by: Sherrie Hurd
Freelance writer/guest blogger
Traditional Cult films started out as serious films. They were works of entertainment that were totally different from modern day films. The cult films of the 70’s were never meant to be Kooky and downright hilarious. Bad effects and fake blood had the audience screaming in horror.
Were we truly entertained by this? Well, of course we were. Somehow we find amazement in artistic experience of our own time and era, when in retrospect, we can see each flaw clearly. Writers, producers and directors took great pride in their creations. With unflinching convictions, the movie industry saw big opportunities.
Films were not made to gather a large following of fans who quoted every silly line and acted out all the dramatic scenes from the film. In fact, some people are offended by the strange following that their films collect. These films were basically created for money. What happened after that was pure fate. Whether these movies were made for profit or for personal reasons, a transition would come none-the-less, and no amount of cutting edge gore from the 70’s would make any difference.
Controversial films changed and cheap effects to ridiculously cheesy creations. Great actors portrayed classic attributes of characters from the 70’s. This time, the acting was superb but the story line, much like the plots of the past, was quirky and unbelievable.
People everywhere were quoting from classic movies, building fan clubs. Late nights, you might have caught your neighbor dancing to the Time Warp. Favorites such as the all-time cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” were dreaded and avoided in the time of its inception. Today, this cult classic has such huge following, that you would never have guess it was ever unpopular. Mainstream, maybe not, Beloved, oh hell yeah!
Slowly but surely, cult films gained immense popularity. These films sat hiding in the shadows, waiting for the avid follower to discover them. Their unrealistic beauty was captivating. When the discovery was made, society changed.
And, as if that were not enough, cult films birthed their own line of action figures, comic books and remakes. This does not even include the sickening number of sequels that really go above and beyond slapstick. As the transition moved on, more ideas created more plots that would soon spread the sickness even further. Cult classics became an addiction. For the lover of these films, there was never enough.
Now, since the cult films are made and specifically selected for the movie industry; what was once an unintended consequence, is a goal. You must and you have to create beautiful trash! Cult films have formed their own genre through the growing popularity of this mindset. Beautifully strange movies have taken over. Even the die-hard fanatic searches for new films before their introduction. Cult fans are so engrossed in some films and then they never hit “Cult status”. The films are then dropped immediately by such fickle followers.
So, with this being said, what is better? Is it better to be an accidental underground hit or is it more creative to bring Cult films into the light as mainstream entertainment! Then again, mainstream may not be easy, but at the rate of cult film popularity, nothing is impossible anymore.
Is it all about the depth and content of the film, or is it the cult ingredients that make the movie popular? Looking at the differences between yesterday and today, there is only one certainty. Cult films are alive and well. This popularity will grow in the coming years.