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(The Ringer)   The guy who invented the notion of the cult movie, back when you could only get your hands on them by cultivating friendships with weirdos   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, Film, Cult Movie Week, Horror film, obscure films, Cult movies, cult movie, movies, film buffs  
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1117 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 27 Jan 2021 at 10:46 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

17 Comments     (+0 »)
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2021-01-27 10:50:55 PM  
Kewl! I love cult films!
2021-01-27 10:51:58 PM  
This wasn't about Corman. Fun read, though.
2021-01-27 11:23:23 PM  
I had Buckaroo Banzai and Ice Pirates.

On Beta.
2021-01-27 11:36:36 PM  

Wasn't Looking at his Neck: This wasn't about Corman. Fun read, though.

Corman *made* a lot of them, but they weren't calling them cult movies back then.  They were just B-movies.
2021-01-27 11:44:12 PM  
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2021-01-28 1:28:31 AM  

skyotter: I had Buckaroo Banzai and Ice Pirates.

On Beta.

I used the Beta max vcr to tune in squiggly boobs from the cable signal. That was a high quality piece of gear. The amount of well engineered and built devices we all tossed at some point is depressing.
2021-01-28 1:48:26 AM  
Growing up in smallville Utah in the 80s, there were a lot of "mainstream" films that were simply unavailable in theaters or video stores, even if you were able to go to Salt Lake.

My senior year somebody gave me a copy of the Repo Man soundtrack, probably in my top 3 tapes played that year. But it was almost 5 years before I found someplace that had a copy... in stock The different song versions in the movie was jarring, having heard the album so many times, but it was so amazing finally watching it - I would not have guessed the plot, from hearing those songs.

Tower Theater in the 90s played lots of nonmainstream films, usually just a few days apiece, so they printed a 3-month schedule. Art films and cult films mixed in. The Blue Mouse did that in the 80s, next to Cosmic Aeroplane. I saw Rocky Horror Picture Show there on accident, misunderstanding when a kid in my class was going to "Rocky" and asked if I'd seen it. I thought he meant the boxing movie, but I was bored enough to go do that. There was some rasslin, but that wasn't boxing.

I worked across from Tower in the 90s, at Brackman Brother Bagel Bakery. None of the owners were brothers, nor named Brackman, just 5 guys who met in business school, merged into Einstein Bros. I was a Baker, and from my work area I could see some graffiti on the side of the Tower, "Andy Warhol Bites a Big One." It was the nicest graffiti lettering I'd ever seen, almost, right on the busy street. I wondered about it for months, just because I saw it all day. Turns out Crispin Glover painted it during the premiere of Rubin & Ed. So after searching for the movie for years, finally watching the scene that quote appears in... well, let's just say "My cat can eat a whole watermelon."
2021-01-28 2:26:41 AM  
"Eraserhead" is extraordinarily bad, over-rated, hyper-hyped garbage. Admit it!
2021-01-28 3:32:44 AM  
That's like a George Costanza pick up line.

"I, uh, invented the concept of the cult movie."

And, for the record, Eraserhead is a terrific little movie, in my opinion.
2021-01-28 6:22:26 AM  
Wiki: The term cult film itself was first used in the 1970s to describe the culture that surrounded underground films and midnight movies, though cult was in common use in film analysis for decades prior to that.

He didn't invent nothin'.
2021-01-28 6:48:24 AM  
We all knew that weird kid who owned a copy of "Faces of Death".
2021-01-28 7:34:41 AM  
Awesome book of you lean towards the herb and cult flicks. I have a copy in my basement bar and when people come over they chuckle and think it's a joke.  Then they start reading it and get hooked.

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2021-01-28 8:12:12 AM  
Nobody minded when I didn't like a film, particularly a cult movie, because I was respectful to the people who do like them, and I tried to figure out why they do like them. I say, "I don't like it, but I can understand why it would appeal to other people," and it obviously has appealed to other people, because they have cults.

Hey mister, that's not the FARK way!!!
2021-01-28 10:09:34 AM  
Scrapple was a good cult movie.
2021-01-28 10:34:28 AM  
And then the term cult classic became as hard for people to understand as the word irony.  Ask people what cult classic they are guilty of watching and see how many will name a Star Wars movie because like a lot of people love those movies, right.
2021-01-28 12:45:42 PM  
How i see the evolution of it:

When you had to go seeking it out, and it was hard to find, hard to get, basiaclly movies with really limted exposure, that had real specific demographic appeal.
The term cult films works, as like we imagine cults, word of mouth / being in the know, was the primary means of access for most. If you were lucky you had a local video rental store that was explicitly stocking shelves with what you could not find in blockbusters or other major chain video rental stores. Even before the 'cult" section label showed up.

But it was all about the method of access that defined it that way. It was the model that a movie really only had a few high profile big business expensive means to tell people about it.

What we have is a term for these films, that is derived from their means of access/knowing about it.

Now that we have easy information spread and any movie can easily tell it's specific audience about it's existence.
All these films have really always been this:

Specific target audience demographic films.
just in the past the way you found out ab out your demographic's interest was a mostly word of mouth cult like information spread.
But today for any such film we'd have called cult, you can in fact just be directly online advertised to by the film maker themselves, like any other normal market product information spread.

It was not that the films and their content was what made them be called "cult." it was mostly in the method of finding out about the target demographic films that earned that.

And yeah it's just not the same environemt it used to be, so that label just don't apply like it used to.
2021-01-28 1:09:19 PM  

Susan'sLittleAdamsApple: And then the term cult classic became as hard for people to understand as the word irony.  Ask people what cult classic they are guilty of watching and see how many will name a Star Wars movie because like a lot of people love those movies, right.

Cult following: [ kuhlt fol-oh-ing ]

of or relating to a cult.of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees, a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious, false, abusive, manipulative and controlling of behavior to enforce adherence to devotion of it against all reason or common sense or facts. A sect known for absolute devotion to something that sucks beyond all reason and tending to attract persons of an unstable mental constitution or delusional worldview. Star Wars is over-rated, lowest common denominator, poorly written pyschobabble fantasy that seems to have a powerful attraction for obsessive assholes, social outcasts, barely functioning autists, and other misfit rubes of society who can't be taken seriously anywhere else and are easily fleeced. They might as well be Morons, and I'm amazed that there isn't more overlap between the two groups because they have so very much in common. It will always baffle me how Scientology wasn't able to swell their ranks with Star Wars fans... unless that's too low of a bar even for them.
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