sci fi jones

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sci fi jones

Its summer. I'm jonesing for B+ sci fi movies.

IMDB browse by genre + release date is broken, has been for sometime (look to frame at left, "by release date" is greyed out). I've tried to tell someone here, but ne'er an admin responds.

If you just search by genre, then alphabetically, the db mixes up TV Series & Movies (even though it appears its working, its all mixed up).

Either I need a new strategy to find late sci fi movies I haven't seen, or maybe the good people here can suggest (but I warn you, I've seen a lot, so make your suggestions deep cuts).

What do I mean by B+ movies?

Supernova epitomizes the B+ movie... just great sci fi, likely short box office success, some original themes (EMTs in space! but also seems to borrow from Sphere), but follows some sort of consistency with technology (except for the unknown).

I'm not all that into horror... I'm not sure why the two genre's are often grouped together and confused. Suggestion is much better than full frontal gore (re: Alien).

Empathy appreciated... how about ... list the last two sci fi movies you've seen not already listed, and then maybe a few of your favorites, and I'm sure in there I can find something new to me.

THANK YOU

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Supernova

Hey,

Nice little flick. I really liked it. I may still have a copy around here somewhere. If you're interested in computer-related sci-fi flicks check out A Beast In A Box: A History of Computers in Film on my website.

William
www.williamahearn.com

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thx

eXistenZ ... now how did I miss that? That should cool me off for a week or so.

Also, though I've seen it once I think, you reminded me Freejack was another buried, underated sci fi flick... with a surprising cast... Emilio E. & Anthony H. should have done/should do more sci fi.

Jon
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I haven't seen Freejack, but

I haven't seen Freejack, but Renee Russo and Mick Jagger? That's an odd cast.

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FreeJack

Hey,

And David Johansson from the old New York Dolls. Buster Poindexter? Anyway, it's worth seeing.

William
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Freejack was great. How about

Freejack was great. How about Outland with Sean Connery? That was a true gem - sci fi western with Peter Boyle as the bad guy.

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outland

yes, high noon in space... with Connery instead of Cooper... they're comming for him, and none of his friends will help... an honerable law man all alone... trey cool.

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Darkstar . . . Dan O'Bannon's & John Carpenter's first!

How could Darkstar not be in the Beast in the Box list? Especially with that attitude copped by bomb #20 . . .

Darkstar

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Dark Star

Hey,

Because I Angel didn't find a copy of it, (b) didn't think the computer was in enough of the story or critical to it, or (c) didn't want to spend the rest of my life running down and writing up every computer film ever made anywhere by anyone when there are so many other films that I have an interest in. What's Bomb #20? Is that Menno's Mind? Someone actually gave me that flick. I had never even heard of it before that.

William
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. . . Wikipedia tells all

Hey,

I gave you an easy wikipedia link. To quote the sysop here "clicky-clicky."

. . . but anyway, the mission of the crew of the ship Darkstar is to destroy unstable planets, using artificially intelligent bombs. One of which starts to question then disobey orders.
The film starts out with a bomb run using Bomb #19. Bomb #20 is the one at the heart of the trouble.

What is a "Menno's Mind"?

Mutant_Pie

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Your link . . .

. . . went to a page on HTML. Why am I getting all this attitude? I left out your favorite flick? Well, jeez, I'll cry myself to sleep. It happens in life, nothing I can do about it.

William
www.williamahearn.com

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point, before this devolves (oh, the irony)

mutant... I don't think Dark Star revolves around a computer, like 2001, 13th Floor, and the others listed on his site... However.. I haven't seen it, so I am looking for it. I am a Carpenter fan.... well... only in the sense that The Thing is my fav of all time, but the Halloween stuff I could have done without seeing. I found Ghosts of Mars tolerable... Carpenter is kind of cheesy, in general, its just that his low budget genius really worked in The Thing.

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The Thing . . .

Hey,

Did you ever see the original? I really liked that flick although the Carpenter version is closer to the short story "Who Goes There?" Haven't seen Carpenter's The Thing since it ran in the theaters. I need to see that again.

William
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Who Goes There?

No... never saw the original, but I've listened to the commentary off the The Thing dvd, and the original, apparently, scared the crud out of Carpenter. There were at least 2 versions of Carpenter's version... one I've only seen on broadcast tv, it does this character introduction voice over... really freaked me out the first time, because its not on the dvd. That movie just facinates me... yes the stop motion is pretty cheese... but I can totally live with it. Everytime I watch it I try to figure out just when who is the thing... its really hard. Amazing that there's that many actors, that mostly went on to ... well, keep working, I guess. I just saw Delta Farce recently (good for some unintelligent laughs), and Kieth David is in it, played Childs... also... I remember seeing Windows (the character) on an episode of Law & Order ... of course Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley are huge, and the guy who played Leland on LA Law... oh! and that TV movie... Alien Hunter... THEY USED FOOTAGE from The Thing! It was the tape of the scientists that originally found the spacecraft, standing around with flags... I think this movie will stay relevant for some time. I wish Carpenter hadn't dated it at the beginning by giving the year... although, I suppose the computer Russell is playing chess with is way old, but ... you know, its the Antarctic... maybe they don't get new computers every 2 years.

