There are certain elements in a film that make it memorable. For one, there are the actors who breathe life into their characters so well you just stop yourself from obsessing over them as a person rather than the role being they’re playing. Second, there are characters who’s personas are so uniquely and powerfully engaging that you can’t help but associate the particular actor to that specific film. Then of course there’s the various places our minds, hearts and emotions are taken to just by sitting for a little over an hour or two. Final but not least is the element of musical scoring. The ethereal feeling of masterfully rendered music just seeps into your soul so unknowingly well that you never really let go of the association between the melody and the film.
What happens when all these elements sort of mash themselves together like they were atoms in a collider? You get cult movies! You know, those movies that are just so dang charming but in a very strange way. Mainstream movies pale in comparison to cult movies in terms of characters, plots, and sets. While these mainstream films are garnished with high-end production value, cult films embrace the offbeat, eccentric, outrageous, and most certainly unique characters, plots, and sets.
Cult movies stand out simply because they forego of the standard narrative and technical conventions. Styled, flawed, and unusual as they seem they leave a remarkable mark on its viewers. While these cult classics prove to have made its mark transporting us into unique story lines, some also had notable literal transportation that made a lasting mark. We may refer to them as the cultural cars of cult films. Here’s a list of mind blowing vehicles that starred in these cult films with illustrations from designer Mainger.
1. The 1973 Gran Torino from the Big Lebowski
Coen Brothers’ famous stoner detective bowling phantasmagoria, the Big Lebowski has become a true standout when it comes to cult movies. It has its notable quirks that fans had quickly picked up on to such as Bunny Lebowski’s severed toe or that rug that really ties the Dude’s room together. But one of the better detail of this classic is the Dude’s green, rusty, and containing extensive Creedance Clearwater Revival tape collection as per The Dude’s description. The Dude drives a four door 1973 Ford Gran Torino throughout the film before it got stolen.
Produced by the Ford Motor Company between 1968 and 1976, the Torino served as the conventional cars that were 4-door sedans and 2-door hardtops. Later on, high-performance versions of the Torino became the muscle cars that we all know of. These Torinos were fitted with large powerful engines. Ford picked up the Torino as basis for their NASCAR entrants and since then had successful racing heritage.
2. 1970 Adam’s Probe 16 from A Clockwork Orange
When one talks about cult movies, one must not ever forget to site A Clockwork Orange. This urban sci-fi black comedy about violence and free will iconically changed the name of the game when it comes to storytelling and film making. And as Malcolm McDowell became an icon that served up some weird deductions to movie brutality, another iconic piece in this film is the Durango 95. The very vehicle that carried Alex and his droogs to a bit of “the old surprise visit.”
Considered as a futuristic car, the Probe 16 was designed by the Adams Brothers. It was chosen by The Institute of British Carriage and Automobile Manufacturers and The Daily Telegraph Magazine for exhibition at the 1968 Motor Show. The Probe 16 has smaller wheels at the front than at the back — 10 inch wheels in front and 13 inch wheels at the back.
3. 1973 Checker Taxi Cab from Taxi Driver
A masterpiece from the beautiful team-up of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver was a showcase of a living vision of New York City. The tiniest details that makes New York the beast that it is — a gun dealer in almost every hotel lobby, a hooker on every street corner. But the one thing that really made Taxi Driver iconically cult was the whole function of the movie, to make the feelings of a lonely killer parallel to that of a sane person.
There’s not much to the classic Taxi Cab from the Taxi Driver since it’s one of the thousands of taxi cabs under the Checker brand. One of the most famous taxi cab vehicles in the United States, the “Checker” as it is collectively known is a series of sedans used as cabs. Collector and now owner of Checker Motor Cars, Steve Contarino acquired the brand rights from Checker Motor Corporation. The standard four-door, wide bodied iconic layout, is the traditional Checker design which Travis drove in the movie.
4. Kaneda’s Bike from Akira
Even after 25 years since it’s release, this cult classic continues to make its mark as it surprises us with a reflection of our world now depicted from the movie 25 years ago. The early visionary of an dystopian Tokyo, we follow Shotaro Kaneda as he discovers that he has telekinetic powers that could end the city and the world. Not your typical animated film, Akira is raw and strange, the detail in this film continues to leave its viewers in awe — the frightful neon skyscrapers, the nerve wrecking blaring sound of sirens, the heavy laid explosions all these elements that seem to overwhelm you but in a very fulfilling way.
Aside from the powerful character of Kaneda, we also came to recognize his now iconic bike. Its as what you would expect in a story based on the future, its futuristic, high-tech and highly aesthetic. It’s bold red character adds to its character, no specific make and model but when you look closely at the badge on its left side, it resembles the BMW logo. Being high-tech it has a reverse function and a ceramic double-rotor two-wheel disk drive.
5. 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
This maybe one of the most action filled cult movie, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior takes place two years after the events of “Mad Max”. The movie is set in the future where in civilization has already declined and is now replaced by anarchy and violence. True to its title, the vehicles used by the warriors are the very ones that were left from the world we live in now. From motorcycles, semi-trailer trucks, oil tankers, to racing cars that are familiar in the streets of 1982. We see Max Rockatansky still fighting to survive and is still using the V8 interceptor in this movie. The V8 interceptor serve as his car and home rolled into one.
The V8 Interceptor is based on the 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT. In the movie, this luxurious model looks like its fighting for its own life with its driver but in reality it is derived from the original 1960 Falcon. The 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT is an Australian built 300 horsepower muscle car with a solid rear axle hanging on leaf springs in the back with a simple unibody structure. It’s style resembles that one of the 70’s Torino and Mustang.