|10. UHF: I have this weird love for everything 'Weird Al' Yankovic and it most definitely includes this movie. It’s completely silly, super wacky and absolutely hilarious. I’m a big fan of puns and sight gags and this film has both of those in abundance. I just have a soft spot for movies that don’t take themselves seriously in the slightest. Plus, this film has the best parody of Indiana Jones ever!|
9. Barbarella: I actually saw this film for the first time recently and I fell in love with it immediately. It has all my favorite things: kooky music, cheesy sci-fi backdrops, fun costumes and sexy hijinks. Jane Fonda manages to be adorable and seductive at the same time without coming off as trashy—truly nothing to sneeze at. It’s psychedelic and very campy which makes it fun to watch.
8. El Topo: Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky (starring him as well), El Topo is a hyper-violent, surreal, tour-de-force with a splash of religious symbolism. The iconic image of a man in black riding a horse in the desert with his naked son on the back is burned into my mind. At its heart, El Topo is a western, but upon repeat viewings you realize there is so much more going on beneath the surface. The first line of the film, “You are seven years old. You are a man. Bury your first toy and your mother's picture.” sets the nihilistic tone and it never lets up.
7. Pink Flamingos: I am a huge fan of John Waters. Most people know him from Hairspray, which I love, but I enjoy his earlier, more subversive work more. Starring the incredible drag queen Devine, Pink Flamingos goes out of its way to be shocking and disgusting. Featuring one memorable scene with dog poop and other even more horrifying acts; it has to be seen to be believed. It’s not for the faint of heart.
6. Brazil: Terry Gilliam happens to be one of my favorite directors and I never met a dystopian future movie that I didn’t like. Brazil combines these two things into something truly special. It’s just plain weird but wickedly funny at the same time. There is a lot of subtext and jabs at our consumerist culture and it deftly combines these with a sweet futuristic backdrop. Of note, there are two versions of this movie, “Final Cut” which is Gilliam’s version and an edited “Love Conquers All” version with an artificial happy ending. I much prefer the dark tone of the former.
5. Heavy Metal: This movie kicks ass. It’s really the best way to describe it. It’s an animated anthology based on the French magazine of the same name. It has everything: WWII zombies, D&D-style fantasy, robots, aliens, spaceships, boobs, chicks with swords, blood and guts, sex and an awesome metal soundtrack to top it off. They made a modern version called Heavy Metal 2000 that doesn’t compare at all and should be avoided.
4. Army of Darkness: While I am a huge fan of the first two Evil Dead movies, this film is my favorite, hands down. Bruce Campbell, in what I consider his best performance ever, hams it up and carries the film. It takes Evil Dead into comedic territory and does a wonderful job. Ash is one of my favorite characters ever and this movie is chock-full of funny one-liners and silly situations. I loved the direction Sam Raimi took the series and hopefully he makes a sequel soon.
3. Blade Runner: This movie was so ahead of its time that it’s scary. It does cyberpunk right with gritty elements combined with dazzling eye-candy. Even though it was made in 1982, it does not look dated at all; the art direction is just that good. It did not do well when it was first released, one of the trademarks of a cult film, but is well appreciated now. There are still story elements that people argue about to this day which is the hallmark of a great story. Harrison Ford puts in an incredible performance here, as well. One of the top sci-fi films of all time.
2. A Clockwork Orange: Stanley Kubrick has made many films but A Clockwork Orange is probably his most infamous. Its mantra of “ultra violence” was very shocking at the time of its release and it was heavily criticized for it. The film somehow looks futuristic and retro at the same time and the soundtrack is highly synthetized and fits it perfectly. The slang the characters use makes the film a little hard to understand but it’s still watchable. I still can’t hear “Singing in the Rain” without thinking of this movie.
1. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Yes, I am one of those people. This film is one of my all-time favorites and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Tim Curry in lingerie is sexy as hell and the music is catchy and amazing. I know every word to this movie and have been known to jump up and dance to “Time Warp” when it comes on. This movie is the definition of cult film (probably the most well-known one by most people) and still makes money at midnight showings. I’m not to the point where I dress up in costume to go see it…yet.