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That darn original

Hey,

The short story that both flicks were based on was titled "Who Goes There?" and the original film was called "The Thing From Another World." It's a real 1950s sci-fi classic up there with "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Howard Hawks produced it and it has some snappy dialog and the first film that used over-lapping dialog. According to Robert Altman it was a real inspiration for him as a director. Anyway, if you see it listed for TV or see a discount DVD of it, give it a shot. Most of the '50's sci-fi don't hold up too well. This one is a lot of fun. I've reserved Carpenter's The Thing at the library and I'll see it sometime next week.

Thanks for reminding me of it.

William
www.williamahearn.com

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I just saw Mindwarp last nigh

I just saw Mindwarp last night. Think The Matrix meets The Hills Have Eyes, with Bruce Campbell and a really low budget.

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Bruce

How could anyone not love Bruce Campbell? It's not far from the truth when I say he's the only reason I wanted to see spider-man 2 & 3.

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Bruce Campbell is pretty awes

Bruce Campbell is pretty awesome. However, I'm waiting for him to star as Jeb Bush in a film.

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Bruce Campbell = Jesus of B-movies

If you want some extremely intelligent schlock, get hold of Bubba Ho-tep. I saw this flick for the first time last night. At one time, I turned to my wife and said, "If these guys wanted to make a serious horror movie, they really could."

I know that this thread is more Sci-Fi based, but 80 years ago, mummies were sci-fi.

I'm not so much a scifi B movie expert, but if you want to talk horror, then I can extoll the virtues of Sam Raimi and John Carpenter, the genius of Rob Zombie and ignorance of Uwe Boll.

But if you haven't yet, see Forbidden Planet. That's some good stuff...

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Uwe Boll

For the record, I have to say that Uwe Boll's House of the Dead has to be the best horror film ever. It has Clint Howard in it - what more could you want!

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I've got Ho-tep on DVD. My w

I've got Ho-tep on DVD. My wife bought it after we enjoyed the Netflix rental so much.

I realized that Mindwarp also has a tough of good-ole Logan's Run in it too. That's one to see too, if just to see how much Star Wars advanced the state of the art of movie effects in such a short time. And to see that Jenny Agutter should have been in more B sci fi flicks.

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How about the remake of Parts

How about the remake of Parts: The Clonus Horror. You know, The Island, directed by Michael Bay. A pretty decent film considering.

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Re: Bruce Campbell = Jesus of B-movies

I know that this thread is more Sci-Fi based, but 80 years ago, mummies were sci-fi.

It bugs me that when I use our cable service to order up an On-Demand movie (as was the case for Mindwarp) there's very little in the Sci Fi section. There's loads of scifi movies sprinkled through Action, Horror, Thriller, etc. They keep classifying movies with the secondary genre as the first. Mindwarp is clearly scifi/horror, but it's got much more of a scifi story than a horror story. The main horror device is the cannibalism and gore associated with it, the rest is nearly all scifi.

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If you want gore, try Event H

If you want gore, try Event Horizon. It's not quite what I would call a B-movie because it still has some big stars like Sam Neil and Lawrence Fishburne. But damn is it gory.

Ghosts of Mars is a pretty campy B-type sci fi with a little suspense tossed in for good measure. Plus, it has Ice Cube and Natasha Henstridge! How's that for an odd combo? Wink

Pitch Black (the prequel to The Chronicles of Riddick) is great!

Red Planet is another B-ish movie, but it has bigger stars (like Val Kilmer). The science is terrible, though.

Species (I, II, and III) are all pretty good combos of sci fi and suspense.

Some good B-movies can be found on the Sci-Fi Channel if you watch it. They have a new movie virtually once a week!

Wing Commander is more sci-fi than suspense, and it definitely isn't horror. Serenity is a good movie. Don't forget such classics as Dune, The Fifth Element, and Starship Troopers. None of these are technically B-movies, but they are just darn good science fiction. On the other hand, I really really love Firefly. And although it's only barely sci-fi and is more comedy, Futurama is excellent!

Peace,
Drew

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Buckaroo Banzai and Barbarella

Y'all prob seen 'em, but figured I'd toss Buckaroo Banzai and Barbarella into the pot. Also, how about Time After Time, via a time machine Jack the Ripper turns up in the present day pursued by author/inventor H. G. Wells . . .

