The Top Cult Movies

44 LOVE STREAMS (1984) John Cassavetes

Just brutal. Rarely did Cassavetes' raw talk and tense hysterics produce such a softhearted wonder. The director stars as a drunken, oversexed pulp novelist whose just-divorced sister is no less a crack-up. They wail; you wince; it's the emotional equivalent of a slasher film. SIGNATURE LINE ''Life is a series of suicides, divorces, promises broken, children smashed, whatever.''

45 SUPERSTAR: THE KAREN CARPENTER STORY (1987) Todd Haynes

Hard to imagine that a dissertation on everything from anorexia to the Vietnam War in the guise of a biopic performed by Barbie-like dolls could be so moving. Haynes' short has never been commercially available, so how can you see it? EW would never steer you to a site like illegal-art.org. Never. SIGNATURE LINE ''I will not wear that hip-hugger thing, Mother. It makes me look really fat.''

46 AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (1972) Werner Herzog

Herzog's epic about a power-drunk Spanish conquistador is like a Teutonic Apocalypse Now. Yes, the story on screen chronicles a man's Kurtz-like spiral into jungle insanity. But the real madman was star Klaus Kinski. Notoriously short-fused and more than a little loco in the cabeza, the actor quit the film until Herzog threatened to shoot him. SIGNATURE LINE ''I am the Wrath of God!''

47 WALKING AND TALKING (1996) Nicole Holofcener

Holofcener's lovely and amazing directorial debut became the thinking woman's cult chick flick: Stars Catherine Keener and Anne Heche don't bemoan their luck with men or fret over their thighs. Thanks to snappy dialogue and tart, true performances, they're just damn funny. How refreshing. SIGNATURE LINE ''Do we really have to listen to this vagina music all the way there?'' (Answer: Yes.)

48 THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION II: THE METAL YEARS (1988) Penelope Spheeris

Most of the head-bangers in Spheeris' doc never made it, but Metal Years showcases their big-bucks dreams in a way that's far more memorable than their songs. SIGNATURE LINE ''I'm the happiest sonofabitch motherf -- -er there ever was.''

49 FRIDAY (1995) F. Gary Gray

Pot humor is a cult standby (see Nos. 17, 30, and 34...), but Friday brought the formula to the hood. With a premise fit for Cheech and Chong, it's no surprise it didn't win over critics. But Chris Tucker's quips and Ice Cube's stupor lured renters in droves. SIGNATURE LINE ''It's Friday.... You ain't got s -- - to do.''

50 FACES OF DEATH, VOL. I (1978) Conan Le Cilaire

The ultimate taboo tape. While it remains morally repellent, Faces now comes off as campy exploitation; the (often) staged clips of purported actual expirations are more like porn than snuff. SIGNATURE (TAG)LINE ''Banned in 46 countries!''

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