And for today's genre, we’re gonna be looking at another one of my all time favourites – Sci Fi Horror. This is one of those sub-genres that has a great blend of two film types that stimulate both your fear and your imagination at the same time. In order for horror sci-fi to work well - it needs to find the balance between the jump scares, suspense and gore of the horror genre, while catering to the intriguing scientific parts of science fiction.
The Brood 1979
So first up today is David Cronenberg's this sci-fi horror Follows a man called Frank who’s Ex wife is under the care of an unorthodox psychologist, who uses theatrical techniques to break the psychological blocks in his very troubled patients. Outraged to find that his Ex has been abusing his daughter, Frank attempts to confront his wife only to find that there is a lot more going on at this clinic than a simple theatrical performance.
Incredibly weird to level you would expect from a David Cronenberg film The Brood has mutant child thingys attacking school teachers with mallets & a mother eating her own placenta, I mean, what more could you want from a horror movie?
Apart from been fascinatingly gruesome The brood has all those elements of a classic Cronenberg film, but they’re not quite fully developed enough to be put it in that league, however it’s still a creepy and highly gripping movie that is a must see for fans of this quirky director.
Director Saul Bass Phase IV 1974
The story centers around two scientist working in the Arizona desert who have been studying a colony of super-intelligent ants. Impatient and looking for some noteworthy results, one of the scientists decides to provoke the colony, which in turn triggers them to react in a rather unexpected way- as the ants have some plans of their own.
Subtle and not particular action oriented Phase IV has some fantastic first rate shots of ants, that and some unique set design and ideas. I just love the premise of this movie, I mean the creepy idea of ants getting smart overnight and behaving as a large collective, without a clear reasons why is definitely something to be afraid off.
Sure the dialog is pretty bad and some of the characters motivations are highly questionable. But that doesn’t stop Phase IV from been an interesting art-houseish horror with some fairly original ideas. Check it out if you want to watch something a little bit different, with some great cinematography.
Now the next sci-fi horror is James Gunn’s B movieish comedy- When a meteor falls in the woods near the small town of Wheelsy, a local man called Grant comes across a weird egg. During the next couple of days Grant starts to develop an insatiable hunger for meat. And wherever Grant goes, the local people within the town all stars behaving strangely- as though their body's had been overtaken by something alien.
With a blend of black humor and over the top body horror, Slither is one of those films that will
make you laugh while at the same time, make your skin crawl. With some great visual effects,
I’d say the films only real problem is that it’s extremely disgusting. So much so, I can imagine a
lot of people not wanting to finish it.
But if you’re like me and love over the top, B-movie comedy horrors then check it out. Following a film like Slither I thought I would go for something slightly more grounded
Alien ³ the Director's Cut 1992
Continuing straight after the 2nd movie Ellen Ripley crash-lands on Fiorina 161, a wasteland,
only inhabited by criminals within a maximum security prison. Waiting until she is rescued by
her employers; a series of murders occur shortly after her arrival, and Ripley soon realizes that
perhaps she’s not the only unwelcome guest.
David Fincher's first and almost last film, Alien 3’s theatrical cut was pretty lackluster I must admit. However the Directors Cut adds so much more to the movie. There’s a lot more character development, including the psychopath Golic who has some great scenes which were cut. Generally speaking the film makes a lot more sense than the original version- but I can still see why people don’t like it due to how it treats some of the cast from Aliens, I know because it pissed me off when I first saw it too.
Sure it’s not a perfect film but if you haven’t seen the Director's cut, then try it out. I mean compared to the messy theatrical release. I found that I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.
From Beyond 1986
Directed by stuart Gordon & based on a H.P. Lovecraft short story. The Movie follows Dr Edward Pretorius and his assistant Crawford who’ve developed the Resonator; a machine that allows anyone in close proximity to gain their sixth sense. Unable to control the power of the mysterious device, something terrible happens to Dr Pretorius, and Crawford ends up confined in an insane asylum. Now a new Dr wants to champion Pretorius’ work and decides to continue the experiment.
From the director of Re-animator, the less well known From Beyond, has some very impressive and horrifying practical effects. So much so, I was tempted to leave this in my body horror suggestions list. Another notable feature to this movie is that when the gore ‘n horror starts in this film, it literally doesn’t stop till the very end.
I wouldn’t say From Beyond is as good as re-animator, however it does have some fun performances by Jeffrey Combs & Barbara Crampton. It’s not a masterpiece but it’s a perfect blend of horror and sci-fi that fans of both genres should really enjoy.