Sci-Fi

Charles Lamont – Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)

They don`t really go to Mars, they go to Venus, but first they go to New Orleans. While working at a missile base, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello inadvertently launch a rocket ship with themselves aboard. After a wild ride around New York City (the Statue of Liberty ducks when the rocket heads her way), Bud and Lou land in the outskirts of New Orleans. The boys are convinced that they`ve reached Mars, and their faith in this supposition is affirmed when they come across several strangely costumed `creatures` (actually revellers at the Mardi Gras). Meanwhile, bank robbers Jack Kruschen and Horace McMahon stow away on A&C`s rocketship. When Bud and Lou return, the crooks force them to make a quick getaway into outer space. Read More »

Al Adamson & Samuel M. Sherman – Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

Judith Fontaine (Regina Carrol) is looking for her sister Joanie, who has disappeared into the hippie community of Venice, California. It turns out Joanie has become the victim of Groton (Lon Chaney Jr.), an axe-wielding homicidal maniac working for Dr. Durray (J. Carrol Naish), who is really the last of the Frankensteins and is now running a house of horrors by the beach and is performing experiments on Gorton’s victims. One night Count Dracula (Zandor Vorkov) visits the doctor, showing him the original Frankenstein creation that was buried in a nearby graveyard. The doctor revives it and uses it to take revenge on his professional rivals. Read More »

Robert Altman – Quintet (1979)

The Harvard Film Archive writes:
A rare science fiction foray from Altman, Quintet is set in a future ice age where people in an otherwise barren society gather with religious zeal to play a mysterious board game that is suddenly transformed into a life-or-death struggle by corrupt, power-hungry officials. With beautifully dystopian winter vistas filmed in the Arctic Circle and on the site of Montreal’s former Expo ’67 complex, the all-encompassing alternate reality of Quintet offers no comfort or solace. However, it is the hopeless darkness that makes any sign of humanity shockingly foreign and blindingly bright and perhaps helps explain why Altman later remarked, regarding the film’s poor critical response, “I have this great optimism that always translates into pessimism.” Read More »

Juliusz Machulski – Ambassada AKA Embassy (2013)

Ambassada is a Polish science fiction comedy film written and directed by Juliusz Machulski, about a young couple who move into a new apartment building, only to find that the building’s elevator is actually a time machine; using the machine, the couple find themselves going back in time to the 1940s and coming face-to-face with none other than Adolf Hitler! Read More »

Terence Fisher – Island of Terror (1966)

Synopsis:
At a cancer research lab off the coast of Ireland, a group of scientists dies under mysterious circumstances. Before anyone notices their demise, the human and bovine inhabitants of the island’s lone, tiny village begin to turn up dead — with their bodies the consistency of tapioca pudding. Renowned bone doctors Brian Stanley (Peter Cushing) and David West (Edward Judd) are dispatched from the mainland to solve this medical mystery. West’s rich-girl paramour, Toni Merrill (Carole Gray), bribes her way into the expedition by providing air transport. When daddy needs his plane back, the group becomes trapped on the isolated island just as the true extent of the science-run-amok menace becomes apparent. One of three films Hammer horror vet Terence Fisher lensed for small British outfit Planet Studios, Island of Terror was followed by Island of the Burning Doomed (aka Night of the Big Heat). Read More »

Gordon Flemyng – Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966)

Synopsis:
This sequel to `Dr Who and the Daleks’ finds Doctor Who returning to Earth in AD 2150, only to find it almost destroyed by cosmic rays, and the Daleks moving in to hollow out the planet’s core to turn it into a gigantic spaceship. Read More »

David Lane – Thunderbirds Are GO (1966)

Synopsis:
Zero-X, a manned exploration mission crashes during lift-off on its maiden flight. Two years later an investigative committee finally concludes sabotage, and decides to call on the services of International Rescue to oversee security at the impending second launch. The second Zero-X successfully reaches its destination, but encounters unexpected hazards, ultimately leading to another call for assistance on its return to Earth. International Rescue respond, and once again Thunderbirds are GO! Read More »