B-movies aren’t all horrible; some are regarded as some of the greatest ever made.
Low-budget and campy films don’t always turn out to be bad. Some of the most important and cherished cinematic experiences are B-movies, which is a classification attached to films created under severe financial constraints. Good B-movies, despite their flaws in lighting and editing, are noted for pushing the envelope, establishing new clichés, and incorporating experimental elements into their plots.
B-movie genres include horror, sci-fi, comedy, and action, and the label can be used to any of these genres. To this day, the best and most enduring low-budget films have cult followings, and their influence can be seen in everything from big-budget blockbusters to independent films.
10. Cooley High (1975) – 7.2
A black coming-of-age dramedy about a group of Chicago high school seniors in 1964, Cooley High was made for roughly $750,000. Over $13 million in theaters was a significant achievement for 1975’s Cooley High, which had a Motown soundtrack and characters that were likable.
Cooley High’s popularity set a significant cinematic milestone for black moviegoers at a time when the vast majority of theatrical movies were designed for and by white people. Themes and characters from this now-classic film are still relevant today.
9. Female Trouble (1974) – 7.3
“Female Trouble” is one of Baltimore native John Waters’s most memorable films. A long-term collaborator and drag queen Divine plays Dawn Davenport in the film, who goes from snobby schoolgirl to serial killer.
When Dawn’s parents declined to buy her cha-cha heels for Christmas one year, it sparked her psychosis. Dawn goes on a violent spree in the film, meeting a number of personalities in the process.
8. El Topo (1970) – 7.4
The French-Chilean director
One of the greatest directors of all time is Alejandro Jodorowsky. One of the best-known yet least-watched established filmmakers, he is known for his intellectual arthouse flicks.
El Topo, a psychedelic, sci-fi Western about a black-clad vagabond who claims to be Jesus and wanders across a mysterious desert landscape, is one of Jodorowsky’s numerous masterpieces.
El Topo is a philosophical trip, rather than a plot, that is told through expressions, feelings, and colors rather than a logical sequence of events.
7. Master Of The Flying Guillotine (1976) – 7.5
Master of the Flying Guillotine is a martial arts film directed, written, and starring Wang Yu, a Taiwanese actor. Wang’s one-armed martial arts instructor is pitted against an imperial assassin and his henchmen in this sequel to 1971’s One-Armed Boxer.
It is impossible for a human being to bear the pain and torment of a one-armed boxer and yet win the fight. Among Quentin Tarantino’s favorite films is Master of the Flying Guillotine; the film’s influence on following kung fu films can be clearly seen.
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) – 7.5
A crew of unknown actors and $140,000 helped Tobe Hooper create one of the most horrific nightmares of a movie.
Over $30 million was earned in theaters by The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which set the benchmark for subsequent slasher flicks.
College students on a Texas road trip stumble into the lair of a cannibalistic family and are pursued by Leatherface, a chainsaw-wielding killer. Despite the success of the film, no sequels or remakes have been able to match the original.
5. The Evil Dead (1981) – 7.5
The beloved horror-comedy by Sam Raimi
This tale of cursed books and demonic possession was brought to life by the young director in his garage in Michigan with the help of a group of college buddies. While on vacation in rural Tennessee, Bruce Campbell plays a student who unleashes a huge demon stashed away in their cabin’s basement, which is played by Raimie.
With a budget of around $400,000, The Evil Dead raked in almost $2.6 million at the box office. The Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness were both popular sequels to the original.
4. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) – 7.6
$800,000 was spent on filming The Incredible Shrinking Man. This Jack Arnold science fiction film about a guy who shrinks after being in a mysterious fog was made by Universal.
It was initially panned by critics and moviegoers for being based on a Richard Matheson novel. Cult status has been bestowed on it because of its reputation as a study of an equally outlandish and scary figure.
3. Enter The Dragon (1973) – 7.7
Enter the Dragon was Bruce Lee’s best and final feature picture, and he labored tirelessly to make it happen. Over its $850,000 budget, the film made $265 million a month after Lee’s death in 1973.
Hong Kong martial arts expert Lee is cast in the role of a Hong Kong criminal lord’s undercover spy in the film.
An action film that’s nearly perfect, as well as the first blaxploitation film with martial arts themes, Enter the Dragon.
2. Night Of The Living Dead (1968) – 7.9
He had no idea his first film would go on to gross $30 million in theaters, a profit margin far more than the $114,000 Romero invested on the project.
Even though the word “zombie” appears only once in the film, Night of the Living Dead is considered to be the most important zombie film of all time.
As a horde of zombie ghouls comes on them, Duane Jones plays a man locked up in a rural Pennsylvania home. Shocking for its day, it has an unusually high level of gore for an exploitation film that was made in this style.
1. Psycho (1960) – 8.5
Initially, Paramount was repulsed by Psycho’s brutal subject matter when Alfred Hitchcock approached them with the idea. Hitchcock was only given $1 million to shoot the film, which would go on to become one of his most recognizable and lucrative.
$800,000 of the $1 million Hitchcock spent on Psycho, which follows serial killer and hotel proprietor Norman Bates as he moves on his latest victim. With Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh, it made them stars, and it set the standard for many more psychological thrillers that followed it.