The Greatest Cult Movies Ever Made – Top 10

Movies! Of course we all are fond of movies and love to include them in our family and friends gatherings to have a wholesome enjoyment. Though most of the movies are noted for their sweet, harmonious and amusing themes, there are some that are celebrated for having unusual storylines and such themes also that are bizarre and have odd effects on their audience.

These movies are often based on the untold peculiar social, cultural and religious premises that are considered unfit to be discussed rather because of their mysterious nature or because of the controversy related to them. In both the cases, these movies attract much critical appraisal and views. We have collected list of some of the most deemed notorious, the cult movies for you to choose and enjoy your next movie.

Top 10 Greatest Cult Movies Ever Made

1. Spartacus

cult movies Spartacus

The movie is based on the character of Roman slave Spartacus who caused uprising against the Roman government in 73 BC, he was a Thracian gladiator forced to fight for the amusement of Roman elite and later defeated it.

But what we are talking about here are the Spartacus movie series made for British television; though it is also based on the gladiator character of Spartacus but with much much more DETAILS of the happenings of Roman throne. The series are considered to be unfit and too violent for the taste of British viewers while some of its parts like Blood and Sand were on the verge of getting banned.

The movie has extremely violent and explicit sexual and bloodshed scenes, which cause the viewers to shut or bulge their eyes out in horror and disbelief. The movie has displayed some of the most overt sexual techniques like threesome, oral sex, homosexuality, masturbation and group sex; moreover the scenes were strikingly CLEAR frontal nude view of men and women. The bloodshed is highly defined with excessive decapitating and carnage in the arena; the war scenes and mutilating of human body are horrific and unbelievingly realistic.

Though one of the main characters of the movie, Hannah, stated in his interview that the movie series are on-aired after 10 pm, the time by which the kids are peacefully in beds, hence making it less threatening. But still Spartacus continues to be one of the most controversially explicit movies ever made. You may like; top 10 war movies.

2. In the Land of Blood and Honey

In the Land of Blood and Honey cult movies

The movie is the debut made by one of the hottest and successful Hollywood stars, Angelina Jolie, as her doorway to the world of directorship. The movie is based on the universal subject of war and the conditions during and after the act; on the surface it is a romantic tale of a Serb officer Danijel and Bosniak prisoner Ajla.

The story deals with the treatment of Bosniak Muslims, especially women, in the war camps most commonly referred as ‘rape camps’. As soon as the movie is released, and even during its making, it received criticism more than acclaim; the Bosniak women association objected on the subject as they believed that Jolie is trying to bring their personal matters on universal level, which is unacceptable by them. Apart from this, the movie contains love making scenes between Danijel and Ajla, which caused another conflict as Ajla is a Muslim girl and such lucid depiction of sex is considered offensive by the Muslim viewers.

Apart from all the controversy, the movie was a disturbing experience for the war survivors, especially the women raped during it, as they feel as if the war is still going on. Another controversy that strikes is that the story was claimed to have been stolen by the director, which she counteracted by saying that she had collected the information through varied sources. You may also like; top 10 war movies.

3. Stigmata

Stigmata cult movies

The movie was released in 1999, based on supernatural horror theme and was directed by Rupert Wainwright; movie is based on the common belief of stigmata, which deals with the occurrence of Christ’s five signs on crucifixion.

The movie revolves around an atheist Pittsburgh hairdresser, the role played by Patricia Arquette, and her life during and after having experienced stigmata. Stigmata is a Roman Catholic religious belief of having Christ’s sacred wounds on body of priests and other religious people as a result of having close affiliation with Christ and desire to experience His pain.

The movie shows Catholic Church and the stigmata in negative light as Patricia (Frankie) is shown as a possessed being with appearance of Holy Wounds. The release of the movie was received with huge success as it was immensely fruitful in acquiring considerably large budget, but this did not stop the religious figures from criticising it. Frankie is possessed by the deceased investigating Father Almeida who has found and was translating the missing Gospel; the Gospel was a threat to the Church as it says that holiness is not limited to Church only, which is something the Church does not want the people to know.

4. Blue is the Warmest Colour

Blue is the Warmest Colour cult movies

Gyrating around the theme of love affair between two girls, Blue is the Warmest Colour is some of the movies that caused disturbance in France. The movie consists of a 14 years old girl who is experiencing sexual awakening but is not interested in boys; she dreams of being sexually involved with a blue haired senior girl who afterwards becomes her lover.

