That list sucks. Where is "Mega shark vs giant octopus"?
Blade Runner has clinched the top spot in a poll on the greatest sci-fi film of all time. The 1982 cult classic, directed by Ridley Scott and based on a novel by Philip K Dick, won the top plaudit in a poll run by Totalscifionline.com. Blade Runner flopped commercially on its initial release and received only lukewarm reviews …
Bunch of bloody Philistines. Hurts me to say it, as they quite correctly picked "Blade Runner" (hopefully the later cut without the god-awful "film noir" voiceover and the crappy "happy ending" sequence) as the No. 1, but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
Oh, and you too for failing to mention this as an overlooked classic.
Starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara - but what far-flung planet did it take place on, in what distant future did it happen? The most overlooked science fiction film of all time.
You'd have to wonder what sort of po-faced bores would nominate such drudgery as 2001, The Day the Earth Stood Still, or even Solaris instead of the likes of Forbidden Planet, Dark Star, Mars Attacks...
... it really depends who you ask.
A link at the end of the story shows a poll from 2007 where Serenity beat Star Wars, and Blade Runner came in at #3. (Serenity was fun, but you sure wouldn't find it on my Top 10).
As for this poll: Metropolis? Seriously? And what happened to Close Encounters? I'd rate that over Planet of the Apes.
El Reg should run a poll for WORST Sci-Fi movie of all time. My vote goes to the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008).
Metropolis actually had stunning special effects, for the day and still not bad today.
It also influenced at least two of the other top 10: the police headquarters in "Blade Runner" was modeled after the central building in "Metropolis", and the artificial hand of Dr. Rotwang, and the design of the 'Menschmachine/Maria' show up in "Star Wars".
Not too shabby for 1927!
Now if we can pit "Maria" v. "Pris" for a knock down drag out erotic dance....
with a by by "Zora"
I kunda like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with Michael Rennie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "This Island Earth", "Forbidden Planet", "War of the Worlds" with Gene Barry and "The Time Machine" with Rod Taylor. But I guess these are too old and dreary (read that as great stories but less CGI) to count.
Oh well, at least I have "Dr. Who".
The average age of that selection is 40 years. I've seen them all, and think half of them are totally overrated and are voted on by 'cool', 'arty' people who think bigging up a 'classic' makes them look clever.
Of that list the only ones that disserve their entry, in my humble opinion are:
To make up a top ten, I’d add:
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Matrix (1999)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Back to the Future (1985)
What was the required age to be considered a classic?
Was there a bouncer on the door of the list who told Terminator 2 and others, "Sorry mate youv'e got to be 21 to get in".
I wholeheartedly agree that a film needs to be a little older than 6 months before it can be considered a classic, but is there a definition?
is that the youngest of these films is 25 years old.
Since it's a poll, not a sales volume thing, there's no advantage from older movies having more time to sell in greater numbers. However, the age of the top ten entries might just tell you something about the age of the poll responders.
(I'm not sure why the article calls Vangelis' score "seminal" he'd done lots of stuff, before that piece - including Chariots of Fire, so it wasn't even his first major film soundtrack).
Surely the original Solaris appears as just a sympathy vote; or at the very least has been voted for by people who want to appear "cool". And no-one is ever going to convince me that E.T. is a better movie than either Aliens or Star Trek : the motion picture.
Am I the only person on the planet that loved David Lynch's interpretation of Dune??
Still, nice to see Blade Runner in the number one slot but I have to agree with those who lament Silent Running missing from the Top Ten. I wept buckets when I was a kid and Huey (or was it Dewie?) got hit by Bruce Derne. Got it on DVD and I must really sit down and watch again...
Star Wars quite deservedly as I saw as an 8 year old and the opening scene blew me away. It still does.
A Boy and His Dog - Yes! Solaris from 1972? Booooorrring! I saw it at a Sci Fi festival at the AFI theater in the 70's and fell asleep. Blade Runner is a decent film, but the Best Sci Fi movie of all time?
Planet of the Apes? Please! Star Wars? A bad Space Opera. Alien was really a horror movie in the style of Friday the 13th. It just had an extraterrestrial instead of a hockey mask-wearing slasher and coincidentally took place on a spaceship.
What about Starman? Lifeforce? (naked space vampires!) Close Encounters of the Third Kind? That would be a better choice than ET, just among Spielberg movies. Then The Abyss beats out Terminator among James Cameron movies. And finally, Contact (although the book was better).
Take those five, add Forbidden Planet & The Matrix, plus 2001, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Blade Runner from the original list, and you get a list of the REAL ten best SF movies of all time.
Very disappointed to see 'Predator' near the bottom in 98th place - far below less deserving trash like 'Starship Troopers'.
Also odd that the description for 'Minority Report' doesn't mention that its based on a Philip K Dick short story.
