The science fiction genre has enthralled people since the early days of cinema. From invisible men and monsters to UFOs and dystopian societies, the sci-fi genre has given us all kinds of fascinating stories over the years.
When we think of sci-fi blockbusters, films like Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, and Star Trek immediately come to mind. However, many sci-fi films didn’t receive much appreciation when they were first released but gradually found a special place in the hearts of cinephiles. Here are some classic sci-fi movies you’ve probably never seen (or should watch again).
Forbidden Planet is a sci-fi classic that has stood the test of time. In it, a human crew journeys in a spacecraft to investigate a distant planet Altair IV’s colony. However, they are surprised to discover the deadly secret of a lost civilization, along with two survivors and a powerful robot.
The film may look rather quaint by today's standards, but it's thought-provoking, intelligent, and funny. It may not be high art and has a few plot holes, but it is a great movie that will leave you thoroughly entertained.
This was a movie ahead of its time. The story follows a giant 25th-century spaceship carrying colonists to a new planet that comes across an abandoned alien craft and a dark star. Malfunctioning onboard computers and tensions among its crew and passengers further complicate matters.
Filmed in Cold War-era Czechoslovakia, the movie’s meticulous depiction of outer space vehicles in action is still impressive. If you want 90 minutes of intelligent space drama, look no further than this black-and-white masterpiece.
This pulpy slice of early sixties sci-fi was directed by Italian horror maestro Mario Bava. As you may have guessed from the title, the plot of the film is pretty corny. Two spaceships investigating the mysterious fog-covered planet Aura suddenly begin attacking each other under some strange alien influence. The strange event passes, but the surviving crew soon discovers the existence of a race of bodiless aliens looking to flee from their dying world.
Despite a limited production budget, Planet of the Vampires is wonderfully stylish and incredibly entertaining. Do not miss it.
When prehistoric skeletons for a missing link in human evolution are discovered in London, along with a strange unearthly structure, famous scientist Bernard Quatermass believes it is evidence that the creatures came from space. More digging in the area reveals a strange energy field and the corpses of actual Martians, leaving everyone in a tizzy. Quatermass and the Pit explores the age-old question of how we came to be on this planet. It’s surprisingly scary and quite captivating.
Directed by Russian movie master Andrei Tarkovsky, Solaris is about a psychologist who is sent to a station orbiting a distant planet to discover what has caused the crew to suffer mental problems. There, he finds that the water on the planet is actually a type of brain which brings out repressed memories and obsessions.
Solaris is a wonderful film that every serious science fiction fan will enjoy. Its haunting narrative has influenced generations of filmmakers and deserves to be savored by modern audiences as well.
Chances are, you haven’t heard of this low-budget science fiction film. It wasn’t particularly well received when it was released back in 1972, but Silent Running is definitely worth a watch. The story is set in the future where all flora is extinct on Earth, and a botanist is given orders to destroy the last vegetation kept in a greenhouse on a spaceship. The botanist rejects the orders and teams up with some robots to save the planet’s remaining flora.
This is a thoughtful, meaningful, and engaging film that’s still relevant today.
Westworld is a classic science fiction film. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the movie is about a futuristic amusement park where guests can pretend to be gunslingers in an artificial Wild West inhabited by androids. One day, one of the visitor’s escapist fantasies suddenly takes on a grim turn when the system goes haywire and a robot goes rogue.
This is a great film that explores the dark side of technology, particularly the dangers of computers and automated systems, and holds up pretty well to this day.
Starring Sean Connery as a federal marshal stationed at a mining colony on Jupiter's sunless third moon, Outland is an underestimated sci-fi western that offers great suspense and plenty of thrills. The honest marshal soon uncovers a drug-smuggling ring, and when he gets no help from the workers or authorities, he decides to take them on all alone.
Sean Connery gives a splendid performance, and his sheer presence makes the film worth watching. Outland also has solid special effects, and the mining colony is spectacularly created using miniatures.
This little-known sci-fi suspense drama will keep you hooked right till the very end. The plot revolves around scientist Zac Hobson who, after a failed suicide attempt, wakes up to find that he's the only person on the planet. After spending a brief period on the deserted streets, he goes about searching for the cause of the crazy incident. Soon, he finds out that he's not as alone as he thinks.
The Quiet Earth is a low-budget fare, but it is cerebral and contemplative and concludes most stunningly. Must watch for all mystery and sci-fi lovers.
Set during a long futuristic space war, Enemy Mine tells the story of two wounded enemies — one human, the other alien — who must put aside their biases and distrust of each other's people and depend on their ability to trust in order to survive. This is a fascinating film that provides a tremendous social and moral message about overcoming our disagreements to find common ground.
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