Check Out The 20 Best Cult Movies Of All Time

Looking for something new to watch on TV? Are you tired of watching the same old classic Hollywood movies?  If you are a real cinephile, maybe you are looking for some of the hidden gems of the film industry. If that’s the case, today is your lucky day, because here is a list of the best 20 cult movies of all time. You will never get bored with these movies as they are full of bizarre and interesting stories. Don’t miss #18, #13 and #5, they are some of our favorites!

#20. Easy Rider

Directed by Dennis Hopper, Easy Rider was released in 1986 and is one of the most iconic independent road movies ever made. The film was written and starred by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, together with the well-known actor Jack Nicholson.

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The story turns around Fonda and Hopper, two bikers who decide to travel through the American desert hoping to attend the Mardi Gras carnival. However, things end up getting more complicated than they thought. The air of rebellion and adventure has made this film a “touchstone for a generation”.

#19. Clerks

If you’re a cult movie fan, then Clerks is a must-watch. This black-and-white comedy film was released in 1994, and it became very popular among teenagers. It was direct by Kevin Smith and starred by Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Jason Mewes, and Lisa Spoonauer.

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What’s most surprising is that the film was shot with only $27,000, but won more than $3 million! The plotline is actually quite simple, for it narrates the lives of two convenience clerks named Dante and Randal. It sheds light on their problems with customers, their discussions about movies, and their lives playing hockey on the store roof. The reason people love this film is that they feel identified with the main characters’ problems.

#18. Reservoir Dogs

If you are a fan of Quentin Tarantino‘s films, you must have seen Reservoir Dogs (1992). This iconic movie inaugurated the director’s singular style, with his bizarre scenes of violence, excellent dialogues, and unique soundtrack. The film was starred by Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, Edward Bunker, and Tarantino himself.

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The film tells the story of a group of men who work as diamond thieves. One day, they plan to steal a jewelry store but everything goes wrong that night. Tarantino’s debut film is considered one of Hollywood’s classics and was considered “The Greatest Independent Film Of All Time” by Empire. So if you want to see Tarantino’s essence and style, this movie is a must!

#17. Labyrinth

Psychedelic music and David Bowie in one film? What could go wrong with such a combination? Labyrinth is a musical fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and released in 1986. Although it didn’t have so much success when it was on screen, it earned a large cult following.

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The story revolves around a rebellious 16-year-old girl, starred by Jennifer Connelly, who wishes for her baby brother to be taken away from her. But to her surprise, her wish is granted by the Goblin King, starred by David Bowie. As a result, she must travel to a fantastical world and solve a labyrinth in order to save her baby brother. It’s needless to say that most of the plot is quite bizarre.

#16. Donnie Darko

Directed by Richard Kelly, Donnie Darko (2001) is a science fiction thriller and psychological film which, to be honest, is quite hard to understand. Surprisingly, it was only filmed in 28 days! Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of Donnie Darko, and other actors include Holmes Osborne, his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Duval, and Patrick Swayze.

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The film tells the story of a troubled teenager who constantly has visions of a man in a rabbit suit that tells him to commit a series of crimes. The film plays with time, and it’s not until the ending in which you finally understand who the rabbit is. The film received critical acclaim and it’s considered one of the greatest independent films of all time.

#15. Trainspotting

Directed by Danny Boyle, Trainspotting (1996) is one of the most iconic cult films ever made, and it stars Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, and Kelly Macdonald. The film has become part of the pop and cult culture, and even today it’s one of the most watched British films.

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The film sheds light on the Edinburgh drug scene, and it depicts the lives of a group of friends who live in poverty and are addicted to heroin. Renton, the main character, attempts to quit drugs, much in spite of his friends’ influence. As you may imagine, the film is full of intense and dramatic scenes. A sequel, T2 Trainspotting, was released in January 2017.

#14. Pink Flamingos

Pink Flamingos was released in 1972 and it was directed, written, filmed, and narrated by John Waters. It’s generally considered as the director’s most famous and iconic movie, and it’s the first part of a trilogy that Waters himself has called “Trash Trilogy”. The other two films are Female Troube (1974) and Desperate Living (1977).

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The story goes around a Baltimore criminal and underground figure called Divine, who is proud to be “the filthiest person alive”. However, a married couple tries to humiliate her and to steal her title of the “filthiest person ever”, triggering a rivalry between both of them. Pink Flamingos was a very successful midnight movie but it was prohibited in some parts of the world, as it contains several controversial scenes.

#13. This Is Spinal Tap

If we think about the 80s, definitely rock and roll will be one of the topics that come to our minds. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) is a rock film directed by Rob Reiner and it’s considered one of the first mockumentaries ever made. But what’s a mockumentary? It’s a film that depicts fictional events but that is filmed as a documentary.

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The story revolves around Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer, who are the members of the fictional British heavy metal band Spinal Tap. The film describes the life of this band and the obstacles they overcome during one of their tours. As you may imagine, both the characters and the problems that they face are quite bizarre, so you’re up for a laugh!

#12. Mulholland Drive

What can we expect from a movie if the director is the one and only David Lynch? This film was released in 2002 and stars Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller, and Robert Forster. It’s one of those films that plays with time, and it’s regarded as one of the most complex films in history.

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The story starts with an aspiring actress called Betty Elms arriving in Los Angeles and meeting an amnesiac woman who is recovering from a car accident. The film is divided between Betty’s dream world and her reality, and it’s hard to tell the difference between both. Is it all a drug-induced fantasy? Is the ending actually the beginning? This film triggers hundreds of questions that are nearly impossible to answer!

