How Does a Film Become A Cult Classic?

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What is a Cult Classic film, and what makes these films become cult-classics? Pulp Fiction, Stand By Me, Trainspotting and Back To The Future are the films on my list of cult-classic films. But you can also add Donnie Darko, Fear and Loathing Las Vegas, Fight Club, Big Lebowski and A Clock Work Orange on a whim.  So what makes a film so cult classic?

One argument would be that these films are often unpopular in theatres but receive a devoted audience when distributed for home viewing. Furthermore, for a film to truly become a cult classic, it requires a loyal and enthusiastic fanbase that adapts characteristics of the film to their own lifestyles and remain dedicated to these changes a long time after the release.
Although these movies weren’t intended to become cult classics, the intensity of the key scenes are accentuated with the richness of the combined sound and visual experience. Powerful tracks as the first fight start can get really get an audience going.  If you’re looking for examples for your next cult classic movie check out this action collection on
A cult classic is typically a film that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society. They don’t appeal to mainstream film fare. They have their niche, narrow appeal to certain tastes and sensibilities. There are obviously films that were successful at the box office and became cult classics, like The Matrix and Fight Club, but that is not the norm. The Matrix has even caused a religion to form.


If I had to compare it to restaurants, we can see mainstream movies like Applebee’s, and a cult classic film like your favorite hole in the wall diner that makes food that is more memorable, unique, and the taste isn’t watered down.  Furthermore, a cult classic may not have the masses watching but it does gather a much more loyal audience base. 

Now the question is, how can you make a cult classic movie?

  • Don’t water down the message and story. 

  • Touch on human elements that you or someone close to you may have experienced. 

    • Use props and styling that speaks to you in a timeless manner.


The Room


If you’re into cult films you might have watched or heard of The Room. It’s rated as being one of the worst movies of all time although it has been filling midnight screenings for over 14 years. The acting is completely unnatural, the dialogue often doesn’t make sense, and most of the scenes and creative direction were done on a moment by moment basis. 
Additionally, this film has had so much impact that the movie The Disaster Artist with James Franco was released in 2017.  The Disaster Artist chronicles the making of The Room.

Get Started!

Anyone can make a film that can become a cult classic. Get out there and shoot and edit as much and as well as you can. Quentin Tarantino has made a couple of cult classics. For instance, Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained continue to influence directors to this day.  Although there are other locations in the film Reservoir Dogs, one of his first films mainly takes place in a garage. It proves that you don’t need a big budget or Warner Brothers Studio to make a movie or cult classic. You just need a story that speaks a truth that people are willing to follow!

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