Oddur B.T. Film Blog

Blogging about my passion

„Cult“ is where my comfort zone lies

I mostly enjoy writing about films that fit into the category „Cult“ in one way or another. It‘s, frankly, where my comfort zone lies. It would be easy to just focus on horror films (by far the most films labeled „Cult“ are horror films) but the category also includes so many films that are really un-classifiable. Many of these movies are so truly enjoyable and you don‘t even know exactly why. These are often films that are considered very poor, very cheap, very amateurish and some are just plain old studio films that got panned or performed very poorly when released. This is the stuff I like to write about and I hope you like reading about.

Friday the 13th: Part III (1982)

“Part 3” introduced the iconic image of a hockey masked maniac who’s essentially a killing machine that refuses to die and dispatches of his victims in spectacular ways. Type “hockey mask” in Google and there are numerous references for Jason on the first page of websites and images. So iconic is the look of this serial killer and for this fact alone then “Part 3” is an important piece of horror cinema. As an entry in the long running series it’s in the upper tier; surpassed by Parts 1 and 4 (the best of the bunch), Part 2 and Part 6 but narrowly beating out Part 5.

Deadly Friend (1986)

While the film has never been a critical darling or even that well liked by it’s own director it has always been well regarded among a huge number of Wes Craven fans and a general cult item with steadily increasing followers. I’d describe it as the closest thing you’d get to a family oriented graphic horror movie as it’s mash up of genres create a unique viewing experience that somehow works like a charm.

Murder by Death (1976)

Eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain invites five of the most renowned and respected detectives in the world to his isolated mansion for a dinner and a murder. Greeting them is blind butler Bensonmum who only receives help from a hired deaf/mute maid who has a long list of things she doesn’t do; among them cooking. Before the night is over Twain promises that a murder will occur and the five best sleuths will be completely stumped.

The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973)

“The Night Stalker” and “The Night Strangler” are a great watch for retro horror fans. Although they are very similar in tone and story there are a few notable differences in the way they are presented. I tend to sway a bit more to “The Night Strangler” overall but I never watch one without the other. There’s also a vibe, or a feel, associated to these 70’s made for TV efforts that makes sure they age like fine wine. Also it’s funny to think there was once a time when millions of viewers gathered around the TV set at the same time to experience a single movie event. Times sure have changed.

The Initiation (1984)

Coming at the tail end of the slasher film’s popularity and subsequent inevitable foray into self-parody; “The Initiation” is a thriller/slasher that’s very competent in every department and takes itself seriously. It has a terrific cast of old pros and good up-and-comers, a neat mystery that’s very well played out and solid set-pieces that are both well staged and executed with flair.

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Intruder (1989)

It’s stretching it to call “Intruder” a classic but it is an enjoyable late entry in a genre that was all but disappearing to a direct to video market. That’s for the most part thanks to some astonishing make-up effects and an overall gruesome nature in the flick’s kill scenes that “Intruder” scores highly among genre buffs.

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The ‘Burbs (1989)

Director Joe Dante is one of my favorites. He’s delivered some bona-fide classics like “The Howling”, “Gremlins” and “Innerspace”.
He’s simply an imaginative filmmaker who can play in more ways than one with the material at hand and, therefore, make them fairly unique and original.
Like many of Dante’s other films, “The ‘Burbs” pays a great deal of homage to a particular genre while also carving out a satirical standpoint that gives it it’s own identity.

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Prowler (1981)

A girl named Rosemary writes a “Dear John” letter to her boyfriend oversees during WWII. Some time later she’s out with her new beau during a graduation dance and a figure clad in army fatigues stabs them both to death with a pitchfork

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Night of the Demons 1 & 2

A nasty demon is awakened at Hull House, an abandoned mortuary, where a group of teenagers are partying on Halloween night. The demon possesses two of them and soon bloody carnage ensues as the pair kills, and then possesses, the rest of the group.

A few years later students are preparing for a celebration where a few of them decide to visit Hull House. This new group of teens catch Angela’s attention and some more demon mayhem is unleashed.

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Deranged (1974)

The infamous Ed Gein (1906-1984), aka the Butcher of Plainfield, certainly had an impact on horror cinema. He was the inspiration for Norman Bates in “Psycho” (1960) and influenced Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974).
His own story is most accurately depicted in 1974’s “Deranged”. Not only is “Deranged” the most accurate adaptation of Gein’s doings but also a film that presents a sick and dangerous individual who went unnoticed for some time in a manner that feels very authentic and unglamourised. And while doing so it also infuses the morbid story with some very dark and wildly funny humour and that’s no small feat.

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