Hey, I wish I could forget Dune!! The version of Dune I saw was one of the most godawful pictures I've ever had the misfortune to sit through. I only stuck it out under the theory there must be something to it after all the noise it got back in the day. Phew! Not a "B" pic, but sure looked and stunk like one (a really bad one that is.) It was pitiful and painful, well 'cept for the many parts that had me chortling over its utterly pitiful painful badness. OTOH, for all its flaws, 5th Element remains one of my fave pics of any genre.

dan k

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai and Barbarella

...Buckaroo Banzai...

Actually, it's The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, but I'll let you slide. Paying homage to the 30's hero Doc Savage, but updated with a sci-fi, comedy, oh-so-80's feel, this is one of my favourite movies. Where else can you have Peter Weller cast as a half-Japanese, half-Texan neurosurgeon, particle physicist, race car driver, rock star and comic book hero?

"Whereever you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai - 1984 Club Appearance

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Colossus

Colossus (aka Colossus: The Forbin Project) is an absolute must see. What a hoot. See it if nothing else for the scene where Forbin shows the computer around his apartment to ze cool cocktail jazz soundtrack. Ze sexy. And the kid in the Colossus logo T-Shirt towards the end.

Forbidden Planet may seem like a B movie now, but it was the first "serious" studio scifi. And the first all electronic soundtrack. Louis & Bebe Barron built all the synth circuits from scratch, some of them designed to explode or melt while their output was recorded. It's still an eerie, creepy mindbender to this day.

I love the Carpenter version of The Thing. Just saw it recently myself, for the first time since the mid-80s. Awesome.

And pace Bill, but Dark Star definitely revolves around a computer that's central to the plot - the AI on Bomb 20. Its evolving self-awareness *is* the plot.

eXistenZ - pfff.

If you haven't seen A Scanner Darkly yet, run, don't walk.

And if you're in the mood for some British B movie fun, seek out any of the Quatermass series, especially Quatermass And The Pit. NB- NOT spelled Quartermass.

Reign Of Fire!! Mad Max meets Dragonslayer meets Top Gun in Scotland, what's not to love?

Oh and hey while we're at it, the whole Mad Max series - Mad Max, Mad Max II (US title The Road Warrior - get the "special edition" DVD with the original dialogue track - for some reason the early releases were dubbed from "Australian" to "American") and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

"Two go in, one comes out! It's dyin' time!"

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A few more at random:

Naked Lunch
Silent Running
The Quiet Earth
Krull
Zardoz
Failsafe (the "straight" ie not comedy version of Dr Strangelove)
The Day After
Threads
Marooned (1969) surprisingly good
Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) ditto
Real Genius
The Beastmaster
The Sword And The Sorceror (ok, so I know I'm getting into fantasy here)
Nausicaa of the Valley Of The Winds
A Boy And His Dog
Red Dawn
Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky - very slow and meditative, very weird)
1984
Brazil
12 Monkeys
Planet Of The Apes (old version)
Doppelgänger (1969)
THEM!
They Live
"Space: 1999"
Battletruck (mad max ripoff)
Vibrations aka Cyberstorm: rock guitarist loses arms in car accident, becomes homeless drunk, wakes up in the middle of a warehouse rave, techno kids BUILD HIM NEW ARMS and he becomes DJ 8-O

If you can find it: The Conquest Of Space - Disney documentary with Werner Von Braun narrating.

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Streamit

Alternative 3. Conspiracy mockumentary most notable for the fact that oodles of people believed it and still do.

While we're on mockumentaries: The Night That Panicked America. Dramatisation of events around the 1938 Orson Welles pseudo-news report radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' The War Of The Worlds.

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Sci Fi

I don't see Demon Seed listed here. I don't remember the Actors but I do remember the voice of the Computer, Robert Vaughn and his one question to the scientest who helped create the computer. The question was" When are you going to let me out of this box!"

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what I haven't seen

The Quiet Earth
Zardoz
Threads
Nausicaa of the Valley Of The Winds
Doppelgänger
The Conquest Of Space

but... I must be honest DrBunsen, pushing Forbidden Planet (-edit-... ok, someone else was pushing it... you're just acknowledging/-edit) makes me suspect your taste a little. OK, I enjoyed that, but only because a friend was lucky enough to get a dvd version of the most fantastic print, the colors were just amazing, but the story is lacking. Its more about story than special effects, and that movie was all special effects. SO... seriously, of these ones I'm not familiar with, are any really worth seeing? (sorry to ask, but I gotta)

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Demon Seed

Hey,

It wasn't Robert Vaughn. It was Fritz Weaver and Julie Christie. I think you need to see the flick again. There's a write-up on it on my website.

