Total Cults Presents: The 2016 Culties!

Welcome to the first in our soon to become annual awards. The stage is lit, the red carpet rolled out and the 'Culties', a statue sculpted from still wet clay that this year resembles Godzilla's son Minilla, ready to post (concerns have been raised that when fed through the recipient's letterbox it may appear as if someone is taking a massive dump as some kind of dirty prank. These concerns have been ignored). With everything set the Total Cults team have cast our eyes back on all the films we've written about this year and pulled out some of the key moments that impressed us.

Action Scene of the Year

This year we've seen a lot of organised carnage but the picks below represent some of the most ambitious and exciting battles we've ever seen. They also feature superheroes, nudity, aeroplanes and cult actors going-ape shit with katanas.

The Nominations are:

High Altitude Finale (Robot Overlords)
Playing Chicken with Aeroplanes (Wicked City)
Superhero Showdown (Super Inframan)
Mountaintop Ninja Battle (G.I.Joe: Retaliation)
Naked Slo-mo Sword Fight (Sex and Fury)
Tomisaburo Wakayama Sword Frenzy (Samurai Reincarnation)

Winner - Superhero Showdown (Super Inframan)!

This may not be the most ambitious action scene (that goes to Robot Overlords), nor the most well realised (G.I.Joe). It doesn't even have a naked person in it (Sex and Fury) but what has in abundance is colour, kinetics and exploding water. This fight is a glorious mix of '66 Batman-esque garishness and Shaw Brothers arse-kickery. The multi-stage fight begins in a nightmarish external landscape, makes its way into a high tech lair before finishing in a crystalline cavern. The sheer number and variety of bad guys our hero makes his way through is insane. Utterly joyous.

Kill of the Year

Nothing can be more satisfying than a well executed and ingenious death. Normally these are the meat and potatoes of slasher movies but the films below featured bonkers and unexpected terminations all of their own.

The Nominations are:

Ollie Reed - Arrow to eye (Gor)
Commander Makara - Smashed by giant robot fist (Starfleet)
Imperial Soldiers - Girder triple-decap (The Humanoid)
Poor Wife - Picnic explosion (Darkdrive)
A Very Unfortunate Man - "The Eye Waterer" (Bone Tomahawk)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - Catherine wheel darts (Showdown in Little Tokyo)

Winner - Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - Catherine Wheel Darts (Showdown in Little Tokyo)

There are some good ones on the list. Richard Kiel lobbing a girder that knocks three stormtrooper's heads off is brilliant, Darkdrive's exploding picnic basket is hilarious and Bone Tomahawk features a kill that wouldn't look out of place in a Fulci movie. For a while this was going to go to Commander Makara's brutal demise purely because it was such a shocking kill for a kids TV series but in the end nothing can really beat Showdown's wonderful moment of absurdity. Lundgren and Tagawa ruin a parade with a sword fight before one is impaled on a giant firework. Children watch in horror while adults are confused as to whether to recoil in horror or "oooo" and "ahhh" in delight.

Sex Scene of the Year

This category is not about the most sexually gratifying scene nor the most graphic but actually the most bizarre sequence involving skin-on-skin action seen this year. We only have three but Jesus they are weird.

The Nominations are:

Wanking Ghost (Ninja Diamond Force)
Man Fucks Pinball Machine (Wicked City)
Poisonous Cunnilingus (Sex and Fury)

Winner - Man Fucks Pinball Machine (Wicked City)

Y'know, if I was about to put my dick in an arcade machine I'd ask for some alone time as well. Look, all of these are winners in their own way. Female ghost rubbing one out while watching a couple go at it? WINNER. A woman coating her vagina in poison to kill a man? WINNER. A man having sex with a living pinball machine, on the other hand, is in a different league altogether.

Henchmen of the Year

Henchmen are not only the unsung heroes (um, villains) of the criminal fraternity but of the cinema as well. Often as dim-witted as they are physically formidable these hard working and loyal employees are often required to suffer the indignities of constant defeat and wearing whatever absurd outfit their employer insists on. You may argue that some of the people on this list don't constitute henchmen. You may also go fuck yourselves.

The Nominations are:

Fat Adidas, Indian Thriller and Bisto Dad (Diamond Ninja Force)
Demonic Toys (Dollman Vs Demonic Toys)
Skull Soldiers (Super Inframan)
Neon Maniacs (Neon Maniacs)

Winner - Skull Soldiers (Super Inframan

As much as the trio of unlikely ninjas from Diamond Ninja Force entertained me the prize has got to go to these awesome looking dudes. The skeletal motif, the scared stiff face from Ghost Castle on their belts, crash helmets with horns and bat symbols, spears with giant silver balls on the end... as henchmen costumes go these are pretty out there but y'know what? These guys own it.

