One Critic, One-Hundred Films, a genre spanning dozens of Alternate Realities

Vito Weighs in With his Top 100

(110318) Here is my list of all-time top sci-fi films. I have excluded predominantly fantasy films such as “King Kong” as well as superhero films, even if they had sci-fi elements (like "Superman" and "Guardians of the Galaxy") and adventure films with sci-fi elements (like "Mysterious Island").  I also tended to pick only the best film from film series (like "Star Wars") with rare exceptions like "Prometheus", which is very dissimilar from the original films in the series. my Top Five are all from the original list I did in the 90’s for The Star newspapers, but there are quite a few high-ranking films from the last 20 years. I was almost tempted to include "Southland Tales" on the list, which I quite liked, but I do not think it is sci-fi enough.

"Frankenstein" and "Creature from the Black Lagoon" films did not make the cut because they are closer to horror than true science fiction. I also avoided most giant animal films which range from very good ("Them") to abysmal ("Day of the Lepus"), and manga films (although I liked "Akira" and "Steamboy")

Stanley Kubrick is by far the best maker of sci-fi films even though he did other kinds of movies. Both his "2001" and "A Clockwork Orange" are near the top of this list, and "Dr. Strangelove" is the best ever sci-fi comedy. Other film makers that have made many excellent sci-fi films include Ridley Scott, Andrei Tarkovsky, Steven Speilberg, James Cameron, and Roger Corman. These are in order of quality.

1.) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – No one captured the poetry, immensity, wonder and mystery of space better than the late Stanley Kubrick. One of the best films by one of the best directors. Years ago, I actually got to interview the lead actor, Gary Lockwood.

2.) Blade Runner (1982) – The ultimate cyberpunk film combines sci-fi with film noir, and it contains some of the most gorgeous cinematography ever. The sequel was also unexpectedly superb. Compared to this Star Wars was kid stuff. Harrison Ford plays his most memorable character and Rutger Hauer (who was also great in Hobo with a Shotgun) delivers some of the best lines ever in one of the finest death scenes.

3.) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – Don Siegel’s original cinematic attack on Cold War conformity is superior to all the remakes and rip-offs, including “The Faculty.” The Ferrara and Kaufman remakes are also good but the Kidder Invasion is a bomb.

4.) Metropolis (1927) – This German expressionist classic influenced everything from Tim Burton’s “Batman” to Madonna’s “Express Yourself” video. Janelle Monae even did a funk opera based that draws from the story.

5.) Donnie Darko (2000) - You can look at this odd surreal comedy in two ways. Either the main protagonist is crazy, or another interpretation involves time travel. Classic genre hopping portrayal of a misfit suffered commercially because it came out near the time of 911.

6.) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)-Jim Carey’s best film is about a man suffering from a broken heart so he has his memories of the romantic experiences removed which has unexpected ramifications. Costar Kate Winslet playing his love has never been winning, attractive or likeable.

7.) Melancholia (2011)-Lars Von Trier’s Persona influenced masterpiece about the end of the world and chronic depression is one of the most underrated films of recent years. The name comes from a planet, which is supposed to collide with the earth, but it also may refer to the main character’s emotional state. Charlotte Gainsbrough and Kristin Dunst do some of their best work in the film-playing sisters. This psychological apocalyptic film is one of Trier’s most audacious and fascinating works.

8.) A Clockwork Orange (1971) – Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ classic novel paved the way for punk rock style. Malcolm MacDowell plays one of the greatest and most iconic villains in film history.

9.) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Steven Spielberg improved an already terrific film in a special edition by adding a magnificent view of the inside of the alien ship.

10. Inception (2010)-Intelligent and beautifully conceived cinematic work about the nature of reality is like a perplexing journey through a house of mirrors. The plot is about a man who is paid to enter an executive’s dreams to get him to sell off his business. I’m not sure if this is an outlandish sci-fi or if it foreshadows the corporate controlled future (or present). This cries out to be seen more than once if you have the time, but it’s worth the effort. Christopher Nolan proves that he is among the most gifted filmmakers of the last few decades. I know this might be considered comic fan blasphemy but this movie even more absorbing and groundbreaking than his Batman films (and he did the best Batman films.)

