Peary fails to identify the special qualities that earn a film a cult following--as opposed to critical or box-office success. The 150 movies he discusses in these two volumes include some of the best Hollywood films ("Citizen Kane," "The Wizard of Oz," "Singin' in the Rain"), foreign classics ("Children of Paradise," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Seventh Seal") and an assortment of camp curiosities, some of which enjoy genuine cult status ("The Rocky Horror Picture Show," "Pink Flamingos," "Mommy Dearest").
Viewers looking for a more interesting video than "Working Girl" might want to browse through a copy of "Cult Movies" for suggestions, but they'll probably leave it in the bookstore. It's hard to imagine anyone sitting down and reading these pedestrian commentaries. To a field already overloaded with fluff, Peary brings precious little.