20 Best Cult Movies of the 1980s

The 80s is arguably probably the most romanticized eras in historical past. “I grew up within the 80s”, “I want I may return to the 80s” are strains one usually hears from nostalgic freaks of the last decade. So what precisely makes glam-rock period so particular? There was an enormous cultural change that took over the world publish the Vietnam conflict within the 70s, and the 80s would then set the development for the many years to observe. Like all different types of artwork, cinema, too, witnessed vital modifications in fashion and content material. The entry of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis onto the scene had paved the best way for an entire new fashion of filmmaking in mainstream cinema, particularly within the sci-fi, motion arenas. There have additionally been quite a few indie filmmakers whose works weren’t effectively appreciated on the time of their launch, however through the years, would go on to generate a staunch fan following. One can simply argue that 80s was a decade with most variety of cult classics that folks have found over time. With that mentioned, right here’s the listing of high cult traditional motion pictures of 1980s.

20. Useless Poets Society (1989)

A very stunning remembrance of Robin Williams’ expertise and kindness and the facility of cinema to carry emotion and poetry to the display screen. Oh captain, my captain – this legendary scene in direction of the top of the movie is a chunk of historical past which contributes to the great thing about this traditional, a film wealthy in emotion and significant depth. John Keating is an English trainer at a strict and conservative all-boys boarding faculty in Vermont, who’s spirit introduces the scholars to a brand new approach of issues, a perspective the place one’s thoughts is open and free to really feel and interpret phrases in several methods and perceive ardour, love and the issues that make us the dwelling people that we’re. Carpe Diem because the movie’s and the character’s life motto, you might be assured that Mr. Keating not solely modifications his college students together with his unconventional strategies, however you as effectively with this excellent creation. Like Williams’ character would say : “Seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary”.

Learn Extra: Best Movies of the 1970s

19. The Skinny Blue Line (1988)

Errol Morris’s distinctive documentary dramatically re-enacts the crime scene and investigation of a police officer’s homicide in Dallas, Texas.  By doing so, the movie efficiently argues man was wrongly convicted of that homicide by a corrupt justice system. The documentary exhibits the viewers the proof gathered by the police, who have been beneath excessive strain to clear the case. It strongly makes a degree that there’s a lot of circumstantial proof. Errol Morris created a surprising depiction of a gross miscarriage of justice. Apart from the brilliance of the artwork building, its message is obvious and highly effective.

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18. Soiled Dancing (1987)

Dirty Dancing iconic couples

‘Soiled Dancing’ is the epitome of dance motion pictures. This Emile Ardolino directed flick has soul enriching dance sequences, attractive scenes, and stars who carry the artwork to life. The Swayze and Gray starrer is about Frances “Child” Houseman, who whereas spending the summer season at a Catskills resort together with her household, falls in love with the camp’s dance teacher, Johnny Citadel. ‘Soiled Dancing’ acquired accolades and applauds from critics and viewers alike, and received the Academy Award for Finest Unique Music. Including to its legendary standing, the 1987 movie is extraordinarily attractive. The large success led to a relatively poor prequel named ‘Soiled Dancing: Havana Nights’ (2004).


17. Escape From New York (1981)

John Carpenter, the grasp of 80s cult, redefined horror, sci-fi and motion area together with his works that have been thought-about approach too daring for his or her instances. ‘Escape From New York’, nonetheless, was a type of exceptions, which received excessive crucial acclaim on the time of its launch. Set within the US in 1997, the movie is a few financial institution robber who is distributed on a mission to go to Manhattan, now a most safety jail, with the intention to rescue the president. ‘Escape From New York’, is a solidly entertaining piece of cinema that has this freakish high quality which units it aside from a number of different motion pictures of its style. Although the movie did obtain constructive response initially, its status grew tremendously through the years, with critics usually score it as among the finest post-apocalyptic motion pictures of all time.

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16. Fright Evening (1985)

One among my private favourite horror movies of all time, ‘Friday Evening’ is a film that gave me nightmares as a 6-year-old child. I lately re-visited the movie, and whereas it could not have the affect of an ‘Exorcist’ or ‘Omen’, it nonetheless is a genuinely terrifying piece of cinema. The film facilities round a teen named Charley Brewster who finds out that his neighbor is a vampire. When he realizes that no one believes him, he calls up a tv host for assist. What distinguishes ‘Fright Evening’ from a number of the different horror flicks of its time is the best way through which it manages to include humor, with out actually coming off as tacky or in-your-face. The movie was additionally remade right into a Bollywood film titled ‘Wohi Bhayakar Raat’.