The movie contains sexual scenes between the two girls, which raised eyebrows of many viewers; however it succeeded to win the award in France. Though the movie was notable for its unusual and daring theme, the director and both the lead actresses had many issues, which they expressed in their interviews.

The director, Kechiche, goes as far as saying that he wished that he did not made the movie on the first place and that he was about to replace one of the actresses because of her unsatisfactory performance. While the story on the actresses’ part showed an entirely different side of the coin, both the actresses, Seydoux and Exarchopoulos, admit that the director was a ‘torture’ to work with and only his fame and expertise made them to work with him. As both the actresses were heterosexual in nature, shooting lesbian sex scenes was immensely difficult for them with the director’s ever increasing demands. Moreover, they acknowledge that they do not want to work with the director ever again.

5. Viridiana

Viridiana cult movies

Directed by the exiled director Luis Bunuel and produced by Gustavo Alatriste, Viridiana is some of those films that are sure to stir your spiritual belief. The movie has the themes of rape, incest, evil and hollowness of ideal religious beliefs at its base and believed to be Bunuel’s backlash against the government and Church.

The story is about a young nun who is about to take her sacred vows, she is invited by her uncle who is mourning his wife’s death on the night of their marriage, her uncle is astonished at her astounding resemblance with his dead wife and even proposes to her, which she declines. He forces her into wearing his deceased wife’s wedding gown and spikes her drink with the help of his faithful servant taking her to his room where he attempts to rape her but stops in horror and humiliation.

Later he tells her that he did not rape her and kills himself with a skip rope leaving all of his property and estate to Viridiana. The girl cancels her return and changes the house into a shelter for poor and devastated people including beggars, poor women and children. Soon afterwards her good deeds are rewarded by the rape attempt on her by the people living in the house; however, she is saved by her uncle’s illegitimate son.

The movie has an infamous scene where all the people of the house are acting in the way of Da Vinci’s famous painting of the last supper in a comical manner. The film has believed to mock the Christian belief of goodness as it shows the difficulties faced by Viridiana in her quest of doing well to all; at the end Viridiana is shown in a more realistic light as she is now a changed woman playing cards with fellow residents.

The movie was deemed controversial and banned on several grounds; of having shown an incest inclination of a man towards his niece, religious weakness in people apparent from their mocking of the last supper painting and showing of the irrational goodness of the young nun.

6. Baise-Moi

Baise-Moi cult movies

Baise-Moi is the French crime thriller revolving around two women and their meeting of roads and combined journey of crime, violence and sex. The film received a lot of media hype and coverage due to graphically explicit sex, sadism and it’s shocking title as Baise-Moi in English is ‘Fuck Me’.

The movie is based on the bestseller novel written by one of the directors Virginie Despente but did not receive the same acclaim as of the book. Virginie Despente directed the movie in collaboration with Coralie Trinh Thi, both the directors are known as former porn stars while the actresses in the lead roles, Karen Lancaume and Raffaela Anderson, are also associated with porn industry.

The story is about two independent women who feel themselves as misfits in the society they are living it, Nadine (Lancoaume) works as a part time prostitute and Manu (Anderson) works as a minor porn star. After meeting, both of them form a team and starts making their own ways and get involved in a number of killings. The movie was banned in a number of countries including its hometown France; it was released in UK with rating R18 and is considered as violent porn in many countries.

The directors rejected the claim saying that the film is not meant for masturbation hence it’s not porn; the movie has real sex scenes as the heroines are porn stars and have no problem in filming it. The movie is the very first one to show penis entering into vagina in the gang rape scenes and the anal penetration of a man through gun.

7. I Spit on Your Grave

I Spit on Your Grave cult movies

Remembered as one of the most hated movies ever made, I Spit on Your Grave had created considerably impressive upheaval both in 1978 and 2010; the 1978 version starred Cammille Keaton while the later version has Sarah Butler.

The film has a typical and common theme of rape and revenge but with a more vivid and disturbingly realistic depiction; a lonely young woman rents a cabin in a nearly deserted neighbourhood and is spotted by a low profile gas station worker who later rapes her with his two friends and a police officer. Later on Jennifer (Sarah Butler) takes her revenge in an utterly horrific and detailed manner as she chopped, raped and tortured them to death.

