The 34 Greatest Cult Movies Of All Time

Trash hits and midnight flicks



    • balall

      Feb 22nd 2010, 13:56

      it is a travesty that Donnie Darko is not on this list, it should easily be the greatest cult movie

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    • fuzzcaminski

      Feb 22nd 2010, 13:57

      I didn't realise most of these were 'cult' films, I've always just thought of them as films. I've seen about 25 of them and I'm only in my early 20's. God I sound like I'm bragging now, I'm not.

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    • muggyfresh

      Feb 22nd 2010, 15:08

      I'm with balall...was flabbergasted that Donnie Darko was not on the list. I was equally flabbergasted that Mamma Mia was. Unless you count my mum and nan as figures who induldge in 'cult' movies....

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    • Dortmunder70

      Feb 22nd 2010, 15:40

      you really need "Carnival of souls" in there

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    • Glyn1982

      Feb 22nd 2010, 16:11

      Nice selection, but I've always thought a cult film has to be somewhat subversive, to the extent that it only has a limited appeal. Or later found a clique following years after their release. Not sure I'd class Mamma Mia, Shawshank or Get Carter as cult films, despite having devoted fans. Pink Flamingos and Harold & Maude are the real deal, but surely The Wicker Man is the ultimate cult film. Also Blue Velvet, Danger Diabolik, Carnival of Souls, Barbarella and even Carry On Screaming! And why 34 ...?

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    • blackrainpr

      Feb 22nd 2010, 16:38

      yeap donnie darko is a great cult film

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    • LadCrop007

      Feb 22nd 2010, 20:06

      Can someone please explain to me why 'Donnie Darko' is not on this list?

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      Feb 22nd 2010, 21:57

      Mamma Mia. . . really? Yank that from the list right away and replace with Idiocracy. Not only is it one of the funniest films out there but it's so spot on about "natural selection" that its scary. All it takes is one trip to the mall to see that the future may be closer than we think.

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    • metalgatesolid

      Feb 22nd 2010, 22:21

      Wow only one John Carpenter film!!!?? Escape from New York and The Thing missing from this list me thinks. Who voted for these? As mentioned above Donnie Darko shouldnt be missing and in my opinion, The Warriors should be so much higher. Lastly, wheres the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

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    • cleanbreak

      Feb 23rd 2010, 0:26

      A couple I can agree on, but hows about... The Bed Sitting Room El Topo Thundercrack A Boy And His Dog A few midnight flicks that are well worth checking out. Mama Mia indeed...

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    • Tastynapalm

      Feb 23rd 2010, 6:17

      Where is the Blues Brothers?

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    • deheor

      Feb 23rd 2010, 12:14

      Got nervous because I read the comments before the article and all the negative posts made me wary. No need for that bother because it's actually an excellent list. There are always going to films that others want mentioned but you got a good cross-section in your top 34.

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    • Toursiveu

      Feb 24th 2010, 0:41

      No Phantom of the Paradise??? In my opinion it's the ultimate cult movie. I must have seen it 30 times. Mamma Mia? Really?...

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    • mitchsn

      Feb 24th 2010, 2:05

      Streets of Fire

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    • mrkirkwood

      Feb 24th 2010, 13:19

      Happy with most of the list. Just wondering, should The Crow not be somewhere near the top? What about Trainspotting? Napoleon Dynamite? Early Tarantino? I know I'm pretty mainstreem but non did well in the cinema and took off after. Please take Mamma Mia off!!

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    • sy17uk

      Feb 26th 2010, 11:16

      Great list guys, but where is Donnie Darko???? Molhulland Drive maybe? Tarantino, i think you could have easily of made a top 50

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    • fortunesfool

      Feb 26th 2010, 11:25

      Shawshank isn't a cult movie, it's a very popular film with everyone. Where's Donnie Darko, The Ninth Configuration, Blues Brothers, Night of the Comet? Top 25 indeed. Top 25 off the top of your heads more like.

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    • Leigh

      Feb 26th 2010, 14:11

      Where's Donnie Darko, Fear and loathing in las Vegas and trainspotting?

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    • docemmettbrown

      Feb 26th 2010, 14:13

      How can a film consistently voted the greatest film of all time possibly be a cult film? And Mama Mia? Give me a break. Where's Manos: The Hands Of Fate?

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    • kmcryer

      Feb 26th 2010, 14:24

      Some of these films should definitely be on the list - "Rocky," "Labyrinth," maybe even "Fight Club." Like most others who commented, I am surprised that "Donnie Darko" and the ultimate Gen-Y cult film "Napoleon Dynamite" didn't make the list. Also, whoever wrote this has no concept about female-oriented cult films. "Love Story?" "Mamma Mia?" Seriously? I know maybe two people who own those movies. Where are films like "Newsies?" Talk about a movie with a cult following! And that was even before Christian Bale took over the role of Batman.

