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The great classic of the genre. The crew of a mining ship lands on a distant planet discovers some strange and violent creatures. In space, no-one can hear you scream.
The Andromeda Strain (1971)
Robert Wise's contribution to the list. A group of scientists investigate a deadly and rapidly spreading new alien virus before it can spread. Battle for the survival of the human race has begun.
At the Earth's Core (1976)
A Victorian era scientist and his assistant take a test run in their Iron Mole drilling machine and end up in a strange underground labyrinth ruled by a species of giant telepathic bird and full of prehistoric monsters and cavemen. What a discovery!
Black Moon (1975)
Malle's experimental and dreamlike apocalyptic fairytale. A young girl tries to escape film's reality and comes to a hidden place where a strange unicorn lives with a family: Sister, Brother, many children and an old woman that never leaves her bed but stays in contact with the world through her radio. Intriguing stuff.
A Boy and His Dog (1975)
A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex, and they stumble into an underground society where the old society is preserved. Women there use him for impregnation purposes, and then plan to be rid of him. This just can't be bad!
A Clockwork Orange (1972)
Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece. In future Britain, charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem. Scary but fun.
Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)
Before skynet, there was colossus. An artificially intelligent supercomputer is developed and activated, only to reveal that it has a sinister agenda of its own. This dystopia is threathened by nuclear war. One of the forgotten gems of the 70's sci-fis.
A young female doctor notices an unnatural amount of comas occurring in her hospital. Conspiracy thriller meets medical science fiction. Spielberg's UFO classic. After an encounter with UFOs, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen. Friendly aliens for once.
Dark Star (1974)
Carpenter's low budget sci-fi. In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong. They must cope with a runaway alien which resembles a beach-ball, faulty computer systems, and a "smart bomb" who thinks it is God. George C. Scott has been training a pair of dolphins for many years and had a breakthrough. He has taught his dolphins to speak and understand English. Then the dolphins are stolen and he discovers they're to be used in an assassination attempt to kill the president of the United States! What on earth is this?
Death Race 2000 (1975)
In a dystopian future, a cross country automobile race requires contestants to run down innocent pedestrians to gain points that are tallied based on each kills brutality. Start your engines!
Demon Seed (1977)
A scientist creates Proteus, an organic super computer with artificial intelligence which becomes obsessed with the creators wife. Proteus traps her inside the house and she learns what it wants: its own child, conceived in her womb and destined for domination. Wut teh farg?
Fantastic Planet (1973)
Animated feature set on the far-off alien planet of the Draags. The story revolves around the revolt of the Oms; descendants of Earth's survivors now kept as pets by a much larger race the Draags. Visually stunning surrealistic film.
The Final Programme (1973)
Billionaire physicist Jerry Cornelius becomes embroiled in the search for the mysterious "Final Programme", developed by his father. The programme, a design for a perfect, self-replicating human being, is contained on microfilm. Psychedelic black comedy drenched in free sex & druggy violence.
Sequel to Westworld. Two reporters, Tracy and Chuck, get a message from a third one who discovered something about "Futureworld" and becomes killed before he could tell anyone about it. They visit Futureworld to find out what he knew.
God Told Me To (1976)
A New York detective investigates a series of murders committed by random New Yorkers who claim that "God told them to." Is it God or... something else? Mystery horror film. A German scientist works on a way of quelling overly aggressive soldiers by developing implants that directly stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets A Clockwork Orange.
I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen (1970)
Futuristic czech science fiction comedy that features an atomic bomb blast that causes women to grow beards and lose the ability to have children. A summit meeting is held at the United Nations, with the proposed solution of building a time machine. The decision is made to travel back in time and murder Einstein, with the hopeful result being that without the noted mathematician's research there will be no atomic bombs. That would have been my first idea also. Remake of the old classic sci-fi of the same name. In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion. Worth seeing if only for the frame below!
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977)
A ship-wrecked man floats ashore on an island in the Pacific Ocean. The island is inhabited by a scientist, Dr. Moreau, who in an experiment has turned beasts into human beings. Starring Burt Lancaster and Michael York. I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore... Shurik Timofeev builds a working model of a time machine. By accident, Ivan Bunsha, an apartment complex manager, and George Miloslavsky, a petty burglar, are transferred to the 16th century Moscow, while Tsar Ivan the Terrible goes into the year 1973. I wonder how he fits in there?
Logan's Run (1976)
Some type of holocaust has decimated the earth, and the survivors sealed themselves into a domed city near Washington, D.C. To maintain the population balance, the computers that run the city have decreed that all people must die at 30. In this film the future seems actually fun, beside that one drawback... Fantastic, visually great and fun dystopia sci-fi.
Mad Max (1979)
Well-known classic, in a dystopic future Australia, a vicious biker gang murder a cop's family and make his fight with them personal. The highways are a battleground.
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
Roeg's vision about a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts a high technology company to get the billions of dollars he needs to build a return spacecraft, and meets Mary-Lou, a girl who falls in love with him. He does not count on the greed and ruthlessness of business here on Earth, however. Really trippy and fantastic.
In the 70's, even James Bond wanted to part of the science fiction movies. Here he investigates the theft of a space shuttle and discovers a plot to commit global genocide. Silly and fun spy adventure, though not very good film in my opinion, it's still better than those horrible generic action films the series is these days. A strange new virus has appeared, which only attacks strains of grasses such as wheat and rice, and the world is descending into famine and chaos. A group of people try to make their way to safety but along the way, they encounter hostile soldiers, biker gangs, and all manner of people who are all too willing to take advantage of travelers for a mouthful of food. A different kind of apocalyptic vision.
