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Cult Film Dissection 101


Darth Groovy
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All,

 

About 6 years ago I started a thread called "Very Good Things", in which I simply listed a few items that I had bought for a trip. To keep it from becoming spam, I asked for your buy in....IE, "what cool new things did you buy recently". The result of which became legend.

 

6,350 posts and 6 years later, that topic has never been stuck, nor has it moved off the main page of Yoda's Swamp.

 

Recently I received a badge for that thread thanks to you participating swampies. Thanks for that.

 

In the tradition of being a "hot topic thread starter", I am implementing (hopefully) my next masterpiece.

 

In this thread, I will list a movie with a popular cult following, and we will all take turns why this particular film is so damn popular. We will break it down piece by piece.

 

The first film to dissect is a film that came out in 1999 called The Boondock Saints.

 

boondock-saints-bluray.jpg

 

I have heard much about this film over the years, and recently they had this blu-ray on sale at Wal-Mart for $15. I figured as much as I have heard about this movie over the years, it seemed like a good buy.

 

After seeing the movie. I get some of it. But ONLY SOME of it. Here is what I got out of it.

 

A couple of Irish catholic fraternal twins who happen to speak fluent Russian, accidentally murder some major mob bosses and become unlikely vigilantes, and heroes by the press. Willem Dafoe stars as a homophobic homosexual FBI agent who always seems just one step behind everything they do!

 

OK, this movie has a lot of lolz, and a lot of action. I do not dislike this movie, it was fun. But what I want to know is WHY is THIS movie so damn timeless? Many of my friends praise this movie like it is holy scripture.

 

What is it about this film that makes it so different? I have since seen some of my customers with the words "Aquitas", and "Veritas" tattooed on they're hands. Some of you swampies have this as your avatar?

 

So what is it about this movie? What am I missing?

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I love The Boondock Saints (and The Boondock Saints II), but I do not praise it like it's gospel. My friend got the Aequitas Veritas tatoos on his forearms and is obviously kind of obsessed with it, but I'm not sure why.

 

If I had to take a shot in the dark on it's cult status though, I'd say it's because it only had a limited theatrical release, and became popular after it came out on video through word of mouth.

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boondock saints 1 was an incredibly fun watch, that being said boondock saints 2 was one of the worst movies i've ever seen. i couldn't even sit through the entire movie. as to why its timeless? not sure, something about vigilante movies click with guys and this seemed a little bit more believable (ok maybe not), maybe also for the same reason i want to watch kick #@$ albeit a bit darker humor.

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For me, vigilante movies are always a good idea, and when done right, send a resonance through people. V for Vendetta is one of those. It's portrayal of corrupt government and the power of the people was great, but even more than that, it's depiction of the people's accountability and the price of freedom was amazing

 

For the Boondock Saints, it's a similar thing. Circumnavigating the law to do what is right and necessary. What I like about the movie is that it's not only well done, but hilarious as well. The characters and idea is sold to us even though it's pretty unrealistic. And in spite of the lack of realism, we BUY it. Then there's the religious backing of their actions. Most vigilante movies (vendetta, Batman, etc) the hero(s) become crime fighters because of some personal loss. With the Saints, it's a divine calling that, unknown to them, reaches back through their blood lines. Even if you're an athiest, you gotta appreciate the level of accidental competence they posess. Then there's the prayer they recite before they ice somebody (as seen in my sig) The prayer isn't just badass like when Jules in Pulp Fiction does one. It has a purpose. It's acknowledging last rights of the victim and dedicating their actions to God and man. It's putting a purpose to the kill. They see themselves as the avenging hammer of God and who can refute the evidence.

 

All in all though, it's just a fun movie. It's so off kilter and different from the norm that you can't help but like it in some way or another. For me, I was late to the movie as well. Saw it for the first time two years ago, and after one viewing, I liked it, but wasn't blown away. The more I thought about it, the more it grew on me to where it's one of my favorites now.

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Now we're talking. The Thing rocked. A definite must-see.

