Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Science Fiction On Film: A Visual History

Science fiction on film has had a long, proud, rich and storied history.
Let's turn those pages in a post dubbed Science Fiction On Film: A Visual History.

This post actually began as part of my Robot Ghosts And Wired Dreams post, but then mutated, like a good science fiction creature does, into Science Fiction On Film: A Visual History. Thus one post, split like a good bit of mutation into two unique posts. Ah, blogging can be fun. Perhaps Science Fiction On Television: A Visual History will be for another time. 

For those looking for a good starting point featuring the themes of science fiction discussed in my Robot Ghosts And Wired Dreams post than look no further than right here. I planned this visual post to be a fairly dynamic thing. This post will likely be revisited from time to time and updated. I will certainly re-post with updated material in another year.

This list will highlight some of my personal favorites, including some highlights from the world of anime and kaiju, the classics of course and some solid entries that fall somewhere in the middle and of course maybe some films that were less than stellar, but certainly have a place in our hearts for one reason or another.

This will never be a complete list of all the wonderful science fiction attempts that have been made out there. Nevertheless, this list will likely grow like any good mutant monster over time. I will attempt to make this list as complete as possible to my liking. This is a work in progress for now.

I've done my very best to avoid promotional shots and posed images. I wanted to strictly look at these films through images from the actual films that we best remember. That was my hope. I hope you enjoy it and revel in the ever changing history of science fiction on film.

Metropolis (1927)

Frankenstein (1931/1910)

King Kong (1933)

Flash Gordon (1936)

Buck Rogers (1939)

Mighty Joe Young (1949)

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

The Thing From Another World (1951)

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

It Came From Outer Space (1953)

The War Of The Worlds (1953)

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

Gojira (1954)

Them! (1954)

Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955)

Half Human (1955)

This Island Earth (1955)

Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (1956)

Forbidden Planet (1956)

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)

20 Million Miles To Earth (1957)

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

The Mysterians (1957)

The Blob (1958)

The Fly (1958)

The H-Man (1958)

Varan The Unbelievable (1958)

The Angry Red Planet (1959)

Battle In Outer Space (1959)

Journey To The Center Of The Earth (1959)

The Lost World (1960)

The Time Machine (1960)

Gorgo (1961)

Mothra (1961)

Mysterious Island (1961)

The Phantom Planet (1961)

Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea (1961)

The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)

Gorath (1962)

La jetee (1962)

King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962)

Atragon (1963)

Matango (1963)

X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes (1963)

Dogora (1964)

First Men In The Moon (1964)

Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964)

Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964)

Robinson Crusoe On Mars (1964)

Frankenstein Conquers The World (1965)

Gamera (1965)

Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965)

Fantastic Voyage (1966)

Gamera Vs. Barugon (1966)

Godzilla Vs. The Sea Monster (1966)

The War Of The Gargantuas (1966)

Gamera Vs. Gyaos (1967)

King Kong Escapes (1967)

Son Of Godzilla (1967)

The X From Outer Space (1967)

Yonggary (1967)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Barbarella (1968)

Charly (1968)

Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Planet Of The Apes (1968)

All Monsters Attack (1969)

Doppelganger or Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun (1969)

Gamera Vs. Guiron (1969)

Latitude Zero (1969)

Marooned (1969)

Moon Zero Two (1969)

The Valley Of Gwangi (1969)

Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970)

Gamera Vs. Jiger (1970)

Space Amoeba (1970)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)

Gamera Vs. Zigra (1971)

Godzilla Vs. Hedora (1971)

The Omega Man (1971)

THX 1138 (1971)

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972)

Godzilla Vs Gigan (1972)

Silent Running (1972)

Solaris (1972)

Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (1973)

Fantastic Planet (1973)

Godzilla Vs. Megalon (1973)

Westworld (1973)

Dark Star (1974)

Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

A Boy And His Dog (1975)

Escape To Witch Mountain (1975)

The Land That Time Forgot (1975)

Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975)

At The Earth's Core (1976)

Logan's Run (1976)

King Kong (1976)

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

Damnation Alley (1977)

The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1977)

The People That Time Forgot (1977)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Space Battleship Yamato (1977)

Star Wars (1977)

The War In Space (1977)

Farewell To Space Battleship Yamato: In The Name Of Love (1978)

Gatchaman: The Movie (1978)

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)

Laserblast (1978)

Message From Space (1978)

Return To Witch Mountain (1978)

Warlords Of Atlantis (1978)

Alien (1979)

The Black Hole (1979)

Mad Max (1979)

Moonraker (1979)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Altered States (1980)

Battle Beyond The Stars (1980)

Be Forever Yamato (1980)

Virus (1980)

Flash Gordon (1980)

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Escape From New York (1981)

Mobile Suit Gundam (trilogy) (1981-82)

Outland (1981)

The Road Warrior (1981)

Blade Runner (1982)

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)

The Thing (1982)

