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What is a Cult Film

I’ve seen all sorts of movies, that seem to have nothing in common, called cult films. My local newspaper calls "The Third Man" a cult film.

Cult film definitions are all over the place. To me, “The Third Man” is a widely-seen mainstream classic. The original 1960 Roger Corman b&w cheepie version of “Little Shop of Horrors” can reasonably be called Cult on the basis of the so-bad-it’s-good criteria.

A lot of what moderns call “horror” show up on lists of Cult films simply because the audience for gore is so much smaller than for general interest movies.

Sometimes a TV show will get a Cult label even if it is very popular and well-known just because some fans are so religiously devoted to it. “Buffy” is an example of this. In the U.S., “Doctor Who-The Classic” was Cult because it only played on the under watched PBS network and ended just as the home video market was expanding. In 2005, DW was relaunched and is a worldwide hit, including American. It is NOT Cult.

So, essentially, everybody needs to hammer out his/her own perception of Cult film. Calls for a great article.

  • I think you should put in your own definition of what makes something "cult." Otherwise it's not showing how you're thinking about your topic. – alysamarsiella 7 years ago
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  • In my understanding something "cultL film or show has more to do with the following. I think recently this definition has been complicated with the growing popularity of fandoms in shows and films that are embraced by the mainstream and the increasing diversification of subcultures. I also there think there is a distinction between a "cult classic" and a emerging cult films/ cult followings. There are so many things to consider in this piece I think I'll snatch it up! I'll keep an eye out for more helpful notes and if anyone is interested in collaborating message me! I'm planning to focus on the followings and the role of repeated viewings, quoting dialogue, and audience participation in defining a "cult" film possibly focusing on "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" as a basis for definition among others. – Christina Cady 7 years ago
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