stoudman t1_j35jhod wrote

A change in mindset from "let's consolidate our workforce and force the remaining workers to do more work to make up for the lost labor" to "let's consolidate our workforce and force the remaining workers to do more work to make up for the lost labor" is NOT A CHANGE IN MINDSET!


stoudman t1_j28n63c wrote

To be clear, while I do believe that an overwhelming majority of cult classics fail before they succeed, the reason that factor is important is because it makes the licensing fees for the film more affordable.

The more affordable it is to license, the more streaming services and television channels will show it; the more it gets streamed and broadcast on television, the more people will see it more than once. That repeated viewing and opportunity to gain an appreciation for the movie is also integral as far as I'm concerned.

The kind of movies that will be cult classics tomorrow are going to be movies people have already seen half a dozen times today.


stoudman t1_j26ufcd wrote

Wow, now you're just making assumptions about me as a person. I'm extremely empathetic, I have an anxiety disorder and part of it is literally feeling strong emotions over being wronged or other people being wronged.

I minored in film studies, took dozens of classes on film, and experienced firsthand exactly how and why movies became cult classics in the 80s and 90s.

You've pointed to an example that stands out among the crowd as one of the few cases where a film became a cult classic despite being successful upon its initial release.

You're trying to say that one example is proof that I'm wrong about the other 99.9% of movies that are cult classics and how they have historically become cult classics.

That's bullshit. That offends me as a film fan. There's more going on with a movie like Sweet Sweetback's Badass Song than "cult classic" can clarify -- you absolutely need to mention it's a blaxploitation film, you need to mention that it wasn't widely available for a long time, you NEED TO FACTOR THESE DETAILS IN...and at least from my perspective, you personally are just ignoring those factors and attempting to use this one film as an argument to insist that every other cult film that ever came out and the formula for their success is somehow wrong or misunderstood.

Like, you'd need to write me a whole ass book explaining your perspective on this if you want me to buy the idea that one movie defines cult classics in a way that thousands of others considered cult classics do not.


stoudman t1_j26ki7v wrote

I wouldn't classify Blair Witch a cult classic, to be honest.

The Last Broadcast. The Poughkeepsie Tapes. The McPherson Tapes.

These are cult classic found footage horror films. Blair Witch was pretty much popular from the get go for reasons you yourself described.

These movies gained a cult following after the fact.

I feel like Lake Mungo is a good modern example that shows how it can be done today, but again...not popular upon release, only popular after the fact.

For sure some films develop a cult following in different ways from the traditional methods, but I feel like if we're going to define parameters for the genre, failure at first and success at last is the FUNDAMENTAL KEY that makes a film a cult classic.

To predict a movie already getting buzz will be a cult classic is a bold prediction as far as I'm concerned, but I could be wrong.


stoudman t1_j26icaq wrote

I mean, while it's not always a factor, reviews have driven people to see otherwise unpopular films in the past, and continue to do so.

Imagine how many people nowadays watched a movie because they saw it on Red Letter Media? A lot of those movies already have cult followings, but the point is that if a random popular YouTube channel decides to cover a random film that few people have seen or heard of, it could develop a cult following afterward.


stoudman t1_j26h8vu wrote

...but if 4 people respond that they like that random movie you mention, does a group of 4 people constitute a "cult following"?

I feel like the movie has to become profitable again for studios in order to consider it a cult film.

EDIT: Well, profitable again for SOMEONE, at least -- like Rocky Horror is profitable for theaters to run every now and then in certain markets. That might just be profitable for the theater, but the point is it draws in enough of a crowd to make money.


stoudman t1_j26grxx wrote

I disagree.

One of the main things that almost all cult films have in common is that they were not successful upon their initial release and only became popular in later years due to the rental market and cheaply licensed titles on television.

I do not think you can call a movie cult if it isn't even out yet, especially if it's already very popular upon and before its release.


stoudman t1_j26fs9j wrote

Due to constant opinion change? What?


The cult classic came about largely because of television and the rental market.

The reason they were considered "cult classics" is because traditionally, they were not very popular upon their initial release, and often bombed at the box office, but fans started becoming obsessed with watching them multiple times whenever:

A) The movie was broadcast frequently on television because the rights were cheap to obtain.

B) The movie was released on home video and fans started buying/renting the movie repeatedly to watch it over and over again.

Do you see how there was always an apparatus driving the sudden change in popularity? There was always a catalyst. Television networks looking for cheap content? Cult classics were born. Hell, that's literally the story behind A Christmas Story.

Home video didn't meaningfully exist until the 80s. Yeah, there were a few options in the 70s...that almost nobody knew about and were too expensive for the average consumer. Ever wonder why so many cult classics come from that era?

That 99 cents for 5 days rental did a lot of work, let me tell you. When VCRs finally became more affordable, the home video market opened up to a much bigger market, making it easier for a film to gain cult status just from rentals.

But even then, the reason a previously unpopular film became popular in modern times was because it was suddenly affordable and possible to watch them more frequently.

I would also argue movie channels like HBO drove the cult factor quite a bit as well, because a lot of my favorite cult movies are titles I saw dozens of times on those channels. you notice something about this phenomena that is no longer as present today as it was then?

They still show movies that are cheap to license on television....but who watches television anymore?

They still show movies that are cheap to license on streaming services as well....but the unpopular titles are typically buried by algorithms favoring more popular titles, so the types of movies that COULD become modern cult classics are more difficult to find.

Long story short, the means by which a movie can develop a cult like following are far more limited today than they were 30-40 years ago.

Is it still possible? Sure. Is it likely? No.

I would say the closest modern example I can think of is the Bad Ben series of films. Just some guy making stupid horror movies in his home, but they're absolutely hilarious, and have developed popularity not through promotion, but more through word of mouth.

So really, opinions changing is absolutely necessary for a film to become a cult classic, and I have no idea what OP meant by that being a problem instead of the catalyst for all cult films.