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    • Nickey09

      Feb 26th 2010, 20:49

      I think it's unanimous: Where the hell is DONNIE DARKO??? Hey, Total Film, are you willing to edit this list for us?

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    • DanielMcA

      Feb 27th 2010, 14:00

      Mama Mia? Really? Why not Avatar?

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    • MichaelC2B

      Feb 28th 2010, 4:23

      Great list! I have seen some of them and love them - Pee Wee, Freaks, Plan 9 - and some were reminders of ones I have been meaning to watch. One that I love and would recommend is FEED (2005), director Brett Leonard (Lawnmower Man). Brett made it in Australia and it is a very dark comedy/thriller. It has become very popular in the last few years due to the star's success in the US, Alex O'Loughlin. It is now being called a "cult film". If you haven't seen it do yourself a favor and go to Amazon and get a copy. Be sure to buy directly from Amazon - some pirated copies are being sold and some of the best parts to watch are the deleted scenes and other extras, which won't be on the pirated DVDs. Thanks for the list - lots of fun.

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    • MichaelC2B

      Feb 28th 2010, 4:25

      Well, I will have to see Donnie Darko, that's for sure!

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    • CPacker

      Feb 28th 2010, 15:07

      On the whole, great list. I'm a big fan of some of them on here. Though Mamma Mia...?! Donnie Darko, Bladerunner and Barberella I would like to have seen make the cut. I've had a bit of a mini rant of my blog if anyone wants to check it out: I think what makes a film a cult classic is definitely personal choice. While some might be unanimous, others can provoke strong reactions.

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    • CPacker

      Feb 28th 2010, 15:27

      Just had a thought, would True Romance, Leon or American Psycho be deemed as cult classics or were they too commercially successful?

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    • CPacker

      Feb 28th 2010, 15:28

      Just had a thought, would True Romance, Leon or American Psycho be deemed as cult classics or were they too commercially successful?

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    • LamppostLicker

      Mar 2nd 2010, 3:37

      To repeat with equivalent incredulity: NO DONNIE DARKO? Not even Blade Runner, one of the biggest cult movies of all time? You're kidding. You must be. There could be no other legit excuse for the desiccated turd of Mamma Mia in place of either of these cult classics.

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    • GrandiaKnight

      Mar 7th 2010, 14:07

      Mamma Mia? Seriously? Also I have to agree with the general view here. Where is Donnie Darko? I can't think of several more cult classics. What about Night of the Living Dead, Darkman, The Goonies or Hellraiser. So many missing films! At least Evil Dead made it on though! My favourite cult film of all time!

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    • GrandiaKnight

      Mar 7th 2010, 14:07

      Mamma Mia? Seriously? Also I have to agree with the general view here. Where is Donnie Darko? I can't think of several more cult classics. What about Night of the Living Dead, Darkman, The Goonies or Hellraiser. So many missing films! At least Evil Dead made it on though! My favourite cult film of all time!

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    • parkerwest5179

      Mar 24th 2010, 9:54

      I would have liked to have seen Bubba ho Tep on there somewhere. There's some pretty mainstream stuff in there for a cult list too, so....

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    • CinemaObsessed

      Jun 15th 2010, 15:13

      #13, that's what I was gonna say! Phantom of the Paradise is my all time favie, and a HUGE cult classic!

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    • woodstock101

      Jul 13th 2010, 2:26

      its like you are trying to spread them out to leave no one out...urm EASY RIDER????????????????????????????????????????????????????? BLADE RUNNER??????????????????????????????????????????

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    • higgins78

      Jul 30th 2010, 15:05

      I'll not talk about who should have been where on the list but instead tell you 2 movies which have been missed entirely, by yourselves and by the numerous comments on this topic...Performance and If....!

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    • Giles83

      Sep 2nd 2010, 2:29

      My personal favourite cult film is 'The Burbs', a huge flop on realease which has been become very popuar over the years with word of mouth. Missing from the list: -Donnie Darko (I think some one already mentioned it) -Dark Star -Hellraiser -The Howling -The Thing -Trainspotting -Shallow Grave -Dead Mans Shoes -Jaws IV (s**te but so s**te its funny) -Leprechaun -Troll 2 -Prophecy -City of God -La Hain -Oldboy -Ichi the killer -Let the right one in -Ring (original) I could go on all day however Im not sure what TF is judging as cult because if its about sceenings years after release, with a huge following regardless of Box office then surely Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings Trilogies would be on this list ahead of Mamma Mia. However I always assumed it meant a flop or little seen film on original release that built up a fan base through websites, late night screenings or word of mouth. Agreed with a lot of the list though and not everyone will be happy each others list. Great feature TF, at least it got us talking.

