“And all man’s genius seemed pale and weak”

What's special about these movies?

These movies bring a real sense of joy to me. I love them. They entertain me. “And all man’s genius seemed pale and weak” (Gigantis, the Fire Monster) — somehow seeing Tokyo stomped flat by a guy in a monster suit never gets old, seeing the assembled armies of the world routed by a monster thrills me. The heck with reality. I’ll happily take a good fantasy.Nearly all the movies I like best are from a vanished era where movies were made in black and white, where men wore hats and where everybody smoked cigarettes like crazy. After about 1960 very few movies I feel are good were produced. When I was a kid in the 1960s the three or four television stations we received would often show these old science fiction movies late at night, before “infomercials” polluted the airwaves — late-night movies were a kind of secret club us night owls belonged to. I often wonder who programmed the films they showed. It was far from haphazard. You could see some great films, not just science fiction, when normal folks went to bed and the inmates took over the running of the asylum.

In the 1970s there were “revival” or second-run theaters — this is difficult to believe now. An old theater would be run independently and publish a monthly schedule of obscure or foreign films they’d be showing. It was fantastic! It cost next to nothing and was from the era before videotapes and cable television cocooned everyone. Before the “cineplex” with twelve bad modern movies.

Old, joyful movies — science fiction in particular — could give you the sense that the world could be changed for the better or at least bent in the right direction. You can couch ideas in science fiction stories that would otherwise be nakedly revolutionary. Anything goes in science fiction.

I took the time / to feel for the door / I found the secret, the key to it all

There are no limits in science fiction. In your dreams, you are truly free.


Science fiction movies I love


Science fiction movies I do not care for

Blade Runner
Event Horizon
Mars Attacks Prometheus
Sphere
The Matrix

Science fiction movies which are noteworthy

2001
Avatar
It Came from Outer Space
It Challenged the World
Spaceways
Tarantula
The Creeping Unknown
The Day the Earth Caught Fire
The Monolith Monsters
War of the Worlds

Odd movies

Phantom of the Paradise
Repo Man
The Big Lebowski
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Saragossa Manuscript
The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
Twin Peaks
Yellow Submarine

Movies I actually own:

Alien
Aliens
Apocalypse Now
Assignment: Outer Space
Astro Boy Volume I
Attack of the Monsters
Bad Boys
BASEketball
Battle In Outer Space
Bride of Frankenstein
Children of the Damned
Conquest of Space
Crack In The World
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Curse of the Demon
Dark Star
Death Race 2000
Destroy All Monsters
Dr. Phibes Rises Again
Dracula
Dragonball
Earth vs the Flying Saucers
Earth vs the Spider
Five Million Years to Earth
Forbidden Planet
Frankenstein
Frankenstein Conquers the World
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
Gamera (大怪獣ガメラ)
Gamera vs. Barugon
Gamera vs Guiron
Ghidorah
Giant From The Unknown
Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Gigantis, the Fire Monster
Godzilla / Gojira
Godzilla Raids Again
Godzilla Toyko SOS
Godzilla vs Gigan
Godzilla vs Megaguirus
Godzilla vs Mothra
Godzilla vs the Sea Monster
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Monster Zero
Godzilla’s Revenge
Gorath
Gorgo
Half Human
Hardware Wars
Horror Express
Ikarie XB 1
Invaders From Mars
Invasion of Astro-Monster
It Came From Beneath the Sea
It! The Terror From Beyond Space
King Kong
King Kong vs Godzilla
Kronos
Lifeforce
Night of the Demon
My Neighbor Totoro
Mysterious Island
Passing Of The Third Floor Back
Phantom of the Paradise
Predator
Predator 2
Quatermass 2
Quatermass and the Pit
Repo Man
Rodan
Silent Running
Son of Frankenstein
Son of Godzilla
Son of Kong
Star Wars 0: Holiday Special
Star Wars I
Star Wars II
Star Wars III
Star Wars IV
Star Wars V
Star Wars VI
Terminator 2
Terror of Mechagodzilla
The Abominable Dr. Phibes
The Abominable Snowman
The Atomic Submarine
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
The Big Lebowski
The Black Scorpion
The Blob
The Bride of Frankenstein
The Crawling Eye
The Day of the Triffids
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Deadly Mantis
The Final Programme
The Giant Behemoth
The Giant Claw
The Green Slime
The H-Man
The Lair of the White Worm
The Mummy
The Mummy’s Curse
The Mummy’s Ghost
The Mummy’s Hand
The Mummy’s Tomb
The Mysterians
The Return of Godzilla (1984)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Sin of Harold Diddlebock
The Thief of Bagdad
The Thing
The Thing From Another World
The Unknown World
The Wicker Man
Them
This Island Earth
Total Recall
Ultraman
Varan the Unbelievable
Village of the Damned
War of the Gargantuas
War of the Monsters
X the Unknown
Yellow Submarine
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