11.) Day the Earth Stood still” (1951) – Michael Rennie stars as a kinder, gentler and more Christ-like alien. His superb portrayal of the alien was one of the biggest inspirations on my favorite sci-fi character, Nimoy’s Spock. The director, Robert Wise also made the first Star Trek film, but it was a comparative disappointment

12.) Brazil” (1985) – A unique blend of sci-fi, satire, surrealism and fantasy. Robert De Niro is brilliant in a small role as an outlaw heating duct repairperson and many of the film’s absurdist scenes brilliantly channel the work of Franz Kafka.

13.) Solaris (1972) – Russia’s arty answer to “2001” is one of the most philosophically profound films on the list. Stalker by the same director is also worth a look. The work of its director, Andrei Tarkovsky has only grown in importance and influence after his death.

14.) Aliens (1986) – Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley may be the greatest action hero in the history of film, and H.L. Giger’s design for the aliens is perfect.

15.) Star Wars” (1977) – The Empire Strikes Back” may have been a better script, but nothing can replace the sense of discovery of seeing this film on the big screen for the first time.

16.) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – Who can forget Spock’s heart-breaking death scene and the great villainy of Ricardo Montalban’s Khan? It is impossible to conceive of a more appealing cast of characters than the first Star Trek crew is, and this is their finest hour.

17.) Contact (1977) – Brainy sci-fi explores the relationship between logic (represented by Jodie Foster) and faith (represented by Matthew McConaughey).

18.) Forbidden Planet (1956) - This is like a crazy and highly intellectual outer space remake of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. We get to see an early pre comedic Leslie Neilson role and another peak at Robby the Robot.

19). ET: The Extraterrestrial (1982)- Spielberg’s marvelously entertaining and family film with sci-fi elements about charming alien who finds a human child ally in his quest to go home. With his healing powers, his otherworldly origin, and his peaceful attitude the alien is kind of a quasi-Christ figure. The flying bicycle scene is one of the most deliciously exhilarating sequences in the history of film.

20.) Under the Skin (2013)-An alien predator invades the nearest beautiful female body (Scarlet Johansson) so that it can attract men to feed off of. This is like a good modern extra-long episode of the Twilight Zone and it is very visually intoxicating.

21.) Dark City (1988) – A stylish, dazzling and exciting vision of dystopian (opposite of utopian) future. Underappreciated and unjustly forgotten.

22 -23) The Fly (1958) - A scientist’s matter transportation experiments go awry and he ends being half-insect. I slightly prefer the ‘80s remake but it is hard to beat the final scene with the fly yelling in the spider web.

The Fly (1986) – Of all of David Cronenberg’s intellectual gross-out films, this one has the best characters. Jeff Goldblum’s horrific transformation can be read as a metaphor for AIDS infection.

25-26.) A Trip to the Moon (1902)/ Smashing Pumpkins video’ Tonight Tonight (1995)-George Millies did a great short sci-fi film which was a direct inspiration on the excellent Smashing Pumpkins video.

27. Prometheus (2012) -Morally ambiguous prequel to “Alien” concerns a group of people that travel into space to meet the creator(s) of human kind he/they do not quite conform to most people’s preconceptions about God. Noomi Rapaci (from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) is marvelous playing a sensitive young woman that resists everything she sees in order to keep her faith, and Michael Fessbender (proving once again why he is one of the most promising young actors in Hollywood) evokes Ian Holm with his performance as an android.

28.) Planet of the Apes (1968) - Socially conscious film has fine makeup, and a provocative pro-animal rights message .Roddy McDowell’s Cornelius and Kim Hunter’s Zira have to be two of the most likeable characters in the history of cinema. The ending still packs a punch too (do not spoil it.) Most of the later sequels/ape films are worthwhile except for the nasty Tim Burton remake. Based on the novel Monkey Planet.

29.) Mad Max: Fury Road- (2015)-This quasi-feminist reimagining of the Mad Max world was this summer’s most riveting action film/blockbuster event. Charlise Theron may be one of the all-time great action heroines. This actually improves on the original films in the series (it is from the same director.)

