The idea of the cult movie and the birth of the cult phenomenon is a tricky concept that can’t be answered in one shot. While Danny Wolf approaches film fans with a three part feature length look at some of the best and most controversial cult films of all time, there isn’t a lot of examination of the cult film. Despite a round table of people like host Joe Dante, and guests John Waters, Kevin Pollak, and Illeana Douglas, “Time Warp” is a lot more a celebration of cult and indie films. If you want something more cerebral that discusses the whole idea and anomaly of cult films then you may probably want to look elsewhere.
I’m a big fan of the thought provoking documentaries that can usually be found on Turner Classic Movies, but every once in a while, I also adore documentaries that just celebrate the magic of film. “Time Warp” is a fun and insightful look at some of the all time greatest cult films, films that have helped shape the cinematic landscape. Before the internet age, cult films were often accidental. They were films that were usually born from word of mouth or crept up from the corners of studios and captured some sense of awe from the gradually growing fan base.
Cult films have a special place in American film nerds’ hearts. This documentary explores how cult films affect their fans and how they become so through interviews with fans, filmmakers, and a variety of speakers.
BOOTLEG FILES 649: “Care of Hair and Nails” (1951 educational film about good grooming).
LAST SEEN: It is on YouTube and Archive.org.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: In anthologies of old instructional films.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The copyright may have expired.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.
From the late 1940s into the 1970, American schoolchildren were bombarded with a series of 16mm educational films designed to encourage proper behavior. By contemporary standards, the films are rather hokey – and one would imagine that the smarter kids of a distant era were quietly snickering at these well-intentioned but daffy cinematic efforts.