been debated among people who debate such things.
It’s also a case of the movie being much better than the book, as the book was written after the movie (by the lead actor Anne Carlisle) and it clumsily retconns the alien out as a delusion of the protagonist. I have no idea why she did that, but it doesn’t work at all.