30.) The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)-A man gets into an accident which causes him to become smaller and smaller. The film benefits from an uncommonly smart script and Jack Arnold’s direction is marvelous. I know it was inferior but I also liked the campy Attack of the 50-Foot Woman.

31.) The Brother from Another Planet (1984) – Dark-skinned extraterrestrial learns about love and racism in John Sayles’ thoughtful sci-fi comedy, which was influenced by E.T. See my interview with Sayles at

32.) The Matrix (1999) – Visionary special effects, a smart script and terrific Hong Kong-style action choreography make this one of THE must see sci-fi films of the 90s. Unfortunately, the film had some negative influence, and we ended up getting too many Matrix inspired battle scenes in which people stop in the air in the middle of karate fights.

33.) Serenity (2005) - A group of rag tag heroes tries to prevent a brain washed super teen (Summer Glau) from going to the dark side. Superior and fun filled sequel to Joss Whedon’s cancelled too soon TV series. The excellent cast members were used by Whedon in many of his shows and they work very well with him.

34-35.). The Thing (1951)/The Thing from Another World (1982)/The original has a kind of blood drinking shape shifting vegetable alien (he looks like an extraterrestrial Frankenstein Monster) , Christian Nyby is credited as director but some parts may have been directed by producer Howard Hawks. The John Carpenter remake has less heart but it is grimmer, grittier and has superior special effects so do not ask me to choose. Based on the classic sci-fi text "Who Goes There?"

36). Artificial Intelligence/ A.I. (2001)-Mature science fiction film about an artificial boy who tries to find love thoughtfully raises nonhuman rights issues. Haley Joel Osment is excellent in the lead, and Jude Law shines in a tailor made role of an android gigolo. Kind of like a cyberpunk version of “Pinocchio.” Stanley Kubrick started this grim future fantasy and Spielberg did a more than adequate job finishing it.

37.) War of the Worlds (1953)-The Brits go to war with an alien invasion force with superior technology. George Pal’s adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells novel is decidedly superior to all the remakes.

38.) EXistenZ (1999)-Like many of Dave Cronenberg’s other films this is cynical and coldly intellectual. Jennifer Jason Leigh is a gaming designer who struggles to survive when she gets stuck in one of her games. This sometimes comes close to matching The Matrix, which came out the same year.

39.) Minority Report (2012) - Speilberg’s dystopian cyberpunk film about people who go back in the past and take out criminals before they commit crimes. Even Tom Cruise is bearable most of the time.

40.) Gravity (2013)-The best big budget blockbuster film of its year features Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts who struggle to survive after their space station is destroyed. Despite the big name cast (I’ve never been a big Bullock fan); the film’s real stars are Alfonso Cuaron’s direction and outer space itself. There are echoes of an even greater sci-fi film, Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic “Solaris.”

41.) Battle Royale-(2000)-Fukasaku Kinji’s horrific and hyper violent action film is like an Asian update of “Death Race 2000,” mixed with “The Most Dangerous Game,” but the sequel should be avoided. Much better than the similar and more mainstream Hunger Games (although no one in this film can act as well as Jennifer Lawrence). In Japanese with English sub-titles.

42.) Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) – The thoughtful storyline and state-of-the-art special effects make this slightly superior to the original.

43.) The Arrival (2016)-Amy Adams plays a likeable and empathic interpreter who tries to communicate with some extraterrestrials that landed on Earth (they look kind of like evolved squid.) Not to be confused with the Charlie Sheen ET film from 1996 called The Arrival, which almost made this list.

44.) Snow Piercer (2014) - After the world freezes, a bunch of survivors struggle for supremacy aboard a train that never stops. The poor are mistreated and they rebel: they struggle to go forward and overtake the decadent rich people in front of the train (it’s a neat microcosm for society as a whole.) These brutal, edgy, smart and uncompromising films were one of my favorite pictures of the 2014. Tilda Swinton is remarkable as a keeper of the corrupt order/ villain with false teeth.

45.) Starship Troopers (1997) -Brutally hysterical film brilliantly sends up the fascist message of Robert Heinlen’s novel from which is draws inspiration. This may be even more relevant after the last presidential election. The same director also made Robocop but his best films are all in Dutch.

