Overrated or Underrated? Weighing in on 20 Cult Classics

1
Withnail and I
UNDERRATED: A buddy comedy with enough oomph to earn public quotability, but enough intellect to keep it worth talking about beyond just the gags.
2
The Evil Dead
OVERRATED. Sam Raimi's campy horror series wears out its welcome after the kitsch value loses its steam. The weird/weirder/totally bananas trilogy is more a gimmick than anything else.
3
Eraserhead
UNDERRATED. David Lynch's pitch-black (both in tone and coloring) bout of mental mayhem marked a tremendous leap in cinematic imagination.
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4
The Big Lebowski
OVERRATED. The Coen Bros' late '90s comedy is a fun and personable piece, but its status as cinematic genius is a head-scratcher.
5
Pink Flamingos
UNDERRATED. Just like everything by John Waters, 'Pink Flamingos' is witty, twisted, probing, and
6
Repo Man
OVERRATED: Hangs its hat on the macabre idea without fleshing the concept out to its deserved extent.
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7
The Warriors
UNDERRATED. Even among the cult film community! This gem doesn't get the attention that it used to, and that it still deserves.
8
Donnie Darko
OVERRATED. It was hip to share theories about this weird, cerebral teen drama back in high school, but the world's introduction to Jake Gyllenhaal is not quite as deep as it thinks it is.
9
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
UNDERRATED. Glamorous, touching, and sincere all the way through.
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10
Clerks
OVERRATED. Kevin Smith is a clever guy, but his Gen. X love letter doesn't stand the test of time. After 20 years, Randal isn't edgy and wry, he's just obnoxious.
11
Harold and Maude
UNDERRATED. How more people didn't connect to this dark but life-affirming rom-com the first time around is a mystery.
12
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
OVERRATED. It might be fun to watch Johnny Depp prance around Gilliam's desert backdrop, but the movie relies too heavily on the "coolness" of psychedelic drugs.
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13
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension
UNDERRATED: Another forgotten entry even among the cult-ists. This predecessor to 'Guardians of the Galaxy' packs charming levels of weird and wacky.
14
Mommie Dearest
OVERRATED: 'Mommie Dearest' goes above and beyond in its psychological horrors, but that's just the thing: sometimes, it's just too much.
15
Barbarella
UNDERRATED: This is how you do camp right. Big, brazen, wholly non-self-conscious camp.
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16
The Man Who Fell to Earth
OVERRATED: Despite David Bowie, an intriguing premise, and some hefty ambitions, this movie is a bit of a bore.
17
Slacker
UNDERRATED: Quite possibly Richard Linklater's best film (yes, even better than 'Boyhood') despite no discernible plot or characters.
18
A Clockwork Orange
OVERRATED: Effectively haunting, but not nearly the ingenious piece that Kubrick fans consider it to be... especially when compared to the director's other works (like '2001' and 'Strangelove').
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19
Wet Hot American Summer
UNDERRATED: The simple fact that not everyone you know has seen, re-seen, and quoted to the point of fatality this comic masterpiece makes it highly underrated.
20
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
RATED JUST RIGHT: This one is a doozy. It's brash, messy, completely bizarre and utterly out of whack... but that's just what it, and its fans, want it to be.

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