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    • mattjones

      Sep 28th 2010, 12:49

      All very valid points. If I can I'd like to offer Tremors. Also, a big vote for Night Of The Comet. While I'm here might as well mention the Fred Savage films Little Monsters and Wizard. Classic nostalgia cult.

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    • websnacker

      Oct 17th 2010, 19:46

      Hi, Here's a list of favorite top 10 cult movies from the 80s. If you have the time, please comment on the blog. cheers

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    • koreshek

      Apr 20th 2011, 17:43

      Where're Eurotrash cult movies? Italian/Spanish/French?

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    • Yoyoyo

      Jul 12th 2011, 10:05

      Great list. Fight Club has to be up there. Check out the other cult film list on the Loathed Film blog :

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    • FBMLombness

      Oct 25th 2011, 5:17

      Excellent list. Especially great choices for 1,2,4,6,11,13,14,16,28,31 and 34. Much better than other lists of cult classics on the interwebs. Kudos!

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    • ShosannaD

      Nov 6th 2011, 0:43

      I don't agree with The Shawshank Redemption, just because I believe everyone agrees The Shawshank Redemption is one of the best moves ever.

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    • sweetp234

      Nov 8th 2011, 23:25

      haha nice list. What about something like Gattaca ( That's pretty cult (or at least nerdy). And Shawshank was nominated for many awards so I doubt it's trashy.

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    • FBCBoylan

      Mar 13th 2012, 23:25

      No 2001: A Space Odyssey? You should be ashamed of youselves...

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    • LaustCawz

      Apr 25th 2012, 22:57

      There is a game I've started to decide The Greatest Cult Classic Film Of All Time, as well as a spin-off game, "Revenge" Of The Greatest Cult Classic etc. on the movies discussion forum-- please come to the most recent page & vote!!!!

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    • rzkchk

      Aug 24th 2012, 3:06

      Am I too naive to think that any Quentin Tarantino movie should have a spot here? Pulp Fiction at least deserves an honorable mention don't you think?

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    • mechanicalqueen

      Aug 28th 2012, 12:37

      cannot believe mumma mia is in this list & kill bill/ true romance & donnie darko aren't ridiculous ><

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    • boywilmsen

      Sep 16th 2012, 1:34

      Yes and no Pulp Fiction and Resevoir Dogs !!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • andiesmorang

      Dec 17th 2012, 5:19

      To repeat what EVERYONE is saying, HOW is Donnie Darko not on this list?????? Seriously, how?!? I get that everyone has their own opinions and blah blah blah but whether or not you like it as a film, Donnie Darko has unequivocally the biggest cult following of any movie ever. This is like having a list of the greatest Olympians and leaving out Michael Phelps. Having a list of the most successful fast food chains and leaving out McDonalds. It's just ridiculous that Donnie didn't make this list.

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    • kylepayne

      Feb 16th 2013, 3:24

      Okay, Office Space is one of my favorite movies of all time! It is just a collection of seemingly never ending great moments from the two Bob's to Milton's red stapler. The sad thing is how accurately it reflects the real work environment to the point where it almost needs to be more of a spoof to be considered a comedy not a documentary. Had a lot of TPS report moments when I was with ADP. Check out my list of moments by googling "Empower Network Vitalitywerks" and selecting "What's your favorite TPS report story?

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    • rudnymarcelo

      Feb 17th 2013, 1:41

      I have seen lots of nice movies, and I didn't know what a ' cult ' movie was, as someone already said here, I just call them movies. OH God, why isn't Donnie Darko here? Because the author of this list is a d*****s. I agree that The Big Lebowski is a very interesting movie and stuff, but IT IS NOT FAIRLY AS GOOD as Fight Club, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Drive, 500 Days of Summer and stuff.... maybe I just don't understand what CULT means, that's possible. I don't like "CULT MOVIES" anymore... but I really dig cool movies.

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    • torirose

      Mar 4th 2013, 6:03

      Most of the list I agree with, however some of the movies such as Shawshank I've personally never really considered cult films. Also, the fact that Donnie Darko is not on this list is an appalling oversight.

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    • emptyspiral13

      Apr 23rd 2013, 21:37

      Okay, where is Repo! The Genetic Opera? Donnie Darko? Little Shop Of Horrors? Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas? Fido? Pan's Labyrinth? Silent Hill? Maybe even V For Vendetta or Gremlins? All those are great movies, maybe some aren't considered cult classics but many are!

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    • jordanwah

      May 20th 2013, 6:35

      momma mia? GAY! so much is better then momma mia NATURAL BORN KILLERS? FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS? MONTY PYTHONS HOLY GRAIL?

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    • cedricdouglas

      May 28th 2013, 22:49

      ~> Pulp Fiction number (1)

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    • NCVashley

      Jun 26th 2013, 21:31

      Pulp Fiction, Trainspotting, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or Crash?

