Saturday, March 19, 2011

5 Most Impressive Low-Budget Movies

Big budgets does not always equal good movies, although it definitely helps. That is pretty much the convention that goes around, and it's hard to argue against that because the most successful movies are really the ones that feature explosions, cutting-edge special effects and show a lot of skin.

Although advertised as such, S1m0ne [2002] was none of those things...
However, that is not always the case since there are movies made under the budget of $1 million that still made headlines. What they did to "compensate" for the lack of cha-ching was to take movies back to the original reason why people go to the movies in the first place; to see a good story. The best part? They did it without making the movies look cheap.

Most of these movies made profits more than ten times their budgets, making their producers really happy but more importantly, most of these movies launched the careers of film-makers, allowing them to tell stories the way the had always envisioned; with more budget.

#5 Rocky [1976]
Budget : $1,000,000
Revenue : $225,000,000

The movie that started Sylvester Stallone's career. But as lucky as he was when he struck gold with this movie, I feel kind of sorry for the guy. For an action star, the dude is actually a decent actor. Unfortunately, just like the rest of his contemporaries, it's hard for him to find the same kind of success as an actor in a movie that doesn't feature him in some kind of a montage. But for what it's worth, Rocky is one for the ages not just because it's an iconic boxing movie, but an inspirational one about fighting for the things you believe in - all done by a then-broke actor/screenwriter with a budget under $1 million.

#4 The Evil Dead [1981]
Budget : $400,000 (estimated)
Revenue : $29,400,000

Before he broke into worldwide fame with Spider-man [2002], writer-director Sam Raimi was an English major who envisioned a hero who fights zombies using a chainsaw. Reception was mixed, and quite controversial as the kind of violence seen in the movie was very unusual at the time. All the same, it achieved cult status and spawned several sequels and spin-offs. And to think that most actors who worked on the film didn't take it seriously enough to stay until principal photography wrapped up.

#3 Napoleon Dynamite [2004]
Budget : $400,000
Revenue : $46,140,956

Many people I know did not get this movie, no surprise there because this is indeed one off-beat movie. Much of the appeal revolved around the deadpan expressions of lead actors Jon Heder, Tina Majorino and Efren Ramirez. If you ask me, I too can't put my finger on why I loved it. Maybe it's the quirkiness of the title character that I found myself able to identify with. Heck, maybe all those people who contributed to the $46 million gross revenue loved it for the same reason I did.

#2 Night of the Living Dead [1968]
Budget : $114,000
Revenue : $42,000,000

Although it wasn't the first, this George A. Romero-directed flick is probably the most celebrated zombie film of them all. Although I'm not really a fan of this movie, you have to give it credit for pioneering the genre. From there, other film-makers took the concept and ran with it, and that's how we got other zombie flicks like 28 Days Later... [2002], Shaun of the Dead [2004] and even the more recent Zombieland [2009], the likes of which I am indeed a fan of.

#1 El Mariachi [1992]
Budget : $7,000
Revenue : $2,040,920

Although well-known world over for the measly sum of its budget, what sets this Robert Rodriguez debut apart from the rest is the fact that it is an action movie, the hardest kind to make on a shoestring budget. One look at it and you may be able to tell that it couldn't have cost more than $1 million. But seven thousand dollars? Really? I've seen a lot worse movies that cost a hell of a lot more... Yes, I'm looking at you, Transformers [2007]


Unknown said...

Pedro: Vote for me, and all your wildest dreams will come true.


Mamü Vies said...

LOL... dah la muka tak boleh blah.

missyblurkit said...

true...budget does not guarantee good revenue.

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