Honestly, real cults are terrifying. You’ve got some person or group brainwashing and controlling large groups of people, coercing them into doing weird and/or extremely boring things. But on television and in films, cults are the best! You get a wacky leader and all your favorite characters sometimes wear the same set of clothes. Also, sometimes there’s chanting and there’s nothing I love more than a good chant – you should see me at a Laker game. Chanting like there’s no tomorrow, I tell you. Anyway, if I was going to join a cult, I’d avoid the whole Martha Marcy May Marlene thing because I don’t want to kill a cat, like they suggest the titular character might have to do in the trailer. Whether she actually does or not is a mystery. Either way, the very suggestion takes that cult out of the running for me. I’ll pass on Fight Club, too, since I don’t believe in topless fighting. I only believe in fighting topless and bottomless, like Viggo did in Eastern Promises. And no thanks to that nutty cult from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Yes, there is chanting, but their leader also pulls people’s hearts straight out of their chests. Yuck.
So maybe I won’t join a cult. But in case you want to, here are some my favorites:
1) The Simpsons - The Movementarians
The Simpsons and the rest of Springfield become Movementarians. They worship the leader who lives in “The Forbidden Barn” and are forced to harvest lima beans. It sounds like a party to me but I guess I really love lima beans and harvesting. And really what better cult is there than one where they win your allegiance by singing the Batman song? Of course it’s eventually revealed to be a hoax and nobody’s going to get to go to Blisstonia – but it was a nice dream while it lasted.
This cult made me wish I could join one so I could get deprogrammed with the promise of a hover bike. The hover bikes weren’t real, sure, but neither was the spaceship to Blisstonia. Again, nice dreams until you’re forced to wake up.
2) The Wicker Man - The ladies of the island
It’s never explicitly stated these weirdos are a cult – they could very well just be overly-enthusiastic pagans. But they act like it’s a different time period, they prance around in crazy costumes for ceremonial purposes and they seem to worship terrifying ideologies that demand paying respects via bee-beard wearing. The bees govern their lives, but as Nicolas Cage says, “Killing me won’t bring back your god damn honey!”
All I can say is that I hope when I’m an older woman living on an island filled mostly with ladies and a few silent men who are around for heavy lifting, my very attractive fish head costume will protect my mature face and bones from Nicolas Cage’s flying fists.
3) Suspiria - The ballet witches
A cult of ballerinas? Why, that sounds fantastic! All tutus and severe hair-dos and whatnot. Why, they would worship at the feet of a nutcracker! Or perhaps a swan! I saw Center Stage - they all had the best time! It’d be great. Right? Wrong. Very, very wrong. So I don’t remember a ton about this film, other than the ballerinas turn out to be a part of a coven of witches. And they are super mean.
They even have a room filled with barbed wire, so if you try to escape their clutches you’re just asking for a barbed wire cuddle session – of death! This cult also has people coming back from the dead, with which I am just not cool.
4) Boy Meets World - Shawn joins the Mr. Mac at The Centre
Shawn gets upset about his future. What’s the first thing you do when you’re worried about your future? Join a cult! Specifically, The Centre, headed up by the powerfully named Mr. Mac. They win him over with their sexy cult hugs. Cory eventually uses the power of his own more sexy hug to snap Shawn out of his brainwashing. Well, that and Shawn’s teacher/father-figure getting into a motorcycle accident that forces him to confront his own sexy feelings of self-worth. Take that, The Centre and Mr. Mac!
5) Rosemary’s Baby - The Satanists
This cult is the absolute worst because they commit the most heinous of crimes: they ruin dessert. All Rosemary wanted was to enjoy some chocolate mousse and she ends up pregnant with Satan’s kid. That’s really unfair. The worst thing that happens to me when I eat dessert is that it’s gone before I can taste it! These jerks curse and kill Rosemary’s friends, make her go to some two-bit doctor who believes in health drinks that turn you into an emaciated lizard queen, and they give the worst gifts: horribly stinky necklaces.
Worse. Cult. Ever.
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