These destined-to-be-cult faves slipped under the radar, but each warrants another look
There are pockets of fans for literally everything, from Troll 2 to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Conventions are held for flagging celebs whose complete retirement income is made sitting behind a plastic table at an off-strip Vegas hotel chortling on about their time on the set of Birdemic: Shock and Terror. And people go. That said, you can’t beat an instant classic. A handful of films have hit cinemas, made some noise, and subsequently disappeared without a trace. Here are just five recent releases that deserve to be buoyed by a cult following.
A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (2014)
So many things happen in this film that are emblematic of cultish traditions: blood-letting, biting, skateboarding… It’s a slow burn about a lonesome vamp who stalks the residents of Bad City, exacting revenge on society’s bottom feeders. All she wants is a friend who shares her love of moonlighting as a street shredder and neck-biter. Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature won over critics and is one click away on Netflix, lying in wait for its hungry parade of stans that were too cool for Twilight.
BLUE RUIN (2013)
Blue Ruin is like the hillbilly version of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”, minus the #squadgoals. As in, its entire run time is a voracious life-sapping revenge tale. After discovering the man who murdered his parents will be released from jail, homeless Dwight Evans takes it upon himself to gas up and start his manhunt in the vein of Kill Bill. This thriller is simple, yet brilliant. Plus, watch for the quiet comeback of Devin Ratray, who played Buzz in Home Alone. Director Jeremy Saulnier has shown promise, and his next flick, Green Room, shouldn’t disappoint. In as many words, it’s about a murder at a punk concert.
By practically every measure this film wades right into WTF territory. A young wannabe joins his favourite band when their keyboardist attempts to drown himself. He gets shoehorned into an impromptu tour and album recording session for The Soronprfbs in a remote cabin in Ireland. The band is led by Frank, a reticent man who wears a papier-mâché head and drives his bandmates to derision. They end up at SXSW and the cracks begin to show. It’s wacky and underrated, and most definitely Fassbender’s quirkiest role to date.
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (2013)
Keeping in line with the vampire thing, Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive burns the midnight oil. It’s kind of like an alternative sermon on the negative effects of the environment, as reclusive vamps Adam and Eve feast only on “the good stuff” (i.e. blood pure of toxins). They spend their nights cruising the empty streets of Detroit and playing chess. Then, their peace is rudely interrupted by Ava, an annoying cling-on and younger sister of Eve who arrives for an extended visit. Every frame of this film is Tumblr-ready. The music is cool, the fashion is cool, and Tilda is fucking cool. So why hasn’t this one sunk its teeth into a blood-pure underground fanbase?
HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT (2014)
This is a harrowing story that doesn’t just make a naff “your-brain-on-drugs” statement. Nor does it glamourise them. It simply tells the story of heroin addict Harley, who panhandles her way to her next fix and tries to win back her apathetic junkie boyfriend. Based on the true-life story of its lead actress, Arielle Holmes, it’s not exactly the easiest watch. That said, it’s shocking that this low-budget NSFW film hasn’t ascended to the ranks occupied by the Requiem for a Dreams of the druggies-on-film world.