The whole idea of a cult film is that not everyone loves it. And yet there is a kind of broader popularity for that idea overall. What I mean is that most of us have a lot of love for at least one movie of cult status. Maybe that movie is technically more like a guilty pleasure or a piece of romanticized nostalgia from our youth than a definite “cult classic,” but it’s still something that we like that’s not even close to being enjoyed by the mainstream. But we’ve all got different cult-film favorites. So, it’s interesting to consider where we overlap with some people and don’t overlap with others.
Today is the 25th anniversary of Teen Witch, a movie that came out while I was still pretty young and enjoying just about everything. Yet I could never get into this one particular fantasy teen movie, which stars Robyn Lively as a magical high schooler who is basically a female version of Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf (it was initially meant to be a kind of spin-off). It’s badly written, badly acted and has dance numbers that are almost as laughable as the one in Mac and Me. I just don’t see how it has genuine fans. I could understand the ironic pleasure of it in retrospect, but Teen Witch has a serious following and has for decades.
A lot of the more popular cult films are those that I think I purposefully reject as a teenager. For instance, Rocky Horror Picture Show was too much of a mainstream phenomenon for it to be alternative for me. Today I almost have the same feeling towards The Room, though my main objection for that one is that I don’t tend to like watching movies in order to enjoy how bad they are. Similarly, I can’t enjoy anything by Ed Wood, and I don’t even want to get started on my hate for most of the movies intended to be cult films, like Snakes on a Plane and Sharknado.
There is a good amount of cult classics that I’ve really, really, really wanted to be a fan of and just never could. These include The Advenures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, Earth Girls Are Easy, Serenity, Spring Breakers and anything by John Waters. But my inability to love them doesn’t mean I can’t sorta see why others do.
If I have to pick one cult movie for which I’ll never, ever understand the appeal, it’s The Boondock Saints. It’s just terrible, and not in a fun way. The documentary about it, though, is amazing.
What cult movie have you never understood the appeal of?
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