It’s October and Halloween is on the way. While the horror genre takes top billing this month, Sci-Fi fans can have their cake and eat it too with this list of genre-bending movies that combine science fiction with horror to make for fun viewing:
9. Nightbeast (1982)
An alien crash lands in a small Maryland town and goes on a rampage, killing everyone in sight. It’s up to the sheriff to stop this murderous alien from continuing its rampage.
Nightbeast is a 1982 remake of The Alien Factor, both of which were written and directed by Don Dohler. This movie is crazy, and that largely has to do with the alien in this movie being horribly violent and angry. You can almost tell that all this alien wants to do is kill everyone in this small town, and actually racks up a pretty high body count- the first time you see the alien it kills about eleven people in one night alone! Whether it’s by ripping people apart or shooting them with his ray gun this alien is just crazy, and is probably the most entertaining part about this film.
However, the alien-free parts of the film are pretty boring. The acting and dialogue are just terrible. This film was distributed by legendary B movie studio Troma Entertainment, and also features a cheesy sci-fi score by a then unknown J.J. Abrams.
Nightbeast is a pretty inept, but largely entertaining, B movie. The alien is memorable and makes for a hilarious time watching it massacre everything in sight. For a bad movie night this movie would provide more than enough entertainment.
8. Without Warning (1980)
A mysterious alien is stalking and killing people in a secluded area. When four teenagers go out for a weekend of fun, they soon fall prey to this mysterious alien. The remaining two teenagers must fend for their lives in order to survive.
This movie should work, it has all of the makings of a great sci-fi horror film, and yet it doesn’t; and worst yet it fails pretty badly. Martin Landau and Jack Palance do a decent enough job but can’t really carry the rest of the talentless cast.
Without Warning’s best aspect is that it’s almost a precursor to movie Predator, as both movies feature an alien that stalks and kills humans. The alien in this movie uses disc like alien parasites that are thrown at people, and these disc aliens actually look pretty decent. The alien itself however, when you actually see it, is just a boring 50s looking alien. The fact that you don’t actually see the alien until basically the end is really frustrating.
Without Warning fits the “so bad its good” cult movie bill that makes for a decent enough time to watch with other people- but is frustrating when thinking about all the potential that this movie could have had.
7. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
A man obsessed with metal is slowly turning into a robot, as shards of metal transform his body.
This movie is very hard to describe, and that largely has to do with the overall surreal nature of the movie. This movie feels like a Nine Inch Nails music video, directed by David Lynch with its industrial soundtrack and grainy black and white quality.
Tetsuo takes strong influences from both Lynch and David Cronenberg; due to the strong body horror elements. If any of those directors’ movies seemed too normal for you then this movie will be the perfect antidote, because this movie is completely unlike any other movie.
The visuals, soundtrack and overall surreal nature make this movie completely unique. Director and writer Shin’ya Tsukamoto is fantastic at creating a surreal and mind-bending film that makes for a completely bizarre experience to witness.
6. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
A group of alien’s crash land on earth, except these aliens’ looks like clowns, and their spaceship looks like a circus tent. It’s up to Mike, a teenager who first discovered the aliens, to stop this invasion of killer clowns from outer space.
In all essence, this movie should not work. The concept sounds completely goofy and laughable, and might work as a very cheesy B movie in the same way that Attack of the Killer Tomatoes works. Yet this movie is actually a pretty creepy Sci-fi horror film. The clowns are designed by the Chiobo Brothers- who also directed and wrote the movie-and would easily terrify anyone who’s scared of clowns.
This movie features a lot of parts that are actually kinda scary, as one scene involves a little girl being lured out by one of the clowns. The music and directing make this particular scene genuinely creepy and unnerving. This movie is a complete cult classic of the sci-fi genre and makes for a pretty entertaining watch.
5. Xtro (1983)
One day when Tony and his father Sam were playing outside Sam gets abducted by a bright light. Three years later Sam inexplicably returns back to his family, only this time Sam’s wife has moved on, and Sam seems a bit different.
This plot might sound ordinary, but Xtro is far from normal- because this movie is absolutely crazy! The most normal part about this move is the alien; which looks rather great and grotesque. However, the rest of this movie is pure insanity, and completely separates itself from other alien movies. Because really, have any other alien movies featured a killer man sized toy soldier? A killer dwarf clown? Or what about an alien that impregnates a woman, who then gives birth to a full sized adult man? Xtro features all of those things; as well as a cheesy early 80s synth score from the movies writer and director Mark Bromley Davenport.
