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Snakes on a Plane and the prefabricated cult film
journal contributionposted on 2017-05-22, 04:29 authored by Kirsten Stevens
The "cult" film, and as a subset of this, the "bad" film, have been the focus of increased discussion and interest both in fan and academic circles over the past few decades. As Ernest Mathijs and Xavier Mendik reveal in their editorial introductions of the 2008 book "The Cult Film Reader", since the 1980s there has been a vast increase in the numbers and types of films which receive the label of cult. This growth reflects both an increase in the audience reception and identification with films as cult and the reflection of this cult viewership by a development of serious academic interest in the reading of various films as cult or paracinematic. Mathijs and Mendik's collection of articles in the aforementioned reader highlights the most recent trend in this "cult" phenomenon, attempting to discern a specific under- standing of what falls within the classification of cult film. While the articles assembled in the collection reveal a multitude of approaches to the cult film, from the ontological to the phenomenological, the focus on intertextuality and genre to the cultural position and experience of the event, a central theme to the understanding of what produces a cult reading or cult following of a film presents itself: namely, that such definitions of cult film rely on or assume the presence of a film object.