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10 ’60s Sci-Fi Movies That Are Still Mind-Blowing Today

Though science fiction in the ’60s was primarily known for campier films like Barbarella and Zontar The Thing From Venus, the genre did produce a shocking amount of cutting edge cinema that is still as highly regarded today as it was then. While there were still films like The Lost World using giant iguanas as stand-ins for dinosaurs, there were also sophisticated benchmarks like 2001: A Space Odyssey creating visuals that audiences had never seen before.

RELATED: 10 50s Sci-Fi Movies That Are Still Mindblowing Today

While most science fiction films simply transposed contemporary societal concepts into space a la The Jetsons, some films were actually showcasing new visions of the future unlike anything society could dream of. Innovations in NASA’s space programs inspired films that were set in realistic space stations and space ships, rather than the gleaming chrome rocketships of the ’50s. Here are 10 ’60s sci-fi movies that are still mind-blowing today.

10 PLANET OF THE APES

Charleton Heston notably risked ridicule from his peers for appearing in Planet of the Apes, a sci-fi classic from ’68 that was made at a time when science fiction was generally dismissed with mockery. He portrays one of three astronauts marooned on a planet inhabited by sentient apes who have made humans into slaves.

RELATED: 10 Things The Planet Of The Apes Reboot Needs

Watching humans be the devalued species on a seemingly alien world, the film is full of themes that question humankind’s superiority, and like 2001: A Space Odyssey which came out the same year, it is profoundly humbling. It constitutes the birth of the “hard sci-fi” niche, which today is one of the most prominent.

9 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

It’s hard to believe that a film from the same decade as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians can seem so relevant even now, but auteur Stanley Kubrick understood the necessity of divorcing 2001: A Space Odyssey from its campier peers by pushing a bold vision of the future.

When Dr. David Bowman and several astronauts undertake a mystery mission, they’re thwarted by the ship’s supercomputer, HAL. The tense showdown between man and machine is buoyed by hypnotic visuals that manage to seem dateless.

8 ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS

The literary classic “Robinson Crusoe” is given the sci-fi treatment with Robinson Crusoe on Mars, a tour-de-force film from director Byron Haskin. Ten years earlier, Haskin had achieved great success with The War of the Worlds, and was a respectable artist in sci-fi.

RELATED: 10 Of The Best Space Travel Movies Of All Time, Ranked

After a difficult mission in space, Commander Kit Draper crash lands on Mars, where he must use his wits and survival skills to survive on the barren world. Filmed in California’s Death Valley, cutting edge visual effects and camera techniques were used to bring Mars to life in a fantastical way today’s scientists now know cannot exist.

7 KING KONG VS. GODZILLA

King Kong vs. Godzilla heralds the first time that both behemoths appear onscreen together in color and widescreen, showcasing the bombastic nature of the kaiju film and instantly paving the way for all future monster films of its magnitude in the sci-fi genre.

RELATED: Godzilla Vs Kong: 10 Gonzo Facts About The Original

When two operatives of a pharmaceutical company kidnap and transport the ferocious King Kong back to Japan, they have no idea that an American submarine has accidentally also awakened Godzilla. The fight between the two at the base of Mount Fuji ensured that the film would be the most successful of all the Godzilla films.

6 MAROONED

Directed by John Sturges, known for some of the most famous Westerns of all time including The Magnificent Seven and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, as well as the thriller The Great Escape, Marooned showcased his first foray into science fiction.

The film chronicles an Apollo spacecraft as it returns from a mission to Earth, running out of both fuel and oxygen along the way, marooning its crew in space. All normal procedures are bypassed as NASA tries desperately to get a rescue craft to the crew in time. It provided the inspiration for the 2013 film of a similar theme, Gravity.

5 STEREO

David Cronenberg, who would go on to do several well-regarded films in the sci-fi genre including Scanners, The Brood, and The Fly, cut his teeth on Stereo in 1969. The black and white film is his first, and explores themes of telepathy, sexuality, and transformation which would frequently reoccur over his life as a director.