The film was condemned and banned on the grounds of extreme violence, nudity, obscene language and lengthy rape and torture illustration. It is disqualified on both professional and moral means as the critic remark that the movie has low quality sound and artistry with nothing exceptional rather than high and distorted sound.

The remake of the movie received same negative comments as Roger Ebert states that the 2010 version is the ‘despicable remake of the despicable 1978 film’. The movie has lucid scenes of Jennifer’s rape, Jennifer’s anal raping of the sheriff with his rifle, cutting off of one of the boy’s penis and the killing of other boys, which came as a shock to the viewers.

8. The Magdalene Sisters

The Magdalene Sisters cult movies

The film is directed by Peter Mullen and is based on the negative character of religious institutions and their treatment of the women residing there; the movie is purely a work of fiction but was aimed at giving voice and recognition to the former and rescued residents of the Magdalene laundries.

However, the story is loosely connected to the actual account of the Magdalene Asylums and the treatment women receive there; the former Magdalene Asylums’ inmate Mary-Jo McDonagh articulated that the real happenings were worse than the ones shown in the movie.

The story centres on three women; Rose having an illegitimate son, Margaret who was raped by her cousin and Bernadette, fond of flirting with boys. The three women are sent to the asylum to repent for their sins and are received by the Head Sister; the Sisters teach the women that washing clothes mean that they are washing away their sins through hard work. They even make fun of their bodies by criticising the differences and change their names as an act of eradicating their true identity.

The reason the film for making serious controversy is the way the religious figures are portrayed in it; one of the girls at the asylum was sexually abused by a reputable Father and later the same girl was delivered to the mental asylum to stop the issue from heating up.

On its release where the movie received positive comments, though it was very rare, it caused some grave distaste too, especially among the religious society. William Donohue, president of conservative Catholic league, condemned the movie severely and demanded Disney to break its ties from Miramax whereas the Vatican believed it to be a sheer piece of exaggeration and insult to the ecclesiastical institutions and bodies.

9. Grotesque

Grotesque cult movies

Grotesque is a Japanese movie written and directed by Koji Shiraishi and had resulted into a considerably high level of horror and storm. The movie is themed on psycho killer and torturer who kidnaps innocent people and kills them for his pleasure; much of the shock for the acute representation of violence is because the movie does not have anything in it besides violence.

In the beginning a couple is shown sitting in a cafe and talking about their future together, in the very next scene the same couple is shown shackled in what seems like a basement with white plastered walls. The main character is introduced who is a doctor as apparent from his dealing with his victims’ wounds; he starts cutting and chopping their body parts out one by one. As he cuts off their fingers, hauls out the man’s eyeball, cuts off the girl’s leg and man’s genitals. He rapes them in front of each other and later treats them to health. He tells them that he acquires extreme pleasure from torturing them and in one of the most disturbing scenes he rapes the man in his eye socket too.

In the final scene he pulls out the intestine of the man while keeping the girl on the other side of the room, he tells the man to reach and save the girl which results in his heavy bleeding and death. The thing which makes the respective film all the more appalling is that it does not have any storyline, character development, the motive of the killer and even the name of the doctor is unknown. The bizarre surrounding, wacky personality of the doctor and the lifelike torture scenes fuel up the disturbing effect of the movie.

10. Fire

Fire cult movies

Directed by Deepa Mehta, Fire is the first movie in the renowned Deepa Mehta’s Elements Trilogy; the story is loosely based on the Ismat Chughtai story A Quilt (Lihaaf) and has two of the prominent Indian actresses in its lead role, Shabana Aazmi and Nandita Das.

The movie is based on a middle class Indian joint family where both Aazmi and Das are married to two brothers of the family. Sita (Nandita Das) longs for her husband and attention, which she is unable to receive and feels lonely and desolate; as the film progresses, it is revealed that Aazmi is experiencing the same fate as both the men are busy in doing business. In such moments of solitude both the women become lovers and seek solace in each other’s company; at the end they leave their husbands and unite with each other.

The movie was condemned by the social circles of India as it is the country where family system has strong roots and, much or less, many of the women lead the same life of isolation. Mehta’s movie has uncovered a corner of a usual Indian household, which is not acceptable in the conservative eastern society. People believed the film to be a source of corruption for women as its one of the few movies that has openly portrayed the theme of homosexuality. The director received verbal threats and had lived under complete police protection for a long time as the people attempted to attack her.