The standard disclaimer:
- This list is in no order save when the titles sprung to mind
- My taste sucks. Seriously. I have more than one copy of Godzilla v. Megalon. I sought out two Dracula v. Frankensteins and will be on the lookout for the third. I am actually and honestly considering watching Manos: The Hands of Fate. If you don’t agree with me, that only shows you are like 99.999% of the world. I.e. smarter than me.
- That said, I will try to make a case for each choice.
- Finally, each of these movies might be replaced AT ANY TIME in my thoughts. Nothing definitive about any of it. Just a bunch of movies I think worth considering.
Let us begin.
Thanks for reading this far! Sorry about my poor movie choices! You all come back now, y’here?
Seriously, though, I think these two are probably the most “questionable” on my list. I know a lot of people don’t like ’em, but gosh darn it I think their rather swell.
Lifeforce is probably the worse of the two. It’s about a trio of Space Vampires who descend on England to replenish their supply of… well… life force. It leans towards wooden and slightly unbelievable, but I enjoy it for the right reasons. And no, it’s not because the lead female vampire spends most of the movie naked.
Okay, maybe that’s a large part of it. But still, I enjoy the film, even more so with the Extended Version.
(Incidentally, this film is better known as Captain Picard’s Professor Xavier’s Patrick Stewart’s first on screen kiss. Or near kiss. Can’t remember which.)
Prince of Darkness is the better of the two, but a decent case could be made that it’s more a horror flick than anything else. It’s about a team of physicists examining an ancient relic containing a strange swirling liquid. Before long it becomes a struggle between the team and dark forces intent on freeing the true ruler of the Universe, Antigod.
Very Lovecraftian, far more so than most Lovecraft movies. Its treatment of the mentally ill might make it a wee less palatable than it could have been, but for the most part an excellent film by director John Carpenter.
The tag line says it all: “Mammoth skyscrapers of stone thundering across the earth!” One of the better ’50s Science Fiction flicks.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (the real one) and 2001
These two are here on probation. Mainly, they’re sort of no brainers/gotta be on the list somewhere type of choices. Whether or not they deserve their place on the list is another matter.
Frankly, I hate The Day the Earth Stood Still with a passion. Critics keep comparing the alien hero to Jesus Christ, but the story always reminds me more of later Christians who would force their beliefs on indigenous people. I can’t say this isn’t a good movie. It is. that doesn’t make it one I want to watch again.
It’s better than the remake, though. That’s a given.
2001, on the other hand, is a flick I like. Problem is, I like 2010 a lot better. I can’t see putting it up and not the first one. Yet I really don’t want to put up that many member of a series.
Why, you ask? Because of the next couple of entries film.
Gojira/Godzilla, despite the countless goofy sequels, actually is a decent Science Fiction flick. Stop staring at me like that. It takes it’s premise of an aquatic neigh-on invincible dinosaur and follows through in a logical fashion, complete with discussions on a scientist’s responsibility to the world.
Of course, putting the name up there makes me wanna list a few sequels. Well, most the sequels. And maybe a few Gameras.
And yes there are some good Gamera movies. Don’t roll your eyes at me like that.
This one might well take the top space, had I been doing things that way. Subway workers discover an ancient spaceship beneath London that might reveal the true origin of humanity. And may well destroy it, too.
Quatermass and the Pit is one of the most influential science fiction films of all times. It shares themes with 2001 (alien influence on humanity’s evolution) without the mystic claptrap surrounding the other film, with an actual narrative instead of episodic set pieces. Writers ranging from Stephen King (Tommyknockers) to Jon Carpenter (the aforementioned Prince of Darkness; check the writer credits) have produced works influenced (but not quite surpassing) this film.
What makes it even better is that it puts paid to the belief that a sequel is always worse than the original. This film is the final part of a trilogy of films based on the lead character, Professor Quatermass. The others, The Quatermass Xperiment/The Creeping Unknown and Quatermass 2/Enemy from Space are both worthy of a place on a list like this.
Which is why I’m only doing one movie a series. So I can talk about other worthies.
A group of space men arrive at Altair-4 to discover that all the colonist there save two are dead, killed by an unseen monster. One of the major US films and a major inspiration for a little known TV series called Star Trek. It stars Walter Pidgeon, and Naked Gun‘s Leslie Neilsen (his youth makes it a bit easier to take him seriously).
I know Mystery Science Theater 3000 used this one as a target for their feature film, but it’s really not that bad. The story of a group of aliens trying to save their world all but kidnapping human scientists is a most excellent. Couple that with good special effects and you got yourself a flick.
I came within inches of recommending Metropolis (still do, really) but this, for my money, is the Real Deal. Air force officers struggle against an alien threat at the top of the world. Witty and far more thoughtful that a lot of today’s movies, this is one of my favorite films. Period.