“Cult films are born in controversy, in arguments over quality, themes, talent and other matters,” writes Danny Peary in the Foreword to Cult Movies 3, “Cultists believe they are among the blessed few who have discovered something in particular films that the average moviegoer and critic have missed.” If you’ve ever felt protective towards a film that no one else seems to care for, Peary’s warm, perceptive, very personal essays are a must-read. He has the most important quality of a genuine movie-lover – open-mindedness about what he’s willing to watch – and backs it up with friendly but informed writing.
The 50 films Peary discusses here span every possible genre, including horror (the Lugosi-Karloff The Black Cat, George Romero’s under-watched Martin), melodrama (Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life), film noir (the latter-day Bogart starrer In a Lonely Place), slapstick comedy (The Gods Must be Crazy), underground-experimental (Slava Tsukerman’s Liquid Sky) and even pornography (Café Flesh), as well as camp classics by directors such as Russ Meyer (Faster, Pussycat! Kill, Kill!) and Ed Wood (Glen or Glenda?). He has intelligent, insightful things to say about all of them, and this book is a great example of unselfconscious writing about movies.