Cult Classic movies M-Z

cinematic value: 1 is low and 10 is high
many reviews obtained courtesy of Internet Movie Database

Man Bites Dog--
The most critically acclaimed international film of 1992. A documentary of
a cold-blooded murderer that is "scathingly funny" (says Newsweek) and 
equally stunning. In black and white, Franch with subtitles. It is banned
in Sweden and Australia. Winner of 1992 Cannes Film Festival "Best
International Movie". (9/10)

Maniac (1980)--
"I told you not to go out tonight". Frank misses his mother, who was
killed in a car accident years before. She was abusive to him, and made
money selling her body, but Frank still misses her. He tries to keep
her from leaving him, and reform her evil ways, by killing young women
and putting their scalps on mannequins which he displays around his
apartment. Photographer Anna takes a picture of him in the park, and he
pursues and befriends her. Is she the one he's been looking for or just
another mommy wanna be? (7.5/10)

Masque of the Red Death--
Satanist Prince Prospero invites several dozen of the local nobility
to his castle for protection against an oncoming plague, the Red Death.
Prospero orders his guests to attend a masked ball and, amidst a
general atmosphere of debauchery and depravity, notices the entry
of a mysterious hooded stranger dressed all in red. Believing the
figure to be his master, Satan, Prospero is horrified at the revelation 
of his true identity. (8.5/10)

Matango (1963)--
Five vacationers and two crewmen become stranded on a tropical island
near the equator. The island has little edible food for them to use as
they try to like in a fungus covered hulk while repairing Kessei's yacht.
Eventually they struggle over the food rations which were left behind by
the former crew. Soon they discover something unfriendly there... (7/10)

Meet The Feebles--
The Muppets on crack, for an adult audience. Heidi The Hippo, the star
of the Meet The Feebles Variety Hour discovers her husband Bletch, The
Walrus is cheating and with all the world waiting for the show the assorted
co-stars must contend with their own problems. These include drug abuse,
extortion, robbery, AIDS, and even murder. While this is happening the
love between two of the stars is threatened by the devious Trevor the
Rat, who wishes to exploit the young starlet. (8.5/10)

Natural Born Killers--
The media turns serial killers into superstars. Nightmarish and grueling
cinematography as only Oliver Stone can do. (8/10)

The Night of the Hunter (1955)--
Ben Harper has committed murder for $10,000. He hides the money and
makes daughter Pearl and son John promise not to tell anyone where
it is hidden, not even their mother Willa. In prison and awaiting
hanging, Ben meets his cellmate, the Preacher, who tries unsuccessfully
to get Ben to reveal where he stashed the money. When Preacher is released
from prison he heads for the Harper home, intent on finding the money.
Preacher charms Willa and wins her hand in marriage, only to kill her
when she learns what he is really like. With only Pearl and John
separating him from a small fortune, the Preacher unleashes the full
force of his true, evil self. (8/10)

Night of the Living Dead--
The original zombie movie from 1968 that broke boundaries for the
horror genre. Scary in black and white. (9/10)

The Omen--
The son of Satan is born onto earth and the couple that must raise the
child is faced with figuring this out and finding how to stop him
(even kill him) before he causes death and creates a dominion of
evil on earth. (8.5/10)

Once Upon A Time In The West--
Brett McBain is preparing a welcoming feast for the woman he married
last month in New Orleans when he and his three children are gunned
down by desperadoes. Frank, the most hardened villain, works for the
railroad that will pass through the land Jill McBain has inherited.
Will auctioning off the land quickly increase her odds of surviving?
Harmonica gets the money for the high bid by turning in Cheyenne for
the $5,000 award. And he keeps Jill, too, but seems more interested
in settling an old score with Frank than either the land or the
lovely widow. (8/10)

Onibaba (1964)--
After enlisting as a volunteer in a war in 14th century Japan, his
wife and mother remain living in a swamp. They eke out their living
by ambushing worn-out warriors, killing them and selling their belongings
to a greedy merchant. The woman comes to mistrust her daughter-in-law who
has coupled up with a deserter, and begins to wear a facial mask she has
taken from a slain samurai. Soon the mask will not come off again. In
this disguise she is at first taken for a demon by her daughter. When at
last the daughter tries to lift the mask, the old woman's face is
disfigured by a disease. Panic stricken the daughter flees from the
sight and falls into the pit prepared for the warriors. (8/10)

