Cult Films Turn 25
Long before the days of Netflix, prior to the DVD, and certainly a light year before the Blu-ray, people would dust off their VHS players and get the tapes out to watch their favourite films. All these films below turn 25 this year and were during peak VHS time. Enjoy!
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
If you thought the first Terminator was good, many would regard its sequel to be even better, with groundbreaking special effects and incredible action scenes making this a must watch for any fan of hi-octane movies. It’s a great big molten metal thumbs up from us.
The Rocketeer threw up comparisons to the Indiana Jones series upon its release, with both films offering up a warm homage to 30s matinee serials. A heartwarming comic book adaptation starring Timothy Dalton, it focuses on a stunt pilot taking to the skies with his experimental rocket pack – coming up against mobsters and Dalton’s movie star turned Nazi spy as a result (don’t ask).
Having your film labeled one of the worst ever released is a sure fire way to make it a cult classic in our eyes. Whereas the original Highlander was a 16th century to modern day epic, the sequel pretty much ignores that completely, drastically changing the setting (we’re now in 2024) and adding a whole heap of additional science-fiction nonsense to the mix (yes, even above the whole head-severing immortal warriors thing).
The amazing Hot Shots! films are just what the doctor ordered if you’re looking for dumb, stupid silliness, packed full of sight gags and wordplay to rival even fellow parodies Airplane and The Naked Gun. Charlie Sheen plays Topper Harley, and no action movie trope is safe as the film sends up Top Gun and more.
One of the greatest action flicks of the early 90s, Point Break the best undercover cop extreme sports bank robbery movie ever made. It’s so bloody great. Keanu Reeves plays Johnny Utah, mixing police work and the surfer dude lifestyle throughout. There’s a much panned (and unnecessary) remake coming to UK cinemas soon. Ignore it, and re-visit this instead.
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey
Something of a Keanu Reeves double bill here, as he teams with Alex Winter to bring back everyone’s favourite slacker duo to the big screen after 1989’s Excellent Adventure. The barmy plot involves robot versions of Bill and Ted being sent back in time to stop themselves from winning a Battle of the Bands, and an amazing scene where they play Death himself at Battleships and Twister. Wyld Stallyns!
Everything the Coen Brothers touch turns to cult classic gold, and this is no exception. Barton Fink is more underrated than much of their back catalogue, for some reason not getting the props it deserves, but it certainly stacks up with them. It tells the story of a young New York City playwright who is hired to write scripts for a film studio in Hollywood, as bizarre events unfold around him.
The Fisher King
This underrated Terry Gilliam gem did away with the director’s usual outlandish flair in favour of a more restrained approach, which only amplifies the brief flashes of weird. Jeff Bridges is Jack Lucas, a shock-jock DJ whose volatile radio patois chatter prompts a listener to go out shoot up New York bar, before he crosses path with Robin Williams’ Parry, a homeless man who lost his wife in that shooting. A romance, a comedy and poignant drama in one.
Kenneth Branagh’s first jaunt into US film making was this underrated and stylish thriller, a mystery movie full of twists and turns and myriad nods to classic film-noir. Branagh also appears onscreen opposite Emma Thompson, in one of those films it’s best not to know too much about before you go in.
My Own Private Idaho
Gus Van Sant is one of cinema’s premier alternative directors, and this 1991 effort is about as close to the mainstream as he’s going to get (when he’s not directing Good Will Hunting). Starring Keanu Reeves and the late River Phoenix as male hustlers facing very different futures, it’s an interesting watch.
The 1990s was packed with great action flicks, so it’s no surprise some got lost in the shuffle. One such film is Toy Soldiers, a film about a bunch of boarding school students with a reputation for trouble, whose school gets overrun by terrorists. The scene is set for troubled teens taking it back to much more troubled men with guns. One of that decade’s great forgotten action flicks.
Showdown In Little Tokyo
Most of the films on our list so far have been genuinely great movies. This one’s not bad, but prepared to sink a few beers to get the most out of this tongue-in-cheek odd-couple comedy action movie, starring Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee as a pair of macho cops who beat up bad guys and crack wise. Lundgren partakes in some truly mad action scenes. There’s also a bit where a man dies on a giant spinning Catherine wheel…
Absolute cult movies, these! Proper classics from the late 80’s/early 90’s. If these float your boat, and you reckon you’ll be searching for a copy that you can watch without the troubles of a VHS player, get yourself looking at our film and film production courses. Right up your street.