Cult films are known by many as films that are a bit south of the mainstream- and because of that won’t appeal to everyone. Normally it takes a couple of years for a movie to gain a cult following. For example modern films like Donnie Darko have a cult following because it was unconventional and was a film that didn’t appeal to most people.
With that in mind here are 15 movies from the past two years, 2014 and 2015, that have potential to be future cult favorites. These movies are a bit unconventional and probably won’t appeal to everyone, but are totally worth checking out if you’re a cult movie fan.
1. Turbo Kid
Plot: A young boy lives in a deserted post apocalyptic world. One day he meets an eccentric girl named Apple. When Apple gets kidnapped it’s up to our young hero to save the girl, beat the bad guy and be the hero he always knew he was.
What makes it a future cult favorite: It’s like a cult movie fans dream! Turbo Kid feels like a total love letter to cult movies from the 80s- like Mad Max, BMX Bandits, and other Post-Apocalyptic movies from that era. Turbo Kid features totally rad and extremely likable characters, an awesome 80s inspired soundtrack, and outstandingly gory practical effects- which are amazing!
Meanwhile the acting from Munro Chambers and Laurence Leboeuf are fantastic, as they are both incredibly likable- especially Leboeuf, who plays Apple. Meanwhile Michael Ironside plays a villain that seems like a leftover from Waterworld. Turbo Kid is a movie all its own as there hasn’t been a movie from 2015 quite like it; or quite as entertaining.
2. Kung Fury
Plot: Kung Fury is a cop- and his newest assignment is to travel back in time in order to kill a criminal. But it just so happens that this criminal is the one and only Adolf Hitler.
What makes it a future cult favorite: It’s an insane tribute to the 1980s. Between Kung Fury and Turbo Kid it seems like 80s nostalgia is at an all time high, and this movie is like the fever dream from that nostalgic high. At a short 30 minutes Kung Fury is a quick, all be it fleeting, nightmare of the 1980s; complete with neon, bad acting, huge brick phones, a cheesy synth scores, David Hasselhoff, and time travel. It’s obvious that this movie is a parody of films from the 1980s, but that’s not entirely a bad thing, because this movie is totally self aware about how bad it is.
Actor, writer and director David Sandberg- even though he might be new- should be given a bigger budget in order to see what he can churn out; as he seems like a talented person. At this point, does anything more need to be said about this movie? Go see it, it’s 30 minutes and trust me when I say it’s worth every minute!
3. Lost River
Plot: A mother and her son are trying their best to save their home. The mother, Billy, becomes a dancer at a bizarre club, while her son Bones evades a local bully named Bully after stealing from him. Bones then discovers a city in the water called Lost River and starts a friendship with his lonely neighbor named Rat.
What makes it a future cult favorite: It was critically torn apart by most people, but completely adored by others; so basically the definition of a cult movie! I swear, I don’t think there’s been a movie made in the past decade that can compare to Lost River; as it’s a gorgeous movie that has a visual style unlike any other movie made today.
Lost River is the result of director Ryan Gosling taking inspiration from other directors like David Lynch or Nicolas Winding Refn while also adding his own style- like creating a nightmarish landscape out of the suburban Detroit setting. The acting from the main cast is reserved but very good, and adds to what makes the movie feel dreamlike.
Meanwhile the soundtrack by Johnny Jewel is breathtaking and completely adds to the beauty of the film. Lost River is truly a cult movie if ever there was one. Either you will love this movie and swear by it- like me- or hate it. Pick your side!
4. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Plot: Greg is a high school student who tries to stay out of everyone’s way. In his spare time Greg makes parodies of classic films with his “coworker” Earl. But then he finds out a girl named Rachel has leukemia and starts to befriend her.
What makes it a future cult favorite: This is a movie that you wouldn’t normally associate with a cult following, in fact you might assume that this movie might align more with a film like the Fault in our Stars, or some other generic teen romance films, but trust me when I saw this movie is completely unlike those other teen films. Which is probably why this movie wasn’t the box office hit that the studio expected, but really how could it be?
This movie is just too unusual for the mainstream ‘Fault in our Stars’ crowd, mostly because this movie is filled with homage’s to classic movies, has a quirky Wes Anderson style, and most importantly is focused on the friendship between the two main characters and not on romance; in fact this movie constantly has to remind you that this isn’t a romantic movie.
This movie is just so sweet and lovable that it’s hard to hate it; especially the classic movie homage’s that Gregg and Earl make; which is a total highlight of the film.
5. What We Do in the Shadows
Plot: Three vampires living in a flat are being filmed for a documentary. These vampires, even though they crave blood, are simple people who do things like chores, go out clubbing and fight with each other.
What makes it a future cult favorite: This movie is a mockumentary about a group of vampires living together and is absolutely hilarious. What we do in the Shadows stars Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonny Brugh, and Cori Gonzalez-Macuer and all of these actors are hilarious, mainly because they perfectly bounce off of each other. Meanwhile the script- which was written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi- just feels so fresh and witty.
This past decade has proved that New Zealand has become a treasure trove for original filmmaking, and this movie is a shining example of that. The humor is dry, the script is clever, and the acting is witty and all this combined to make What We do in the Shadows a superior comedy.
Plot: Gwen is a mother who has been doing her best to make sure her daughter has a great life; which is why Gwen takes on an experimental form of surgery in order to pay for her daughters schooling.
What makes it a future cult favorite: It’s a sci-fi film that focuses on humanity rather than something like aliens or wacky future technology. People often associate the science fiction genre with Dr. Who or aliens, but forget that science fiction can often times be deep and philosophical- which is why Advantageous is a great science fiction film; however, this may or may not be appreciated by everyone.
This movie is a quiet and tender film that speaks about humanity and the decisions we make for our loved ones. Again, this is science fiction in the way that films like A Clockwork Orange or Blade Runner are science fiction; as both of these movies speak about humanity but uses science fiction as a backdrop to tell something more important.
Advantageous is definitely something to check out, as director and writer Jennifer Phang and Jacqueline Kim- who is fantastic as Gwen- create a quiet, moving and adult science fiction film.
7. Cop Car
Plot: Two young boys after discovering a cop car decide to take it for a joy ride. However these kids decided to steal the wrong cop car- which is something they’ll soon regret.
What makes it a future cult favorite: It has a very original script by Jon Watts that goes in a place where you did not expect it to go! For being a movie about kids who steal a cop car this movie takes a seriously dark turn. While some of the acting from the kids can be a bit bad the adult actors are great; especially Kevin Bacon, who’s just terrifying.
Apart from the acting the film tends to drag a bit- because some of the scene’s just felt longer than they should have been- but when it does get going it never stops; especially during the last half hour or so. When watching this movie don’t be turned off by the overlong scenes, it might feel slow but give it some time and you won’t regret it.