100 Cult Films
Ernest Mathijs and Xavier Mendik
There are different ways of figuring these things, but I’ve always reckoned a cult film to be a marginal production with an intense but limited fan base. For that reason alone mainstream blockbusters like 2001, Casablanca, Dirty Dancing, the Lord of the Rings trilogy (ugh!), the entire six-film Star Wars franchise (please!), and The Wizard of Oz would have had trouble making my personal list of cult films (and, judging from his brief foreword, I think they would have missed Joe Dante’s list as well). Matters of definition aside, the authors have done a decent job here expanding and updating the cult canon established by the pioneering work of Danny Peary. And in any event, given our changing media environment (does anyone even remember midnight movies, or is it all midnight downloads now?), we can hardly expect any definition of culthood to remain fixed for long.