A cult film is one that may or may not have achieved commercial success, has a small to medium devout fan following, mostly made on a low budget. These are not mandatory, but most importantly, a cult film always go beyond common notions of good and bad taste, and they challenge genre conventions and storytelling style.
1. Andaz Apna Apna (1994)
Probably the favorite comedy film (now) of majority of movie lovers across India, no one’s really sure why this awesome comic caper was a box-office disaster way back in 1994. But years after its release, this Aamir – Salman starrer is undoubtedly the most loved cult movie, played innumerable times on cable, laptops and DVDs. Enough said already, everyone now knows about AAA.
2. Gunda (1998)
Gunda, starring Mithun-da & directed by the “great” Kanti Shah is so bad that it’s good. A fellow wiser than we rightly said, “There are three kinds of movies in this world. Good, Bad & Gunda” – Ancient Chinese Proverb. Who can forget those rhyming monologues, those nonsensical dialogues and wait a sec, the acting (or the lack of it). We couldn’t contain ourselves and so we share one of Bulla’s famous quotes:
‘Munni, meri behen Munni. Tu marr gayi?
Lambu ne tujhe lamba kar diya.
Maachis ki teeli ko khambha kar diya?‘
3. The Angrez (2006)
The Angrez was a trend-setter in portraying the local dialect of the Old City, Hyderabad, colloquially referred to as the ‘Hyderabadi’ language. The film revolves around Ismile Bhai (and gang) who goes berserk after two Angrez (NRI) ‘insulted’ him in his own area. The film has a distinct local flavor & the inanity of the plot leaves the viewer in splits.
4. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)
With an ensemble cast of Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur, Satish Shah, Satish Kaushik, Neena Gupta, Bhakti Barve and Ravi Baswani, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is a dark satire on our corrupt political system and media. Who can possibly not enjoy the situational comedy during the “Draupadi Cheer Haran” scene from the movie? Who knows who played the role of Dushasana in this movie?
5. Johnny Gaddar (2007)
After the critically acclaimed “Ek Hasina Thi” (2004), Sriram Raghavan returned with Johnny Gaddaar in 2007. Although the film was a dud at the box-office, it had elements of film noir (neo-noir to be more specific). The unconventional camera movements, plot progression & the constant feel that reminds the audience that they are not a part of the film but are merely watching it, makes it a must watch.
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6. Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1990)
How can a movie, based on a real-life incident, starring Pankaj Kapur, Shabana Azmi and Irfan Khan can possibly go wrong? It can’t. The movie is based on the turn of events in the life of Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay, an Indian physician who pioneered the IVF treatment. A must watch.
7. Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (1986)
Remakes are often ridiculed, written down, thrashed and compared with the original by followers of the original movie. But Ek Ruka Hua Faisla is a brilliant remake of one of the best movies out there, 12 Angry Men (1957). Basu Chatterjee, with the help of 12 talented actors, recreates the magic of the original by transforming the story to an Indian context.
8. Om-Dar-Ba-Dar (1988)
If you loved Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, MulHolland Drive, The Matrix trilogy and Memento, then you’d probably like this film too. We’re talking about Postmodernist films and Om-Dar-Ba-Dar is an Indian postmodernist Hindi film that portrays the life in Ajmer town through a story revolving around a young boy called Om.
9. Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)
So we’ve another neo-noir in our list of cults. Although the movie is inspired by Chinatown (1974) starring the versatile Jack Nicholson, it has enough merit to make it to our list. The colorful towns of Rajasthan add a rustic touch to this thriller that involves Abhay Deol in an amateur detective role.
We’re pretty sure we’ve missed out on some of the names from this list. So we decided to leave the 10th option blank for the readers to fill in. What are the cult movies we missed? Have your say in the comments section below.