25 Cult Anthology Movies That Are Worth Your Time

9. Tales From the Crypt (1972)

Tales From the Crypt

“DEATH LIVES in the Vault of Horror!” [9]. A group of five people are visiting a catacomb and think they are lost, but meet The Crypt Keeper who tells them that they are actually dead and the stories of how it happened; they include a wife that murders her husband and is then hunted by a serial killer dressed as Santa, a man is in a car crash and goes home to find out he’s been dead for two years, a kind toymaker returns from the dead to get vengeance on a man that made local parents fear he was molesting their kids, a story involving a figurine that grants three wishes, and a group from a blind home get revenge on their cruel new director of the facility.

This is a series of five stories that are meant to pay homage to EC Comics, which released horror and pulp style comics during the 1950’s. It was mainly supposed to represent stories from the Tales from the Crypt comic, but because of copyright issues several of the stories used were from The Vault of Horror Comic. It contains what is considered an all star cast, featuring Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Richard Greene, Roy Dotrice, and Ralph Richardson.

All of the stories are good and memorable. The Santa one was used as the first episode of the HBO Tales from the Crypt television series. The story involving the blind home is a personal favorite, involving a torture scene featuring a starving German shepherd and his owner having to walk through a small dark hallway covered with razorblades.


10. The Groove Tube (1972)

The Groove Tube

“What turns the apes on? What makes a cop dance in the street? What has the night tonic done for her? Who chases her through the woods? What can Butz Beer do for you? Why are they eating grass?” [10]. A series of comedic mock television shows and commercials are presented to appear as if they really came from an actual television station: including a kids clown that reads erotica, a public service announcement for venereal diseases, a cooking show, and a naked hitchhiker.

There are some mild laughs in this one, but it is mostly known for containing early appearances of Chevy Chase and comedian Richard Belzer. It also contained a news segment that used the line “Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow,” which Chase would later make popular on Saturday Night Live.


11. Trilogy of Terror (1975)

Trilogy of Terror (1975)

“An electrifying experience – you won’t believe your eyes!” [11]. Karen Black shines as she plays four characters in three separate stories: including a teacher dealing with an obsessive student, an evil sister who wants to kill the other using a voodoo doll, and an African fetish doll comes to life.

This was a made for TV movie that originally aired on ABC. It is most remembered for the third story involving the doll that comes to life; it is also the best and scariest of the three stories. At the time, it was definitely the scariest thing made with the intent of being aired as a made for TV movie. This wasn’t the first example of killer dolls or toys and wouldn’t be the last, as seen later on with the popular Puppet Master and Chucky series.


12. American Tickler (1976)

American Tickler (1976)

A series of comedic spoofs of movies in the style of similar films but just not as good, including “King Dong” and a Jaws one titled “Jews.”

This is pretty average for a comedic anthology and is only worth watching if you have a love for the whole genre. The only noteworthy actor to make an appearance in this was Joe Piscopo.


13. Hollywood Boulevard (1976)

Hollywood Boulevard (1976)

Candy Wednesday moves to Hollywood in order to become an actress. She gets a job as a stunt woman after the previous one died in an accident and does a bunch of films for Miracle Pictures, a B-movie studio whose motto is “if it’s a good picture, it’s a miracle.” While she’s making the films someone is also murdering the actresses.

This is a funny spoof on B-movies made by the people responsible for them, primarily on a bet between producer Jon Davison and Roger Corman that he could make the cheapest film for New World Pictures.

The film’s budget ended up being below $60,000 and consisted of a lot of stock footage from other Corman films, including Battle Beyond the Sun, The Terror, The Big Bird Cage, Night of the Cobra Woman, The Hot Box, Night Call Nurse, Unholy Rollers, Savage, Big Bad Mama, Crazy Mama, and Death Race 2000.

This is required viewing for fans of low budget and drive-in movies, featuring tons of in-jokes as they spoof the world of exploitation cinema.


14. Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

“This movie is totally out of control!” [12]. By far the funniest of the comedic spoof films, it gives us a wild mix of fake trailers, movies, and TV parodies. It contains a Bruce Lee spoof called A Fistful of Yen, an educational film, a disaster film, a soft core Catholic Schoolgirl movie, a blaxploitation spoof, and so much more.

This was the first film written by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker who would go on to create the Airplane series, Police Squad, and the Naked Gun series. It was directed by John Landis, who would go on to make Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and An American Werewolf in London. It includes cameos from former Bond George Lazenby, Bill Bixby (The Hulk TV series), and Donald Sutherland.

This one pushes the limit. So if you liked any of the movies listed or Amazon Women on the Moon, then you should watch this.


15. History of the World: Part I (1981)

History of the World Part I“It's Good to Be King”

“Ten million years in the making. The truth, the whole truth, and everything, but the truth!” [13]. Its Mel Brooks comedic take on the history of the world, focusing on the stone age, the Roman empire, the Spanish inquisition, the French Revolution, plus a couple of short skits such as the Ten Commandments.

Its Brook’s humor at its best and worst, featuring jokes and bits you’ll either find funny or distasteful. Sex, religion, and bodily functions are the main topics to expect to hear about. There is also a musical number involving the inquisition.

It stars a huge ensemble cast feauturing Sid Caesar, Shecky Greene, Gregory Hines, Dom Deluise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman and multiple cameos including Hugh Hefner, Bea Arthur, John Hurt, Jackie Mason, Henny Youngman, and narration from Orson Welles. It’s not Brook’s best movie, but it’s nowhere near being the worst.

It has enough funny moments to make you remember the film. His films can be considered somewhat of an acquired taste, so if you like any of his other ones than you’ll enjoy this.


16. Creepshow (1982)

Creepshow (1982)

“From the Masters of Terror and the Macabre… (George A. Romero & Stephen King)” [14]. This is a series of five stories that are meant to pay homage to EC Comics. It was written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero, who is mainly known for his zombie films Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead.

The stories are linked together as if coming from a comic book, narrated by the ghostly character known as The Creep. The stories involve a father returning from the dead on his birthday, a farmer discovering a dangerous meteorite, a husband murdering his wife and her lover, a strange creature in a crate at a college, and cockroaches getting out of control in a man’s apartment.

This is a well crafted horror anthology that has a good group of stories that are full of suspense, violence, and scares. It has a great ensemble cast that includes Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, E.G. Marshall, Steven King, and special effects by Tom Savini. It was a box office hit, spawned a sequel and a graphic novel, and has grown a strong cult following among horror fans.


17. Nightmares (1983)

Nightmares (1983)

A horror series consisting of four stories that are linked together because they are all urban legends or supernatural stories: A woman goes out for a late night cigarette run while a killer is on the loose, an arcade game wiz battles a video game that comes to life, a faithless priest is chased by a black truck that is the devil, and a family deals with a giant rat living in their house.

How you feel about 1980’s VHS movies and that era is going to determine whether this movie is going to entertain you. It is in the middle ground of being an average not very scary 80’s horror film, and is mainly recognized for appearances by Emilio Estevez, Lance Henriksen, Cristina Raines, Veronica Cartwright, and Richard Masur. It has been rumored that these shorts were actually filmed for an ABC series called Darkroom that didn’t get released.