Cult Movies (book)

Cult Movies is a 1981 book by Danny Peary, consisting of a series of essays regarding what Peary described as the 100 most representative examples of the cult film phenomenon. The films are presented in alphabetical order, with each chapter featuring a story synopsis for the covered title, Peary’s response to the film, production and release details, and a brief selection of contemporary critical reviews.

Cult Movies
AuthorDanny Peary
CountryUnited States
SubjectCult films
PublisherDelta Books
Publication date
Media typePrint
791.43/75 19
LC ClassPN1997.8 .P37
Followed byCult Movies 2 

In the book’s foreword, Peary notes that out of the thousands of movies that have been made, “only an extremely small number have elicited a fiery passion in moviegoers that exists long after their initial releases.” Cult movies are defined by Peary as “special films which for one reason or another have been taken to heart by segments of the movie audience, cherished, protected, and most of all, enthusiastically championed.” He explains that “the typical Hollywood product” never attains cult status since all viewers perceive these average films in more or less the same way, with no real disagreement as to the film’s quality. But cult films “are born in controversy, in arguments over quality, theme, talent and other matters. Cultists believe they are among the blessed few who have discovered something in particular that the average moviegoer and critic have missed – the something that makes the pictures extraordinary.”[1]

The book features a guest contribution from Henry Blinder, who provided the essay on the film Two for the Road.

Cult Movies has been reprinted several times, most recently in 1998 by Gramercy Books (ISBN 0517201852). Two sequels were published, Cult Movies 2 (1983, Dell, ISBN 0-440-51632-3) and Cult Movies 3 (1988, Fireside, ISBN 0-671-64810-1), with each book reviewing fifty additional cult films. Certain chapters from Cult Movies were republished in 2014 as a thematically connected e-book, bringing together essays about cult movies from certain genres.[2]

The filmsEdit


External linksEdit