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The 10 Best Political Cult Horror Films Ever

Social commentary shows up in the unlikeliest places. Here, our list for the most awesome films that double as political allegory.

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Real World Parallel: The Tea Party, minus the poverty, cannibalizing our idea that America is a rational place.


9. Hostel(2005). Director Eli Roth’s insanely popular horror tale borrowed liberally from images of Iraqi prisons and hammered in the idea that the rest of the world isn’t exactly psyched on Americans. Three hapless, rather douchey dudes from the good old USA travel to a hostel in Eastern Europe, only to learn they’ve been duped into being victims for well-off sadists paying to enact their torture fantasies. Even if Roth was ham-fisted in his approach to a vague commentary, you have to give him some credit for trying. Wish Susan Sontag had been around to see this one.

Real World Parallel: Abu Ghraib.


10. Machete(2010). A horror by definition of its grisly murder scenes -- and a revenge fantasy made for terrifying racists -- director Robert Rodriguez reacts to immigration laws in the form of a fierce, gun-wielding former Federale called Machete. Hired in Texas to assassinate a senator who’s heavy-handed on deportation, he soon learns nothing’s as it seems and bands together with a badass collection of Mexican freedom fighters to exact revenge. It’s likely Sharron Angle hasn’t seen this film, but she probably would have been offended by the trailer directed at Arizona, released this year on Cinco de Mayo.

Real World Parallel: No hardened renegade and busted ass on the border patrol yet, and hopefully never will... but the anti-Mexican attitudes depicted in this one are, disturbingly, not that far off from some of the rhetoric we saw in the midterm elections.


Julianne Escobedo Shepherd is an associate editor at AlterNet and a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. Formerly the executive editor of the FADER, her work has appeared in VIBE, SPIN, New York Times and various other magazines and websites.

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