Bugsy Malone - A gangster musical with all the adult characters played by kids. Thirteen-year-old Jodie Foster played Fat Sam's moll Tallulah.
The City of the Dead - Better known in the U.S. as Horror Hotel, this atmospheric 1960 suspense tale shares several plot elements with the same year's better-known Psycho.
Detour - A hitchhiker encounters big trouble courtesy of a dead body, a femme fatale, and a very long telephone cord in this 1945 film noir. Another fine choice for "D" is D.O.A.
The Flesh Eaters - An actress, her assistant, and a hunky pilot are forced to land on an almost-deserted island. Its one inhabitant is a mad scientist who has created microbes that live in the saltwater and snack on human flesh. A more mainstream choice for "F" would be The Fearless Vampire Killers.
Gun Crazy - John Dall, a young man with a lifelong fascination for guns, meets comely Peggy Cummins, a "bad girl" sharpshooter at a local carnival. Love, a crime spree, and tragedy ensue!
Harold and Maude - Harold is a young man obsessed with death; Maude is a 79-year-old who embraces the joys of life. They meet at a funeral and love--of a kind--blossoms between them.
Invisible Invaders - Invisible aliens inhabit the bodies of dead Earthlings and try to wipe out the human race. Awful script and flat performances...but the premise is fun and the striking images of the walking corpses pre-date Night of the Living Dead.
Jack the Giant Killer - The best Ray Harryhausen fantasy adventure made by someone other than Ray Harryhausen. The special effects wiz in this case was Jim Danforth. Bryan Singer (X Men) is currently remaking it.
|Mike Hammer has no time for love!|
The List of Adrian Messenger - A clever mystery about a murderer who is a master of disguises. Its cult rep, though, is due to the cameos by famous actors in deep disguise (e.g., Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra).
The Maze - There's something moving through that Scottish castle's giant maze at night--and you will never guess what it is! Unique 1953 3-D flick directed by the famous set designer William Cameron Menzies.
Night Tide - Sailor Dennis Hopper falls in love with a sideshow mermaid, who claims to be a descendant of the real thing--only these are murderous mermaids.
O Lucky Man! - Malcolm McDowell is an ambitious young coffee salesman who eventually finds "the reason to live on and not to die" in Lindsay Anderson's witty update of Candide--complete with an incredible song score by Alan Price.
Peeping Tom - The film that ruined Michael Powell's directorial career in 1960 has since been hailed as a masterpiece by Martin Scorsese and other notables. The mix of violence and voyeurism is still potent today.
|Look up in the sky. It's a bird...no, Q!|
Reefer Madness - An unintentional camp classic about the perils of marijuana. It was one of the first "midnight movies" shown at theaters across the U.S. in the 1970s. Of course, one could argue that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is more deserving of the "R" slot.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians - Pia Zadora's five minutes of fame in the 1980s hastened this 1964 film's entry into the cult classic status. Still, its subject and camp value may have been enough without Pia.
|Rockin' in Spinal Tap.|
The Undying Monster - Someone or something is killing local villagers near the Hammond estate. Are there supernatural forces at work? A rare foray in the 1940s horror genre from 20th Century-Fox.
Vanishing Point - A driver who delivers souped-up sports cars bets he can make it from Denver to San Francisco in fifteen hours. As he eludes various highway patrols, a blind disc jockey dubbed Super Soul turns him into a media "hero."
Whistle Down the Wind - Three children in rural England discover an escaped criminal in their barn and believe he is Jesus. Written by Hayley Mills' mother; later made into an unsuccessful stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
You Never Can Tell - A wealthy dog named Rex is murdered--and then reincarnated as human private eye Rex Shepard (Dick Powell). His goal: Track down his killer.
Zardoz - Futuristic jumble is nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is. Yet, there are enough interesting ideas and Sean Connery as a guy named Zed to make it an acceptable choice in the hard-to-fill "Z" spot.