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The Cult Canon: The Classical Era

by Matthew Floyd
The Cult Canon: The Classical Era by Matthew Floyd
After dedicating several years of my still hopefully frivolous life to studying cult movies, I’ve decided to make a definitive-yet-growing canon celebrating these remarkable experiences. I’m still scouting lists of cult/underrated/unloved/misunderstood/bizarre movies, so don’t expect this list to be stable. I’ll also include my resources used for this appendix; I deliberately included movies here that I myself would like to watch as a viewer. There were sadly some movies that I felt either didn’t represent the cult movie going experience or just weren’t up to my standards. If you readers do find some of these rejects fascinating, please… Read more

After dedicating several years of my still hopefully frivolous life to studying cult movies, I’ve decided to make a definitive-yet-growing canon celebrating these remarkable experiences. I’m still scouting lists of cult/underrated/unloved/misunderstood/bizarre movies, so don’t expect this list to be stable. I’ll also include my resources used for this appendix; I deliberately included movies here that I myself would like to watch as a viewer. There were sadly some movies that I felt either didn’t represent the cult movie going experience or just weren’t up to my standards. If you readers do find some of these rejects fascinating, please suggest that I include them in this canon. Simply put, these are the movies that I would dedicate time to spend time analyzing when I have my blog up and running, or if I were to write a book on the subject on hand.

The Cult Canon will be divided into four distinct eras; this particular chapter in our saga covers from the silent era to the drive-in’s heyday. This list ends in 1960, the year that horror broke cinema when Psycho, Peeping Tom, Eyes Without A Face, Black Sunday, The Virgin Spring and others pushed cinema’s boundaries. Here on MUBI, fellow MUBIER Martin Wilson made a fascinating case for how/why 1960 represents a fundamental change in cinematic history, with this most enlightening list: https://mubi.com/lists/the-eeriest-year-in-film. Go check that one out, after looking at this one, of course!

As for this list here, it’s eternally in progress, as we keep rediscovering lost classics, or come to appreciate old films with new cultural lenses. Here are the other chapters of this forever evolving cult canon, as well:
https://mubi.com/lists/the-cult-canon-the-grindhouse-age
https://mubi.com/lists/the-cult-canon-the-vhs-age
https://mubi.com/lists/the-cult-canon

Here are the sources I “borrowed” from to create this unofficial registry; more links to come in the following days/weeks!:
366 Weird Movies’ Certified Weird List
The Best Film You’ve Never Seen
Brandon’s Cult Movie Reviews
byNWR
Danny Peary’s Cult Movies
John DiLeo’s Screen Savers
Nathaniel Hood’s Forgotten Classics Of Yesteryear
Kenji’s Hidden Treasures [https://mubi.com/lists/hidden-treasures]
Moviedrome
The New Cult Canon
Nyx Fears’ Recommendations
Rotten Tomatoes’ Sub-Cult
Scout Tafoya’s The Unloved
TCM Underground
World Cinema Project

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