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Cult Scotland

With T2 Trainspotting coming out in a couple of weeks (who else is excited?!), I’ve been thinking a lot about cult film and literature in Scotland. Us Scots aren’t afraid to celebrate our dark side. I really love seeing films and reading books where you can really see that unique Scottish personality coming through and I don’t think I’m the only one!

It’s no secret there’s been loads of amazing ‘cult’ films set and filmed in Scotland. One of my favourites is Shallow Grave, Danny Boyle’s predecessor to Trainspotting – I just love that film. A brilliant ‘black comedy’ and full of great Scottish actors. If you haven’t seen it I recommend watching it now!

And if you’re going to talk about cult film in Scotland you can’t not mention about the Wicker Man (the original of course!). Definitely one of the best cult films of all time. Not only is it great being able to visit the locations in Dumfries & Galloway, but I loved being able to attend the Wickerman Festival in Dundrennan which was inspired by the film. It was a real shame to find out that the event was held for the last time in 2015. 

The 'Wickerman' at the Wickerman Festival in 2015

Then we have books –Scottish crime fiction has become such as phenomenon it even has its own genre now, ‘Tartan Noir’. Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre and Ian Rankin are some of my favourites. It’s really exciting to hear about the announcement of RebusFest, a festival celebrating 30 years of Rankin’s Rebus, I can’t wait to see what’s going to be involved. There are parts of Edinburgh like Fleshmarket Close I can’t walk through without thinking of Rebus! There’s also an annual literary festival all about crime fiction in Stirling each September, Bloody Scotland (great name!). 

What are your favourite ‘cult’ Scottish books and films? I’d love some recommendations. 


  • FofomaFofoma Member ✭✭✭
    One of my all time favourites is The Crow Road which was written by Iain Banks. I haven't read the book but the TV dramatisation was excellent. As for Tartan Noir I love the Inspector McLean books by James Oswald...who could fail to love a series of books with characters like Mrs McCutcheon's cat and Grumpy Bob :)
  • ailsaailsa Member ✭✭
    @Fofoma Mrs McCutcheon's cat and Grumpy Bob - I'm intrigued! I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any Iain Banks, he is definitely going on my list for 2017 :smile:
  • Fork_and_FootFork_and_Foot Member ✭✭
    This may be a silly question, but was Highlander a Scottish film??
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Highlander was a story about immortals who lived among us. They were destined to fight until there was only 1. They fought with swords and death only came when they were decapitated. The Highlander (Christopher Lambert) was one of the immortals (who was trained by Ramirez (Sean Connery)) and finally beat The Kurgen at the end of the film. 

    Parts of of the film were filmed on location in Scotland at Eilean Donan castle.

    No such thing as a silly question, by the way. 
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
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