Pandora's Box--
G.W. Pabst's film that catapaulted Louise Brooks to international
acclaim and made her 'the' icon of the Jazz Age tells the tragic story
of Lulu, the hedonistic dancer and prostitute. Based on the plays of F.
Wedekind. (8/10)

Plan 9 From Outer Space--
Known as the worst movie ever made courtesy of Ed Wood. The inconsistencies
and goofs make this movie hilarious. (2/10)

The Player (1992)--
A studio script screener gets on the bad side of a writer by not accepting
his script. The writer is sending him threatening postcards. The screener
tries to identify the writer in order to pay him off so he'll be left alone,
and then in a case of mistaken identity gone awry, he accidentally gives
the writer solid ammunition for blackmail. This plot is written on a
backdrop of sleazy Hollywood deals and several subplots involving
the politics of the industry. (9/10)

Police Force (1985)--
Kevin (Jackie Chan) is a Hong-Kong cop, who scores his first big hit
by virtually single-handedly capturing and arresting a big drug- lord.
Of course, the drug-lord isn't too happy about this, and frames Kevin with
the murder of another cop (who happened to be on the take). Kevin has to
clear his name, whilst keeping himself from getting killed or arrested, and
keeping his girlfriend from leaving him. (9/10)

Project A (1983)--
In late 19th Century Hong Kong the British may rule the land, but the
pirates rule the waters. Reluctantly, the Coast Guard is given money to
fight these pirates, but the pirates themselves have many contacts (that
is, bribed officials) in the government, and seek to thwart the Coast
Guard's efforts to eliminate them. One Coast Guard officer is Dragon Ma,
who is determined that his beloved Coast Guard will not be made fools
of. (8.5/10)

The Rapture (1991)--
This is the story of a young woman (who lives in Los Angeles) with a
very boring job. At night however, she and a male partner cruise the bars
as swingers. After a time, she begins to believe that a conspiracy exists
and decides that she must become a born-again Christian. The movie presents
an interesting view of how even the most unlikely person might become
born-again. (9/10)

After witnessing the brutal slaughter of his family by a vicious
serial killer, criminal psychologist, Gregory Burroughs, is engulfed
in an obsession for revenge. He follows a trail of carnage and destruction
to a violent underworld and becomes entangled in a web of brutality
surrounded by an army of cold-blooded assassins. The resulting explosion
of action and violence propels Gregory to the ultimate chance to
attain vengeance. (8/10)

The Razor - The Sword of Justice (1972)--
The screwiest samurai film ever. It seems unduly influenced by seedy
American crime dramas. The Razor tortures himself to become stronger.
He tortures parts of the body that would never occur to me to torture.
He then uses that part on just about every woman he comes across,
described in the notes as "the enthusiastic application of his 'biggest
asset'" -- I found this facet of the film a little too disturbing. Raping
women to get them to tell you information -- admittedly, they tell him
because they start enjoying it -- is going to far for my tastes. The music
helps give an air of rollicking fun, and Katso Shintaro, (best know as
Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman), gives a strong performance as the Razor,
that refuses to pull any punches. He plays him as the most depraved
do-gooder around. (8.5/10)

Real Genius--
Two brilliant teenagers head a team of young geniuses developing a
laser for what they believe is a class project. When they find out
that their professor intends to turn their work over to the government
for use as a weapon, they decide to ruin his plans. (7/10)

A scientist invents green fluid that revives the dead and teams up with
a college roommate to re-animate dead corpses in the morgue. The fluid
gets into the hands of an evil professor who want to use it for sex and
power, and that's when the fun starts. Very gory horror classic. (10/10)

Roman Polanski's horrific psychological thriller. A beautiful but sexually
repressed young woman (lovely Catherine Deneuve) lives with her older
sister, but disapproves of her older sister's boyfriend. When the sister
and her boyfriend go on vacation, the woman sinks into depression. She
has many graphics hallucinations of rape and murder. (10/10)

