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Hawk's Top10 of less-known Sci-fi Monster Horror Movies (Halloween Special 2017)


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Hello and Welcome to the first of (hopefully) a series of Movie Top10 lists i'm going to compose over time.
Ach ja, Halloween is just around the corner and everybody is getting in the mood for a frightening, cold and wet autumn week! While it's a big event in the United States, the wave of cultural-imperialism swapping over the big pond towards Europe mostly takes place in our television sets and the retail industry. For me, Halloween has always been a welcoming occassion to have some long film nights alone or with friends, with lots of softdrinks and snacks, always heralding it with The Simpsons Treehouse of Horrorr Episode.

Being a big sci-fi fan and not so much a fan of plain horror and splatter movies such as SAW, i have composed for you my list of favourite lesser-known Sci-fi'esque Monster Horror Movies, which you might not know or forgot about! These will include "Monsters" in form of terrestrial and extraterrestrial Viruses, Bacteria, unknown lifeforms, space vampires, lesbian space vampires, beautiful naked female space vampires, and a pissed mother-nature in one or two cases. Usually, these films weren't Blockbusters, some of them became flops (totally unjustifiably!) or are just plain b-movies for the less sophisticated viewers, but managed to build up a suspenseful atmosphere and absolutely managed to fascinate me. With every movie on the list, i connect a certain mood.

Alright now, let's dig right into this list, starting with number 10!


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10. Night of the Comet (1984)

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It's the first comet to buzz our planet Earth in 65 million years, and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival. Everyone except Regina Belmont, and her younger sister Samantha, two Valley Girls who care more about fashion trends than celestial phenomena. But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they are the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn't vaporized or turned into a zombie, they would do what all Valley Girls do - they go shopping. However, with the help of a friendly truck driver, the girls save Earth and escape from flesh-eating zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit.

Hawk's Comment:
I'm a simple nostalgic child of the 80's, i see 80's trash - i like. In the classy b-movie "Night of the Comet" you have basically everything that the 80's represent: Smartass one-liners, a bad taste in clothes/hairstyle and generally light-hearted mentality to deal with problems. Another big nostalgia factor is the incredibly cheesy music by Diana DeWitt 1, Skip Adams 1 or Revolver 12 being played during some rather pensive scenes in the gloomy radio station. In hindsight, this movie is more mood- than story-ridden, yet somehow worth to watch. The choice in actors is also worth noticing. Next to Catherine Mary Stewart as main character Regina Belmont, you will soon encounter Robert Beltran playing the heroic truck driver who helps the two sisters surviving what soon turns out to be a somewhat-zombie apocalypse. Yes exactly, Commander Chakotay from Star Trek Voyager!

 

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09. Creature (1985)

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A crew of scientists arrives on a far, cold planet to examine archaic artifacts of unknown origin. They discover that their German enemies already have a ship there. When they seek their help after a failed landing, they only find the Germans' bodies, obviously slaughtered by one of the archaic creatures, awoken to new life. Now the alien is after them.

Hawk's Comment: Yep, this one is a b-movie. Nonetheless, it creates quite a suspenseful space-horror atmosphere. Klaus Kinski's acting is perfect and appears almost over the top in comparison with the rest of the cast. You can tell there are some significant parallels to Ridley Scott's "Alien" that was released a couple of years earlier. Yet, worth watching.

 

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08. The Dark Side Of The Moon (1990)

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In 2022, a repair crew is sent to fix an orbital weapon but their spaceship malfunctions and ends up heading towards the dark side of the moon. There, in a mysterious, seemingly abandoned space shuttle, a sinister force lies in wait.

Hawk's Comment: Another b-movie which appears, in hindsight, to be better in the german dub version...mhh. Fascinating how much dubs can sometimes improve the acting skills. For the german readers, the full movie is available at decent quality on Youtube here. The dense atmospheric encounter with the mysterious spacecraft and the total mistrust among the crew members after what is happening then, makes it a exceptionally thrilling experience for a movie of that budget.

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07. Galaxy of Terror (1981)

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The innermost fears of the mind become reality for the crew members of the Quest when they land on the barren planet Morganthus hoping to find the missing crew members of the starship Remus: only to discover something deadly waiting for them. Each member of the rescuing team must come

Hawk's Comment: Very creepy, pretty gory but honest 80's space horror with a good late night space atmosphere. Take a look at the cast: Robert Englund (actor of Freddy Kruger), Sid Haig and Robert Walston. Oh and that woman getting raped by a giant worm?! - in charge for that scene was a young Second Unit Director named..uuhh... *flips through papers* James....Cameron. The complete movie can be seen on Youtube here. Don't get turned off by the trailer, it sucks.
 