Monster of the Year

We love monsters at Total Cults. The more imaginative, crazy and interestingly realised the monster the better. This year has seen some real crackers.

The Nominations are:

Vagina Lift (Wicked City)
Metalbeast (Project Metalbeast)
Fishmen (Screamers)
Baal (Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn)
Clockwork Cyborg (The Ghost Maker)

Winner - DRAW (Baal and Vagina Lift)

I really couldn't decide on this one. On the one hand how can I not give it to Baal? He's a discount Trapjaw (my favourite of the He-Man villains) for sure but he still looks awesome. His acid spitting robot arm in particular is a lovely touch. He's everything I want in a monster... but then you have a woman who's vagina is an elevator. This shape-shifter is the same creature that transformed into a sexually active pinball machine but if you thought that was kinky wait until you get a load of her next plan. She creates a human lift, the inner walls of which are all fleshy and sensitive. She traps two victims in her vagelevator and the erotic pleasure she derives from them being within is clear. Compared to her a mutant cyborg with an acid-launching arm is positively pedestrian. And yet I can't bring myself to not give Baal a nod. Call me a cop-out if you like but these two both go home with a prize.

Robot of the Year

If there is one thing we like more than monsters it's robots. No, we like monsters better. No, robots. Monsters! Ah crap. It's like picking between your kids right?

The Nominations are:

Train (Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis)
Colossus of New York (Colossus of New York)
Pervo The Sex Bot (Ship of Monsters)

Winner - Pervo!

His name isn't actually Pervo, but in one scene he tries to get off with a jukebox. Just look at this crazy bastard. He has a look of eternal idiotic surprise, two giant googly eyes in his chest and he ruins every take by being so bloody loud and squeeky. He is just great all round. No contest.

Surprise of the Year

One of the most joyous experiences when watching cult movies is when they take you completely by surprise. It could be an insane plot twist, a bizarre choice or something incredibly inappropriate. These choices are a little more holistic in that they aren't small moments or sequences but whole works that caught me off-guard.

The Nominations are:

How mental Supergirl is
How homoerotic Tango and Cash is
Starfleet's long-form storytelling
How awesome Trevor Goddard is

Winner - Supergirl!

Supergirl is a film that makes no sense what-so-ever. In a modern cinematic landscape where canon is everything it's unsettling to see a film that flips the bird at continuity, sometimes between scenes. And then their is the weird sexuality (including an attempted rape and a gardener who picks up school girls), eclectic cast, baffling plot and... Christ the list goes on. Brilliantly bonkers.

Game of the Year

I've played a lot of boardgames this year but these four represent my favourites.

The Nominations are:

Love Letter
Game of Thrones

Winner - X-Wing!

Love Letter  is great value for money,  Pandemic is addictive as hell and GOT has layers of strategy but X-Wing is all those things and more. Great craftsmanship, easy to pick up rules, affordable starter set and infinitely expandable there are few games that have impressed me this quickly.

Hero of the Year

The movies seen this year have presented us with some truly iconic and badass heroes. Whether they are battling evil Empires in space or taking revenge on those that did them wrong in a dank alley they all exhibit unique looks and an efficient way of doing business.

The Nominations are:

Stella Star (Star Crash)
Ocho (Sex and Fury)
OSS 117 (OSS 117: Lost in Rio)
Super Inframan (Super Inframan)
Snake Eyes (G.I.Joe: Retaliation)

Winner - Ocho (Sex and Fury)

Super Inframan came close but the prize goes to Ocho. Instantly iconic, vulnerable yet utterly badass and an incredible presence she is almost Snake Plissken cool.

Movie of the Year

Speaks for itself really.

The Nominations are:

Oss 117: Lost in Rio
Super Inframan
The Perfume of the Lady in Black
Bone Tomahawk

Winner - Oss 117: Lost in Rio

No irony, no unintentional humour - this movie is honestly one of my favourite comedies. Smart and silly where it needs to be, unexpectedly epic and driven by an incredible comedy performance it is, in my opinion, the best spy-spoof ever made.

If you'd like to check out our full breakdown of the winning movies the links are as follows:

Super Inframan
Wicked City
Sex and Fury
Oss 117: Lost in Rio
Ship of Monsters
Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn
Showdown in Little Tokyo

Thanks for sticking with us for another year -  we'll be back in 2017 with more of the same old shit!


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