Lastly, hats off to 'The Quiet Earth' - a suprisingly well put together Kiwi effort from the early 80's. Nostalgic for me for the scenes shot in the science lab at Waikato University where I studied, amongst other familiar locations.
Science fiction by and large does not mean swords, sorcerers, magic, castles or dwarven familiars from which you can excise every last trapping of spaceships and lasers without having to change a single detail of the story. Ergo, Star Wars, with its light sabers, Jedi, Force, Death Star and droids is most definitely not science fiction. I refer you to the department marked "Fantasy With Spaceship, Robot'n'Laser Trimmings".
I think the film you're thinking of is "Damnation Alley" (George Peppard, Jan-Michael Vincent).
I also want to throw in a plug for the original "Rollerball", if we're bumping dystopian 70's flicks (must....not....remember..."ZPG"...argh!) Agreed that "E.T." is misplaced, I'd yank it and shift "Star Wars" and everything after down a notch and put the '54 "War of the Worlds" in there.
Full props to "Metropolis", but I'd rather see John Carpenter's remake of "The Thing" on the list, if only because it's a little more "accessible" (read: has more action) than "They Live".
I could argue about others on the list, or suggest my own etc. but really my problem is with 2001 getting any praise at all.
It's slow, drawn out, tedious, mind numbingly dull.
Lets face it, it has a scene that goes on for what 10 minutes (It feels like a lot more, so I'm assuming 10 minutes as I think my memory is exaggerating) of a space ship docking with a space station. That's at least 9 minutes 30seconds too long (I'm not going to time it, and I don't care if it was really 5 minutes or something, it was still WAY too long)
What was with the monkeys? Don't get me wrong, I quite liked HAL when it got going, but it didn't get going for bloody hours, and hours, and even then the good bit only seemed to last 30 minutes.
Pretentious, arty, 'cool' kids, go and vote for you're favourite bottled water or something.
Predictably, the list takes into account the influence of movies. Blade Runner fairly established the cult of dystopian megacities...
Among recent movies, I'd say Matrix would definitely have a place too. It will obviously become one of the greatest classics. The sequels will fade into oblivion, though.
I'm surprised anybody here suggested having sequels like Terminator 2, or even movies that evolved out of TV series like Star Trek. Being original, or at least more famous than previous works, is a necessary condition to be a classic, in my opinion.
personally I actually hated all the star wars but the empire strikes back only one that I found watchable but I'm a startrek person personally ;)
Spaceballs deserves a spot on that list more than starwars ;)
Also I wasn't a fan of Alien and ET, Predator, Logan's Run, or even Death Race 2000 I think are more deserving of the spot more.
The day the earth caught fire
Journey to the far side of the sun
Colossus: the Forbin project
All far far better than bloody ET, and as for Solaris I have watched the original Russian version with subtitles, and the remake, and wouldn't again.
Good to agree with Bladerunner and 2001 though. I also like Metropolis, although I have never managed to grab a copy, do have the soundtrack from Gorgio Morodor's 80's version on vinyl though!
"The Matrix". Advertised at the time as a revolutionary new story never before told.
Unless you read any science fiction from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that is, by which time the old "the world is a computer sim and we all live in it" thing was so moth-eaten it was quitely retired. I think the last writer to try and sell it died of embarasment.
The Matrix (seen it more than 70 times theater and dvd) "dodge this"
BladeRunner TDC (one of my fav movies even when it was originally released)
followed by in any order:
Star Trek Zero
War of the Worlds (TC version)
Star Wars and ET are not scf-fi. Science -fiction is *fiction* about *science*. Those two movies are space fantasy, but it seems that any movie with a spaceship in it gets labelled as "sci-fi" these days, notwithstanding the lack of any science. The hallmark of a true sci-fi is that the characters are immersed in a situation resulting from some scientific or technological phenomenon and the story follows how the characters deal with it. My own top ten would be:
1. Blade Runner
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
3. Alien Trilogy (NOT Alien Resurrection or the AVP abortions)
4. Quiet Earth
5. Brainstorm (anyone remember this gem?)
6. Soylent Green
7. Pitch Black
8. Dune / Children of Dune (The Sci-Fi channel miniseries, not Lynch's POS)
9. Total Recall
10. Back To The Future Trilogy
There's three in that list that nobody's mentioned yet - Brainstorm, Pitch Black (somebody did mention Chronicles of Riddick but that was nowhere near as good as the original movie!) and Back To The Future. I'm amazed that none of you tech geeks remembered Brainstorm and its virtual helmet allowing people to experience other people's lives - and a death! And I know Back To The Future was somewhat whimsical, but it does address the paradoxes of time travel in an interesting way - which makes it sci-fi in my opinion.