Reservoir Dogs--
Organized armed robbers never had such a hard time. A gang of thieves
carry out an armed robbery on a Diamond warehouse. The police are after
them so quickly that they suspect they have a rat in their company.
This film starts right after the robbery, with flashbacks to before
the robbery, and to the planning of the crime. We are also introduced
to the main characters in flashback mode. Plenty of fast action, and
plenty of blood and gore. (9/10)

The Ripper of Notre Dame--
A depraved religious maniac witnesses a satanic ceremony of demon worship,
unaware that the black mass ritual is just a fake, staged by a wealthy man
for the amusement of his friends. Appointing himself as a savior, the
maniac hunts down each person who participated in the ritual and forces
them to endure the horrifying and gruesome Rites of Exorcism! (8/10)

Santa Sangre--
A young man is confined in a mental hospital. Through a flashback we see
that he was traumatized as a child, when he and his family were circus
performers: he saw his father cut off the arms of his mother, a religious
fanatic and leader of the heretical church of Santa Sangre ("Holy Blood"),
and then commit suicide. Back in the present, he escapes and rejoins his
surviving and armless mother. Against his will, he "becomes her arms" and
the two undertake a grisly campaign of murder and revenge. (8/10)

Score (1972)--
Liberated '70s couple seduce another couple into experimentation with
bisexuality and group-sex. (8/10)

Shao Lin Vs. Wu Dang (1981) aka. Shaolin vs Wu Tang--
The movie sampled from by the Wu-Tang in their debut album. (7/10)

Shao Lin xiao zi (1983)--
Two rivaling families live on opposite sides of a river. One of them
practices Shaolin kung fu and has only sons, while the other has only
daughters and practices the Wu-Tang sword. The father of the Wu-Tang
family is so paranoid about the Shaolin kids stealing his sword style
(besides, he wants a son to teach it to, and the closest thing he has
is a lesbian daughter) that he is taken off guard when some real bad
guys come along to kill his family, but the Shaolin family helps them
out. All the while, everyone is desperately trying to get the lesbian
girl to marry Jet Li. (8/10)

Shichinin no samurai (1954)--
a.k. The Seven Samurai. A village is constantly attacked by well armed
bandits. One day after an attack they seek the wisdom of an elder who
tells them they cannot afford weapons, but they can find men with weapons,
samurai, who will fight for them, if they find samurai who are in down
on their luck and wondering where their next meal will come from. They
find a very experienced samurai with a good heart who agrees to recruit
their party for them. He selects five genuine samurai and one who is
suspect but the seven return to the village to protect it from the
forty plus bandits. (9/10)

Sex, Lies, and Videotape--
Cannes film fastival winner (1989) that candidly portrays sexuality in
realtionships (without nudity) and how four young adults learn to live
with each other. (8/10)

Linklater on his journey through hallucinations like a modern Monty
Python. (8/10)

So I Married An Axe Murderer--
The often overlooked Mike Myers movie that is a hilarious comedy with
plenty of spoofed moments. This movie is banned in Poland because of
the Polish jokes. Now that is pretty funny in itself. (7.5/10)

The Stendhal Syndrome--
Anna, a police woman of the anti-rape division, travels to Florence to
compare information on a serial rapist case similar to one that happened
in Rome. While there she is taken overmby the Stendhal Syndrome, an
affliction where one becomes both emotionally and physically immersed
in beautiful paintings. Meanwhile the rapist everyone is after has taken
a dangerous liking to Anna, and she ends up getting raped and abused
herself. Dario Argento returns to his roots, bringing back the savage
imagery of hisearlier work. In one scene you can even see the killer's
reflection on a slow motion bullet as it enters the face of an
unfortunate victim. (8/10)

Story of O (1972)--
The beautiful O is taken by her boyfriend, Rene, to a bizarre retreat,
where she is trained in bondage and sexual perversion. Rene discharges
a personal debt by transferring possession of O to his step-brother,
Sir Stephen... (8/10)

