Gateway Film Center is starting a yearlong cult dedicated to the most obscure, secretly-beloved films of all time – and Columbus is invited.

It’s called Cult 101, and it’s their most ambitious program yet. With the help of a panel of film experts from around the country, the film center has identified the best cult films of all time – and will play every one of them over the course of 2017.

“If you get two film fans together anywhere in the world, they will eventually get into the age-old debate about the best cult films of all time,” said GFC President and Programmer Chris Hamel. “Cult 101 came about because we wanted to put forth a point of view that could inform that debate at a national level, and have a lot of fun along the way.”

The program had its start this summer, when Hamel reached out to contacts made over 20 years in the film business and asked them one question: “How would you like to put together the ultimate year-long cult series?” The response was overwhelming. International news outlets, tastemakers, studios, critics and programmers sent in their picks by the hundreds, including Wired, Time Out, Alamo Drafthouse, Paramount, Sony, IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, the Belcourt Theatre, Outfest, NPR and more.

Contributors also included local organizations 614 Magazine (us), Columbus Underground, Dennison and Otterbein Universities, Film Columbus and others.

The film center team tabulated results and gave them to Hamel for final decisions. And now the complete list of the 101 top cult films in history is finished, booked and will be playing at Gateway Film Center throughout the year.

The program begins New Year’s Day with Blade Runner at 9:30 p.m. The complete list of films is below, and their screening times will be revealed each quarter, treating Cult 101 as four seasons of top cult film. Special screenings – 4k restorations, 35mm and 70mm presentations, panel discussions and more – are planned, and will be announced on the quarterly schedule.

But what about that age-old debate: does it finally have its answer?

“We went into this knowing it’d be part science, part art, and we wouldn’t be able to include everything,” he said. “We’ve already joked about hosting ‘Cut 101’ in 2018, with 100 greats we couldn’t fit into this one.”

We’ve gone ahead and bolded the films we’re most excited about — but really, all these movies are so good, and weird, and incredible.

Alphabetical listing of films

  • A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
  • AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD
  • AKIRA
  • AMERICAN PSYCHO
  • AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
  • AUDITION
  • BADLANDS
  • BARBARELLA
  • BATTLE ROYALE
  • BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
  • BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
  • BLACK CHRISTMAS
  • BLADE RUNNER
  • BLUE VELVET
  • BRAZIL
  • BUBBA HO TEP
  • CITY OF LOST CHILDREN
  • CLERKS
  • CLUE
  • DAWN OF THE DEAD
  • DAZED AND CONFUSED
  • DEATH RACE 2000
  • DONNIE DARKO
  • DR. STRANGELOVE
  • EASY RIDER
  • EL MARIACHI
  • EL TOPO
  • ENTER THE DRAGON
  • ERASERHEAD
  • ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
  • FANTASTIC PLANET
  • FIGHT CLUB
  • GET CARTER
  • GHOST WORLD
  • GREY GARDENS
  • HARD BOILED
  • HAROLD AND MAUDE
  • HEATHERS
  • HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
  • IRMA VEP
  • JACOB’S LADDER
  • KISS KISS BANG BANG
  • LABYRINTH
  • LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL
  • LOGAN’S RUN
  • MAD MAX
  • MEAN STREETS
  • MEMENTO
  • MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL
  • MULHOLLAND DRIVE
  • NIGHT SHIFT
  • OLDBOY
  • PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE
  • PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE
  • PINK FLAMINGOS
  • PINK FLOYD: THE WALL
  • PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
  • PULP FICTION
  • PURPLE RAIN
  • RAISING ARIZONA
  • RE-ANIMATOR
  • REPO MAN
  • REQUIEM FOR A DREAM
  • RESERVOIR DOGS
  • RUSHMORE
  • SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE
  • SHOWGIRLS
  • STOP MAKING SENSE
  • STRANGER THAN PARADISE
  • TAXI DRIVER
  • TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
  • THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BONZAI
  • THE BIG LEBOWSKI
  • THE BLUES BROTHERS
  • THE BOONDOCK SAINTS
  • THE BREAKFAST CLUB
  • THE EVIL DEAD
  • THE EVIL DEAD 2
  • THE GHOST IN THE SHELL
  • THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH
  • THE PRINCESS BRIDE
  • THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
  • THE THING
  • THE USUAL SUSPECTS
  • THE WARRIORS
  • THE WICKER MAN
  • THEY LIVE
  • THIS IS SPINAL TAP
  • TOMMY
  • TOUCH OF EVIL
  • TRAINSPOTTING
  • TRUE ROMANCE
  • TWELVE MONKEYS
  • TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME
  • VIDEODROME
  • WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE
  • WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER
  • WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
  • WITHNAIL AND I
  • YELLOW SUBMARINE
  • YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

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