I'm having trouble finding these films because I'm not looking for what "cult movies" are traditionally defined as. No zombies, no horny female prisoners, no giant bugs, nothing that could be shown on MST3K.
We've been calling them Fucked-Up Movies, for the lack of a better term. They blow your mind. They creep you out. As soon as you finish one, you want to inflict it on someone else. You can't stop quoting them. They're visually stunning, and have enough philosophical, intellectual, and spiritual depth to invite viewing after viewing.
Holy Mountain, as mentioned, is the epitome of Fucked-Up Movies. I honestly don't think I'm ever going to find another movie I love as much as Holy Mountain, but I know there's more out there for me to find.
I've seen most of Jodorowsky's work (El Topo is a close runner-up to Holy Mountain, Fando y Lis was crazy surreal and I'm still confused by it, La Cravate was adorable early work). I'm still looking for Santa Sangre, and I'm not sure if Rainbow Thief will be disappointing.
I watched Zardoz,
a retro-futuristic parable laced with sex and violence and almost-naked Sean Connery, based on the recommendation of Hipster Musings.
I also stole the term "Fucked Up Movies" from her. Zardoz totally changed my life, and gave me hope that Holy Mountain hasn't ruined all other movies for me forever.
recommended Space is the Place
, a trippy 1970s Sun Ra vehicle about liberating the Black race from Earth and into outer space, and I loved it.
was chockablock with acid-trip neon visuals and certainly extremely weird, but it was also really eighties and terrible. Not perfect, but it's definitely a fucked up movie.
(the Monkees movie) is a lot more light-hearted than the rest of these, but undeniably drug-inspired and nonsensical.
I'm trying to stay away from too much gore, but Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom
seems to be plenty fucked up, with politics switched in for spirituality. Still trying to muster up the stomach for it.
I also probably haven't seen as much Lynch and Cronenberg as I should, so recommendations for specific movies in their filmographies is welcome.
There's got to be more out there; I'm sure you're all about to embarrass me with my lack of film knowledge. Please do.