46.) Cocoon (84)-Ron (Do not call him Opie anymore) Howard directed this film about a bunch of ordinary people that come across an extraterrestrial fountain of youth. The great cast includes Don Ameche, Brian Dennehy, Jessica Tandy, and Tahnee Welch (I wonder what happened to her) and of course, Ron’s brother Clint Howard. A kinder, gentler kind of sci-fi film

47.) Seconds (1966)-Rock Hudson plays an aging businessperson who gets a chance to scientifically get a younger body, but of course this has its price. This powerful film got an Academy Award nomination for best cinematography. The Beach Boy, Brian Wilson believed that the film contained secret messages sent to him from Phil Spector, and seeing the film so disturbed him that he cancelled the release of Smile (he finally released it 30 years later).

48.) Zero Theorem (2014)-Terry Gilliam’s underrated sci-fi film features a Kafkaesque protagonist who is hired by a big corporation to prove that existence equals zero (or life is meaningless). This highly intellectual finale to the dystopian trilogy (which included Brazil and Twelve Monkeys) was one of the most imaginative and inventive films of that year and it is comparable to Pi.

49.) Ex Machina (2015) - Another story about a man who falls for an artificial female life form, but this film goes in a completely different direction than Her or Electric Dreams. Alicia Vikander who portrays the synthetic lady is a definitely a talent to watch (she was also in The Danish Girl and The Man from Uncle.)

50.) Back to the Future (1985)-Michael J Fox stars as a normal 80s teenager who goes back to the 50s with a time machine created by a maniacal scientist who is perfectly played by Taxi’s Christopher Lloyd. While he is in the past he must help set up his parents so that he can be born, but unexpectedly the past version of his mom (played by the always charming Leah Thompson) is attracted to his present self. It is less confusing and more fun than it sounds. In my eyes, Fox will always be McFly.

51.) Quatermass and the Pit/US title: Five Million Years to Earth (1967)- This is the third Quartermass series which features a heroic scientist who tries to save the world with a beautiful female sidekick (kind of like Dr. Who). Eventually the alien race reawakens which resemble both demons and locusts. Hammer is known primarily for horror but they also made some decent Sci-Fi flicks including this uncommonly cerebral and sophisticated film. It is always good to see Barbara Shelley in anything.

52.) Interstellar I (2015) -Visually dazzling film from Christopher Nolan about two scientists Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway) who go through a worm hole while looking for a new home for the human race. The film cleverly explores the issue of time travel paradoxes and the final payoff is heartbreaking

53.) V is For Vendetta (2006)-a fascistic tyrant played by John Hurt runs Dystopian Orwellian influenced future society. Of course this inspires rebellion. Both this film and the classic Allan Moore comic it was adapted from helped inspire Anonymous, the occupy movement and many other left wing protesters (they even adopted the Guy Fewkes mask which is featured in the film and comic.)

54.) Soylent Green (1973)- Grim film about a cop (played by Charleston Heston) who ends up learning the true nature of his future reality during a murder investigation. The cast including an always energetic and inspiring Charleston Heston (except when he is promoting the NRA and the last ever performance by the great Edward G. Robertson. Famously and successfully parodied on SNL in which Phil Hartman took on the Heston role.

55.) WarGames (1983)-Smart speculative fiction entry about a kid tech genius (played by Matthew Broderick before Back to the Future) who plays a tech genius who hacks into the government’s computer system and almost starts WW III.

56-57). Godzilla (1954)-This ranking only applies to the excellent uncut Japanese version of the film not the American recut one which dilutes the social commentary and adds Raymond Burr footage. Godzilla Mothra and King Ghidorah (2011) which features Godzilla as a villain who is attacked by the other three monsters (in this film they are guardians of the universe) comes close to matching it

58.) Jurassic Park (1993)- Speilberg directs this ground breaking (in terms of special effects) adventure film about scientists who genetically resurrect extinct species (this could really happen), and then people pay money to see them in an amusing park. What could go wrong? The dinosaurs look more real than any of the ones in any previous film. Laura Dern is the world’s least convincing scientist.

