100 Cult Films

Authors: Ernest Mathijs and Xavier Mendik

BFI Palgrave Macmillan

When it comes to films, how big is a cult? According to this attractively packaged mini coffee table book from the BFI, the answer doesn’t matter.


Mathijs and Mendik’s selection of 100 cult films, from all over the world and spanning every genre you can think of, is guaranteed to provoke debate. The inclusion of multi-million dollar, Academy Award-winning blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings and bona fide classics like Casablanca and It’s a Wonderful Life will no doubt provoke debate, but you can see where the authors are coming from. These are films that people watch obsessively, know inside out and the locations become pilgrimage sites.


Fans of The Sound of Music may be shocked to see a picture Julie Andrews’ Maria sandwiched between the likes of Baise Moi, Brain Dead and Man Bites Dog. While the authors are at pains to acknowledge in their introduction that not all of their selections will please everyone – and that some omissions will enrage – but the consistent thread is the devoted audience each film has attracted.


However, you will never, ever convince my better half that In Bruges warranted its spot in here. Me, I’m not persuaded that Debbie Does Dallas should have been included. If nothing else, this thought-provoking book will provide many hours of ready-made dinner party conversation.


Clare Moody

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