A young man arrives at the Canadian Academy of Erotic Enquiry, where Dr. Luther Stringfellow supervises sexual exploration that results in the development of telepathic abilities. He hopes the polymorphous sexual bonds will make the “family unit” obsolete. Eventually, the subjects cannot be controlled, but separating them results in suicide and the creation of secondary personalities.

4 VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED

A chilling sci-fi film that incorporates elements of horror, Village of the Damned is a taut thriller that pushed the envelope when it premiered in 1960 by making its antagonists children. Little platinum-haired angels willed grown men to shoot themselves in the head, drive their cars into walls, and create all manner of mayhem.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Sci-Fi Movies That Didn’t Use CGI

The town of Midwich experiences a strange phenomenon when all of its inhabitants suddenly become unconscious for four hours. When they awaken, they discover all the women of child-bearing age are pregnant. They give birth to eerie children capable of telepathy, who may be controlled by extraterrestrials.

3 FANTASTIC VOYAGE

Fantastic Voyage stands apart from other films involving miniaturization due to its outlandish, kaleidoscopic visuals that are as bizarre today as they were then. The 1966 sci-fi adventure inspired the film Innerspace in 1987.

When a scientist discovers how to shrink matter indefinitely, he’s smuggled from behind the Iron Curtain of the Soviet Union to America, but an attack on his life leaves him with a blood clot moving to his brain. Operatives in a submarine are therefore miniaturized and injected into his bloodstream to try to remove the clot before it kills him.

2 THE TIME MACHINE

Based on the literary classic of the same name by H.G. Wells, The Time Machine combines a daring adventure yarn with compelling practical effects, which in 1960 were some of the most sophisticated up until that point. It follows an inventor in Victorian England who builds a time machine and uses it to travel to different periods in the future.

Each trip gets him incrementally further in time until he’s traveled 1,000 years from 1895, in which the world is a dystopian landscape inhabited by the peaceful Eloi and the Morlock who feed on them. He helps the Eloi revolt against their oppressors and after a series of adventures returns to 1890 with fantastic stories to tell.

1 THE LAST MAN ON EARTH

The Last Man On Earth is the first filmed version of the 1954 novel I Am Legend, which was recently made into a successful sci-fi horror film starring Will Smith. The Last Man On Earth stars horror icon Vincent Price as Dr. Robert Morgan who wakes up everyday to hunt vampires as the last known survivor of a plague apocalypse.

With the whole world turned into vampires, Dr. Morgan must conserve his resources and kill as many vampires as he can. Immune to the plague, he tries to maintain companionship with first a dog, and then another survivor named Ruth, but that is the end of any happiness he’ll experience for the remainder of the film.

NEXT: 5 Sci-Fi Movie Futures We’re Sad Never Became A Reality (& 5 That We’re Happy Stayed Fictional)


2020-02-13 01:02:25

Kayleena Pierce-Bohen

Students Remake Alien with Mind-Blowing High School Play

Students have remade Alien into a mind-blowing high school play. Ridley Scott’s legendary 1979 sci-fi horror film has inspired untold numbers of filmmakers and actors alike over the years, spawning a franchise that helped launch the career of Sigourney Weaver and utilizing the visions of such notable directors as James Cameron, David Fincher, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet in successive installments.

This year marks the 40th year anniversary of Alien’s initial release and fans worldwide have been gearing up for that first ill-fated space journey by revisiting the film in participating theaters or at home, creating commemorative artwork and more. For their part, Twentieth Century Fox has already announced the screening of six original Alien-inspired short films, created by amateur filmmakers, as well as a brand new 4K restoration of the film on Blu-ray. Beyond this, there’s bound to be numerous surprises along the way, with some fans ready to go that extra distance to commemorate their favorite space-based horror film.