Tron (1982)

Brainstorm (1983)

The Dead Zone (1983)

Final Yamato (1983)

Return Of The Jedi (1983)

Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone (1983)

Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Videodrome (1983)

The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (1984)

Dreamscape (1984)

Dune (1984)

Gremlins (1984)

Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984)

Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind (1984)

1984 (1984)

The Return Of Godzilla (1984)

Starman (1984)

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (1984)

The Terminator (1984)

Back To The Future (1985)

Brazil (1985)

Cocoon (1985)

Enemy Mine (1985)

Lifeforce (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

The Quiet Earth (1985)

Weird Science (1985)

Aliens (1986)

Castle In The Sky (1986)

The Fly (1986)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

The Hidden (1987)

Innerspace (1987)

Predator (1987)

Robocop (1987)

Robot Carnival (1987)

Royal Space Force: The Wings Of Honneamise (1987)

The Running Man (1987)

Wicked City (1987)

Akira (1988)

Alien Nation (1988)

Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)

Light Years (1988)

Miracle Mile (1988)

Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

They Live (1988)

The Abyss (1989)

Back To The Future II (1989)

The Blood Of Heroes (1989)

Communion (1989)

Deep Star Six (1989)

Godzilla Vs. Biollante (1989)

Leviathan (1989)

Patlabor: The Movie (1989)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

Venus Wars (1989)

Back To The Future III (1990)

The Handmaid's Tale (1990)

I Come In Peace (1990)

Predator 2 (1990)

Robocop 2 (1990)

Total Recall (1990)

Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah (1991)

Naked Lunch (1991)

The Rocketeer (1991)

Roujin Z (1991)

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Until The End Of The World (1991)

Alien 3 (1992)

Godzilla Vs. Mothra (1992)

Split Second (1992)

Fire In The Sky (1993)

Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Jurrasic Park (1993)

Patlabor 2: The Movie (1993)

Godzilla Vs. Space Godzilla (1994)

No Escape (1994)

Stargate (1994)

Star Trek Generations (1994)

The City Of Lost Children (1995)

Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe (1995)

Ghost In The Shell (1995)

Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah (1995)

Memories (1995)

Screamers (1995)

Strange Days (1995)

12 Monkeys (1995)

Waterworld (1995)

Gamera 2: Attack Of Legion (1996)

The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1996)

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Alien Resurrection (1997)

The End Of Evangelion (1997)

Event Horizon (1997)

The Fifth Element (1997)

Gattaca (1997)

Mimic (1997)

The Postman (1997)

Starship Troopers (1997)

Dark City (1998)

Deep Rising (1998)

Godzilla (1998)

Lost In Space (1998)

Soldier (1998)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

The Truman Show (1998)

The X-Files: Fight The Future (1998)

Gamera 3: Awakening Of Irys (1999)

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Godzilla 2000 (1999)

The Matrix (1999)

The Iron Giant (1999)

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

The Cell (2000)

Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus (2000)

Pitch Black (2000)

Red Planet (2000)

Titan A.E. (2000)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Avalon (2001)

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)

Jurassic Park III (2001)

Metropolis (2001)

Planet Of The Apes (2001)

Vanilla Sky (2001)

28 Days Later (2002)

Equilibrium (2002)

Minority Report (2002)

Reign Of Fire (2002)

Resident Evil (2002)

Signs (2002)

Solaris (2002)

Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (2002)

Treasure Planet (2002)

The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Code 46 (2003)

Wonderful Days (Sky Blue) (2003)

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003)

Aliens Vs. Predator (2004)

Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

Innocence: Ghost In The Shell 2 (2004)

I, Robot (2004)

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (2004)

Thunderbirds (2004)

Serenity (2005)

King Kong (2005)

Steamboy (2005)

War Of The Worlds (2005)

Gamera The Brave (2006)

The Host (2006)

V For Vendetta (2006)

The Mist (2007)

Sunshine (2007)

X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)

Wall-E (2008)

9 (2009)

District 9 (2009)

Terminator: Salvation (2009)

Watchmen (2009)

Predators (2010)

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

John Carter (2012)

Dredd (2012)

Prometheus (2012)

Pacific Rim (2013)

Oblivion (2013)

Short Peace (2013)

Snowpiercer (2013)

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014).

The aforementioned films, if you haven's seen them, offer a terrific starting point and would easily rank, by some, among the very best science fiction has to offer.

A few notes and confessions. I had so many images that I doctored up and liked that I front loaded and back loaded them in the post for you to enjoy.

Again, this is not a complete list and there are plenty of omissions. Hopefully we can right that ship over time. I'm relatively comfortable with the films I wanted to note from 1927-1979. I'll need to do a revisit for the films from 1980-present and make some additions. I simply had to take a break from this post.

I also chose not to include any superhero films with the exception of Watchmen. That's saying something about that film for me. Perhaps superhero films will be added later but at the moment I refuse to include them.

