When Stanley Kubrick’s rendition of Anthony Burgess’ novel A Clockwork Orange hit theaters in 1971, it left behind a torn audience. One half of the audience felt horrified by the violence of the movie, while the other half felt great admiration for Kubrick’s work and turned it into a cult movie. So it’s no surprise the way Kubrick’s work would influence subsequent movies and directors.
Luckily for fans of cult cinema, many brilliant filmmakers felt inspired by the clever way in which this movie criticized oppression and mass control, and questioned the moral ideologies of its audience. Directors like Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, and Oliver Stone created movies that were sadistic and cruel, and as exceptional as A Clockwork Orange. Below you’ll find a list of ten cult movies you can find on Netflix that will delight you as much as Kubrick’s masterpiece.
Reservoir Dogs (1992) by Quentin Tarantino
Despite its low budget, the formulaic performances delivered by the cast and its non-linear narrative structure create an unpredictable plot full of geniality. The violence in every plane, the characters, and the theatrical composition evoke Kubrick’s style.
Brazil (1985) by Terry Gilliam
This movie starred by Robert De Niro is set in a futuristic world that borders on the bizarre, subversive, and satyrical. Its original and peculiarly strange plot offers a story that is as insane as it is fascinating, so only few people get to really understand it. This movie is considered an exceptional treasure by lovers of cult cinema.
Maniac (2012) by Franck Khalfoun
This is an obsessive cinematographic work by any measure. The plot centers on a mentally disturbed murderer played by Elijah Wood. Similar to Alex DeLarge, the psychopathic character is the one who moves the plot forward. On the other hand, the movie’s aesthetics are also impeccable. Franck Khalfoun’s interplay of sympathy and bestiality will give you a pleasant surprise.
Fight Club (1999) by David Fincher
“The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.” Who hasn’t heard this immortal sentence that encapsulates the whole premise of the movie? It’s almost impossible not to bring up the name of The Fight Club in the conversation. This combination of blood, punches, and adrenaline creates a metaphor of social decadence and natural conflict, of man against man. The movie evokes the “ultraviolence” of Kubrick’s movie.
Trainspotting (1996) by Danny Boyle
“I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”
Danny Boyle’s masterpiece opens with this declaration. The story centers around a young man who is unaware of his potential for success. He could have everything he wants, but he has decided to stick just with heroine. Heroine sets the course of the narration. The protagonist is another character who shares some important aspects with Alex DeLarge. He turns violent under the influence of drugs or after being subjected to a behavior modification treatment. Yet, he clings to his ideas, regardless of what happens around him. Trainspotting has become a must watch movie due to it’s crude and realistic portrayal of a libertine youth.
The Purge (2013) by James DeMonaco
The story is set in a contemporary alternate reality where the government implements a frightful annual civic tradition that makes all crime legal for one night, while all fire, medical, and emergency services remain unavailable. This movie and its two sequels will keep you at the edge of your seat and holding your breath. In this case, violence is also a key element though which human nature is severely criticized.
Natural Born Killers (1994) by Oliver Stone
This movie has been rebuffed and frowned upon because it shows a passionate psychotic love as a murderous weapon against the world. Both, the central characters and the visual aesthetics surrounding them are cruel, sarcastic, and even disturbing.
American Psycho (2000) by Mary Harron
The plot of this movie unfolds smoothly through inner monologues, extreme violence, and psychopathic vanity. As the narration becomes darker, what began with a few beads of sweat ends with blood gushing out.
Taxi Driver (1976) by Martin Scorsese
The movie follows the life of taxi driver Travis Bickle, who spends the night drifting through porn theaters and the streets of New York, raging against the depravity of the city. Travis starts to delve deeper and deeper into increasingly violent fantasies. He starts working out, with the aim of becoming a killing machine that will redeem the city of its sins and nocturnal savagery. This movie portrays what happens when rage and madness takes over human reasoning.
Gangs of New York (2003) by Martin Scorsese
The story unfolds in 1864, a time of political corruption in New York. Violent butcher William Cutting leads a gang to get rid of Irish immigrants and stop their massive immigration. The Irish form a gang of their own, and after a bloody clash, the leader of the Irish gang is killed. Years later, his son, Amsterdam, returns seeking revenge and befriends the butcher he intends to kill. The movie stands out for its hilarious, yet profound dialogues and the way it portrays the violence and brutality of patriotic feelings.
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Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia