Friday, December 26, 2008

The Best-Worst SCI-FI Lists

I am using the term SCI-FI in the appropriate way, to refer to the movies that are made that are supposedly science fiction or fantasy. The stuff normal people would be embarrassed to like. These are movies - most links are to trailers.

Let's start off with SUVUdU - which you may be embarrassed to read. Their best of the campy SF genre films are topped by Eight-Legged Freaks.  Excellent choice.  For more on SUVUdU see here and here.

Io9, an excellent SF site, gets down with their top 20 best-worst.  "These are strictly films that were made in total seriousness but turned out ridiculously awful and we LOVE THEM FOR IT."  I don't agree with her taste however which is reflected in her number one - Chronicles Of Riddick. Maybe she is more taken with death dealing tea cups.

Io9 also has very good selections of the best and worst genre movies 2008 from a different writer. Wall-E best, An unenthusiastic worst - Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. "This is one of those movies that I was so-so about at the time, but it's gotten worse in my mind since then." I didn't dislike that as much as many people.

Tech Republic's GeekEnd had Real Genius as the top guilty pleasure in Sci-Fi. Number two is one of my favorites - Big Trouble in Little China.

Tech Republic also have the worst Sci-Fi series list and discussion.

I haven't seen The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzaii Acrosss the Eighth Dimension on any of these lists yet. What is with people?

Dark Fantasy> has their worst of 2008 and the ten best and biggest.

John Scalzi got paid to write his best and worst sci-fi of 2008. He has Speed Racer as the worst.

There is a whole Wiki on films that appear on the worst movies of all time lists. I think there is fruitful material to explore for a good thesis.

There are some films that are so bad nobody sees them and normally don't make the lists. Sweetie although not genre is not available anywhere but is ranked dead last at IMDB. I read someone saying Star Crash makes other bad sci-fi movies look competent - trailer.

This David Hasselhoff movie is not the long running low budget Star Crash that airs on some non-profit community TV stations.

Glenda send me a link that inspired this.

It is interesting that we get these debates on the best and the worst of sci-fi just as American media is becoming majority sci-fi or related.
When science fiction has become so much a part of our everyday pop culture, does it make sense to call it scifi anymore? Or should it just get folded into other broad categories like "drama" and "action adventure"? Certainly that seems to be the underlying message of some of 2008's most popular new TV shows, such as The Mentalist and Fringe - as well as old favorites like House, Bones and CSI. All of these are fiction shows about science. They contain some classic scifi genre moments - mutants, magically advanced tech, heroic rationalists - but are basically just typical TV dramas that happen to be primarily about science and scientists.

Meanwhile, as Sci Fi Channel president Dave Howe told the LA Times earlier this month:
We're at No. 5 for the year, and within spitting distance of A&E at No. 4, which I think has shocked some people who have assumed that we're so niche and narrow that we don't even register on the Richter scale.
What's going on here? Acclaimed scifi author William Gibson has already explained it in interviews about his latest novels, all of which read like literary science fiction but take place in the present day. He believes that the present has become so saturated by high tech and advanced science that we are effectively living in a science fictional era.
This is the second year sci-fi movies made up more than half of the top 20 US movies in number and revenue. It also happened in 2002.

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