Saturday, May 13, 2006

Favorite SciFi Movies?

Your favorite thought-provoking SciFi movies, classics & guilty pleasures? List 'em here!
  • Metropolis. (1927) The mother of all scifi movies. Check out the trivia on this one. And if you haven't seen the restored Kino Video edition, you've never seen Metropolis.
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still. (1951) Gort scared me so much when I was a kid that my mom sent me to bed early. Klaatu Barada Nikto was just too much. Not to mention that ground-breaking Bernard Herrmann score featuring a theremin.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (1956) Beyond the obvious metaphor of communism or right-wing fundamentalism, it's still creepy. The sequel wasn't bad either.
  • Forbidden Planet. (1956) Electronic soundscapes, Robby the Robot, an invisible monster and The Tempest - all before Lost in Space and Star Trek. As a footnote, check out the MST3K version of This Island Earth. Wacky fun with the Mu-Tants.

  • The Fly (1958 & 1986) SciFi or Horror? Who cares. Vincent Price is so cool in the original -- and that ending is still freaky. What kid having grown up on b&w TV didn't have that burned into their brain? And the remake takes it to a new level of grotesque. Gotta love it.
  • The Time Machine. (1960) Still fun. Even with the oatmeal/food coloring lava. And who wasn't really freaked out by the glowy-eyed Morlocks when you were a kid? C'mon, you know you were. And please please forget about that ghastly remake.
  • Godzilla Vs. Mothra. (1964) Also known in more sophisticated circles as Mosura tai Gojira! Guilty pleasure. A bottle of Merlot Friday-night feature. Check the higher functions at the front desk, kick back and enjoy the tiny singing native girls.
  • Planet of the Apes. (1968) Who would have thunk it? Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans in wacky ape make-up. And Chuck Heston? But it still works. Watch for the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" scene. Not to mention all the sequels that were fun all on their own. Remember the board game??
  • Quartermass and the Pit. (1968) Hammer Horror does 60's scifi. Still worth the effort to dig this one up.

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey. (1968) I can still watch the beginning of man scenes with the apes and tapirs over and over.
  • THX 1138. (1971) 70's scifi at it's most thoughtful and Orwellian. Or was that Barbarella?
  • Fantastic Planet. (1973) Before anime was popular there was the psychedelic animation of Rene Laloux. The DVD has cool extras like his short films "The Snails" and "Monkey's Teeth."
  • Logan's Run. (1976) Still fun, and better than I remembered it. And now it's up for remake-status (not that that's necessarily a good thing).
  • Time After Time. (1979) This one has aged very well. Malcolm McDowell and Jack the Ripper. Cool twist on The Time Machine.

  • Alien. (1979) Okay, so it's really the monster in the cellar story. Still probably the best creature feature ever. I vividly remember sitting in the theater's second row on opening weekend. We had no idea what we were in for... but of course that was before all the chest-bursting parodies and imitations.
  • Quest for Fire. (1981) Rod hated it, I loved it. Okay, maybe helped that I saw it on first-release on the big screen. But it really is a whole lot more than just the discovery of the missionary position!
  • Blade Runner. (1982) SciFi as film noir. Director's cut is a must-see. Now when are they going to release that rumored 3-disc special edition??
  • Lifeforce. (1985) Vampires from outer space. Memorable beyond the whole Capt. Picard connection. And the DVD is the uncut version.
  • 12 Monkeys. (1995) Terry Gilliam at his best. Or maybe that was Brazil. Visually stunning, + Brad Pitt going all freaky-eyed. The time travel is just frosting.

  • Star Trek: First Contact. (1996) For my money, still the best Star Trek flick. Data and the Borg Queen getting it on, well sort of -- who could ask for anything more. And who among us didn't envy Data a little when he was able to switch off his emotion chip?
  • Pitch Black. (1999) Vin Diesel. Get over it. Alien redux, with Australian accents. Get over it. Scary as Hell.
  • Solaris. (2002) I know some folks prefer the very slooow Russian version. Or the Lem novel, which we read in the group. But George Clooney & Soderbergh just hit all the right notes for me.
  • Minority Report. (2002) Excellent movie, in spite of the Cruise factor. Action with some thought behind it for once.
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. (2002) One of Miyazaki's masterpieces. Watch for all the Dune references.
  • Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.(2004) Love love love Farscape, and this tied it up nicely. Helps that John Crichton is such a major hottie...
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. (2004) Okay, so maybe it's closer to 1930's radio drama than contemporary scifi, but I still got a big kick out of it. Catch all the clever classic movie references.

  • Serenity. (2005) Buffy. Angel. Firefly. Serenity. Joss Whedon = genius. 'Nuff said.

  • Okay, so what did I forget??


    At 7:34 AM, Blogger Michael said...

    I have to disagree that First Contact is the best of the Star Trek films. For my money, that honor goes to Wrath of Khan.

    And I think Dark City was left off the list.

    At 9:22 AM, Blogger CaptStrange said...

    Yup. Wrath of Khan is right up there too. If I had to pick one with the original crew, that would be it. It certainly did have one of the best scores (James Horner) in scifi. Dark City was brilliant, and the DVD has a very interesting commentary track by Roger Ebert.

    At 1:31 PM, Blogger piers said...

    My vote goes to "Khaaaaaaan!!!"

    "A Boy and his Dog" - possibly the funniest punchline in scifi history, oh and Robocop 2... for some reason, after reading Martin Amis' review of the movie in Visiting Mrs. Nabokov, I have a new respect for it.

    I hear rumours that another Trek movie is in the works, though I don't know if they have the 'Shat on board. We can only hope.

    At 7:28 PM, Blogger Sherril said...

    I loved A Boy and His Dog too. I don't know too many people that have seen that one! WTG Piers.
    Another of my favorites is Zardoz. Sean Connery is wonderful, as usual.

    At 8:16 PM, Blogger YoSafBridg said...

    I have to say my vote goes to First Contact

    At 10:47 AM, Blogger CaptStrange said...

    Zardoz! Had forgotten all about that one. Cool movie -- and did you know Burt Reynolds was originally cast as Zed?? How sad would that have been. Ick. Sean Connery worked for cheap because he was having trouble being cast after quitting the James Bond flicks. I met Charlotte Rampling when I worked as an extra here in town -- she was very reserved. Or maybe just very exhausted.

    At 4:08 PM, Blogger CaptStrange said...

    How did I forget A Clockwork Orange??


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