Detours and Unexpected Gems


Sometimes we deviate from the map provided by the Top Fifty Films list.  Those detours are generally movies, though there’s also a few other things, like my musings on science fiction and science and television.

MOVIES

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1953)

A true classic film, often recognized as the worst film ever made.  You really have to see it to believe it.

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

Noteworthy for being “suggested” by a Ray Bradbury story, “The Foghorn,” as well as for being one of, if not the, first “giant monster awakened by atomic bomb” movies, and in addition, for being Ray Harryhausen’s first solo effort in stop motion animation.

The Monolith Monsters (1957)

A definite B movie, it’s still just as entertaining as I remember it being from my childhood.  A very rare specimen, this, the science fiction mystery-thriller, sort of like The Andromeda Strain but it may actually be better.  It came as the “other” part of the DVD with The Incredible Shrinking Man, probably because Grant Williams stars in both films.

The Last Man on Earth (1964)

This is here because it’s the first film adaptation of Richard Matheson’s The Last Man on Earth—which was also made into The Omega Man.  It’s a sad and low-budget film without a whole lot of science going on in it, but it’s still pretty good.

Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 (1966)

Urk.  It’s Dr. Who, the Timelord from the BBC’s long-running television series, come to the big screen and played by Peter Cushing.  Only it’s not.

Carrie (1976)

A Halloween detour in which a telekinetic teenager describes a tragic arc into death.

Never Take Candy From a Stranger (1960)

The other movie from the disc containing These Are The Damned, this movie is a startling look at pedophilia.

Carrie (2002)

A made-for-TV movie which was intended to be a pilot for a series, but as the series didn’t materialize, the movie has to stand on its own as a remake with a surprising script change.

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

Vin Diesel is a likeable guy, even in this over-the-top, visually wonderful train wreck.

12 Monkeys (1995)

Terry Gilliam does it again, but this time it’s combined with time travel.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)

It’s television…it’s a movie…it’s both!

A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Dick Linklater puts Keanu Reeves through a rotoscope, along with Philip K. Dick.  It’s nowhere near as perverted as it sounds.

Dune (1984)

David Lynch and Dino DeLaurentis meet Frank Herbert’s magnum opus, which is probably the highest-selling science fiction novel of all time in this trainwreck which nevertheless has some interesting and nice stuff in it.

SCIENCE FICTION AND SCIENCE

What is Science Fiction?

I attempt to define science fiction in such a way that it is non-exclusive and still satisfying.

What Makes Science Fiction Popular?

I get some big fat surprises as I consider what science fiction is popular, and attempt to pinpoint some reasons for that popularity.

Scientists Break the Lightspeed Barrier

My take on the surprising news that some scientists as CERN have transmitted a beam of neutrinos from Geneva to some place in Italy at speeds exceeding that of light…

TELEVISION

Terra Nova

Voyager Season 1

Voyager Season 2

Voyager Season 3

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)

It’s television…it’s a movie…it’s both!

OTHER STUFF

Star Wars: The Old Republic

A massively multiplayer online game I’m really looking forward to.  I was lucky enough to be in two of the beta test weekends, so I already have a feeling for it…

Random News (including the death of Anne McCaffrey)

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