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Top 10 Cult Movies

A list of alternative must-see movies, perfect to watch this Ramadan while you wait for iftar. Or after iftar, while you lounge around in a food coma.

Looking to kills some time until Maghreb? Well you are in luck: I have compiled a list of films, some of which will never be played on TV. These are called cult classics for one simple reason: most of these films failed in the box office, but spread to masses through word of mouth, developing a following over time. So in no particular order...

Shogun Assassin

You may have never heard of this film, but it definitely deserves to be at the top of my list. Why? Well because it has inspired everything from music to movies. It is a simple movie where a father is left with his son, after the murder of his wife. He then pushes his child around in a baby cart while everyone in Japan tries to kill him. The baby cart is equipped with buttons and weapons so the baby can get in on the action.

Without this film one could argue there wouldn't be a Kill Bill, as Quentin Tarantino blatantly steals the fountains of blood from this film. At the same time if you are a fan of the Wu-Tang Clan, you will notice many of the lines are sampled throughout their album Liquid Swords.

Brazil

This film was perhaps Terry Gilliam’s best film, and was his directorial debut no less. A dystopian film about the future being a bureaucratic nightmare and the plight of one bureaucrat trying to find his dream girl through the countless paperwork. When I first saw this film, I thought it should be called Egypt, as many living here are already living the nightmare.

 

The Big Lebowski

This movie is definitively the ultimate stoner comedy. It begins simply with a painstaking pissing on the wrong guys rug. From there it spirals out of control into a botched kidnapping and our hero fearing his penis getting cut off by German nihilists. In my opinion, it's John Goodman's best performance and one of the many Coen brother masterpieces.

Rushmore

This film brought to the spotlight the great Wes Anderson, and also revitalised Bill Murray's acting career. It is a film about of an overachieving high school student involved with  just about every after-school club at a prestigious private school. The only problem is he keeps failing his classes and has fallen in love with a teacher that he finds himself competing over with Bill Murray. Maybe not Wes Anderson's best film, but definitely the first one that defined his filming style.

 

Donnie Darko

Two words come to mind when I think of this film: MIND FUCK. This is a film about a troubled teenager that is instructed by a large bunny rabbit to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident. May seem messed up, but is definitely worth the watch.

 

Office Space

Anytime you hate your job, remember: you are not alone. Pop in this film and, at least for a couple of hours, you can forget your worries. This comedic tale is about company workers who hate their job and find a way to rebel against their greedy bosses. Easier said then done.

 

Reservoir Dogs

This was the first film Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed. Although it didn't get a big box office release, it definitely was critically acclaimed, and would be the launching pad for one of the best directors of our time. The majority of the film takes place in a warehouse after a bank robbery goes wrong and the criminals are left to figure out who the informant was.

 

Memento 

Before The Dark Knight and Man of Steel, came a movie by Christopher Nolan about a man suffering from short-term memory loss. Using notes and tattoos on his body, the man goes out in search for his wife's killer.

City of God

A film set in Rio De Janeiro about two boys growing up in a violent neighbourhood; One becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. It is one of the most beautiful films while also being graphic. It received critical acclaim but barely had a theatrical release. Through word of mouth this movie spread and for good reason.

 

Old Boy

This film is not for those with weak stomachs. It is the first of what would be called the vengeance trilogy, and marked the debut of my favourite Korean director Park Chan-Wook. The film follows a man who is kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, and is suddenly released and asked to find his captor in five days. Armed with a hammer, he goes on a crazy kill spree looking for answers. It is quickly becoming essential cinema and launched Park Chan-Wook career internationally.

 

Honourable Mention: Mean Girls

I did enjoy this film, It wouldn't make my top 10, but many of the CairoScene team would have it at number one. So here it is, honourably mentioned. It is exactly what you think it is about: mean girls in high school, but at the end of the day I am a fan of Tina Fey, and she wrote a brilliant, witty script, which quickly became quotable. 

 


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