The book identifies two basic types of cult films—older Hollywood movies, such as Casablanca, that have developed a cult following and "midnight movies," most notably The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Telotte, Bruce Kawin, and Timothy Corrigan offer thought-provoking discussions about why these two types of movies become cult films, the sort of audience they attract, and the needs they fulfill for that audience. Subsequent essays employ a variety of cultural, feminist, ideological, and poststructural strategies for exploring these films.
In a section on the classical cult film, the movie Casablanca receives extensive treatment. An essay by T. J. Ross considers Beat the Devil as a send-up of cult films, while another essay by Wade Jennings analyzes the cult star phenomenon as personified in Judy Garland.
"Midnight movie madness" is explored in essays on The Rocky Horror Picture Show, movie satires of the 1950s, science fiction double features, and horror thrillers.
Illustrated with scenes from favorite movies and written for both fans and scholars, The Cult Film Experience will appeal to a wider audience than the "usual suspects."
J. P. Telotte discusses science fiction’s cultural progressiveness and the breadth of its technological and narrative possibilities, exploring SFTV from its roots in the pulp magazines and radio serials of the 1930s all the way up to the present. From formative series like Captain Video to contemporary, cutting-edge shows like Firefly and long-lived popular revivals such as Doctor Who and Star Trek, Telotte insightfully tracks the history and growth of this crucial genre, along with its dedicated fandom and special venues, such as the Syfy Channel. In addition, each chapter features an in-depth exploration of a range of key historical and contemporary series, including:
-Captain Video and His Video Rangers
-The Twilight Zone
Incorporating a comprehensive videography, discussion questions, and a detailed bibliography for additional reading, J. P. Telotte has created a concise yet thought-provoking guide to SFTV, a book that will appeal not only to dedicated science fiction fans but to students of popular culture and media as well.