Archive for the ‘Retro Reels’ Category

Guilty Pleasures: Under-rated Sci Fi

I’ve been waxing cinematic this week-end. The following is a list of movies I only admit to loving among friends. You won’t find classics like “Brazil” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” on the list because they aren’t under-rated. 

10). A Boy and His Dog (1974)

Post nuclear earth is a ravaged wasteland. Vic (Don Johnson, yeah, that Don Johnson) and his dog Blood, who speaks telepathically, wander about looking for scarce food and scarcer sex. Civilization has moved underground and Johnson, in search of pussy, is captured. His johnson is milked for its reproductive, uh, elements. After he escapes, he finds Blood starving topside. Blood is revived by a good meal of….guess what?

 Highlights: Jason Robards as the rouge-cheeked leader of the underground civilization.

9. Reign of Fire (2002)

Earth has been scorched and humanity nearly eradicated by fire-breathing dragons. Hey! It could happen. Burnt to crisp earth has a very medieval feel. Christian Bale saves the day.

Highlights: Matthew McConaughey as one tough hombre and the dragons.

8. Pitch Black (2000)

Recaptured prisoner (Vin Diesel) is being transported back to prison when their ship crash lands on a strange world, a. planet that experiences a total eclipse of the suns (that’s right, suns, the plural is not a typo) every 22 years. The crew arrives just in time for a blackout. Horrible creatures that cannot tolerate light have been dormant in structures that look like giant ant hills. They are released by the eclipse. Mayhem ensues.

Highlights: The very hot Radha Mitchell as Carolyn.

7. The Thing (1982)

In John Carpenter’s remake, an alien, frozen in Antarctica after a crash landing, is unwittingly resurrected by scientists. Body Snatcher-like, the thing replicates the scientists, one by one. In the end, two scientists sit in stand-off beside the destroyed camp unsure whether the other is the Thing.

Highlights: Terrific, suspenseful score.

6. The Quiet Earth (1985)

A scientist awakens to discover that he is the last living man on earth. Or is he? The science is flimsy but it’s an interesting story with a love triangle and inter-racial sex.

Highlights: The final scene alone is worth the price of admission.

5. Lifeforce (1985)

 A British-American scientific space exploration team discovers an alien vessel in the tail of Halley’s comet. The alien ship contains three space vampires which the explorers, of course, bring aboard the earth vessel. The female alien survivor (Mathilda May) parades about naked while she sucks the life out of helpless and hapless earthlings.

Highlights: A gorgeously naked Mathilda with glorious tits (and I’m not even a boob man).

4. Waterworld (1995)

Sort of an aquatic Mad Maxx. In a dystopian future earth, covered almost entirely by water, a mutant (Kevin Costner with gills) tries to stay disconnected from humanity but is reeled in (pun intended) by Helen (Jeanne Trippelhorn) and her daughter. Everyone but the amphibious Costner is searching for “Dryland” and the young girl holds the key. .

Highlights: While Costner delivers his usual wooden performance both the little girl and Dennis Hopper deliver marvelous performances.

3. Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

A sequel to Pitch Black. Riddick (Vin Diesel), once again an escaped convict, tangles with evil on strange worlds. Riddick eludes bounty hunters and confronts a race of religious loonies, the half-dead Necromongers, who are destroying the universe in search of the Underverse, their version of heaven. Just think of the Necromongers as the Religious Right and it will make perfect sense. Action packed. Great special effects.

Highlights:  Judi Dench as an Aereon, an ambassador from the Elemental race.

2. Predator (1987)

An alien big game hunter (a cross between a crab and Bob Marley) arrives on earth in search of trophies. A military commando unit led by Arnold Schwartzenegger battle it to the bitter end.

Highlights: The alien is the best alien since, well…the Alien. The cameo performance by Jessie “The Body” Ventura.

1. Dark City (1998)

Humans are abducted and subject to re-programming and experiments by an alien race who alter reality through psycho-kinesis and are bent on discovering the “secret” of humanity. John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell), one of the lab rats, discovers that he shares the Strangers (aliens) power and goes off in search of his home town, Shell Beach. John learns that everything he thought he knew is an illusion so he must use his power to defeat the Strangers and create a reality of his own. His preferred reality includes Jennifer Connelly.

Highlights: A hot, sultry Jennifer Connelly and Kiefer Sutherland’s creepy, halting vocal cadence.

Honorable Mention:

Mad Maxx Beyond Thunderdome

Conan the Barbarian



Categories: Retro Reels


Categories: Retro Reels