Cult Film Part II-邪典电影（二）
THE HOSTESS: It strikes me that the route of a cult film is often its complete unpredictability. How could you ever have known that the story of two innocent lovers stranded in a transvestite’s castle could have prompted you know midnight screenings and this massive following?
JASON WOOD: Absolutely. I mean, and it’s important that you mentioned midnight screenings because there was a series of cinemas across America that had a screening schedule called midnight movies, where a lot of these films, cult films came from. “Rocky Horror Picture Show” was certainly one of the films that benefited from that, and it became one of these “word of mouth films”. People discovered it, they came to it. The “Rocky Horror Picture Show” I think is one of those films that does take chance if you look at the sexual politics of the film, the racial politics, the dissident look at society that the film takes. It’s one of those films that really didn’t have tell any kind of line. You know It really could be as subversive as it wanted. I think the whole attitude of the film was you know if we find an audience, great, if we don’t, it didn’t cost a lot of money to make at the time, it had no stars. It made a star out of Susan Sarandon. It could really just take all the risks it wanted and they really paid off.
THE HOSTESS: There are all sorts of different genres, aren’t there, that dip in and become cult. I mean, sci-fi lends itself to the horror. The “Wicker Man” is one I think we should hear from.
FILM CLIP: Sometimes the victim will be drowned in the sea or burned to death in a huge sacrificial bonfire. Sometimes the six swordsman ritually beheaded the virgin. Dear god in heaven, even these people can’t be that mad.
THE HOSTESS: Edward Woodward there as Sergeant Howie in “The Wicker Man”. I mean you know a couple of years ago there was a remake wasn’t there Jason, but in the original wicker man, people bow down to this film don’t they?
JASON WOOD: Yea, absolutely. And it’s a film that continues to attract new audiences. But I think “The Wicker Man” stands out as one of the defining horror films. “The Wicker Man” is one of those films you know without which to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, the ending is just one of the most powerful endings in cinema history. I think its right up there with “Planet of the Apes”. You know, you are never going to better that. Horror films are very very closely associated with cult pictures, quite often because they are quite cheap to make.
THE HOSTESS: Let’s talk about the directors and which ones have successfully moved from cult to mainstream. I mean, if we can even define that as success, because people are making great films within the cult genre. But people like Ridley Scott, Sam Raimi, Robert Rodriquez, and David Lynch, they now moved to mainstream haven’t they really?
JASON WOOD: I think they have but I think rather that they moved to mainstream that perhaps mainstream has moved with them. I mean I don’t think that David Lynch has ever made a compromised film. I mean even “Dune”, which is regarded as his kind of tilt into mainstream, probably is his least subversive picture, is a film that he is very very fond of and is certainly a very personal movie.
THE HOSTESS: Where does Quentin Tarantino as a director stand? I mean his work is heavily influenced by the cult films in the 1970s and references cult films, but does this actually make him a cult director?
JASON WOOD: I think Quentin Tarantino is one of those directors you know who
is obviously a complete city feel, and “Reservoir Dogs” is a cult film. It was a film made with very little money, it’s a film that took risks with its structure, completely borrowed from endless other films such as “The Killing” the Stanley Kubrick film, various other foreign language films. I think “Reservoir Dogs” is a film which interesting because it wears its references very lightly. I think with that film Tarantino didn’t necessarily try to pass off some of touches as his own. I think because his career progressed, I think he has maybe become a little bit more disingenuous about where his reference comes from.
THE HOSTESS: We’ve talked a lot about western cult films, but let’s look now at the rest of the world, with Indian cult films, Asian cult films, are they sort of definable in the same way as we define the ones we talk about here?
JASON WOOD: Absolutely, I mean, you have with cult film lovers, that people like to discover something. This maybe because film making from America, from other European countries, has become more and more homogenized. People began to look else where for things they can discover. John Woo is a very good case and point. He is a film maker that cult film lovers particularly latched on to. One of the film makers that I very much like is Beat Takeshi Kitano, the Japanese director of films such as “Sonatine” and “Violent Cop” and more recently, “Zatoichi” and film makers in Europe and America that people very quickly latch onto because they were doing things that were different. There has always been this history of cult films and cult film makers coming from further a field. A great cult director is the Chilean born film maker, Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose recent film “El Topo”, a legendary film, a western, which completely rewrites the rule book. And it’s really beloved and beholden by cult film makers, because it’s difficult to find anything that is comparable to it. So yes, I think it is very very important to not just think of cult films and cult film makers being American films and American film makers, but to really look at the wider picture of films from all across the world.
THE HOSTESS: Film writer, Jason Wood. And if you fancy watching any of those films we chatted about, and join the cult, you can get hold of most of them now on DVD. That’s all for this week. This time tomorrow on ‘The Beat’, Mark Coles will be looking at the winners and the losers of the Mercury Music Prize, one of the most prestigious music awards in the UK calendar.
word of mouth 口碑好的