Cultish Club: Now Accepting New Members

Welcome to Cultish Club.

“What’s that?” you say? Well, I’ll tell you. You’ve either been to or at least seen places a lot like Cultish Club before.

Maybe it was a seedy-looking bar in a dark alleyway you were too afraid to walk down, but you ventured there anyway, and inside it served exotic beers and snacks you’d never heard of (or thought had been discontinued years ago).

Perhaps it was a shop selling all kinds of vintage bric-a-brac that you didn’t know you needed until you saw it in the window.

Or possibly, it was an old cinema with only one or two screens, a foyer that reeked of stale popcorn, a machine that pops your ticket up through the desk, carpets that your feet stick to and ashtrays in the back of the threadbare chairs.

Whatever the place, they always have a few things in common:

  • It’s set back a little way from the main thoroughfare. Not so far that you can’t see the main road but far enough for passers-by to, well, pass by without noticing.
  • Although you find the place a little unsettling, you are also exhilarated by the experience and find yourself harbouring a strange desire to visit again at the earliest opportunity.
  • Try as you might, you can’t quite remember where it was and no matter how hard you look, you can’t find it again. Until, one day, you’re out looking for something else, wander down a dark alleyway by mistake, and – what do you know – there it is, where it had always been.
  • Very few people you tell about this mysterious venue have ever heard of it. Or if they have, it’s always through second-or-third-hand accounts of those who, like yourself, found it once and couldn’t find it again.

Often these places don’t want to be found, or only want to be found by the right person. But right now Cultish Club wants to be found and is actively seeking new members.

We started Cultish Club in 2020 as part of our 80s Movie Challenge, so that we could talk about films that weren’t on our list of the 50 most important films of the 1980s. We then expanded it to include films from other decades too. So far the entries have been:

Although there are no hard and fast rules for joining Cultish Club, the kind of members it’s looking for include:

  • Movies that are away from the mainstream, either because they are low-budget, indie, foreign, banned, arthouse, grindhouse, long forgotten, have a difficult or taboo subject matter, etc.
  • Movies you love but everyone else either hates or has never heard of.
  • Movies that were once huge but for whatever reason rapidly dropped away from popularity.
  • Movies that received a critical mauling but you think deserves a second look.

Think the kind of movie that used to be shown as part of BBC 2’s Moviedrome series or talked about on Channel 4’s The Incredibly Strange Film Show and you’re a large portion of the way there.

Film’s we’re hoping to feature in future instalments include The Burning (1981)King Solomon’s Mines (1985), Ghost Chase, AKA Hollywood Monster (1987), Moon 44 (1990), Paperhouse (1988), Dream Demon (1988), Red Scorpion (1988), China O’Brien (1988), Trespass (1992), Hugo The Hippo (1975), Star Crash (1978), The Beastmaster (1982), Return of the Living Dead Part 3 (1993), Legend (1985), The Beast of War (1988), Hardware (1990), Spacehunter (1983), Miracle Mile (1988), Mean Guns (1987).

What film would like to you initiate into Cultish Club? If you have a movie you’d like to recommend, then we are open to guest posts. There’s no upper word limit – say as little or as much as you like. If you’re interested visit our Contact page or pop over to Twitter to drop @WorldGeeklyNews or @Paulychilds a message.

Paul Childs

As well as writing for Den of Geek and Your Truth, Paul also runs Badgers Crossing, a site for ghost stories. He loves the 1980s and thanks to a keen interest in Public Information Films he has never been electrocuted or set himself on fire.

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