 

I'm going to have to give The Boondock Saints another viewing. That was many moons and many, many movies ago. I think that Netflix has it available to watch online.

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Oh you mean the best movie ever? Probably not Carpenter's most cult flick though :p

They Live seems like his most cult movie, which I also love to death. Roddy Piper and Keith David beating the **** out of each other for 5 minutes over the refusal to wear some sunglasses.

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Boondock Saints is entertaining for a light watch, but nothing more. Somehow it's got a huge following of frat-boys and douchebags. I'd watch Snatch or Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels over that flick any day.

 

The Thing is ****ing awesome though.

 

True cult movie:

 

jesus_christ_vampire_hunter_copy.jpg

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Boondock Saints is entertaining for a light watch, but nothing more. Somehow it's got a huge following of frat-boys and douchebags.

 

Thats funny, given I'm niether a frat-boy nor a douschebag. Maybe I just get all the underlying tones. Maybe I'm a sucker for senseless violence and cheap one liners.

 

Maybe I just don't have what you would call a normal sense of taste as far as movies go - especially since I like movies that alot of people consider stupid.

 

But I guess if that makes me a douschebag...

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It's the Donnie Darko-syndrome. People (usually teenagers) who have grown up on mindless drivel see something with slight undertones (or simply pretentiousness) for the first time, and are hooked because it feels deeper than what they're accustomed to. I don't blame anyone for finding the Boondock Saints entertaining, but calling it a masterpiece is a huge overstatement that reveals a severe lack of knowledge about cinema. It's a mindless action flick with some humor, and Willem Dafoe does a good job as usual. My distaste for the movie has probably been tinted by the annoying fanbase and the general *******ness of Troy Duffy, but that's just my 2 cents.

 

 

 

Also

 

 

lol u r douchebag

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Can I get a definition on what exactly a "Cult Film" is? I've heard this term all my life, but I've never fully understood how these movies are defined.

 

Here, I'll make a list of movies that I'd all say have different levels of popularity, but I'm pretty sure I've heard each of them called cult films... What do you all say?

 

 

1. The Princess Bride

2. Cube

3. In Bruges

4. Lucky Number Slevin

5. 28 Days Later

6. Evil Dead II

7. The Shawshank Redemption

8. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

9. Rocky Horror Picture Show

10. Fight Club

 

 

Now, some of these I understand as obviously being cult movies, like 6 and 9. But others, like 8 and 1 seem as if they're family-friendly movies that everyone knows and loves. Then even others, such as 7 and 10 are so widely popular I don't see how they fit in the definition.

 

I just don't see any sort of unanimous agreement on what classifies a movie as being a "Cult Film".

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I always went with the logic that if people started to attend midnight showings of said movie dressed up as characters from said movie then it is probably a cult movie, or an underground favorite at the very least.

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Alright, that's fine, but what about when the film is just ridiculously popular? A movie everyone likes.

 

I mean, I'm sure there are people who went to see Avatar dressed as Na'vi...probably a lot of people, too...but I'd think we can agree that that's not a cult film. And that would also classify Star Wars as a cult film.

 

 

See, I always thought that a cult film was one that did not do well in the box office and didn't have much critical acclaim when it was released, but over time it has developed into either A) A Classic that most people love, despite it's shaky origins, or B) something with an underground following of hugely devoted fans who have used word of mouth to keep the film alive amongst their circles (and who now use the internet, of course).

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A lot of these cult films that have "devoted followers" weren't all box office hits iirc, unless there is a difference between a cult film and the kinds of movies that bomb so bad that they are good.

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A cult movie basically means that it has a very dedicated following' date=' a "cult", if you will. The Big Lebowski is probably the best example of a mainstream cult movie.[/quote']

 

Yeah, let's talk about that one next.

 

the_big_lebowski_61.jpg

 

Other than some pretty funny lines, I don't get this film at all. I guess my first clue should be the big stamp on the front that says "From the creators of Fargo" on the front. Another film I didn't get. Sometimes I WANT to get these movies but I am left just downright confused...

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