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15. Repo Man (1984)

Alex Cox’s ‘Repo Man’ is a type of uncommon cult classics of the 80s that acquired instantaneous crucial reward on the time of its launch. The story could seem a bit too absurd – A punk rock musician is employed as a repo man, and he units out on a sequence of weird adventures, which additionally contain extraterrestrials. Whereas the movie might now appear a tad bit dated, it’s a particularly formidable, progressive piece with a imaginative and prescient that was really forward of instances. Critics praised the movie for its inventiveness and enthusiasm, and it continues to generate a loyal fan following. The movie additionally incessantly seems on lists that includes the best motion pictures of the 80s.


14. Labyrinth (1986)

‘Labyrinth’ follows the dangerously adventurous journey of a teen who units out to the middle of a maze with the intention to rescue Toby, her toddler brother. Produced by none aside from George Lucas, the movie wasn’t met with instantaneous crucial acclaim, and it was criticized for its shallow storyline and writing. Whereas quite a few critics have been fairly beneficiant of their opinions, the movie would solely garner a robust following years later. Up to date critics and cinefreaks now reward the movie for its distinctive visible fashion and power.

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13. First Blood (1982)

One among Sylvester Stallone’s most iconic motion pictures was closely criticized on the time of its launch. Most critics discovered the plot far-fetched and missing coherence. Because the movie gained extra fan following through the years, critics have re-evaluated the film, and it’s in the present day broadly thought-about to be one of many best motion motion pictures ever made. A part of the credit score right here goes to Stallone’s unforgettable efficiency as John J Rambo. Like ‘Rocky’, it’s not a technically sturdy efficiency, however he performs it in a approach solely he may have, giving cinema considered one of its most memorable motion heroes. The movie has been broadly parodied within the media and has additionally impressed a number of motion pictures of its style.


12. Prime Gun (1986)

This Tom Cruise starrer was met with lukewarm response from critics on the time of its preliminary launch, however through the years, the movie garnered particular reward for its visuals and motion sequences, and it’s in the present day thought to be considered one of Tom Cruise’s most memorable motion pictures. The movie follows a naval aviator whose life takes a flip when he falls in love together with his teacher. Cruise is in high kind right here, and delivers an iconic efficiency that performed a vital function within the movie gaining its cult standing. The movie has been incessantly referred to within the media and has additionally impressed a number of TV exhibits motion pictures.

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11. Scarface (1983)

Scarface can be my least favourite movie on the listing. For my part, this was the movie that without end destroyed the actor within the nice Al Pacino. The person who was famend for his quiet, refined depth onscreen would go on to turn out to be a loud, humorous caricature of himself. Nevertheless, I actually can’t dismiss the movie’s affect on fashionable tradition, and it is likely one of the most defining cult motion pictures of the 80s. Although the movie was closely criticized again in ’83 for its loud, over-the-top method, it has, through the years, acquired excessive reward from modern filmmakers and critics.


10. Evil Useless II (1987)

‘Evil Useless II’ is a type of uncommon sequels that takes its unique onto an entire different degree. ‘Evil Useless’ was horrifying in its uncooked depth, and whereas the sequel maintained the identical imaginative and prescient, this one adopts much more hilarious tone. The story picks up from the place it left: Ash continues his lone battle with the evil spirits, however rigidity additional rises when his girlfriend will get possessed. The movie makes use of parts of slapstick humor that provides it a particular tone, and critics on the time praised Sam Raimi who’s chops as a director is effectively on show right here.

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9. Heathers (1988)

Arguably one of many best highschool motion pictures ever made, ‘Heathers’ is a movie that was effectively and really forward of its time. The movie follows the lives of a gaggle of highschool ladies in Ohio. When considered one of them will get interested in a rebellious boy at school, the 2 find yourself by accident killing one of many members’ of the woman’s group. Nevertheless, quickly, the woman goes on to find the darkish sides of her new boyfriend. The movie was famous for mixing parts of black comedy and crime, which later redefined and set the development for highschool flicks. Not surprisingly, the movie didn’t go effectively with audiences on the time and was not a industrial success. Nevertheless, the movie continues to garner a robust cult following throughout the globe.


eight. The Evil Useless (1981)

Sam Raimi’s stone chilly traditional tells the story of a gaggle of pals who set out on an adventurous journey to a secluded cabin in a wooded space. Pressure quickly rises after they uncover mysterious audio tapes, following which the members of the group get possessed by evil spirits. The movie has a distinctively uncooked, classic look that redefined the aesthetics of a low-budget horror film. The digicam work is fairly dynamic, and it’s a type of uncommon horror flicks whereby the express depiction of violence works rather well. Although the movie was met with controversy on the time, critics and cinephiles now broadly regard it as probably the most necessary horror movies ever made, and it has developed a big cult following through the years.

