What movies *should* every SciFi fan watch?

Tabitha

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Someone asked me this question a few days ago, and I was a bit flabbergasted.
The only one I could come up with that I didn't have any doubts about was Bladerunner. The rest I blurted out, but then hmmm'ed and hah'ed about afterwards.
My others included, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the 50s version), Star Wars, 2001, Alien....


I have a gaping hole in my knowledge of older SF movies, and I was wondering what you guys would consider seminal classics that are "must sees" for the genre. Not personal favourites, which I am sure everyone has, but the movies that new movies refer to, whether on purpose or not.
What do you think?
 

Dave

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Originally posted by Tabitha
I was wondering what you guys would consider seminal classics that are "must sees" for the genre. Not personal favourites, which I am sure everyone has, but the movies that new movies refer to, whether on purpose or not.
Forbidden Planet -- Gene Roddenberry must have been inspired by this when he developed Star Trek. And Robbie the Robot was copied again and again, including in Lost in Space.

Planet of the Apes -- the first of the original series was unlike anything else.

Westworld -- The Gunslinger is said to be the inspiration for the Terminator.

The Day the Earth Stood Still, Dark Star, Silent Running, Terminator.

Alien, Bladerunner, Star Wars -- you already mentioned those.

Total Recall -- personal favourite, but would have to recommend it.

There are so many.
 

Tabitha

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Forbidden Planet and The Day The Earth Stood Still - I totally forgot those (which is kind of embarrassing, as the latter featured in a chapter of my dissertation - which I only wrote last year!). Both great films, which are much more about the 'human condition' than the Science Fiction themes they contain.

What about Metropolis? I have never seen it (well, I have once, but it was after a long stint at the Student Union and I really don't remember it very well). I really should get it out sometime - I just discovered the Library has a great selection of old movies that aren't easily available at video rental stores.


I really enjoyed Total Recall as well - I was watching Vanilla SKy recently - and being pleasantly surprised by its SF leanings and it occurred to me that a great chunk of the storyline was handily stolen from TR. Still good though.

I just rented the original Planet of the Apes - I haven't seen it in about 10 years, hoping it lives up to my memory.
 

Dave

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I almost fell off my seat when I watched Vanilla Sky. I had expected to rent a romantic/ comedy/ thriller and half way through it turns into science fiction.

I had to explain the plot to my wife later, after I understood it myself, that is.
 

Tabitha

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Originally posted by Dave
I almost fell off my seat when I watched Vanilla Sky. I had expected to rent a romantic/ comedy/ thriller and half way through it turns into science fiction.
Same here - they didn't give even a small hint of a clue to the SF storyline in the adverts, did they? Very suprised, but pleasantly so!
 

Tabitha

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Why do you suggest those, Bay?
I was under the impression that Final Fantasy was nothing new - it followed in the footsteps of movies such as Toy Story and Antz, and (although I haven't seen it) it doesn't seem to bring anything revolutionary or vital to the genre.

As for A.I. - robots and Pinocchio, bleak dystopian future in which the line between man and robot migth be blurred and the moral question that arise from it - again I would suggest that it is not essential viewing. Although it comes close, purely from the perspective of the combination of Spielberg and Kubrick.

Feel free to argue, of course... Those are just my opinions :)

What do you think about ET? It falls in the same fuzzy area that Star Wars does for me - a huge part of pop culture, but in terms of the genre... I am not sure.
 

Bayleaf48

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AS they're very good films & in MY opinion should be seen by as many people as possible as they're both set on Earth in the future
 

Dave

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They are popular films, well made and they look good, but I think Tabitha was asking about the essential ground-breaking films that have been frequently copied.

For example, 'It Came from Outer Space', not a particularly good film, but it lead to the remake of 'The Thing', and to 'Alien'. 'Alien' itself lead to 3 sequels, plus tens of similar films, 'Pitch Black' as a recent example.

But sometimes, there aren't huge jumps made, more lots of little steps, like the animation improvements between 'Jumanji' to 'Jurassic Park' to 'Final Fantasy' to 'Star Wars Ep II'
 

Tabitha

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Yeah, that's what I was trying to get at. Most of my favourite SF movies wouldn't be included in this list, and I think I also had a bit of an ulterior motive in asking this question as I want to 'broaden my horizons' by seeing those films that people consider essential.
:cool:
 

Dave

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I'll have to correct what I said earlier, before one of the 'scifi historians' here does; I just realised that the original 'The Thing from Another World' (1951) was made first, so it has the distinction of the very first 'space monster', but 'It Came from Outer Space' (1953) was the first film to use the theme of aliens borrowing human bodies. It was also the first to use Roswell-like western US desert locations as an alien landing site. Unless you know any earlier films?
 

Bayleaf48

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Sorry Dave :blush:, i got confused as to what she was asking that's all :blush:
 

Dave

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Originally posted by Tabitha
Feel free to argue, of course... Those are just my opinions :)
Some people would argue that 'Final Fantasy' is a major step forward in the genre. Why are you apologising Bayleaf? I agree with Tabitha, but it doesn't make us correct.
 

Tabitha

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Nah there's no need - no one was taking offense. Forums are much more interesting when the people chatting have different opinions - rather than everyone agreeing! As Dave said many people would consider FF to be groundbreaking - I would disagree, but then, I haven't seen it, so what do I know!?

What do you think of the suggestions that have been made so far, Bay? Do you have any oldies that you would recommend on a must-see basis?
 

Bayleaf48

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All of the suggestions are good & most definitely worth watching

For me another pone that I enjoyed is 'War Of The Worlds'
 

BAYLOR

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Things to Come
When Words Collide
Them
Godzilla
The Monster that Challenged the World
The Creature From the Black Lagoon
The Blob
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Master of the World
The Last Man On Earth
Cyborg
The Thing from Another World
It The Terror from Outer Space
War of the Worlds
Planet of the Vampires
Voyage Across the Universe
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
Planet of the Apes
Beneath the Planet o the Apes
Silent Running
Soylent Green
X The Unknown
Quatermass and The Pit
2001
Logans Run
Rollerball
Star Wars
Alien
The Empire Strikes Back
The Return of the Jedi
Star Trek The Wrath of Khan
The Terminator
Aliens
They Live
The Abyss
Terminator 2 Judgment Day
Wing Commander
The Matrix


I have more to list but ill leave it at that for now.:)
 

Rodders

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I'd like to add John Carpenter's "The Thing"

Moon

Europa Report.

I'd also add 2001.
 

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