Starburst Memories: Cult Movies by Danny Peary

DUCK SOUP brought to mind, the book “Cult Movies” by Danny Peary. Published in 1981, it remains an important book in the film canon as it gave serious, passionate insight into films ignored by mainstream audiences at the time. The full list can be found here.

In the 1970’s Midnight Movies had taken off across the USA and this book celebrates 100 classic (and some not so classic) movies.

I found a copy of it at the Bolton Collector’s Flea Market in Silverwell Street, Bolton, which has now long gone. But in 1991 when I bought this book, it was a regular monthly fixture inside the old sports hall selling bric-a-brac, tat and books. At the time I was just discovering film and a hadn’t seen many of the films in this book (in fact on the same day that I bought the book, I bought “Casablanca” and “It’s A Wonderful Life” on video, both included in the book), but I had the mistaken belief that every film would show up on TV again at one point, this is not the case and films like “Dance Girl Dance”, “El Topo” and “Reefer Madness” have only been on TV once in the past 20 years and some I still haven’t seen, but that is the joy of it, I might see all the 100 films one day (I watched “Lola Montes” for the first time last weekend).

There are many films such as “Out Of The Past”, “The Witchfinder General”, “Performance” and “Pink Flamingos” I discovered because of this book and it would be safe to say that besides “Halliwell’s Film Guide” this book had the biggest impact on me, it came at just the right time and helped guide me through the thousands and thousands of films out there

When I bought Cult Movies, I hadn’t seen “Duck Soup”, I saw it less than six months later. I had seen the Marx Brothers last film “Love Happy” before, because it starred Marilyn Monroe, but it was this film that turned me into a Marx Brothers fan and it was this book that turned me into watching it.

“Cult Movies 2” and “Cult Movies 3” are all well worth checking out, but I do wonder what happened to Danny Peary.


5 responses to “Starburst Memories: Cult Movies by Danny Peary

  1. Ouch – it certainly smacks of a nineties ghost site – comic sans on a pink background – all that’s missing is some inappropriate ‘word art’ (Baskerville stretched to the point of illegibility).

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