Hollywood has become known for its tendency to throw money at a movie in order to make it great. However, on occasion, a small, independent film maker will drop in a low budget film that takes the box office by storm. Here are some of the best low budget films of all time.
The Blair Witch Project
This was one of the first hand held camera films and, due to its success, a number of other directors followed suit. The premise was simple: three students follow up a local folk tale of the infamous Blair Witch and get lost in the woods. The real magic was created in the imaginations of viewers as no foe was ever shown on camera.
Way before George Lucas was making big budget sci-fi, he made this little movie based on his own childhood. Set in the 1960s post war era, American Graffiti tells the tale of a group of youngsters and their exploits in one night. Focusing on cruising and rock and roll, many studios dismissed this film until it was picked up by Universal Pictures. With a budget of $777,000 and grossing $140 million, it was also one of the most successful low budget movies of all time.
Australian films tend to be rare but this one made its mark and allowed Australian New Wave films to become globally distributed. It also gave Mel Gibson his start in Hollywood. Mad Max was also controversial and was banned in Sweden and New Zealand but, despite this setback, it still grossed $99 million on a budget of $200,000.
This low budget film has spun a series of sequels and remakes since its original release in 1978. Everyone has heard of Michael Myers, the iconic killer who relentlessly stalks his older sister played by Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. John Carpenter not only directed Halloween but he also created the haunting piano music which has become famous in its own right.
This is just some examples in a very long list of iconic low budget movies. Other great and profitable low budget movies include Paranormal Activity, Rocky (yes, really) which took $225 million on a $1 million budget, and cult horror film Night of the Living Dead which has become a classic among fans of the genre.
Image: Oleg Gerasymenko – Fotolia