A countdown of the top ten weird cult movies.
Remember 2013’s Sharknado, the TV disaster movie about…erm, a shark tornado? Well, this week saw the premiere of the sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One. To celebrate (or commiserate) we decided to take a look at some other strange cult classics that live on in film history.
Before there was Sharknado, there was Sharktopus, a fearsome tale about a creature genetically engineered by the U.S navy to be used in combat. The beast escapes, chaos ensues. Two sequels have been commissioned, including one to be released this year, the excitingly-titled Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda, which will feature U.S talk show host Conan O’Brian in his acting debut.
9. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
The film industry in the 1960s saw a huge increase in the number of explotation films, and one of the most infamous is this 1965 venture. Featuring a group of murderous go-go dancers, plenty of gratuitous violence and a flimsy plot to tie it all together, Faster Pussycat outraged audiences at the time of its release but has since become a cult classic, inspiring the likes of Quentin Tarantino, whose film Death Proof definitely pays tribute to this grindhouse number.
The film that effectively ended Dracula director Tod Browning’s career, this 1932 horror film remains terrifying even to this day. The story of a con-artist named Cleopatra who joins a travelling freak show in an attempt to steal the inheritance of one of its performers, was considered too shocking to be released in its first version, but even after extensive cuts still failed to impress audiences and was largely forgotten until its rediscovery in the 70s and 80s when it became a staple for midnight movie showings in the United States. It’s been referenced in numerous other films over the years, including Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street.
Panned by critics for its gratuitous nudity and simulated sex and the winner (if that’s the right word) of seven Razzie awards, Showgirls has achieved cult status for all the wrong reasons. It’s become a bastion of bad acting and even worse writing, regular screened in America where audiences revel in the ridiculousness. Yet writer Joe Eszterhas maintains the humour audiences find in his film was intentional: "What Paul [Verhoeven] and I had in mind was something darkly funny. We went through the script line by line, and we were really laughing at some of it. I defy people to tell me that a line like, 'How does it feel not to have anybody coming on you anymore' isn't meant to be funny."
6. Road House
You might recognise Road House from Family Guy, as Peter Griffin becomes obsessed with the film after renting it on DVD. The movie itself features Patrick Swayze as a doorman whose brand of vigilante justice in small-town Missouri doesn’t go down too well. Legendary film critic Roger Ebert had this to say about it: "Road House exists right on the edge between the "good-bad movie" and the merely bad. I hesitate to recommend it, because so much depends on the ironic vision of the viewer. This is not a good movie. But viewed in the right frame of mind, it is not a boring one, either."
Next Page: The final five in our Top Ten Cult Movies countdown