I also listed a number of Japanese kaiju pictures and Toho-related films. I was also extremely thorough up through and including 1979. While many would certainly not qualify as classic in the strictest sense, they were films I remember quite fondly despite their deficiencies. So I decided to include them for my own post's historical recording.

Additionally, there are many films represented here that I recall images from or have memories of, but I confess I have not seen. I wanted to include them here as a reference for myself in the event I want to go back and enjoy them.

So what will 2015 bring? These are the titles that interest me most: Jupiter Ascending (2015), Chappie (2015), Jurrasic World (2015), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and Terminator: Genisys (2015).

As grim as things can sometimes look in sci-fi, and despite the glut of superhero films that have established a real foothold, the future continues to look very bright for real science fiction.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it offers you a nice visual reference when taking a look at science fiction films you would like to give a try or revisit.

And again, Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic will be back for the necessary modifications in the future to this visual record.


le0pard13 said...

Fantastic visual from some of the stellar sci-fi material out there, G.

Cannon said...

Naturally, one is prone to address what they might consider the criminally neglected. Though, I understand of course that you cannot account for every arguably great science fiction film ever made or that, even if you can mentally, the blog space/image-posting would be daunting to say the least.

Still, I gotta shake my fist at you (lovingly) for a few bewildering omissions. But first...

For your consideration:
The Fifth Element
Ghost of Mars
The World's End
Altered States
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Demolition Man
Mars Attacks!

Aforementioned fist-shaking:
Jurassic Park
Total Recall
The Andromeda Strain
Starship Troopers
Under the Skin
They Live

Thank you:
Battlefield Earth
Mac and Me
Outlaw of Gor

SFF said...

Gosh this is always the risk of releasing the full post you intend a little early.

I read you loud and clear Cannon. I'm hoping you read the post, because I'm not saying this to placate you, but most of which you mention will be added and included in an update intended for my next revisit.

The entire period 1980-present still needs attention as noted in the post and I'll be sure to rectify these omissions or at least most of them.

I simply had to take a break from the assembling of this post and thought I would put it out there.

But believe me your (loving) ;) critical points are well taken.

Honestly I can't wait to add just about everything you mentioned as soon as I recharge.


Cannon said...

You better, Muse. Or God willing, I'll find you...

...I'll find you.

El Vox said...

Yeah, it's a daunting task to think of everything and be all inclusive--you'd need a encyclopedia. Ha. But hats off to you for trying. Plus as you said one's list keeps changing when discovering new and older SF films.

A couple I might recommend that are favorites of mine from the 50's would be: Invaders From Mars, I Married A Monster From Outer Space (yes, I know cheesy title, but for the 50's an influential invasion film), It! The Terror from Beyond Space (which influenced Alien), and might as well throw Quatermass in there as well.

Oh you gotta love the 50's for exploring giant sized insects. Them! is one of my all time faves, but there was also Tarantula, one with giant grasshoppers (I forget the title) and I saw one with giant black scorpions too (I forget the title & it may have been from the 60's).

Consideration for the Next List:

The Last Starfighter
Slaughterhouse Five
Super 8
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
The Road
The 6th Day
Soylent Green
The Green Slime
Time After Time
Empire of the Ants
Fahrenheit 451
The Illustrated Man
Dr. Strangelove
(Was Star Trek mention? I forget.)
Brother From Another Planet
Quest For Fire
Punishment Park
Hanger 18
Enemy Mine
Rollerball (original)
King Kong (original)
Alien Nation
The Handmaid's Tale
The Man Who Fell to Earth
Back to the Future
Demon Seed
The Blob (remake)
Minority Report
Cowboys and Aliens
Men in Black
Big Hero 6
Galaxy Quest
Trekkies 1 & 2
Ender's Game
Pitch Black
Children of Men

Some of these you may have included, I was doing it off the top of my head, having perused the list fairly quickly, but you did a commendable job.

Franco Macabro said...

Awesome trip bro! Loved it!

SFF said...

Ha... and if you do, we shall drink.

btw already some new additions as of this writing including Altered States. But many more to go.

SFF said...

Thank you El Vox. A few you mentioned are here and many you mentioned will be here. Stay tuned for action!

SFF said...

Thank you Franco! You are the king of exceptional genre lists!

Unknown said...

Awesome collection of images. I can only imagine how daunting the task of what to pick and what to omit must've been like with so much to choose from over the years!

SFF said...

By gosh you're right J.D. Heck of a process. A looooong post I know but thought it might be nice to give it a try.

Added some new additions this week. Close to finishing up the 1980s (for now). Thanks.

Roman J. Martel said...

Amazing work here. Love the images you selected. i can't even imagine how long it took you to compile these. Wonderful work.

SFF said...

Thanks Roman

It has taken some time. I think I started before Christmas some time.

Just thought I'd try something new for the blog.

Take care

SFF said...

1980s update completed.