59.) Altered States (1980) - William Hurt is a scientist who takes mushrooms and regresses too far to a primitive state (this sounds a little like Monster on the Campus). At times this filmi is barely coherent but it is a visually dazzling mind blowing cinematic trip. Drew Barrymore (who was in a few films on my list) debuted in this film. Ken Russell’s films always are visually challenging anfd intellectually engaging.

60.). Demon Seed (1977) - Odd But effective Donald Cammelll film is like a sci fi version of The Entity. The least I say about what happens between the tortured Julie Christie and the robot the better.

61.) Time after Time (1979) - H. G. Wells uses his time machine to pursue Jack the Ripper into the 20th century in this classy and suspenseful film is nearly as interesting as its great central premise. More romantic and sophisticated than your typical sci-fi flick.

62.) Children of Men (2006)-Clive Owen playing a hero again tries to protect a pregnant girl in a dystopian future version of England in which everyone is sterile. The director, Alfonso Cuarón, has made even better films (such as Y tu Mamma Tambien and Gravity) but this is quite good.

63.) The Cell (2000) - Former American Idol judge, Jennifer Lopez (in one of her few good roles) plays a psychologist who is able to enter her catatonic patients’ minds and she is not always happy with what she sees.

64.) 12 Monkeys (1995) – A prisoner is sent back into the past to find out the origin of a plague that wiped out most of humanity. Despite its rep this is not one of Terry Gilliam’s more inventive films but it is more consistent than most of his works.

65-66.) Star Man (1984) -Jeff bridges and Nancy Allen star in a charming extraterrestrial love story that crosses effortlessly genre boundaries

I Married a Monster from Outer Space- Check this out to see an interesting 50s equivalent film in which a wife notices something different about her husband.

67.) Demon/God Told me to (1976)-Tony Lo Bianco stars as a cop that is investigating a rash of murders discovers that both the serial killer he is chasing and Christianity have the same extraterrestrial origin. This controversial film is sure to anger some viewers but it is undeniably special.

67.) Invaders from Mars (53) - William Cameron Menzies’ version is the one to see. After I saw this sci-fi film (which captures a primal fear of kids), I dreamt that my own parents were swallowed up by the ground and replaced by alien drones. This would make a fine double feature with Roger Corman's "It Conquered the World (who could forget the carrot creature?)"

68.) Village of the Damned (1960)-After a blackout in an English village, strange children with psychic powers are born. Followed by a sequel and a remake.

69.) When Worlds Collide (1951)-The fabric of society begins to unravel when it is discovered that a planet is headed straight towards earth. George Pal’s film has impressive award winning special effects.

70.) Flash Gordon (1980) - The Square jawed and wooden Sam Jones plays the interstellar pulp hero. He must choose between his virtuous girl next door and an exotic alien beauty. Max Von Sydow chews the scenery as Ming the Merciless. With a cool soundtrack featuring songs by Queen and Grace Jones. Highly entertaining and campy piece of trash.

71.) Heavy Metal (1981)- Fun filled adaptation of stories from the popular adult sci-fi comic series successfully combines comedy, adventure, sci fi and a rollicking hard rock soundtrack. My favorite episode is about a warrior woman on a flying horse but the Denn episode (adapted from the Rich Corben strip) is also a load of laughs. The direct to video sequel has little of this film’s magic but it does have Pinup queen Julie Strain (who is an eyeful.)

72.) The Hidden (1987)-A dedicated cop pursues a violent extraterrestrial than can jump from one body to another. Featuring nice performances by Michael Nouri (who played Dracula on TV) and Twin Peak’s Kyle Maclachlan.)

73.) Fantastic Voyage (1966) - A medical team (including the buxom Raquel Welch) shrink down to miniature size to save a life. Great special effects in a rollicking adventure film which may have inspired Roy Thomas’s and Neil Adam’s classic comic story in Avengers 93.

74.) Robo cop (1987) - Peter Weller is a man who is rebuilt into a cyborg police officer after he is almost killed in an accident. Kind of like a nastier more high tech version of the Six Million Dollar Man. The sequel written by Frank Miller is repulsive.