Straw Dogs--
Upon moving to Britain to get away from American violence, astrophysicist
David Sumner and his wife Amy are bullied and taken advantage of by the
locals hired to do contruction. When David finally takes a stand it
escalates quickly into a bloody battle as the locals assault his house.
starring Dustin Hoffman (8/10)

Classic by the Italian Hitchcock. A young American dancer travels to
Europe to join a famous ballet school. As she arrives, the camera turns
to another young woman, who appears to be fleeing from the school. She
returns to her apartment where she is gruesomely murdered by a hideous
creature. Meanwhile, the young American is trying to settle in at the
ballet school, but hears strange noises and is troubled by bizarre
occurrences. She eventually discovers that the school is merely a front
for a much more sinister organisation. (8/10)

Sweet Movie--
The winner of the Miss World Virginity contest escapes from a sexless
marriage to an oil tycoon, has a wild affair with a famous rock star
and settles in a radical commune. Meanwhile, a boat travels the canals
of Amsterdam with a cargo of sugar, a demented crew, a revolutionary
zealot captain and her lover, a refugee from the Battleship Potemkin.
Makavejev's bizarre and pointedly satirical vision is totally
uncompromising and filled with shocking images. (8/10)
by Marty

Tenebre (1982 uncut) a.k.a. Unsane (U.S. 1984 cut version)--
With Argento's trademark visual style, linked with one of his more
coherent plots, Tenebre follows a writer who arrives to Rome only to
find somebody is using his novels as the inspiration (and, occasionally,
the means) of committing murder. As the death toll mounts the police are
ever baffled, and the writer becomes more closely linked to the case
than is comfortable. Banned in Finland, Germany, and Sweden. (10/10)

Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except a.k.a. Styrker's War--
Jack Stryker took two bullets in the leg in Vietnam and was carried
back by one of his men. When he returns he tries to live a peaceful
life in his cabin and resume dating his girlfriend, Sally. Meanwhile,
a vicious cult let by Sam Raimi, who believes he is Jesus Christ,
has been slaughtering people and doing blood sacrifices. When Stryker
finds Sally gone, and her grandfather, Otis, used as a human dartboard,
Stryker brings together his army buddies, gives them a stash of guns from
under his bed, destroy an outhouse, and create a war zone not unlike
Vietnam to destroy the evil cult. (8.5/10)

The Thrill Killers (1964)--
Three psychotic murderers escape from a mental institution and stalk
women in Los Angeles. (8/10)

Tokyo Decadence--
A submissive hooker goes about her trade, suffering abuse at the hands
of Japanese salarymen and Yakuza types. She's unhappy about her work,
and is apparently trying to find some sort of appeasement for the fact
that her lover has married. (7.5/10)

Tromeo and Juliet--
Romeo and Juliet with sex, gore, and dismemberment. From Troma films.
Juliet is the beautiful Jane Jensen. (8/10)

Una Lucertola con la pelle di donna (1971)--
An early Fulci work. The film is about a young lady who has dreams of
murdering her neighbor, who is bit of a wild character. When this
becomes reality, the search for the murderer leads to various plot
twists and turns until it all unfolds nicely. It was great how the
film gave you one fake resolution after another as to who the killer
was. A lot of smart ideas used here as well. (8.5/10)

The Vanishing (1988)--
Rex and Saskia are on holiday, a young couple in love. They stop at a
busy service station and Saskia disappears. Rex dedicates the next
three years trying to find her. Then he receives some postcards from
her abductor, who promises to reveal what has happened to Saskia.
The abductor, Raymond Lemorne, is a chilling character to whom Rex
is drawn by his intense desire to learn the truth behind his lovers
disappearance. The truth is more sinister than he dared imagine. (8/10)

