OK, I know that you have been wondering what happened to me, and where I have been, but frankly work has been so busy that I have not had time to post. For this I apologize, and hope to get back on track with at least one post a week. I hope. Maybe.
In honor of my favorite holiday I thought I would post a list of what I feel are the best of the Science Fiction Horror films. These are not classic horror films, but movies that use science instead of paranormal or supernatural explanations to scare the heck out of us. Fortunately foe you these are films, not books, so the write ups will be fairly short. The list will count down to what I consider the #1 Science Fiction Horror film of all time.
10 - From Beyond - Strange adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story of the same name in which Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs) plays a scientist whose research partner, Dr. Pretorius (Ted Sorel) has opened a gateway to another dimension through stimulation of the pineal gland which opens the thirs eye. In spite of the cheesy effects, this is a pretty scary film simply because of the intensity of the acting. The science is very sketchy, but internally consistent.
9 - Coma - This film scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. Imagine that Coma patients are being used for a horrifying experiment. Michael Douglas and Genevieve Bujold give stunning performances in this adaptation of the Robin Cook novel. This was also one of Michael Crichton's first film projects as writer and director (the prior was Westworld).
8 - Videodrome - Lots of people hate this movie (Ebert once stated that it was the least entertaining movie that he had ever seen), however the stellar performance of James Woods as he slowly succumbs to the grips of the subliminal message is fantastic. Possibly David Cronenberg's best film.
7 - Flatliners - Many are going to disagree that this is a horror film at all, but the fact of the matter is that this movie has all of the elements of a great horror story (the characters give themselves near death experiences in a scientific attempt to understand death and are subsequently haunted). The fact that there are some slight supernatural ideas in here might preclude the inclusion of this film, except for the fact that the supernatural ideas are exlined with at least an attempt at science.
6 - Strange Invaders - This is possibly the scariest alien invasion story ever, mainly because it only makes sense to the aliens themselves. There are great scenes of aliens 'storing' people and a few really horrific scenes wherein the aliens remove their human guises to reveal really grotesque faces beneath the human masks. Taught and suspenseful, a must see.
5 - Lifeforce - OK, so I am really treading on thin ice with this one. Based on the novel The Space Vampires, this film is about... vampires from space. Seriously, it covers the idea of a scientific basis for vampires and vampirism. Granted, it does not do it very well, but it is still scary as all get out.
4 - Phantoms - Dean Koontx is a great writer, and this was his first true horror novel. Luckily he got to write the screenplay for this film, which features a cast of Hollywood heavyweights (Peter O'Toole, Ben Afleck, Rose McGowan, Liev Schrieber, etc). Creepy and atmospheric, this is a great spine-tingler with a scientific bent.
3 - Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Nice, short, to the point, and truly frightening. This classic film has been remade several times, and they have all been great films. The concept of identity is fully and brutally explored in a film where nothing is quite what it seems.
2 - Alien - Most folks know of my love for the first film of this lucrative franchise. It is possibly the greatest monster movie of all times, with a combination of all the things that make any film great. Ridley Scott shows that he is one of the greatest directors of all time, and the cast is fantastic.
1 - Metropolis - Probably one of the 10 greatest films ever made, Fritz Lang's Metropolis is the ultimate showcase of scientific horror. When a young man becomes concerned over the differences between the 'thinkers' and the 'workers', and tries to bridge the gap, no good will come of it. Many have tried to remake this ultimate class struggle film, but ultimately it is perfect.