14 Cult Sci-Fi Horror Movies You Might Have Missed
The science fiction and horror genres are some of the most popular genres of movies, so it’s no surprise that these two genres often times cross into each other- after all, science fiction and horror have to do with the fear of the unknown. Some notable examples include, Alien, The Thing and Frankenstein.
Often times there are movies from this genre that are a bit more obscure. Whether they’re B movies trash, Alien fodder or serious cult movies, here are 14 cult sci-fi horror movies. Please note that movies like Alien, The Thing, Re-Animator and The Fly- while they might be fantastic cult movies- are not being included because of their popularity.
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.
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 Cronenbergs 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 Debby 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 Videodrome’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 David Cronenberg has stopped making body horror films because he really was the master of this genre. Videodrome is one of the most original horror films and is David Cronenbergs crowning achievement.
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.
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. Almost Human 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; although by no means bad.
The most notable problem with this movie is the acting, as it’s pretty hit or miss; but it could be a lot worse- especially seeing how this is a low budget film. The actor that plays Seth, Graham Skipper, is pretty good, but the rest of the actors are not as good. However, these problems are completely outweighed by the good parts to this film.
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.
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.
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.
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 60 minute Nine Inch Nails music video that was directed by David Lynch; due to the industrial soundtrack and grainy black and white quality. In fact it would be surprising if Trent Reznor wasn’t influenced by this film.
Tetsuo takes strong influences from David Lynch and David Cronenberg; due to the strong body horror elements. If any of Lynch’s or Cronenberg’s 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.
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