Science Fiction

In the 1990s, the sci-fi genre reached new heights. With the advent of CG-character technology that was revolutionized in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park, the tools available for filmmaking increased exponentially. The impossible was now possible, and ideas that were once non-viable in the feature film format were now able to be realized. Of course technology is only a tool—it can get you so far, but it’s story and character that determine whether a film will stand the test of time. But master filmmakers like James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Luc Besson, and The Wachowskis seized upon these new opportunities and crafted sci-fi films that would endure for decades.

Dark City (1998)

FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (William L. Petersen) is called out of early retirement to assist on a serial murder case involving a killer known as the “Tooth Fairy” (Tom Noonan). Graham enlists the help of imprisoned serial killer — and cannibal — Dr. Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox), who is the reason Graham took early retirement. Soon, Graham and the FBI are entangled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game between the Tooth Fairy, Lecktor, and an interfering journalist (Stephen Lang).

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

Buckaroo Banzai is caught with his trusted allies, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, in a battle to the death between evil red aliens and good black aliens from Planet 10. Led by demonic dictator John Whorfin, who has taken over the body of Italian scientist Dr. Emilio Lizardo, the aliens try to get the Overthruster back from Buckaroo Banzai. But the good black aliens are willing to destroy Earth rather than let these renegades return to their planet.

Event Horizon (1997)

When the Event Horizon, a spacecraft that vanished years earlier, suddenly reappears, a team is dispatched to investigate the ship. Accompanied by the Event Horizon’s creator, William Weir (Sam Neill), the crew of the Lewis and Clark, led by Capt. Miller (Laurence Fishburne), begins to explore the seemingly abandoned vessel. However, it soon becomes evident that something sinister resides in its corridors and that the horrors that befell the Event Horizon’s previous journey are still present.

Krull (1983)

On the planet of Krull, an evil creature called the Beast decimates the world’s army and kidnaps the lovely Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony), who is destined to become queen. Her brave beau, Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall), leads a motley band of warriors, including Ergo (David Battley) and Kegan (Liam Neeson), to rescue his beloved. However, before he can face the Beast, Colwyn must locate a mystical weapon known as the Glaive, which he can use to slay the hideous villain.

Stargate (1994)

In modern-day Egypt, professor Daniel Jackson (James Spader) teams up with retired Army Col. Jack O’Neil (Kurt Russell) to unlock the code of an interstellar gateway to an ancient Egypt-like world. They arrive on a planet ruled by the despotic Ra (Jaye Davidson), who holds the key to the Earth travelers’ safe return. Now, in order to escape from their intergalactic purgatory, Jackson and O’Neil must convince the planet’s people that Ra must be overthrown.

12 Monkeys (1995)

Traveling back in time isn’t simple, as James Cole (Bruce Willis) learns the hard way. Imprisoned in the 2030s, James is recruited for a mission that will send him back to the 1990s. Once there, he’s supposed to gather information about a nascent plague that’s about to exterminate the vast majority of the world’s population. But, aside from the manic Jeffrey (Brad Pitt), he gets little in the way of cooperation, not least from medical gatekeepers like Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe).

Alien (1979)

In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma.

Masters of the Universe (1987)

When the evil Skeletor (Frank Langella) finds a mysterious power called the Cosmic Key, he becomes nearly invincible. However, courageous warrior He-Man (Dolph Lundgren) locates inventor Gwildor (Billy Barty), who created the Key and has another version of it. During a battle, one of the Keys is transported to Earth, where it is found by teenagers Julie (Courteney Cox) and Kevin (Robert Duncan McNeill). Now both He-Man and Skeletor’s forces arrive on Earth searching for the potent weapon.