William
www.williamahearn

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Battle Beyond The Stars - ess

Battle Beyond The Stars - essentially the Magnificent Seven in space. Even has Robert Vaughn! Better yet - it has John Saxon in it - that's the mark of quality. Anyways, it's a pretty good flick. Here's a review of it.
http://www.stomptokyo.com/otf/BattleBTS/BattleBTS.htm

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imdb that was

still obsessing over this, I was able to guess the link to the actual page that I referred to in the original post:
http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Genres/Sci-Fi/by-release-date

This is where that greyed link would take you. As you can see... its no longer very helpful.

At the suggestion of someone, I wrote the imdb help desk... been 4 days, no brain, no response:
http://www.imdb.com/helpdesk/thread?tid=1413625#1652713

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"The Last Starfighter"

Wow... just remembered The Last Starfighter

It's not like the movie is great, but it was one of the first to use extensive CGI to represent real objects. It was also the dream of every kid who ever flipped an arcade game...

Hmm... that memory smells like popcorn and soda syrup... There was a similar type of stand-up game at a $1 movie theatre that was just a few blocks from my house. I flipped that game twice... and it only cost me about $60 in quarters.

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I rented the DVD and watched

I rented the DVD and watched the extras. It did have a lot (for the time) of CGI but much was left out due to cost. I guess the guys who did it wanted to do Star Wars, but the screening didn't go over well, so they sold it for this film. IIRC anyway. It was done on Cray supercomputers to boot. Now a days we can do better looking video in real time off of a $50 video card. How time and technology fly.

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Re: what I haven't seen

... Its more about story than special effects, and that movie was all special effects. SO... seriously, of these ones I'm not familiar with, are any really worth seeing? ...

The Quiet Earth: no FX, all story, zero budget New Zealand film. Man wakes up alone, thinks he's destroyed humanity, goes mad. It's worth seeing

Zardoz: Never seen. Supposedly bizarre - a planet that worships the flying giant stone head of Sean Connery. Has Sean Connery in it.

Threads: Horrific British '80s dramatisation of the effects of a nuclear war

Nausicaa of the Valley Of The Winds: Hayao Miyazaki anime, story based. It's my favourite so far of his films.

Doppelgänger: only seen once on TV back in my teens, therefore may be complete shyte

The Conquest Of Space: seen excerpts in a doco about WvB's life, looks worth tracking down.

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Again, never seen it, but alw

Again, never seen it, but always rates very highly in reviews. Edge Of Darkness, more political thriller with scifi elements, British TV miniseries about nuclear power and corruption.

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Re: How about

How about the remake of Parts: The Clonus Horror.

Yeah, I've seen the controversy... but Logan's Run predates Clonus by a few years. Logan's Run is the classic, thus, it is a remake of Logan's Run. No one's even heard of The Clonus Horror... thus, no reason to remake it.

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I saw the first third or so o

I saw the first third or so of Mothra last night. It was enjoyable just for the cheesy 60's effects, and that the dubbed English track was all in thick Japanese accents. The huge multi-colored egg that hatched Mothra was nifty, lightning and all! I'll need to rewatch it to catch the latter half.

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Re: I saw the first

You've reminded me of a surprising decent major release... The Mothman Prophecies, a SciFi yarn (the 'Fi' still stands for 'fiction') that, incidently, happens to be a true story (like Fire in the Sky).

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I saw part of TMP, but I fell

I saw part of TMP, but I fell asleep. If I'm watching movies at home I can't really use my sleep-o-meter, but at the theater if I fall asleep during a movie, it's not great movie; though it may be better on later viewings (note, Star Trek 10 is in the sleeper list, as is a Harry Potter flick or two).

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maybe its a sleeper and slow

maybe its a sleeper and slow to get going... but after you see it and start thinking about it, it almost becomes psychologically damaging. Today, we make fun of prophets, they're crackpots... but that Mothman dude is scary as all get out

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Mothman? Uhg...

Ugh... The Mothman Prophecies is based on several stories, and none of them happen to do with that relatively entertaining piece of tripe that Gere did...

In the 60's, there were reports of a monster dubbed "The Mothman" due to his ability to fly, but silently.

Also in in the 60's were reports of an alien named Indrid Cold who prophesied the deaths of locals and some major events in and around West Virginia. Of course, Indrid Cold only spoke to one man, John Keel, a reporter investigating the Mothman sightings, and only by phone.

Putting those two together is like me writing "The Goatman Prophecies" about the visions I saw after talking on the phone to a guy who said he was an alien while I investigated the Goatman of Lake Worth.

I rate it three stars for acting and suspense, but only one for story and accuracy.

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Re: Mothman

Hollywood isn't the only one that made that connection.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indrid_Cold

(reading that has again creeped me out)

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