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    • izabaeldajinn

      Aug 26th 2013, 23:00

      This list isn't terrible except for much of what has been pointed out above. Definitely Donnie Darko should be on the list and Mama Mia taken off would help this list's credibility. Reservoir Dogs should probably be on the list. Pulp Fiction was way too popular to be considered Cult in my opinion, so I'm fine with that one being left off. Rocky Horror Picture Show is CLEARLY the #1 cult movie of all time, since it pretty much defines the term and is still running strong in public screenings nearly 40 years later. Hello? As much as I love Big Lebowski, only time will tell if it has that kind of resonance in another 25 years or so. El Topo should be on the list as someone mentioned. That's some old school cult classic shiznit. Carnival of Souls too.

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    • dylanbaldwin

      Jan 25th 2014, 19:03

      Where's Donnie Darko? Ruhsmore? The Wicker Man? Pulp Fiction? Fear and Loathing Las Vegas? All five' of those should at least be ahead of Labyrinth, which is the most boring fantasy movie that I've ever seen! (and yes, I have seen Warriors of Virtue, but not the sequel.) Although I think that is a serious flaw with the list, the rest is okay, although I personally would put Harold and Maude much higher. But hey, that's just me.

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    • seed4food

      Feb 12th 2014, 1:28

      I am so happy that FREAKS made it on this list. Check out my Kickstarter project called Freaks, its a collectors item.

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    • drewkizzle

      Apr 11th 2014, 9:29

      THE MATRIX is the best movie ever... And yo... why is Troll 2 not on here?

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    • sasquachtyeti

      Apr 13th 2014, 9:57

      Hi, to watch classic movies in Public Domain check this site : publicdomainmoviesonline . blogspot . com

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    • ukaycheung

      Apr 24th 2014, 12:16

      Top cult movies of all time and No Pulp Fiction?!?!

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    • GashFilms

      Jun 14th 2014, 20:08

      I think what defines a 'cult' movie / film is fairly open to argument ;) - I would say it is a film that is obscure (i.e. not very popular in the mainstream) or quirky in some way, but has a strong following. So bad movies will all qualify, assuming the following (i.e. movies so ridiculous like The Room, Birdemic, Samurai Cop) but also movies that do 'ok' commercially but have something about them that not everyone appreciates, but some people LOVE. Some of the other commenter suggestions are great, films such as Fear and Loathing Las Vegas, The Wicker Man (not the Cage version hehe), Rocky Horror Picture Show. Not sure if Tarantino's movies qualify as they are all mainstream though somewhat quirky. Donnie Darko, maybe, probably ;). I tend towards 'less successful' as fitting into cult movies, otherwise films like Blade Runner, A Clockwork Orange, Mad Max are clear omissions. Anywho, here is a bunch of movies we have reviewed recently that we liked, that qualify (some of them bad, all of them unusual, some of them very good and you might not have seen) TimeCrimes (one of my favourite movies, time travel, completely unique, criminally under rated) Excalibur (love or hate, I love ;)) Primer (another low budget time travel) Alien Warrior (very bad, but some amazing scenes, like where he cures a terminally ill patient with his beard) Samurai Cop (terrible, but hilarious) Birdemic (same) Flash Gordon A Boy and His Dog (another love or hate) Hawk the Slayer (lol bad but funny) Zardoz (pretentious but fun) Probably loads more, but these are the ones off the top of my head. GashFilms (standard domain) is our review site, we tend to pick amusing films in some way for review and our language can be a little 'adult' ;)

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    • WayneCha

      Sep 13th 2014, 17:58

      My problem with lists like these is that there are too many of them (Nerve, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, etc.), and when it comes to cult films, it would be nice to have people chime in with their personal favorites that don't necessarily get mentioned otherwise. For example, I'm probably the only person in the world who thinks that a triple feature that includes "Rat Pfink a Boo Boo," "Shock! Shock! Shock!," and "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" would be perfect for a cult movie night. (If you actually watch these three back-to-back, I'm sure you would agree with me, but who can claim that they've seen ANY of these films? Not many!) "Inserts" is another oddity that few people would know about even though Richard Dreyfuss starred in it just a year before the blockbuster "Jaws" was released. I'd love to see critics and film buffs tell us about those hidden gems that should have more of a cult following than they do rather than those that are already pretty well-known even among non-cultists.

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    • teoalcantara

      Sep 21st 2014, 15:15

      XANADU should be on this list, just saying... :)

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    • tommywoerner

      Sep 26th 2014, 17:05

      There are several movies not on this list that deserve it or at least mention: Pulp Fiction The Shining Scarface Weird Science Kung Pow! Nightmare on Elm Street Human Centipede RoboCop The Cable Guy Galaxy Quest or any other Tarantino or M. Night Shymalan film

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    • bobbymac

      Oct 6th 2014, 12:05

      If you're a Labyrinth fan - check this out :)

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