The Noah (1975)
Noah, the sole remaining survivor on our planet after a nuclear holocaust, finds himself unable to to accept his unique predicament. To cope with his loneliness, he creates an imaginary companion, then a companion for his companion and finally an entire civilization - a world of illusion in which there is no reality but Noah, no rules but those of the extinct world of his memory.
The Omega Man (1971)
Chuck Heston is the last man alive, a plague caused by the war has killed everyone else except for a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people calling themselves "The Family". The plague has caused them to become sensitive to light, as well as homicidally psychotic. Chuck struggles to create a cure for the plague, but "The Family" has other ideas...
Phase IV (1974)
Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. But the ants have other ideas. The horror, the horror. After a scientific experiment goes horribly wrong during a demonstration, a scientist finds himself trapped in an alternate reality that bears some similarities to our own, but also has some striking differences. For example in this other reality the Second World War had never occurred, mankind had not yet traveled into Space and Mt. Everest had not yet been conquered.
A lesser known Robert Altman film. During a future ice age, dying humanity occupies its remaining time by playing a board game called "Quintet." For one small group, this obsession is not enough; they play the game with living pieces, and only the winner survives.
The original Rollerball. In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game. Another dystopia sci-fi.
Yet another body horror film from David Cronenberg. The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact. This alien parasite at least has an effective way of spreading.
Silent Running (1972)
In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's plant life being kept in a greenhouse on board a spacecraft. Bruce Dern and his robots called Huey, Dewey, and Louie have fun on that spacecraft, and they don't like the idea of it being destroyed. Gotta love it!
Genre-blender in which a man tells his story of how he became unstuck in time and abducted by aliens. He survives the 1945 firebombing of Dresden, then lives simultaneously in his past as a young American POW, in the future as a well-cared-for resident of a zoo on the planet Tralfamadore, and in the present as a middle-aged optometrist in Ilium, N.Y. Time travel, aliens, nazis and black comedy, based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. What's not to like about it?
Woody Allen's goofy vision of the future that makes fun of many other movies on this list. In it a nerdish store owner is revived out of cryostasis into a future world to fight an oppressive government. Hilarity ensues.
The film follows a psychologist who is sent to a space station situated over the mysterious Solaris Ocean. He is told about strange occurrences in the station, and the Ocean's eerie ability to materialize people's thoughts and desires. After being in the station for a while, the psychologist finds himself becoming very attached to its alternate reality. Deep and lyrical, one of Tarkovsky's best.
Soylent Green (1986)
Earth is in despair in 2022. Natural food like fruits, vegetables, and meat among others are now extinct. Earth is overpopulated and New York City has 40 million starving, poverty stricken people. The only way they survive is with water rations and eating a mysterious food called Soylent. I wonder from what is it made?
Tarkovsky's great, thoughtful and atmospheric mystery/adventure/sci-fi film in which a guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes. One of the best ever.
The Stepford Wives (1975)
Joanna Eberhart has come to the quaint little town of Stepford, Connecticut, but soon discovers there lies a sinister truth in the all too perfect behavior of the female residents. Women happily go about their housework - cleaning, doing laundry, and cooking gourmet meals - to please their husbands. She discovers the wives have been replaced with robots, and Joanna'a husband wants in on the action. A brilliant satiric scifi response to the feminist movement. Do I really have to write anything about this film? Great adventure film in set in space that everyone has seen.
THX 1138 (1971)
The human race has been relocated to a underground city located beneath the Earth's surface. In the underground city, society controls all life, all citizens are drugged to control their emotions and their behavior and sex is a crime. Story centers around a man and a woman who rebel against this. Another interesting dystopia sci-fi.
The Terminal Man (1974)
As the result of a head injury, brilliant computer scientist Harry Benson begins to experience violent seizures. In an attempt to control them, Benson undergoes a new surgical procedure in which a microcomputer is inserted into his brain. The procedure is not entirely successful... Another film about dangers of mind control and the power of computers.
Time After Time (1979)
H.G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell!) pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period. I hope he's careful not to cause any time paradoxes.
An amusement park for rich vacationers pprovides its customers a way to live out their fantasies through the use of robots that provide anything they want. Two of the vacationers choose a wild west adventure. However, after a computer breakdown, they find that they are now being stalked by a rogue robot gun-slinger. Yul Brynner is badass.
One of the two animation features in the list. On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a wizard and his faire folk comrades fight an evil wizard who's using technology in his bid for conquest.
World on a Wire (1973)
Before Matrix, there was Fassbinder's World on Wire. Somewhere in the future there is a computer project called Simulacron one of which is able to simulate a full featured reality, when suddenly project leader Henry Vollmer dies. His successor Dr. Fred Stiller experiences odd phenomena and wonders, if Simulacron could have anything to do with it...
In the far future, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity's achievements. Sean Connery stars in this Boorman's unconventional and amusing sci-fi. "The penis is evil!" In the not too distant future, a very smoggy and overpopulated Earth government makes it illegal to have children for a generation. One couple, unsatisfied with their substitute robot baby, breaks the rules and gets in a lot of trouble.
Here's some of the movies the golden era of science fiction has to offer. I included all well known and canonized movies also, even though more interesting are rarer and obscure films on the list. The point of this list is NOT to include every single science fiction film made in the 70's, this is rather a selection of them (size of which I decided to limit to 50) to give a good whole picture about what the genre was in the 70's. Some movies were deliberately left out, for example the sequels of The Planet of the Apes. The describtions of the movies were taken from IMDb, listal or wikipedia.
I welcome all your suggestions about the contents of this list. Hope you enjoy the list as much as I enjoyed making it!
I welcome all your suggestions about the contents of this list. Hope you enjoy the list as much as I enjoyed making it!
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