75.) Lifeforce (1980)-Tobe Hooper’s instant cult classic is about a female energy vampire (played by the always-naked Mathilda May) who tries to take over the world with her army of zombies. A pre Star Trek Patrick Stewart adds to the campy fun. Ridiculous but oddly delightful.

76.) Looper (2012)-Joseph Gordan-Levitt is a time traveling assassin who is hired by the mob. The film has lots of fun with the ideas of time paradoxes and the cast is excellent. Levitt has picked consistently good roles after Third Rock from the Sun went off the air.

77.) Man Who Fell to Earth (1975)-David Bowie’s acting debut features him as (surprise surprise) playing a man from outer space who finds a friend in an earth woman (America Graffiti’s Candy Clark.) Like many of director Nicolas Roeg’s other films, this is thoughtful and visually dazzling. The glam rock king, Bowie has had some great roles over the years. Who else could play Andy Warhol, Pontius Pilot and a vampire?

78.) Strange Days (1995)-Underrated film with a fine cast (including Angela Bassett. Ralph Fiennes, and Juliette Lewis) is about a dystopian future where people purchase memories like drugs.

79.) Cowboys & Aliens (2011) - Harrison Ford has lots of fun in this film about (surprise surprise) an alien invasion in the West. A good alien provides the film’s romantic interest.

80.) Splice (2009)-Some people might be grossed out by the incestuous implications of the screenplay (I was at first, but this is undeniably well acted and intelligently written. Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody are outstanding and this raises some interesting questions about gender fluidity.

81.) Repo Man (2010)-Enjoyable, exciting and humorous new wave era (I mean the music period not the French film movement) cult sci-fi classic about a repo man who ends up with a murderous alien entity in his trunk. Starring the underrated and mostly forgotten Emilio Estevez (Martin Sheen’s older son and Charlie’s big brother.) Director, Alex Cox went on to do the terrific Sid and Nancy and some other music themed films. The somewhat similar Liquid Sky almost made the list.

82-83.) Day the World Ended (1956) and It Conquered the World (1955)-Every occasionally I have to have me some Roger Corman films. Corman was a master at making and producing small budget genre films and he often discovered incredible new film talents. It Conquered the World is about a scientist that communicated with a hostile alien who he mistakenly thinks is benevolent this was inspired by a real scientist who sold info to the Russians (this was during the cold war). The alien looks like a giant turnip but the censors wanted Corman to put clothes on it. The Day the World Ended is a sad film about how the survivors cope after a nuclear war. The animal composite creature/mutant that shows up at the end is nifty and unlike anything else, I have seen in a movie.

84-85.) Valerian and the City of Lost Planets (2017) and The Fifth Element (1997)--French filmmaker, Luc Besson’ comic based films are both deeply flawed but highly entertaining. Besson definitely marches to the beat of a different drummer and the films (like Terry Gilliam’s work) get by more on originality than consistency. Look for a great cameo by Rhianna in Valerian playing an exterrestrial shape-shifting dancer who just wants to read poetry.

86.) The Damned (1961)- Early Hammer produced Oliver Reed vehicle (shot before Curse of the Werewolf) about a teen gang member and a tourist who discover the government is imprisoning irradiated teens for their own sinister purposes. The fine blacklisted director, Joseph Losey, made this.

87.). Flight of the Navigator (1981)-A boy is taken away in a space ship and when he comes back years later he has not aged. The robot’s voice was provided by Paul Reubans alias Pee Wee Herman.

88.) Annihilation (2018) - A group of female military science officers (including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman) are sent to explore a region where several people disappeared and what they discover is weirder and more horrible than they imagine. The film kept me thinking and mesmerized me but it also made me feel queasy (it is sick).

89.) Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)-Fun Z horror film about sexy women from outer space who (fill in the blank) men to death. See it while you catch a buzz. Too bad The Hives could not play on the soundtrack.

