This libguide is created for Patrick Reardon. Patrick is not a student, but has recently taken an interest in, and begun exploring, non-mainstream, “cult” cinema. Defining exactly what “cult” cinema is, is a difficult task, but through consultation with Patrick, we have established a series of basic definitions, one or more of which a film must satisfy to be considered a cult film, which are as follows:
-Obscure films that casual film-watchers are unlikely to know
-Films covering themes that mainstream cinema tends to avoid
-Films that, despite a lack of mainstream commercial success, continue to resonate with a dedicated audience long beyond their initial release
-Films that generate an audience despite, and sometimes because of, their endearing flaws. Often these films are referred to as “so-bad-they’re -good”, “craptastic”, or “craptacular”.
-“Genre” films - films which adhere to the tropes of a certain genre (such as horror, action, martial arts or crime films), and which are generally considered to be less “literary” in their artistic goals.
-“Exploitation” films - exploitation films are those that attempt to gain an audience by being controversial and/or sensationalist, usually using violence, sex, horror and taboo themes as a means to garner an audience. Exploitation films tend to be low budget.
Films with a limited budget that often employ storylines and filmmaking techniques common in the aforementioned genre and exploitation film categories.
This guide focuses on resources that offer an overview of cult films and has avoided using any academic resources where access is restricted to those institutional privileges. Besides, most of the best commentary of cult film falls outside of academia.