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Five Cult Classics Worth a Watch on Netflix: August 2015 Edition

August 1, 2015

Hello all. Mark here.

With the Wet Hot American Summer mini-series ready to unleash itself on Netflix I wanted to recommend other cult classics that you can stream on Netflix. These films were dismissed upon initial release and have since amassed loyal followings that quote the films ad nauseam and have bought every special edition VHS/Laserdisc/DVD/Blu-ray released (Think Evil Dead and its hundreds of editions).

There is a reason these films are considered cult classics. They have bumps and bruises and are loaded with personality. They get better with repeat viewings and you might not have liked them the first go around. These five films feature talking mixed vegetable cans, iconic improved lines and amps that go to 11. There movies simply won’t quit and you sorta need to watch them.

Wet Hot American Summer

Wet Hot American Summer gif Paul rudd

Wet Hot American Summer is a weird little thing that has grown in brilliance throughout the years. Nobody could have guessed that a movie about fondling sweaters and hot dog breath would be resurrected 14 years later. Wet Hot is the kind of film that gets better with each viewing and makes you interested in cheddar fondue. It plays so fast and loose it feels  incomprehensible to the normal mind. The stupidity becomes genius and you learn there was a method to the madness. David Wain and Michael Showalter knew what they were doing and it is hilarious.

Paul Rudd Burger wet hot american summer

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The Warriors

Warriors come out and play

Warriors come out and play!

The Warriors tells the age-old story of a crew called The Warriors battling their way back to Coney Island after they are falsely accused of killing a gang leader. It is weird, stiffly acted, violent and über memorable. Director Walter Will created a violent and cheeky hybrid that features lots of broken bones and a gang that looks like KISS started a baseball team. It takes a cool idea and builds a mythology around NYC’s gang culture. I totally understand why people were turned off by the macho posturing and eccentric nature of The Warriors. However, Hill’s vision of violence struck a chord and spawned video games, fan art and a whole lot of baseball playing cosplayers. What I love the most is the line “Warriors come out and play” was improvised and those clinking bottles were a game time decision. I love when tiny random moments get burnt into the lexicon.

Warriors come out and play gif

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Big Trouble in Little China

Big trouble

Kurt Russell is my hero and Jack Burton is my favorite cinematic blowhard of all time. Big Trouble tells the story of a long haul trucker failing upwards while navigating a world full of magic, immortals and sleeveless shirts. It is rare when the hero ends up being the sidekick and more often than not Burton is a semi-hindrance to the rescue party.  However, he is a blowhard who willingly puts himself in harm’s way and comes through in the end. Watch this scene and you will immediately want to watch Big Trouble. 

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If’ you’ve been reading MFF for sometime you know that we love Kurt Russell and John Carpenter. I’ve written about his sleeveless shirts and we covered him endlessly on the podcast.

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Ravenous

Ravenous Guy Pearce

Ravenous is an odd little film. Dismissed upon initial release in 1999 it has picked up a cult following that has made the recent Blu-ray release an event. The film is characterized by a quirky soundtrack, bonkers performances and the famous line “he was licking me!” It is clear to see why this film is so adored. Like most cult classics it has an off-kilter vibe that features performances with personality. I love how it subverts clichés and feels like a hybrid because of the sudden directorial shifts.  Ravenous has a personality all its own and can stand alongside films like Evil Dead, The Warriors and Donnie Darko. 

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Spinal Tap

Stonehenge this is spinal tap

Spinal Tap is the best mockumentary ever made. It focuses on a rock band named Spinal Tap who are on a world tour that should be called Murphy’s Law. They get lost backstage, get stuck in cocoons and draw up Stonehenge in inches not feet. The band is so optimistic and innocent you can’t help but cheer for them as they make amps that go to 11 and are applauded for their “unusual loudness.”  I will let Roger Ebert sum up the band.

Yes, their music is pretty bad. But they’re not bad men; they’re holy fools, living in a dream that still somehow, barely, holds together for them. They deserve the last-minute rescue of their Japanese tour–although what have the Japanese done to deserve them? One of the loveliest ironies of “This Is Spinal Tap” is that the band took on a life of its own after the movie came out, and actually toured and released albums. Spinal Tap lives still. And they haven’t gotten any better.

 

What cult classics would you recommend?

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