The five weirdest science fiction films ever made

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One of the best things about science fiction is it can be weird. Really, really weird. More often than not, it isn't weird, it's just spaceships and ray guns and robots, and that's all fine and dandy, but the genre's ability to go deep into the WTF zone is one of its great strengths. Sure, sometimes the results are more "Huh?" than "Wow!" but the effort is important all the same. Tonight at the Sie FilmCenter, the Sci-Fi Film Series from the Denver Film Society and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science kicks off with Upstream Color, a very weird science fiction film from Shane Carruth about a parasite that can control human behavior.

In honor of this strange launch to the series, it seemed a good time to look back at some other really, really weird sci-fi films. They're not all great -- not by a long shot -- but they're all damn strange, and worth a look if only for the one of a kind conversation starter "I saw the most bizarre film the other day..." they provide.

See also: Join the cult of Altered States


5) Primer
There's no better place to kick off this list than Primer, the debut film from Upstream Color director Carruth. It's a time travel story, but it sets aside the usual time-travel nonsense for something much stranger and, ultimately, far more believable. It's also insanely complicated and mind-bendingly obtuse at times, but it's the rare movie that's worth the effort to figure out WTF is going on.


4) A Boy and His Dog
A young Don Johnson stars in a post apocalyptic tale of a boy and his telepathic dog. They wander the wasteland searching for food and girls, then the boy gets kidnapped and taken underground to a weird, regimented society that wants to harvest his sperm. It's a weird enough premise, but the execution makes it several times weirder.

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Sie FilmCenter

2510 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Film

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27 comments
realeyez81
realeyez81

No Scanners????? Scanners = strangest sci-fi movie.

Allen Patterson
Allen Patterson

Saw A Boy And His Dog and Zardoz when they were originally released (and several times afterwards on VHS). Have not seen the other three, so some fodder for the Netflix list.

Chris Brown
Chris Brown

...aaaand the answer to last week's Sean Connery trivia is...

Eric Matthews
Eric Matthews

Zardoz, beyond the black rainbow, videodrome.

Amanda McGregor
Amanda McGregor

I love Southland Tales. Oh, Lucky Man should really be on the list.

Ryk McDorman
Ryk McDorman

I'd put Lair of the White Worm up against some of these.

Kyle Stych
Kyle Stych

Beyond the Black Rainbow... I mean damn.

Clint Jahn
Clint Jahn

Most of these are available at Video One!

Tyler Travis
Tyler Travis

There are many weirder sci-fi films, but at least these are good ones!

Molly Breen
Molly Breen

Haha #1 no question Nick Bankston Brockett Hudson Eric O'Brien

Andrew Padbury
Andrew Padbury

Southland Tales is really bad. I'm trying to warn you all, this list is not good either. Try Gentleman Broncos

Don Herman
Don Herman

Zardoz. Hey, it's worth it just to watch Sean Connery naked for 2 hours.

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