When most people think of classics, the films that come to mind tend to be the most popular or most acclaimed flicks that we all know and love. In the sci-fi genre, a typical list of classics would probably include a Spielberg film or two, maybe a Kubrick film, perhaps even a Lucas offering if you’re feeling spunky. However, in a galaxy far, far, away, there is a whole other parallel universe of classic sci-fi films that might not receive the same praise as those previously mentioned classics but shine just as brightly in the genre.
Those who are fans of the genre might even be able to catch references or influences of the films in this list scattered about the sci-fi galaxy in clues just waiting for the one true movie buff to discover. So whether the intent is to assimilate sci-fi knowledge, acquire the ability to drop movie knowledge on your friends, or simply find some damn good sci-fi films to watch for a change, this is the list for you. So without further ado, here is a list of some great sci-fi classics that you’ve probably never seen…and maybe not even heard of.
1. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
1988 was an interesting year for sci-fi films it seems. Though there were several titles released that surely made some noise in the genre, this crazy film about Killer Klowns continues to reverberate in the decades that follows. Along the lines of Sharknado, the title of this film pretty much gives away all that you need to know. The movie is about a group of teenagers who find that killer clowns have invaded their small town and they quickly discover the clowns have come from outer space, that’s it.
Throw in some clever clown gimmicks with some creepy clown costumes then add some cool 1980’s special effects and you’ve got a classic film that is partly responsible for an entire generation of people having coulrophobia issues. Those who are familiar with a certain rap duo from Detroit can instantly understand the influence this film has had on pop culture.
2. I Come In Peace (1990)
Over the many years of cinema, Aliens have visited the Earth for many different reasons. Some have come to colonize, others to warn us of our impending doom, and there’s even a few that simply think humans suck and want to destroy us all. Despite the decades of movies, you’d be hard-pressed to find as unique a reason for first contact like the one presented in this film. I Come In Peace is as classic as classic gets when it comes to action sci-fi films.
What’s not to like in this film: cool concept, buddy cop format, space weapons, one-liners, and the Swedish bad-boy himself Dolph Lundgren. Any fan of films like Total Recall or Predator will immediately take a liking to this flick. As stated before, the film stars Dolph Lundgren so that’s a certified stamp of action greatness.
3. The Thaw (2009)
This one might come as a surprise for some to qualify for a classic list for sci-fi films but turns out this is really a solid watch. You’ve heard the concept before, researchers in the Arctic discover something buried under the ice and bring it back to their station for further study. Of course, things quickly turn bad when the young research students begin showing odd symptoms of a deadly illness.
What makes this film list worthy is the movie never tries to do too much. It roots itself in a plausible scenario with characters who react to the situation in ways that seem, human. This makes for an extremely engrossing and gross story that slithers itself into sci-fi history.
4. Fire In the Sky (1993)
The Travis Walton story has become one of the most prominent stories of alien abduction in the paranormal industry. This 1993 film chronicling his incredible story has implanted itself just as prominently in the genre of sci-fi and easily makes a list for the classics.
For those who have seen this movie, the visuals presented in this story have become synonymous with the concept of alien abduction. For many, Fire In the Sky is an important film in history which can be credited for presenting the controversial subject to the mainstream audience.
5. The Hidden (1987)
If you want to talk about movies that have created influencing ripples in the space time continuum of the sci-fi genre, you can’t have that discussion without this 1987 masterpiece. One of the staples of the gritty and ultra-violent film phase of the late 80’s, this sci-fi flick goes from zero to full throttle by the end of the opening credits. This is another film that has an atypical reason for an alien visitation to Earth.
The premise: an alien psychopath with the ability to inhabit human bodies comes to Los Angeles and absolutely wrecks shop by turning ordinary citizens into crazed criminals. Luckily for the city of Angels however, an alien lawman is in hot pursuit.