VINCENT PRICE-----------actor----------------
House on Haunted Hill (1958)--
Five diverse people are invited to a 'haunted house' party. They are
offered $10,000 each by an eccentric millionaire and his wife to spend 
the night in a house with a murderous past.  (7.5/10)
The Last Man on Earth (1964)--
Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the only survivor of a devastating
world-wide plague due to a mysterious immunity he acquired to the bacterium
while working in Central America years ago. He is all alone now...or so it
seems. As night falls, plague victims begin to leave their graves, part of
a hellish undead army that'ís thirsting for blood...his! (8.5/10)
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)--
Doctors are being murdered in a bizarre manner: bats, bees, killer frog masks,
etc., which represent the nine Biblical plagues. The crimes are orchestrated
by a demented organ player with the help of his mute assistant. The detective
is stumped until he finds that all of the doctors being killed assisted a Dr.
Vesalius on an unsuccessful operation involving the wife of Dr. Phibes, but
he couldn't be the culprit, could he? He was killed in a car crash upon
learning of his wife's death. (8.5/10)
Theatre of Blood (1973)--
Vincent Price plays Edaward Lionheart, a Shakespearean actor who's career
is destroyed when the critics trash his performances. With the aid of his
twisted daughter (Diana Rigg), Edward fakes his own death so that he may
return in cognito to seek vengence on those who destroyed his career. He
kills off the critics, one by one, basing the murders on plots from
Shakespeare plays. (8/10)

When A Stranger Calls--
High school student Jill Johnson is traumatized over an evening of babysitting
by a caller who repeatedly asks, "Have you checked the children lately?" After
notifying the police, Jill is told that the calls are coming from inside the
house, and the children, tucked upstairs in their beds, have been murdered.
She escapes from the killer that night, but seven years later, when Jill is
a mother herself and leaves her children for an evening, the same insane
killer, now at large again, begins terrorizing her anew. (7.5/10)

Way of the Dragon (1972)--
Tang Lung (Bruce Lee) arrives in Rome to help his cousins in the restaurant
business. They are being pressured to sell their property to the syndicate,
who will stop at nothing to get what they want. When Tang arrives he poses
a new threat to the syndicate, and they are unable to defeat him. The
syndicate boss hires the best Japanese and European martial artists to fight
Tang, but he easily finishes them off. The American martial artist Colt
(Chuck Norris) is hired and has a showdown with Tang in Rome's famous
Colosseum. (8/10)

The Wicker Man--
Police Sgt. Howie, of the Scottish mainland, receives an anonymous letter
from the offshore community of Summerisle, asking him to investigate the
disappearance of a young girl there. He travels to the remote isle and
discovers a secretive, tightly knit neo-pagan society. Being a devout
Christian, he is shocked by the islanders' open sexuality and ritualistic
devotion to the "old gods." As the mystery of the missing girl unravels,
he begins to suspect that she is a victim of human sacrifice. In the
film's chilling final sequence, the truth is revealed when Sgt. Howie
meets the "wicker man." (8/10)

Wings of Desire--
This Wim Wenders film centers around the story of two angels wandering
post-war Berlin. Invisible to humans, they nevertheless give their
help and comfort to all the lonely and depressed souls they meet.
Finally, after many centuries, one of the angels becomes unhappy
with his mortal state and wishes to become human in order to
experience the joys of everyday life. He meets a circus acrobat and
finds in her the fufillment of all his mortal desires. He also
discovers that he is not alone in making  this cross over, and that
a purely spiritual experience is not enough to satisfy anyone. (9/10)

Yi tian tu long ji zhi mo jiao jiao zhu (1993)--
Set during the Yuen Dynasty, many sects compete for possession of the 
two golden swords which contain the secret to dominance of the world of
martial arts. The first faction, led by Shaolin, consists of Shaolin, Wu
Tang, Ngo Mai, Kun Lun, Hung Tung and Wah Shan. The second is the Ming
Sect, otherwise known as the Fire Sect or Evil Sect, led by branch leaders
Queen of Purple Dragon, King of White Eagle, King of Gold Lion and King 
of Green Bat. A student of Wu Tang, befriends Gold Lion and marries the
daughter of White Eagle. He is killed for the secret of the location of
the missing sword. His infant son witnesses this and vows revenge on the
heads of the sect. Unfortunately he has a jinx which prevents him from
learning martial arts. (7.5/10)

Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain--
This is not a martial arts film. Rather it is a fantasy set during
China's civil war of 1740s, featuring a dozen flying swordsmen, a
hell-within-the-mountains, and some quite difficult-to-believe
fights. (8/10)