#11. The Warriors

Directed by Walter Hill, The Warriors was released in 1979 and it’s based on Sol Yurick‘s homonymous novel. At first, it had a negative reception because of the acts of vandalism that were reported to the police after the film was released. But nowadays it’s considered as one of the most important cult films in the world.

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The film shows the life of different New York City street gangsters. However, problems arise when one of the most charismatic gangsters is shot dead, and the gang named The Warriors is blamed for it. From then onwards, The Warriors must struggle to survive while the rest of the gangs try to hunt them down. As you may imagine, the film is violent and tragic, and it’s regarded as one of the most iconic cult films in history. But don’t miss our Top 10 cult movies that you shouldn’t miss! 

#10. Dazed And Confused

Dazed And Confused (1993) was the pioneer of coming-of-age films. It was directed by Richard Linklater and stars Jason London, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Adam Goldberger, and Matthew McConaughey. In 2002, Quentin Tarantino said that the film was one of the 10 best films of all time. And many fans seem to agree!

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The story follows the last days of school of a group of high school and junior high students in Texas. The movie’s plot is very simple, and because of this, most people feel identified with the hardships that the characters go through. The title of the movie comes from Led Zeppelin‘s song with the same name.

#9. Heathers

Directed by Michael Lehmann, Heathers was released in 1988 and stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The film won the Best First Feature award in the 1990 Independent Spirit Awards. At first, it was not a big success but nowadays it’s considered a cult film.

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The story goes around a group of high school friends in Ohio, of which three are called Heather. The character portrayed by Ryder decides to team up with a sociopath in order to kill the three Heathers. In 2015, the Entertainment Weekly ranked the movie 5th on the list of the “50 Best High School Movies”.

#8. A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange was released in 1971 and is based on Anthony Burgess‘ novel with the same name. The film was censored in many parts of the world because of the strong violent scenes. It is considered as one of the best and most iconic dystopian films in history.

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The film tells the story of a group of gangs in future Britain, where the leader Alex (Malcolm McDowell) embarks on many violent and bizarre adventures with his thuggish droogs. Most of the scenes are so dramatic and explicit that they make you twitch, and the soundtrack is just perfect.

#7. Pulp Fiction

Quentin Tarantino has filmed and starred in many films that are now regarded as cult movies. This is the case of his masterpiece Pulp Fiction (1994) starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Bruce Willis, and Tim Roth.

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Like most of Tarantino’s films, Pulp Fiction is full of graphic scenes of violence and punchy dialogues. Some of the scenes are so famous that even those who haven’t seen the film are familiar with them, like when Thurman and Travolta dance on the dancefloor! Just like Mulholland Dr. and Donnie Darko, Pulp Fiction is quite difficult to follow, since it plays with time and the scenes aren’t shown in chronological order.

#6. Fight Club

Even though the first rule of the Fight Club says “don’t talk about Fight Club”, we have to mention David Fincher‘s thriller. This film stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bohman, and it’s one of the most famous films of the past decades. Like many films in this list, Fight Club wasn’t a success after its release in 1999 but became very popular after its release on DVD.

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The story revolves around two men, an insomniac office worker who is unhappy with his life and a soap salesman. Together, they form an underground fight club, but things get more complicated than they thought. Believe it or not, the film was an inspiration to real fight clubs!

#5. The Room

The Room was released in 2003 and was directed, written, and starred by Tommy Wiseau and co-starred by Greg Sestero and Juliette Danielle. Despite the terrible critics the film received, it is regarded as one of the best cult movies of all time because of its bizarre plot and inconsistent arguments.

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The film is about a love triangle between a successful banker in San Francisco named Johny, his fiancé Lisa, and his best friend Mark. However, on top of this love triangle, there are several unrelated, inconsistent and ridiculous subplots. Some critics say that when something is so bad, it can actually turn into something really good. Well, this movie is definitely the case.

#4. Eraserhead

David Lynch has directed many cult classics, not just Mulholland Dr. Another of his famous cult films includes Eraserhead (1977). This black-and-white body horror film was also produced, written, edited, and sound-mixed by Lynch himself.

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Starring Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Jeanne Bates, Allen Joseph, and Jeanne Bates, the films tell the story of Henry Spencer, a man who tries to deal with his angry girlfriend and his newly born mutant child. It’s a typical horror movie but with Lynch’s personal touch!

#3. The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers is an American blues and soul band created in 1978 by comedy actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live. But two years later, these actors decided to take things to another level, and they released a musical comedy film with the same name, The Blues Brothers.

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The story goes around Jake Blues, a man who has just come out of prison and needs to save the Catholic home where he and his brother Elwood were raised. That’s why he decides to reunite his band again. The film was so successful that the band released an album in real life and even performed some concerts!

#2. The Big Lebowski

Written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, The Big Lebowski was released in 1998. The film stars Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and Julianne Moore. The film was not very successful when it was first released, but as the years went by, it slowly became one of the fans’ favorite cult movies.

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The plot is really simple and kind of silly, but it works. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, is mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, while the millionaire Lebowski’s wife is kidnapped. With the help of his bowling buddies, The Dude sets off to rescue her. despite not even knowing who she is.

#1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Our list would be incomplete without The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). It is considered the best cult movie of all time, and it was actually first known as a midnight movie. Directed by Jim Sharman, this musical horror comedy film is based on a musical stage production with the same name. The book and the lyrics were written by actor Richard O’Brien.

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The story starts when a young engaged couple has a problem with their car on a rainy night, and they have no choice but enter a castle and ask for help. The castle happened to be the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furters… and the rest of the plot is just fabulous and bizarre at the same time. We won’t spoil it, you must see it for yourself!

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