The Heap. Presents: The 30 Most Influential Sci Fi Movies (26-30)

Sorry for the delay! The “potter head” head sister has been busy moving back down to Miami for school, and I’ve been working at night, and just taking it easy, but we HAVE been working on that list for all you heapsters. out there. If you have no idea what is I am talking about, please check out this earlier entry: It was a pleasure to burn, and check out the link to Yahoo!’s top 30 sci-fi films of all time.

Chaz, the heap.‘s movie expert, as well as myself, were a bit disappointed with the list, and thought that we could perhaps make another one. It’s not that the list isn’t bad, we just felt that it was based on relative (recent and/or cult) popularity versus actual contribution to the genre of science fiction. This is the basis of our list, movies which were popular, but also which introduced something new… a new concept, new technology… elevated the popularity of the genre… or served as a major influence on future movies.

We eliminated superhero movies because we felt that that was its own genre. It’s obvious that a superhero can only exist within the realm of a sci-fi environment, as any powers or characteristics which break the mold of the understood laws of nature should be considered as such. Others were eliminated just because we didn’t agree, or that we felt were just on there because they were recent, and quite mainstream. Others because we felt they were not a prime example of “sci-fi-ness,” but rather were a combination of sci-fi and other more predominate genres as well.

Along with exclusions came films other great films that probably deserved to be on the yahoo list and also faced a similar fate on ours. Foreign films were not included this time around. Japan probably has contributed the most to the genre other than American writers and filmmakers to the genre. Hayao Miyazaki is perhaps Japan’s most well known animator, and his pieces always dealt with an apocalyptic future, and how science had caused damage to the planet through its use in war, imperialism, consumption and disregard for the planet itself. Notable films include Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke (most of his films involve a female hero vs. a male). Another example is Rintaro’s Galaxy Express 999, and Yoshiyuki’s Mobile Suit Gundam.

Ahem… without further ado, here are the first 5 films of our list!

30. Videodrome (1983)

videodrome

Videodrome, starring James Woods, is actually a Canadian film… so much for our exclusion of foreign movies… but we’ll let it slide. Anyway! Of course, many of you may not have even heard of this film, let alone seen it, but, like we said, we are looking for concepts, new ideas. Director David Cronenberg delivers a chilling outlook on the future of the media. Tiptoeing on the cusp of sci-fi and an all out gore fest, Videodrome shows how the power of the media, and how it infiltrates our thoughts, actions, even body… so much so that the audience (of the TV channel in the movie) becomes part of the show. Nevertheless, an interesting view on the constant inundation of information via various media forms, which is going to be even more applicable as technology only makes outreach easier. Ahead of its time, to say the least. IMDB: 7.3 Rotten Tomatoes: 80%

29. Men In Black (1997)

mib

Stunning visuals, a killer soundtrack, and a talking dog… Men in Black had it all. Where else would you consider the possible “alien capital of the world” to be other than New York City! Aliens and human contact have long since been a concept in American cinema. MIB executes the concept that the two coexist unknowingly! And of course, a secret government agency was formed to keep tabs on immigration and diplomacy between the human race and the many species of aliens which come to earth. Plus, we had to have a Will Smith Movie on the list somewhere… he’s tried a lot of sci-fi… (See, Independence Day, I Am Legend, maybe even Hancock). IMDB 6.9 Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

28. Predator (1987)

predator

Ahhhnold, Jesse Ventura, and Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) vs. some unknown assassin, some hunter of man… a PREDATOR. This sci-fi staple matches the wit (and want of survival) versus a quite capable opponent. For most of the movie, the gang wonders who, NOT what could be the human hunters. What the audience is introduced to is a new class of alien, though remarkably human-like. While the film isn’t of the utmost quality, it works because of how it handled the concept of alien invasion, providing a memorable character, as well as decent rising action until we get to the ultimate revelation! IMDB 7.7 Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

27. Mad Max (1979)

mad max

Oops… an Australian film! Young Mel Gibson stars as Max Rockatansky, a patrolman for a poorly funded police agency in Australia. Basically, we are presented with a sort of dystopia, where society has basically decayed into small packs of villages who must live under the “reign” of motorcycle gangs. It is left to Mad Max to take care of the most prominent of the gangs, Nightrider… what ensues is a tale of retribution- unfettered Australian vengeance… a commentary on the role of violence, and how it could escalate in the future. The movie just kicks ass, for lack of a better, more refined explanation. I guess Mel isn’t so bad to look at in leather either… IMDB: 6.9 Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

26. Signs (2002)

signs

I’m sure most of you have seen the creepy shows about crop circles and their “implications” (or people just having too much time on their hands). Perhaps M. Night Shyamalan’s most memorable recent work (especially with the garbage he has directed lately), he manages to interweave a cute story about faith with “signs” from above. Again, one of the most endearing traits of the movie is the development of the suspense until the climactic revelation of the actual aliens. But like I said, the movie is about faith, about believing in what is happening, in the unknown. What makes the movie so unique is how Shyamalan plays with the genre, because Sci-fi requires “faith” so to speak, or a suspension of disbelief in order for the audience to fully immerse themselves in the film. Faith on all levels requires such a jump. IMDB: 6.9 Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

So there you have it, movies 26-30 on our list. No posts for a few days, as I will be in Miami until late Friday or Saturday, so I’ll come back to keep the list going. Also, I PROMISE a life update this weekend. And as always, Thank you for reading heapsters. and keep reading!

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