Related: James Cameron Hints At Potential Return To Alien Franchise

One group of Alien enthusiasts in particular have now taken the iconic film into some rather uncharted territory. According to The A.V. Club, a high school drama club in New Jersey has realized Alien as a stage production. The North Bergen High School Drama Club students built their own props, sets, and costumes out of recycled materials, painstakingly recreated to resemble those that appear in the original film. Check out the video below for a glimpse of the production’s Xenomorph costume as Ripley battles the deadly space creature, high school drama club style:

For anyone who’s ever seen Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, the similarities between that film’s precocious teen Max Fischer directing a stage production of Serpico and this ambitious Alien project are enough to put an instant smile on a lot of faces. The play ran for two nights, and judging by the amount of media attention it received, there were bound to be a lot proud parents and delighted audience members in attendance. Apparently, the creation of the play’s costumes, props, and sets took students eight months to complete, and as images of the finished products went viral, even celebrities like Patton Oswalt, Josh Gad, and Adam Savage were impressed enough to pass on their congratulations and praise via Twitter.

Aside from providing countless hours of entertainment, one of the greatest things about a film as revered as Alien is that it continues to inspire people decades after its release. Forty years on, the film still feels fresh and groundbreaking, influencing new generations to realize their creative impulses and to challenge the established norms. And while it may be true that in space, no one can hear you scream, as far as the North Bergen High School Drama Club’s brilliant stage production of Alien is concerned, on stage everyone can see you shine.

More: 14 Most Memorable Alien Species In TV and Movies

Source: The A.V. Club


2019-03-24 03:03:22

Mike Jones

Alita: Battle Angel Super Bowl TV Spot Promises Mind-Blowing Action

The Alita: Battle Angel Super Bowl 2019 TV spot hypes the 3D visuals and spectacle from Robert Rodriguez’s live-action adaptation. Terminator 2 and Titanic director James Cameron spent somewhere in the vicinity of a decade working on a big-budget version of Yukito Kishiro’s famous cyberpunk manga. However, the filmmaker’s commitment to launching and expanding the Avatar franchise forced him keep pushing his Alita movie to the back-burner. Finally, in 2015, Rodriguez took over as the project’s director, with Cameron remaining onboard as a producer.

Alita began to move along steadily after that and is currently in the final stretch of marketing, with less than two weeks left before it hits theaters. The movie stars Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner trilogy) as Alita, a young cybernetic woman who sets out to learn the truth about who she is and where she comes from, after being rescued from a junkyard by the kindly Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz). Of course, as the film’s Super Bowl commercial reminds us, the visual effects and action are as much its stars as Salazar and her human cast-mates.

Related: Watch Every Super Bowl 2019 Movie & TV Trailer

Fox’s Alita Super Bowl LIII TV spot has been released online, following its premiere during the actual game. See for yourselves in the space below.

Amusingly, the Alita Super Bowl TV spot includes a quote from Screen Rant’s own Padraig Cotter and his Alita early reactions round-up, where the film was praised for being a “mind-blowing [3D] adventure”. Official reviews for the movie has since begun to roll in and the early critical word of mouth is far more mixed by comparison. So far, most everyone agrees that Alita‘s set pieces and visuals are pretty spectacular and benefit from being viewed in the largest 3D format available (like the Super Bowl TV spot claims). At the same time, critics have described the screenplay by Rodriguez, Cameron, and Laeta Kalogridis (Terminator Genisys) as a bit of a mess that has trouble condensing Kishiro’s dense mythology into a three-act film.

Still, Alita‘s the only live-action “event” film on the horizon for the next month, until Captain Marvel arrives in March. No doubt, Fox is hoping the Super Bowl spot convinces more people to give the movie a shot in theaters, based on its eye candy and the lack of competition. Alita‘s currently projected for a soft box office opening, which isn’t good news given its $150-200 million cost and Fox’s hopes of a franchise. Still, if people like what they saw during the Super Bowl commercial and word of mouth improves, Alita may yet surpass expectations.

MORE: Read Screen Rant’s Alita: Battle Angel Review

Source: 20th Century Fox



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2019-02-03 04:02:03