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7. E.T. the Additional-Terrestrial (1982)

Universally recognized, this science fiction fantasy was one other profitable blockbuster by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg that may without end stay in folks’s recollections, whether or not as a toddler, teenager or grownup. The picture of the boy and E.T. on a motorbike flying throughout the blue moon within the evening’s sky is known and carries a lot magnificence and emotion that it completely depicts the essence of the movie itself. Elliot’s friendships with an extraterrestrial and his try at bringing him dwelling with out being observed by his dad and mom and the authorities is a narrative that stole its viewers’s coronary heart, returning it larger and fuller than ever. Spielberg didn’t solely advance his technical and cinematic expertise into one thing that had not been seen earlier than however he orchestrated this capacity to go hand in hand with the feelings and heart-warming parts of its narrative which conquered the world and left a print on the historical past of cinema.


6. Full Steel Jacket (1987)

Divided into two components, “Full Steel Jacket” takes a take a look at how Marines have been affected by their coaching and by the conflict itself. The primary half of the film follows a gaggle of recruits in boot camp. The second half exhibits a type of recruits, masking the conflict as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes. Stanley Kubrick proves as soon as once more that he’s extraordinarily proficient. The director manages to create an immersive environment with a number of rigidity. He’s not afraid to the touch on troublesome and generally controversial themes just like the ugliness and violence inside and out of doors the battlefield.  Lastly, the music and appearing are spot on.

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5. The King of Comedy (1983)

The good Martin Scorsese’s unforgettable satirical drama tells the story of Rupert Pupkin, a mentally unstable, aspiring slapstick comedian. He’s determined to be given an opportunity to function as a visitor on Jerry Langford’s speak present, however when Langford denies him an opportunity, Pupkin resorts to excessive methods and finally kidnaps him. The movie, though impressed critics with its thematic depth and weird humour, didn’t go effectively with audiences, most of whom have been delay by the movie’s thematic obscurity. Nevertheless, through the years, followers of the movie’s iconic director and quite a few modern cinephiles have re-evaluated the film, and it’s in the present day thought to be one of many most interesting movies of the 80s.


four. The Factor (1982)

One among John Carpenter’s most interesting works, ‘The Factor’ was a movie that in all probability got here out on the mistaken time. Steven Spielberg’s ‘ET’ was doing nice enterprise all world wide on the time, and its optimistic tone had made it an instantaneous crowd favourite. So the audiences weren’t fairly prepared for Carpenter’s brutal exploration of an extraterrestrial go to on the Earth. The movie follows a staff of researchers in Antarctica who come throughout a violent creature that poses a menace to their lives. The movie was famous for its uncooked, provocative visible fashion that challenges viewers, and although critics on the time lauded the movie for its technical accomplishments, Carpenter’s fashion was severely criticized.

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three. Videodrome (1983)

Grasp Canadian auteur David Cronenberg stretched the constraints of the horror style and is broadly credited for having formed up the physique horror style. Most of his motion pictures embrace disturbing imagery and specific content material, which made him a polarizing determine in cinema. ‘Videodrome’ is considered one of his most revered works; a movie that altered the landscapes of physique horror sci-fi style. It follows the CEO of a cable TV station who begins broadcasting a particularly gory, violent channel on his community. ‘Videodrome’, like a lot of the different motion pictures on this listing, was a field workplace catastrophe that will later go on to develop a robust following amongst ardent followers of the style. The movie continues to garner reward for its daring aesthetics and strikingly highly effective imaginative and prescient.

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2. Huge Little Hassle in China (1986)

One other John Carpenter traditional that makes the listing, ‘Huge Little Hassle in China’ is likely one of the largest cult motion pictures of the 80s. The movie is a fantasy martial arts comedy that revolves round Jack Burton, a truck driver who’s sucked into the underworld after he helps considered one of his pals rescue his fiance from a gaggle of bandits. Whereas not being very sturdy on story, the movie is famous for its uncooked power and humor. The motion sequences are pure enjoyable to look at, and the film entertains with its delectable humor and placing visuals.

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1. Brazil (1985)

Terry Gilliam’s horrifying look into the longer term produced a staggering murals that was, unsurprisingly, somewhat too onerous to digest for the frequent plenty and critics on the time. ‘Brazil’ is a movie that was effectively and really forward of its time. Gilliam’s wildly unorthodox method to his craft offers this movie a uncommon, distinctive high quality that took the dystopian sci-fi style to an entire new degree. The movie facilities round a authorities worker who tasks himself as a hero who saves a girl in his goals. Although the plot turns more and more complicated, the writing is extraordinarily exact and ensures the narrative doesn’t lose its focus. Although the film was a box-office failure, it’s in the present day broadly rated by critics as one of many best movies ever made.

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