Xtro is a violent and rather dark alien movie, and is definitely up there as one of the most bizarre Sci-fi B-movie’s to come out of the 80s; while also featuring one massive downbeat ending.
4. Almost Human (2013)
One night Mark disappears from his home under a bright light- while with his friend Seth witnesses this terrifying event. Two years later Mark returns, but something seems a different about him.
Almost Human is a pretty recent horror film that definitely has a lot of potential to be a cult favorite, especially for fans of 80s B movies. The film takes a lot of influences from the horror films of the past; such as Xtro, The Terminator, and even features a very John Carpenter-esk soundtrack. With all of these great influences Almost Human should sound like it would make for a pretty memorable throwback, but this film is not perfect; but it’s not terrible either.
The most notable problem with this movie is the acting, as it’s pretty hit or miss. The actor that plays Seth, Graham Skipper, is pretty good, but the rest of the actors aren’t so hot. The acting alone isn’t enough to make the movie forgettable.
The throwback nature of this movie is definitely one of Almost Human’s strongest aspects- even though the movie is certainly not very subtle at hiding its influences-but the cold soundtrack and the practical effects certainly make up for those other lackluster parts.
3. The Deadly Spawn (1983)
A terrifying alien has taken refuge in a family’s basement and proceeds to eat the parents. Meanwhile upstairs, four teenagers are unaware that this alien is in their basement; until the alien stars to get hungry and moves upstairs.
The Deadly Spawn came out during the early 80s when any alien movie was considered a rip-off Alien, and because of that tends to be forgotten by most mainstream audiences; which is a real shame, because this movie is a totally underrated 80s B movie.
This movie has quite possibly one of the best looking alien designs from the 80s. The alien just looks completely over the top and terrifying as it kills everything in sight- in fact one of the victims basically has her face ripped off towards the beginning; and the gore just looks fantastic.
This is definitely a fantastically underrated sci-fi horror film, and it’s really unfair that this movie was condemned as an Alien rip-off. However, instead of being seen as a rip-off, this movie should be considered its own thing; its own smart and bloody thing.
2. Videodrome (1983)
Max is the president of a TV company that basically broadcasts porn of all varieties; but Max is looking for something different. Max soon discovers Videodrome, a pirated channel that broadcasts torture porn. But little does Max known that Videodrome will mess with his mind and causes severe hallucinations.
Videodrome was David Cronenberg’s sixth feature length film and is arguably his most well known- and especially his most well known body horror film. The main reason for this is because of the films surreal nature and sleazy atmosphere. James Woods plays Max, and he is a slimy person, whose life is filled with sexual obsession; as well as being obsessed with Videodrome. Meanwhile Debbie Harry plays Nicki, and is pretty much the other half of James Woods’s character; except she is interested in being on Videodrome because of her interests in kinkier sex. Both Debbie Harry and James Woods give very strong performances.
There are multiple scenes that make Videodrome memorable- most of which are caused by it’s long term hallucination effects- and includes scenes like James Wood kissing his TV, and of course the tumor gun scene. This scene involves Max shooting somebody with a gun that forces tumors to come out of a man’s body, while violently erupting in a gory fashion. These two scenes pretty much proves the effectiveness of David Cronenberg as a master of the body horror genre.
It’s disappointing that Cronenberg has stopped making body horror films because he really was a master of this genre and Videodrome is one of his crowning achievements.
1. Night of the Creeps (1986)
Slug like alien parasites are turning people into zombies. It’s up Chris and J.C.-two college teenagers- and a disheveled cop to stop these parasites from taking over the world.
Night of the Creeps is a fairly unique B movie because of Fred Dekker’s smart script that mixes so many different genres- including alien sci-fi, B-horror, slasher and zombie elements, and even some dark humor. All of these genres come together to make one of the most unique horror films to come out of the 80s.
The film stars Jason Lively and Steve Marshall as J.C. and Chris, and they’re fairly likeable characters, as they’re both funny and competent characters. However, it’s really cult actor Tom Atkins that steals every scene he’s in; and of course gets the best lines.
Night of the Creeps is completely its own thing, and is fantastic because of that. It’s disappointing that this movie bombed when it came out. However, cult movie fans have recently revived this film, giving it the attention it rightfully deserves.
courtesy of Taste of Cinema
Well, what’s your favorite Sci-Fi Horror Film – let us know in the comments section below: