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 10 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. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. Without Warning is bad because it has an interesting concept but fails to properly execute it. Also, the acting in this movie is pretty bad. However, actors Martin Landau and Jack Palance, do a decent enough job- especially Landau. The fact that these actors pull decent performances makes the other actors appear more amateurish; which is never a good thing.
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 is the type of so bad its good cult movie 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.