Cult Films

Room 237 Teaser

There are a ton of horror classics that get revisited by movie fans around this time of year, but perhaps none are more dense, rich, respected, and downright creepifying as Stanley Kubrick’s unique take on Stephen King’s story of old hotels, hauntings, and Jack Nicholson going crazy, The Shining. Apart from being one of the greatest horror films of all time, The Shining is often just considered one of the greatest films of all time, period. And that’s why it’s developed an over thirty-year history of ongoing post-film discussion. The Shining’s legions of fans are devoted, so much so that many of them spend countless hours poring over ever little detail of the film, trying to suss out and decode what every little splatter of blood, every surreal image, every number on a hotel room door means in the greater scheme of things. The cult surrounding this film is so interesting that director Rodney Ascher and producer Tim Kirk decided to make a documentary about it. Their film is called Room 237, and they describe it by saying, “Room 237 is a subjective documentary feature which explores numerous theories about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and its hidden meanings. This guided tour through the most compelling attempts to decode this endlessly fascinating film will draw the audience into a new maze, one with endless detours and dead ends, many ways in, but no way out. Discover why many have been trapped in the Overlook for 30 years.”

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The level of neon-glowing attention to detail in Panos Cosmatos‘s Beyond the Black Rainbow is intense. The first-time director has taken the images of forbidden horror VHS tapes on rental store shelves and transformed his imagined movies into something very real, and very frightening. It’s a trip into a lonely cult that mixes religion, science and pills. We’ll talk with the writer/director about his psychedelic terror-scape. Plus, Battleship Pretension hosts David Bax and Tyler Smith battle in our Movie News Pop Quiz, and the discussion turns to the nature of superhero movies. Are they an action subgenre? Can there be a superhero movie without any action? Is The Avengers the zenith? Reject Radio starts now. As soon as you click that. Download Episode #133

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When Ben Solovey last checked in, it was with a busted print of Manos: The Hands of Fate and the high hopes that someone would give a damn about the infamous cult classic enough to help fund an effort to see it restored. He asked for $10,000, and he got $25,000. It turns out that a lot of people care about this movie enough to see it saved. His Kickstarter campaign has officially been kickstarted which means that the restoration will happen, and with it come a 2K to 35mm film-out preservation negative (meaning even more Manoses can be born), a commentary track featuring surviving cast members will be recorded, and a doc about the process to save the movie will be made and added to the DVDs and Blu-rays. That’s right. There’s going to be a Blu-ray of Manos: The Hands of Fate. Let that massage in for a second and rejoice!

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You never know. You just never know. I wonder if back in 1930, Universal Studios make up artist, Jack Pierce while constructing his “monster” make-up on actor Boris Karloff, had wondered if he was creating something transcendent. Something that would forever infuse itself into the western culture generation after generation, becoming the mental image that every brain would access when it heard the name “Frankenstein.” I bet he didn’t. I bet ol’ Jack had an assignment, did the best job that he could, collected his meager paycheck and was grateful to be working during the depression. Truly, that is the way it is. You never can tell what will connect with audiences. You just do the work, collect your salary, and thank God you are not pounding the pavement looking for your next job. Evil Dead II is one of those cult favorite films that so much of has been discussed and revealed through interviews, articles, supplemental videos on DVD’s, convention panels, etc., that I’m not sure what I can add to all of this information besides my individual view point. Forgive me if you’ve heard much of this information before; just know that what you are now reading is not being pushed through the filter of a reporter. I was there in Mark Shostrom’s South Pasadena studio. And although, again, I didn’t go to location in North Carolina, what I designed and sculpted at Mark’s would follow me to this day.

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Last weekend, a film called The Worst Movie Ever! (complete with an exclamation mark in the title) played two midnight showings at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in Los Angeles and made only $11. That means that one person attended only one of the screenings, which means that if the filmmaker’s mother came out to support him, he wasn’t there to hold her hand. It’s difficult to say with certainty, but the whole thing seems fishy. If you were four-walling your own movie, wouldn’t you want to be there? Wouldn’t the actors and people who worked on the thing show up for support even if it meant paying for their own ticket? Is it just blind luck that advertising brought in only one person interested in seeing it (thus making it the lowest-grossing opening weekend ever)? For any other movie, these questions might not even pop up. When the infamous Zyzzyx Road scored $20 during its one-weekend-long domestic run, it became a humorous anecdote in movie history, but there was nothing suspicious about it. In that case, producer Leo Grillo only opened the film in order to fulfill a domestic run needed to sell it to foreign markets. In the case of the self-proclaimed The Worst Movie Ever!, writer/director/producer/star Glenn Berggoetz has clearly made a film so intentionally bad that a newsworthy, historically low weekend take can only benefit it. And it has.

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David Wain might have missed the 9:00 appointment ten years from when all the campers of Wet Hot American Summer got together, but he may still have a chance to see who they’ve all blossomed into. If you’re not getting the references here, go watch the movie. Don’t tell anyone you haven’t seen it. Just calmly, quietly watch it (instantly). According to an interview Wain did for The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith, the writer/director has been thinking about doing a “sequel, prequel, something or other” to get the gang back together. That gang includes Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and many, many, many other comedians wearing shorts that are too small for them. If Wain goes with his prequel idea, it would see actors in their late 30s and early 40s playing 20-year-old camp counselors, and there’s not one thing wrong with that.

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MikeJudgeInterview

Are you ready for the most high energy interview of all time? That’s too bad, because Mike Judge is a pretty mono-toned guy. Luckily, what he has to say is pretty damned interesting, and as a bonus you get to look at my ugly mug on video. Seriously, I’m like the Charlie Rose of the internet.

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office-space

Is Extract a de facto sequel to Office Space? Would returning to the world of red staplers and TPS reports be such a bad thing? Yes – says that world’s creator.

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DeathofCult

The gap is tightening – movies are either full-blown successes or major flops. In a content-driven culture, how are some films that fail at the box office supposed to fly under the radar to have a second-life on DVD?

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80sfilmheader

Rejoice! It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to remakes. There’s a ton of 80s movies that aren’t being remade, and here’s just a handful of the ones we’re most thankful for.

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Ink gets another creepy trailer

A second trailer for Ink has hit the web, and this time we were ready for it despite it still being creepy.

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Porn Star Tera Patrick

It looks as though Struggle Pretty Captive and Reign of Tera star Tera Patrick may be joining colleagues Jenna Jameson and Sasha Grey in making the move from mainstream porn to, well, mainstream Hollywood film.

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A movie that attracts a near-rabid fan following is a cult movie, that is if or until it “goes public” and finds itself on famous lists like the American Film Institute’s.

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I thought I’d compile a list of life ruining films. In other words, films that have ruined lives in the same way that World of Warcraft has.

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