Underappreciated for its time, didn’t perform well at the box office, found its audience later, midnight screenings— all of these phrases get tossed around the red-headed stepchild of cinema, also known as the cult film. We quote these films constantly; groups of us will even attend conventions dedicated to their specialness. But, what is a cult movie, and why do we love them so much? Director Danny Wolf and Quiver Distribution‘s new three-part documentary series, TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME, succeeds at its effort to answer these questions in spades— and then some.
TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME VOL 2. HORROR & SCI-FI starts off on the right foot with one of the truest statements: “(The) most loyal of all genre fans are horror fans.” And then we’re face-first into some deep conversations about why movies like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The Evil Dead, The Devil’s Rejects, The Human Centipede, Re-Animator, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre have become cult classics. We take a look into the political subtext behind George Romero’s zombie trilogy, the now-iconic “Tutti fucking fruity” improvisation line in The Devil’s Rejects, and the decapitated-head-giving-head scene in Re-Animator.
The doc’s shooting may be slightly out-of-date, as Bill Moseley and the late Sid Haig insist on no sequel to Rejects (which we now know is false, as we’ve gotten 3 From Hell since then.) A fantastic chat about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is perhaps the highlight, as producers go to the former shooting location in Texas and recall memories of the set. However, while the discourse surrounding Centipede’s notoriety is interesting, its inclusion feels a tad out of place amongst the others. Along with Moseley and old clips from the late Romero, you’ll also catch interviews from genre favorites like Tom Savini, Bruce Campbell, former Fangoria Editor-In-Chief Tony Timpone, and the recently departed Stuart Gordon.
After the horror half of Volume 2 wraps up, the science fiction half kicks into gear, with looks at Death Race 2000, the seminal Kubrick classic A Clockwork Orange, and the discourse around morality versus endorsement of violence, Blade Runner, and the bizarre, drug allegory within Liquid Sky. Jeff Goldblum, Malcolm McDowell, Roger Corman, and the like give their detailed thoughts on the ins and outs of the legacies surrounding these sci-fi gems.
While both volumes are well worth a watch, Volume 2: “Horror & Sci-Fi” is slightly weaker in comparison to Volume 1. By jamming both of these cult subgenres into one volume (and under 90 minutes), a lot of films feel missing from the conversation— which is arguably the documentary’s singular, major flaw. Some die-hard fans of these cult horror and sci-fi films may be familiar with some repeated information. However, the pacing in Volume 2 is so swift (without short-handing the facts) that I doubt anyone would mind.
TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME, Volumes 1 & 2 are superb documentaries to immerse yourself into the world of cult movies that shape us into the film lovers we are today. Whether you’ve seen them all or only a few, you’ll be anxious to watch and/or revisit many of the films listed through the lens of (even more) loving eyes, and that’s the highest compliment I could give.
TIME WARP: THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL-TIME Volume 2: “Horror and Sci-Fi” will be available on VOD and Digital tomorrow, May 19. Volume 1: “Midnight Madness” is available now in both mediums.