Do you know what's so awesome about Sci-Fi? Aside from all the cool aliens and the exploding spacecrafts...the genre is so broad that you're bound to find something that you like. Kind of like horror. You may gravitate towards slashers...or you might find that the supernatural is something more your speed. Sci-Fi is the same thing. There are many sub genres that if you're not really into the mad scientist thing...perhaps you may like robots...or extrasensory perception...or aliens...or time travel...or...well...you get it. And because the genre is so diverse it gets a little overwhelming when trying to find the right Sci-Fi flick that blows your hair back.
Today...I'm gonna take a look at some really great examples of what the genre consists of by digging up 10 obscure film classics that you might've never even heard of before. Though...if you found this website and you are reading this...then, I'm feeling pretty confident that you know your stuff.
Welly, welly, welly, welly, well...shall we begin, then?
I owe alot to this film. It inspired me on many levels and it is such a fine visionary example of what pure science fiction can be. And yet...if you were to ask me what it is about...I couldn't tell you. I mean...I could explain that the core of the film consists of Kaneda, who rides an awesome bike, trying to stop his friend, Tetsuo, from releasing a powerful energy source known as "Akira". There's also a greedy government trying to capture the science of it all for there own benefit. What happens in between is up for grabs. But, it was my gateway into the world of anime and I love every ounce of the film. I've always dreamed of owning that red bike and the red leather "pill" jacket. Pure AWESOME!
Enemy Mine (1985)
This is one of those films that has always stayed with me since I was young. Perhaps I could throw in The Last Starfighter in there with this one...but, I can't remember that one as well as Enemy Mine. Dennis Quaid is classic Dennis Quaid and Louis Gosset Jr. gets lost into the character of "Jerry", a reptilian alien creature. An ugly one at that. It's the perfect example of fun Sci-Fi...and yet it carries with it some poignant views on parenthood and racism. While some of the F/X hasn't really stood the test of time...the film itself is a timeless watch. If you haven't already...you really must watch this one. The trailer is kinda funny, tho...
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Perhaps my favorite film on this little Film Deviant list, Stanley Kubrick's classic journey into madness is easily the most whacked out film on this list. I've seen it a hundred times...and yet, I could still pull something new from it each time I see it. A Clockwork Orange could never work in today's society...but, I'm so glad it exists from an era when thoughts and ideas were still being experimented with. The language alone in this film deserves a starring credit. Later adding Caligula to his resume, Malcolm McDowell cements his presence with his role as Alex in this film alone. Now I'm in the mood for a little of the ole' in out....
Sunshine is probably the most beautiful film on this list. I mean...it is directed by Danny Boyle, after all. This one's his foray into Sci-Fi and, as he did in 28 Days Later, he changes up the game and takes the genre into a new level. Now...having said that...it is a hit or miss kind of film. Meaning you'll either really love it...or really won't. The film's premise is fairly simple...50 years into the future the sun is dying and a team of astronauts are charged with the dubious task of re-igniting it. Holy fuck...that could really happen, huh??? Nah...it can't. I mean...I'm sure the sun will die one day. But...50 years from now?? No. Right? Right???
Duncan Jones is David Bowie's son. He could pretty much go around doing whatever the hell he wants to. Why? Well....because he's Ziggy Stardust's kid...that's why. But, instead...he went out and made the film Moon. A brilliant entry into Sci-Fi that pits man against his own self. It's much more psychological than anything...channeling a little Hitchcock for good measure. I won't reveal anything about the film for fear of giving anything away...but, it has a really killer ending. And it sports perhaps the most self-centered table tennis match you will ever see. See what I did? Sam Rockwell is playing with himself and....oh...nevermind...
I absolutely love Metropolis! I watched it around the same time I saw Nosferatu for the first time and fell in love with the beauty of it...as well as the philosophical meaning embedded within its storytelling. It's no wonder that it's seen as the father of Sci-Fi...as its influence is evident in just about anything you watch in the genre today. Unless, of course, you take the next film on the list into account. But, this one is a German masterpiece...much like Nosferatu is a German masterpiece. Although, I'm pretty sure I've never seen the film in its original state with the music that was first in it....the version that I've watched (Kino DVD) is superb for what it is. Director Fritz Lang's brilliant Metropolis will forever be known as the inception of Sci-Fi.
Are you familiar with David Cronenberg? No...not Eastern Promises Cronenberg...although, that is a pretty kick ass film. The Cronenberg that I speak of is the Scanners one. The guy that made a little film about a scientist who discovers a man with psychic powers who has the ability to blow up a guy's fuckin' head. Then, the scientist sends psychic power man to go off and hunt others with powers like him. It's really awesome stuff...and that's the Cronenberg I love best. The one that explores the inner evils of mankind. Scanners is the first real Sci-Fi/Horror film on the list...and it is really my favorite sub genre of Sci-Fi. A true masterpiece in science fiction...and there hasn't been a moment when I've been cut off by some dickface in traffic when I haven't tried my hardest to blow up said dickface's head with my mind. Still working on it.
Speaking of the Cronenberg that I love...his next film really took Sci-Fi/Horror to that next "WhatTheFuck?!" level. I give you...Videodrome. I think it's only like 10 percent Sci-Fi. It's mostly "WhatTheFuck?!" body horror...and a little bit of technical science thrown in for good measure. I almost threw in his other brilliant films, The Dead Zone and The Fly on this list of Sci-Fi films you need to watch...but, I didn't wanna turn this into a Cronenberg bukakifest. So...you really need to watch this film. I won't explain what it's about...instead, I'll leave you to the following evidence in which to illustrate why this film is fucking necessary in your life. Please enjoy...
Night of the Comet (1984)
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this next film is the fact that its director, Thom Eberhardt, is still carving a career out there. I watched his 2007 effort, Naked Fear, and was immediately astonished that this was the same guy that gave us the remarkable Night of the Comet. Don't get me wrong...Naked Fear isn't necessarily a bad film. I mean...it's about a stripper that runs around naked for most of the film's running time while some stupid looking white dude is hunting her with a rifle. It's just that...Night of the Comet is such a wonderful study on what would happen if we just all turned into dust one day and a handful of people survived to piece together the mystery of what happened. It's got a really nice commentary on human nature and has fun with character elements while existing in a barren wasteland. Naked Fear has tits.
They Live (1988)
There's been talk about an eventual remake of this next film on the Required Sci-Fi Viewing list thingy...but, hopefully it all just goes away and dies somewhere. They Live is classic Roddy Piper! It's classic Keith David! It's classic Meg Foster (the milf with the demon eyes!)! Most of all....They Live is classic John Carpenter! It's not his best Sci-Fi film. That prestige might belong to another Sci-Fi classic of his called The Thing or Starman...that totally depends on which side of the Sci-Fi fence you live on. But, They Live is a lesser known classic. It's about a blue-collared guy who is basically shit on by the world...until he finds these sunglasses that allows him to see that aliens have been living among us all this time trying to take over the Earth. Well...this might fly for some lesser man...but, not for Roddy fucking Piper. Nope...not on his watch. I always watch this film whenever it's on...and it is absolute Required Sci-Fi Viewing. Here's why...
Well...that's all I got for now. I could throw in other films like District 9 or The Cell. But, those films are more well known....and I'm sure you'll discover those films on your own after you get through this in-depth list of science fiction that you must watch.
Thanks for reading,