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31 days of horror: ‘Cult classics’

Make your way through the fourth week of Halloween with cult classics like “Eraserhead” and “The Bad Seed”
Created by Ariana Powell on Oct. 22. Based photos from Adobe Stock.

It’s a dark and stormy night somewhere! In preparation for Halloween, get scared with 31 days of horror. Each week will have seven films that align with a specific theme.

This week’s theme: cult classics.

A cult classic is a movie that often flopped at the box office, but has found a dedicated fan-base years after its initial release. Movies may be corny, campy or even plain bad, but they hold a dear place in many viewers’ hearts. Find your new favorite horror movie with these well-loved picks. 

Day 22, Sunday

Eraserhead,” 1977

Director David Lynch’s debut feature film is a cryptic and disturbing journey through the life of Henry Spencer —played by Jack Nance.

Henry is an isolated man grappling with a disturbing and industrialized world. Lynch creates a nightmarish atmosphere with intense black-and-white imagery and a haunting soundtrack. This movie is known for its bizarre visuals and kooky characters.

The narrative remains intentionally fragmented, inviting viewers to interpret its meaning and emotions. “Eraserhead” is a well-loved and iconic Lynch film that immerses audiences in a surreal and unforgettable world. 

“Eraserhead” can currently be streamed on Max or on Prime Video with a premium subscription. 

Day 23, Monday

“American Psycho,” 2000 

Follow upper-class businessman Patrick Bateman — played by Christian Bale — as he struggles to get a grip on reality as his alter-ego’s psychotic tendencies take over his life.

Bateman, along with the film’s audience, becomes caught in a dizzyingly terrifying, yet exciting series of events that lead to a complete psychotic break. Hopefully, you don’t break alongside him.

While “American Psycho” may not be as old as some of its cult classic counterparts, the film’s stereotype-bending, perception-breaking, humorous themes are addictive.

“American Psycho” can currently be streamed on Peacock. It can also be rented or bought on Prime Video.

Day 24, Tuesday 

Rocky Horror Picture Show,” 1975

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a truly iconic movie and a textbook example of a cult classic. This film is primarily known  for its in-person, late-night screenings where dedicated fans gather dressed up and ready to carry out the rich traditions of the viewing experience.

The film itself is campy and quintessentially Halloween with musical numbers, extravagant costumes and vibrant characters. 

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” is also an important example of queer representation in film and holds a special place in LGBTQ+ communities. The film features a gender-nonconforming mad scientist and unapologetically shows queer sexuality and love. Follow a stranded newlywed couple as they raise a toast and join in Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s opulent party. 

“Rocky Horror Picture Show” can currently be streamed on Hulu.

Day 25, Wednesday

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” 2006 

This film reimagines Elizabeth Bennett — played by Lily James — and Fitzwilliam Darcy’s — played by Sam Riley — unusual romance during a zombie apocalypse in 19th century England.

Just as Elizabeth battles her pride and Mr. Darcy his prejudice, they also have to fight the undead in one final, all-encompassing war. Nothing’s fair in love and war.

“Do not be in a hurry, the right man will come at last,” let’s just hope the right man is living.

The fanfiction film may not be a cult classic itself, but its inspiration — “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen — is cult classic literature. The word “zombie” just adds an undead twist.

The “Pride Prejudice and Zombies” film is based on the fanfic book by Seth Grahame-Smith.

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” can currently be streamed on Bravo Now, E! Now, NBC, Syft Now and Telemundo Now. It can also be rented or bought on Prime Video.

Day 26, Thursday

Troll 2,” 1990

What happens when you make an already underwhelming B-grade horror movie and decide at the last minute to make it a sequel to a completely different movie? 

You get “Troll 2,” a poorly acted, badly produced and bizarre movie that features goblins — not trolls — and is essentially unrelated to the first “Troll” movie. 

A family travels to a seemingly idyllic town and soon they discover a gang of vegetarian goblins who aim to turn them into delicious plant-based meals. Get your so-bad-it’s-good attitude ready and sit down for a confusing and endearing cinema experience. 

“Troll 2” can currently be streamed on YouTube, Tubi and Pluto TV.

Day 27, Friday

“The Bad Seed,”  1956 


“I’ve got the nicest mother. That’s what I tell everybody. I say I’ve got the sweetest mother in the world.”

The bond between mother and daughter is often very strong, but after the eight-year-old Rhoda — played by Patty McCormack — is accused of murdering a boy at a school picnic, her mother — played by Nancy Kelly — has to make some difficult decisions.

This ‘50s horror film was one of the first horror-genre media that showcased an evil child. It even has a message at the beginning of the film asking those watching to not spoil it for others.

“The Bad Seed” can be rented or bought on Prime Video.

Day 28, Saturday 

The Bye-Bye Man,” 2017

One might call “Bye-Bye Man” a future cult classic, another so-bad-it’s-good movie. Featuring uninspired scares, horror cliches and a laughable mantra that summons a supernatural being.

Enjoy the flat characters and comical jump scares as the not-so-scary psychic entity enters the lives of some stereotypical twentysomethings. 

If you’re looking for an inoffensive and unintentionally funny horror movie that provides a spooky vibe, “The Bye-Bye Man” may be perfect. Just don’t say his name or think about him — that’s how he’s summoned. 

Luckily you only pay with your lost time as this goofy movie can be found for free on Tubi. 

Callum Standish can be reached at [email protected].

Ariana Powell can also be reached at [email protected], as well as [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Callum Standish
Callum Standish, Opinion and Features Editor
Callum Standish is a third year journalism and news major from Castro Valley, California. Standish is in his second semester on The Orion and now serves as the arts and entertainment editor. He has broad interests in cars, music and the environment. Standish enjoys exploring the nooks and crannies of Chico on his bicycle and wasting time with friends. His goal is to get everyone involved in the community on-and-off campus. 
Ariana Powell
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.

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