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06. Leviathan (1989)

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Atlantic Ocean, at a depth of 16,000 feet, just before the end of a 90-day shift, the crew of the underwater base Shack 7, encounters the wreck of a Russian ship in a ditch. According to official information, the Leviathan is currently crossing the Baltic Sea. The wreck's logbook reveals further mysteries: all crew members died of a mysterious epidemic.

Hawk's Comment: Number six comes with a deep-sea horror. Haaaaah, non-cgi horror movies like these give me a warm fuzzy, nostalgic feeling. The cast is also upper class for that period: Peter Weller (Robocop), Richard Crenna (Colonel Trautman in the Rambo movies), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) and Daniel Stern (Home Alone). This one is less of an unknown than more a movie you tend to forget among the row of deep-sea thrillers like Deep Blue Sea (1999) and especially The Abyss (1989) & DeepStar Six (1989) from the same year. There is a HD version available on Youtube here, allthough i'm actually now quite sure if it comes with heavily cut borders.

 

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05. The Mist (2007)

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The Draytons - David, Steff and their son Billy - live in a small Maine town. One night a ferocious storm hits the area, damaging their house. The storm is accompanied by a strange mist. David and Billy and their neighbour Brent Norton go into town. There they discover that the mist contains some frightening creatures, creatures intent on killing humans.

Hawk's Comment: What would be Halloween without a Stephen King story? With "The Mist" directed Frank Darabont (Dawn of the Dead) you got one of the most underrated movies of the last decade. A very thrilling story that immediatly catches you and makes you feel like you are also in that supermarket, strongly wanting to keep everything deadly outside and just contain yourself in this heavily leaking lifeboat. The end is grim, very grim. Don't watch it on a rainy day.
 

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04. Screamers (1995)

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(SIRIUS 6B, Year 2078) On a distant mining planet ravaged by a decade of war, scientists have created the perfect weapon: a blade-wielding, self-replicating race of killing devices known as Screamers designed for one purpose only -- to hunt down and destroy all enemy life forms But man's greatest weapon has continued to evolve without any human guidance, and now it has devised a new mission: to obliterate all life. Col. Hendricksson (Peter Weller) is commander of a handful of Alliance soldiers still alive on Sirius 6B. Betrayed by his own political leaders and disgusted by the atrocities of this never-ending war, Hendricksson decides he must negotiate a separate peace with the New Economic Bloc's decimated forces. But to do so, he will have to cross a treacherous wasteland where the deadliest threat comes from the very weapons he helped to create.

Hawk's Comment: Another movie starring Peter Weller (Robocop). And yeees, it's a b-movie, but a good one, really! This time, the "monsters" come in form of small robots with blades everywhere, making sushi out of all humans they encounter, just to include the precious biomass as source of energy and machine-oil in their own (re-)production - charming little buggers.

 

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03. Ghosts of Mars (2001)

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200 years in the future a Martian police unit is dispatched to transport a dangerous prisoner from a mining outpost back to justice. But when the team arrives they find the town deserted and some of the inhabitants possessed by the former inhabitants of the planet.

Hawk's Comment: Icecube, a relatively unknown Jason Statham by that time, Natasha Henstridge (most of your guys probably "know" her oh too well from the Species-movies :smugface:) and Clea DuVall starring in this John Carpenter movie. Allthough its released in 2001, it feels so 90ish. With a rapper and a future action-star in the cast, the script was condemned to be crammed with cool, yet cheap 90's dialogues. Other than that, the sets do certainly get you in a sci-fi mood. Looking at the villain, it's being confirmed: Black Metal ist Krieg.

 

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02. Lifeforce (1985)

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A space shuttle mission investigating Halley's Comet brings back a malevolent race of space vampires who transform most of London's population into zombies. The only survivor of the expedition and British authorities attempt to capture a mysterious but beautiful alien woman who appears responsible.

Hawk's Comment: Space-vampires with an irresistible hunger for precious life-energy, hence: Life-force. Great bulky animatronics, awesome masks and puppets, a "young" Patrick Stewart and a absolutely gorgeus (nude) Mathilda May gets this movie onto every must-watch list in this galaxy. Effin' nude vampires from space, wohoo!

 

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01. Phantoms (1998)

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In the peaceful town of Snowfield, Colorado something evil has wiped out the community. And now, it's up to a group of people to stop it, or at least get out of Snowfield alive.

Hawk's Comment: The reason why this is number 1, is, that it was the trigger for this Top10 list all along. I once watched this film in the 2010's and was instantly fascinated by the premise. For years, i thought i would have found it again with Slither which has a similar setting, until i stumbled upon this one by coincidence. In hindsight, and according to the critics, the movie is rather moderate. Slither probably is a good alternative, more nasty though. But Ben Affleck surely was da bomb in Phantoms, yo!

 

 

Edited by Hawk
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