Science Fiction most certainly is not "fiction about science" - it is about exploring possible scenarios that COULD REASONABLY happen as far as our understanding of science is concerned. Any further than that and it becomes fantasy. So ET certainly is science fiction (a bunch of alien biologists MIGHT visit Earth and one of them MIGHT get left behind) but Star Wars is not (the Force is basically magic). My vote for best recentish science fiction film has to be Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which nicely explores the possible consequences of s/elective memory erasure.
On the Dune front, count me as another big fan of David Lynch's interpretation. I once heard this film described as 'stepping up to the line of greatness but refusing to cross it', which is as neat a summation as I can come up with. And anyone who says Planet of the Apes is not science fiction needs their face slapped.
Other flicks I'd like to see on the list would be Phase IV, On the Beach and, of course, Nutty Professor 2 - The Klumps.
I personally wouldn't be quite so willing to draw such a stark line in the sand.
Although Star Wars is a mythological space opera, and as such can't be truly classed as science fiction, I feel that the genre in general would become a lot flatter and less colourfull without such contributions.
It may not fit the strictest of definitions, but on its' own merits I'd say it is a worthy inclusion.
As for Camerons Darkstar? I read the book long before seeing the film (a rare occurence, as I'm not a heavy reader per say). The book was truly fantastic. A dark insight into isloation, desperation, and philosophical ponderings on sentience and the very purpose of life.
Alas, Camerons valiant effort, through no fault of his own, fell short of truly capturing all the nuances of the story.
Because it was a student film, he had no budget to speak of. This required him to take a great many shortcuts with the plot, and the special effects were quite detrimental. The ending of the book made me shed a tear, the ending of the movie made me chuckle.
If there was ever a truly deserving film of a re-make (obviously, with Cameron returning to the helm).
As for my suggestion of a film missing from the list?
I would have to say, for those who believe that A) no decent and b) no truly sci-fi movies have been made in recent years:
The Man From Earth.
This little gem is a a kilo chunk of pure, uncut scifi. The complete opposite to Starwars, no spaships, no special effects. The entire movie is set in one single, sparsely furnished living room.
As such, the entire film hangs on nothing more than the intriguing plot premis, and the casts electrifying performance.
Swutting Belgium man! I really don't know where to begin..... apart from maybe: *SLAP* *SLAP* *SLAP* administered facially.....
Sam Rockwell's truly terrible Zaphod, Martin Freeman playing....Martin Freeman - *again*, Stephen Fry horribly underused as the Guide. The new design of Marvin, Zaphod's second head being in his throat (how exactly is that a second head?), the fucking 'standing on a rake' scene...
I could go on, but I'd need to spend the rest of the day in a darkened room because of the trauma.
Go listen to the radio show, read the scripts, then the books and watch the TV series. In that order.
I don't care if you've already done some or all of these things - go do them again as you've obviously forgotten how good they were and how bad the film was.
A lot of the films in the top 100 are the sort of fluff I watch when there's no real sci-fi on. They're like what early DS9 is to late TNG -- one of them is sci-fi while the other is just a soap opera which happens to be set in space.
Agree re: Total Recall . That film doesn't have a wasted moment anywhere. Every single second contributes to the story; for that it is an all-time classic, never mind just a sci-fi classic.
I say again though: why no Hardware?? ...... This is what you want... This is what you get... This is what you want... This is what you get...
I just don't understand. Yes, when released it was an event, but it was never original and never good. The plot is hackneyed, characters cliche and the morality is terrible. David Brin got it right when he alluded to Darth Vader appearing after death with Yoda and Kenobi - Vader killed billions but apparently he's redeemed by the supposedly altruistic act of saving his own son! That's on a par with a version of Hitler, Pol Pot or whoever, thousands of times more deadly, being okay because he decides not to kill his offspring. Utter rubbish.
BTW I agree with previous posters about Aliens, Silent Running and Serenity. How about Fifth Element too? It's a classic often overlooked due to it's overboard styling and lack of seriousness. Oh, and Brazil, 12 Monkeys and the like? They wipe the floor with Planet of the Apes and ET.
I should have mentioned that the Metropolis version is the Murnau Institutes restored version. Not the awful one that has been floating about for years with the tragicomically inappropriate sound track....
Paris, because she could only hope to be Maria dancing in Yoshiwara
While I agree that Star Wars is not really sci-fi since "the Force is basically magic", don't forget Clarke's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
And Gehm's Corollary: "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
Good Sci Fi should allow us to see into the "plausible" future. My ratings would be:
Alien (plausible physics biology)
2001 (clever but a bit arty - farty)
Gattaca (quite close in DNA terms)
Solaris (1972 version Sentient force)
Blade Runner (draws on iRobot and takes it a bit further)
Slient Running (hmm they way we are going on earth!!!)
Metropolis (watch it. You'll see)
Matrix (not the best film but plausible)
I discount the likes of ET, Third Encounters etc as superseeded by Alien.
Stars Wars Star Trek and there ilk are out on known phyiscs grounds. The above list are also way better shot cinematically.
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