Cult film

From ArticleWorld

A film which is described as a cult film is one which is very popular amongst a small number of people. These fans are usually dedicated to the film and extol its virtues to others, although the film itself is unlikely to have succeeded at the box office. Films which achieve cult status are often low budget affairs, often but not always of the science fiction or horror genres. These films often contain mistakes or blunders which are noticeable by the viewer but this usually serves only to heighten the enjoyment of the viewer and much delight is taken when new blunders are discovered.

Rocky Horror

Possibly the most famous example of a cult film is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, released in 1975. At the time of its release the film was not widely acknowledged and the content of the film, themes of transvestitism and homosexuality mixed into a horror-comedy-musical, made it hard to classify and poorly received by the mainstream American public.

However, there was a small group of people who both saw and enjoyed the film and word began to spread. Soon audiences were arriving at late night screenings in small arthouse cinemas dressed as the characters and joining in with the songs. Over 30 years later it has been transferred into the theatre and is reaching audiences young and old, many of whom still continue the tradition of dressing up to view it.

Gay culture

In some cases, films which are widely appreciated by mainstream audiences can be seen as cult films to a certain section of the community. Largely this involves films which achieve cult status within the gay community. The chief example of this is The Wizard of Oz, a film which is loved by audiences around the globe but which has only reached cult status to its gay audience. This is due to the interpretation of certain aspects of the film as suggesting homosexuality. While it is largely thought that this is entirely unintentional, some gay men refer to themselves as friends of Dorothy, a clear reference to the film itself.