20 Great Canadian Cult Films You May Not Have Seen

14. Heavy Metal (1981)

Plot: A glowing green orb tells various stories of evil across different times and space.

What makes it a cult film: It’s the most well known adult animated film, even though it hasn’t aged very well. The backgrounds and set designs are very good looking, but the human animations seem a bit too jittery. It’s pretty clear that time hasn’t been all that kind to this film, as animation has improved significantly since this film’s release; which has made Heavy Metal feel like a relic of its time.

Also, this film is incredibly sexist in the way it treats its female characters, as almost all of the female characters are secondary- non-important characters, and every female character seems to be sexualized and appears nude. Despite the somewhat sexist overtones and the dated animation there’s clearly a reason as to why this movie is a cult classic; and that’s because it’s completely different from other animated films from the time.

The set designs are incredibly creative and other worldly; while the soundtrack is also a major reason for its popularity, as it includes songs from Black Sabbath, Devo, BOC, Journey and many more. In terms of adult animation there are clearly a lot better choices then this one, although this movie does have a place for its significance.

If you like this you’ll love: Belladonna of Sadness, Wizards, and Gandahar.


15. Death Weekend (1976)

Death Weekend (1976)

Plot: A playboy and a model are spending the weekend at a nice mansion but are soon terrorized by a group of home invaders.

What makes it a cult film: It’s a rather underrated home invasion film. The home invaders, lead by Don Stroud, are loud and sleazy, especially Stroud-,who is great. However the main characters, especially the playboy, aren’t particularly that interesting. Harry, the playboy, is a womanizer that’s unlikable due to his voyeurism and overall meek appearance when things get bad. The model, Diane, is just bland and uninteresting.

The parts with the home invaders are probably the most interesting parts about this movie, as they are just violent and loud people; and just tear the house apart towards the end, which is probably the best part in this movie. Death Weekend is a pretty decent home invasion film, as it’s certainly an underrated entry in the genre.

If you like this you’ll love: Death Wish, Straw Dogs, and Lady in a Cage.


16. Tiger Claws (1991)

Plot: A detective and a martial arts expert join forces in order to track down a killer with the knowledge of a martial arts style called Tiger style. So they must track down a martial expert with knowledge of this type of martial arts and bring them to justice before it’s too late.

What makes it a cult film: It’s a badly acted 90s martial arts flick. Tiger Claws is akin to the ninja film that Godfrey Ho use to make; so in that sense, Tiger Claws is an enjoyably bad martial arts film. The acting is pretty terrible and the interactions between the two characters aren’t exactly that interesting. But the fight scenes are pretty good, especially from Jalal Merhi.

Again, this movie is basically a Canadian version of a Godfrey Ho film, although it’s certainly better made. So if you’re a fan of Godfrey Ho, or for that matter bad martial arts films, then this movie will surely entertain.

If you like this you’ll love: Firecracker, Ninja Terminator, and Bloodsport.


17. 88 (2014)

88 (2014)

Plot: A young woman with amnesia ends up being embroiled in a revenge plot gone wrong after she has no idea about what’s going on. As things move along she gradually begins to remember everything.

What makes it a cult film: It’s as if Quentin Tarantino directed a Jason Bourne film, and it’s about as good as you would expect it to be. 88 is an overlooked crime film from 2014; as director April Mullen does her best to emulate the style of Tarantino, as the movie is filled with violence, witty characters and dialogue, and a nonlinear plot.

88 might not be an original concept, again, it’s basically just a Jason Bourne film with a woman, but what it lacks in plot, it makes up for in entertainment. At a brisk 88 minute runtime it moves fast and makes for a good and stylish crime film.

If you like this you’ll love: True Romance, Blue Ruin, The Bourne series, and The Guest


18. American Nightmare (1983)

American Nightmare (1983)

Plot: A man is investigating the death of his sister, who’s a prostitute. Eric, along with the help of a dancer, are soon targeted by a killer who’s murdering prostitutes.

What makes it a cult film: It’s a wonderfully sleazy Canadian Giallo film. This movie takes all of the ingredients that make up Italian Giallos and import them to Canada, this includes classic archetypes like a gloved serial killer that’s targeting prostitutes and somebody has to catch him.

American Nightmare certainly offers a sleazy experience, as this film showcases a very seedy side of Canada, one that has strip clubs, prostitution and violence. For fans of early Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci, American Nightmare will surely please.

If you like this you’ll love: New York Ripper, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, and Blood and Black Lace.


19. Rock n Roll Nightmare (1987)

Plot: A heavy metal band, lead by heavy metal Canadian Jon Mikl Thor, goes out to a farmhouse in order to record some new music. Things start to get crazy when the forces of darkness show up.

What makes it a cult film: It’s a cheesy hair metal movie that’s turned all the way up to 11. When it comes to enjoyably bad film, this movie ranks up there. The acting from the main star Jon Mikl Thor is everything you would want from a bad movie lead actor, as in it he’s bad, but enjoyably bad.

Almost everything about this movie is enjoyably bad and makes for a hilariously cheesy watching experience; whether it’s bad acting, overlong sequences, or over the top metal machismo that this movie gives off. Rock n Roll Nightmare is great bad movie, and for a fantastically bad double feature pair this movie with Zombie Nightmare; as it also stars Mikl Thor and even Adam West!

If you like this you’ll love: Zombie Nightmare, Trick or Treat, Black Roses.


20. Pontypool (2008)

Pontypool (2008)

Plot: A virus is turning people into ravaging zombies and a radio DJ and his crew are trying to figure out what’s going on.

What makes it a cult film: A very unique twist on the zombie subgenre. For the first hour, this film takes the concept of what you don’t see being more terrifying than what you do see, and just runs with it, which is why the first hour is extremely effective in building tension. Pontypool is a very clever film and makes for a very tense look at the apocalypse from an outsider perspective. Pontypool is a fantastic Canadian cult horror film that will be remembered due to its compelling plot and smart writing.

If you like this film you’ll love: Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, and Rabid.

Author Bio: Antony Copsey is an up and coming writer, who is studying communications at Rowan University at Glassboro, New Jersey. He is a huge fan of watching movies and writing about them, as well as writing his own material