Every movie in this book is a gem that every discerning film buff should know about. Although a few might be familiar - 'Barbarella', 'Un Chien Andalou', 'The Blues Brothers' - most will be unfamiliar, and all will boast a small but devoted fanbase. So, just what makes a cult movie? Typically, these movies are independently made on a small budget and were never expected by their creators to attract a broad audience: the eccentricity of the film making or story telling, the controversial stance taken, or the narrow appeal of the subject matter guaranteed that their appeal was limited. Some movies achieve cult status long after their release. Neither commercially nor critically successful at the time, these movies were too revolutionary, fashionable, or simply badly made to find an appreciative audience. Movies, such as 'Harold and Maude' and 'Plan 9 From Outer Space', languished unnoticed until a small, devoted group from a later generation discovered them and declared them cool. A few movies, such as 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show', originally attracted cult status, even though they were made by a major studio, owing to their dark, controversial, or offbeat subject matter.As tastes changed and tolerance increased, these films went on to appeal to a much wider audience and to gain commercial success without ever losing their cult status. With insight from critics, film historians, and academics from around the world, '101 Cult Movies You Must See Before You Die' is a homage to a century filled with 50-foot women, alcohol-fueled binges, surreal imaginary friends, flying pink elephants, and improbably large arachnids.