90.) The Stepford Wives (1975) - Bryan Forbes’s social commentary film that satirizes the American dream and married life starts out with two women who notice odd things about their always ultra-pleasant female neighbors in the suburbs. Kind of like a feminist version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

91). Avatar (2009) - A man controls an avatar that he uses to negotiate a peace treaty with the local native population. James Cameron’s film is not as great as everyone says it is (it is no Aliens). It has a muddled message and the high tech methods come into conflict with his pro-environment message. Still worth checking out and the film helped introduce to world to Zoe Saldana.

92-93.) Fahrenheit 451 (1966) and Alphaville (1965) - Two French new wave masters (François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard) try their hand at making sci fi flicks comparatively low budget films. Truffaut’s great book adaptation features Julie Christie, as a woman in a society where books are burnt to protect the social order. Godard’s Alphaville is another of Godard’s studies in the essence of cool in which a trench coat wearing secret agent poses as a journalist in a futuristic society where love, poetry and emotion are illegal (sounds like the building that contains my apartment. He helps teach young woman (played by Godard’s wife, Anna Karina) how to feel (what a nice person).

94). Silent Running (1971) _Douglass Trumball’s film is about a botanist (played by Bruce Dern) who travels into space with the last plants on earth (he is like Noah for vegetables).

95.) Electric Dreams (1984) - Sweet, tender film about a love triangle involving a male and a female human and a super sensitive computer. Terrific soundtrack too.

96.) Small Soldiers (1998) - When a toy manufacturer puts military chips in toys, chaos breaks out everywhere. Joe Dante’s satire cleverly criticizes the toy industry for their role preparing kids for their future lives as wartime cannon fodder

97,) Hunger Games (2012) -Sure this is low. Although this has decent acting by the always good (except in the Xmen films) Jennifer Lawrence, but this whole series is a rip-off of Battle Royale

98.). Barbarella (1968)-Jane Fonda plays a sexy action hero who sleep with and fights her way through a series of dangerous scenarios. This feature a great cast (Anita Pallenberg and Dave Hemmings) and this film is where Duran Duran got their name. Roger Vadim’s stylish and campy cult Sci-Fi film was based on a French comic series. Fun but utterly mindless.

99.) Queen of Blood/Planet of Blood (1966) - Eerie atmospheric horror/sci-fi flick about astronauts who rescue a beautiful and mysterious alien life form who seems to be dying. The ships’ men start to turn up dead with heavy blood loss as she suspiciously gets healthier. Curtis Harrington’s follow-up to Night Tide (which also featured a young Denis Hopper and was also about a non-human female killer) is slow paced but enjoyable. The ending seems to have inspired the Alien films. This is shown rather frequently on COMET TV (22.7). To see another influence on the Alien films check out It the Terror from Beyond Space (1958).

100.) Attack the Block (2011) - A middle class woman is robbed but she must team up with her assailants when aliens invade the area. Gritty, raw, and socially conscious, and raw British film filed with talented new and unknown actors.

These also have merits/All the rest (in alphabetical order)

Aleta: Queen of Mars, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, The Blob (1958), Body Snatchers (Abel Ferrera), The Borrower (1991), Carnosaur, Cherry 2000, Colossus the Forbin Project, Dark Star, Detroit 2000, District 9, Donavan’s Brain, Dr. Cyclops, Embryo, Enemy Mine, Fahrenheit 451, Five (1951), Fantastic Planet (1973), Flash Gordon, Gamera, Gattaca, Genesis II, Gorgo, Iceman, Inner Space, The Invisable Ray, It Came from Outer Space, It the Terror from Beyond Space, Je t'aime, je t'aime ("I Love You, I Love You") 1968-Resnais, Last man on Earth, Lathe of Heaven (1980), Liquid Sky, The Lost World (1925), Man from Planet X, The Man with Nine Lives, The Man with X Ray Eyes, The Martian, The Mechanical Man (1921) Italy, Men in Black, Night of the Comet, On the Beach (1959), Outland (1981), Planet Earth, Scanners, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Species, Tenth Victim, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Things to Come (1936), THX, This Island Earth, Tank Girl, Time machine (1960), Videodrome, Wavelength

Vittorio Carli, who teaches at area community colleges, a former film reviewer for The Star, and The Examiner, is an avid science-fiction film fan.

For more writings by Vittorio Carli go to


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