Staff Recommends: Cult films

Image Credit: Nurina Iman Nizam

Andrew, Simon, Keogh, and Caoilfhinn make the case for their favorite cult classics and films so bad that they're good!

Andrew Nolan, OTwo Co-Editor recommends: Fatal Deviation

Fatal. Deviation. There’s no point writing more, I’ll never do it justice. 

But fair enough, maybe you’re apprehensive. Maybe you want someone to tell you why it's worth a little over an hour of your time. Well, if the thought of Mikey Graham from Boyzone cutting up mock cocaine with a Dunnes Stores club card doesn’t do it for you, fair enough, maybe it isn’t for you. 

Boasting itself as Ireland’s first, and only, Kung-Fu movie, Fatal Deviation only exists as a showpiece for lead actor James “Jimmy” Bennett to flex for any potential directing suitors. And for that purpose, it works; his skill is highlighted from the get-go. But that’s not what anyone watches the movie for. Whether it’s a pair of lads in their thirties acting the mickey in a Londis, the cuts, the quotes made memorable for all the wrong reasons, or the pacing synonymous with the film, it is simultaneously one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, yet one of my favourites of all time. Maybe it's just my tired sense of humour, but seeing the boss’ slow turn to the camera, to woodenly deliver the infamous line of “what the f*** is this”, after roughly thirty minutes of unintentional hilarity, is absolutely peak cinema. 

If you even find a glimmer of joy in movies like The Room, please give this a watch. In the immortal words of Mr Graham: "You made me look bad, and that’s not good". Don’t worry Mikey boss, we still think you’re sound.

Simon Dobey, The Harpy Editor, recommends: Brazil

There's no time like the present to grab a ludicrous amount of chocolate, pull those curtains and just get away from it all with a dystopian thriller. Brazil’s theme tune is Beatles inspired elevator music that will leave you humming for a time when friendships and relationships were simpler.

The film is set in an Orwellian dystopia, somewhere in the 20th century. Presumably, sometime a time when describing something as Orwellian was not a washed-out cliche. Sam Lowry, the film's protagonist, leads a mundane life. In fact, everyone around him leads a mundane life. Lowry works at the Ministry of Information amidst the constant click of keyboards, where the only respite can be found in classic cinema. 

However, Lowry is somewhat of a dreamer, and when the girl of his dreams presents herself, Lowry is forced to seek a promotion in order to find her. In the dystopian world of Brazil, unfortunately, love is as hard to find as it is to keep. 

Brazil is a biting visionary satire about the modern technological isolationist era, but its message is much more endearing than simply that. Brazil asks us how much we are willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of security, efficiency, profitability and convenience. Nothing in the world of Brazil works as it should; the high-class architecture of pre-revolutionary France is cluttered with ducts, terrorism is ignored, and all profitability comes from obtaining and maintaining information. 

Gilliam’s Brazil will leave your sides sore, your eyes tearing and your head reeling.

Keogh, Games Editor, recommends Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

The prequels are such terrible movies. The CGI, bad dialogue, and pointless plots have aged woefully. That being said, I absolutely adore the prequels. Star Wars has always been a big part of my life since the first time I saw Episode 4 during Christmas of ‘06. From then on, my obsession with laser swords and The Force began. 

The sense of nostalgia is obviously a big factor in why I love the prequels, but my favourite of the trilogy has to be Revenge of the Sith. I think the finale to Anakin Skywalker's story, and the start of one of the most badass villain stories is such an intriguing tale. Not only that, but as a kid, the fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan was so cool to me, and as an adult, it kinda makes me want to cry.

Although I do think Revenge of the Sith is a great movie with complex characters and good plot points in places, my favourite thing about it is how quotable the film is. You’ll find that millennials and gen z’ers upon hearing the phrase “Hello There” said with any semblance of a British accent will struggle to hold in a guttural “GENERAL KENOBI”.

Even though no two fans of the films can agree or disagree whether they were objectively bad or not, the fact that every fan can enjoy the terrible pieces of dialogue like “I don't like sand…”, and enjoy the solace that comes with jumping on any structure higher than your friends and exclaiming “it’s over Anakin, I have the high ground” is a beautiful thing.

Caoilfhinn Hegarty, Features Editor, recommends: Thunderbirds

First airing in 1965, Thunderbirds was beloved for its sophisticated and excitingly futuristic world-building, the daring exploits of the Tracy brothers, thrilling take-off sequences, and a truly heroic explosion count per episode. It was also a puppet show but, hey, that was the sixties baby!

Given the (ahem) wooden nature of the original acting, when a live-action movie was announced for 2004, the reaction was general excitement and - like many other kids of the original audience - I was taken to see it in cinemas. For longtime fans, it was a crushing disappointment. Dumbed down dialogue, a gaudy colour palette, and minimal lines for four of the five Tracy boys. Film-goers expecting a smart action-film were given a relative of Sharkboy and Lavagirl instead. The slapstick sound-cues littering fight scenes was the final blow for many. Now, was I aware of the disrespect that had been heaped on one of TV’s most classic institutions this side of the Atlantic? Did I comprehend the depths it had been dragged to? Did I care?

The pink limousine could fly. The rocket launched out of a hidden entrance under the pool. In one scene a young Vanessa Hudgens does twenty backflips and round-house kicks a baddie behind bars. The theme tune was sung by Busted, for crying out loud! Thunderbirds (2004) may have been a box-office bomb that even the original creator washed his hands of, but there was nothing in that film that did not appeal to my four-year-old self, and frankly, there’s nothing that doesn’t appeal to my twenty-one-year-old self either. I still watch it from time to time whenever my brain deserves a well-earned shutdown.