Recently I was able to chat with Sarah Gorr about one of my all-time favorite topics: cult movies. Check out here piece here!
To me, the thing that makes a cult movie particularly special is that it invites the viewer to participate in the show in some way. Of course, quintessential cult classics like Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Room have elaborate participatory traditions. And many cult films expect their audience to participate by taking drugs while watching the show (or they provided a drug-like experience in and of themselves). But lots of other movies invite participation in more subtle ways, asking audiences to interpret a multitude of intertextual references to popular culture or inviting them to speculate on an ambiguous ending as they are exiting the theater. And, of course, television shows like Mystery Science Theater 3000 transformed the fannish activity of “riffing” on movies into its own genre of entertainment.
Share your favorite cult movies in the comments below!