It’s amazing how readily many once obscure (or even lost!) films can be found these days. However, there are always a few that simply can’t be found anywhere, no matter how hard you look.
These are a few of the films I’m currently seeking out. Feel free to contact me at the bottom of the page if you can provide any of these films, or help me to locate a copy.
An Inexplicable Mystery:
- I Cynthian Love (1975?)
In Jeff Rovin’s The Pictorial History of Science Fiction (1976), he mentions in his “Summing Up” chapter a film by “Ric Meyers of Animated Industries” about a blinded astronaut’s struggle to survive in space which he says is the most impressive SF film since 2001: A Space Odyssey! It’s not on Imdb, I haven’t been able to find a single reference to it anywhere, and I have no idea whether that’s the same Ric Meyers who did Films of Fury. Anyone have any idea on this one?
Current Indie and Foreign Films:
- 28 1/2 mousou no kyojin (2010)
A curious and very Meta combination of documentary/stageplay/Osamu Tezuka adaptation by Anime legend and master of weirdness, Mamoru Oshii
- Dead End
Supposedly the first true SF film to be made in China – and based on a famous Chinese SF novel, The Three Body Problem. It’s supposed to come out in 2017. You can find a few more details about it here.
(Update, August 2019: by all reports, this one appears to be a lost film — it was completed, but seems to have fallen into limbo, as appears to have happened to a TV series based on the same novels…)
- Sentinel 2099
One of the few live action Mecha films before Pacific Rim. While this was made all the way back in 1995, the director is now hard at work on a Special Edition version with all new effects (although it may be a complete remake). I hope he will bundle the original on any DVD release, however!
[Update: while Mike McGee finally released his new version, he no longer has his masters for the original, so the film is more or less lost except for old VHS copies]
- The 4th Planet
An interesting Independent effort by seven French animators, in a unique, low-key hand-drawn style. The clips available look fascinating, and completely unlike anything we’ve seen. Apparently they’re trying to develop it as a TV series and videogame.
(Update: this project appears to have been cancelled)
- Daisuke Sato’s The Foghorn
It’s never been released, although a lot of screenshots are available. It’s a giant suitmation version of the same story that supposedly inspired The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.
- Vincenzo Natali’s pilot for Tremors (2018)
This was made, trailers came out, then SyFy dumped the series and for some reason never released the pilot, even as a TV movie. But with Vincenzo onboard it should be interesting.
Classic Movie Search List:
- Sora tobu enban: Kyôfu no shûgeki [Fearful Attack of the Flying Saucer] (1956)
This Shintoho Flying Saucer invasion movie still exists, but thanks to snarled up rights is now unavailable.
- Bizonyos Jóslatok
AKA Certain Prophecies. A Hungarian short animated film by animation legend Ottó Foky, which shows up in a lot of the older books on SF film.
- Visceral Matter
Richard Kelly made this short black SF comedy involving a matter transporter four years before Donnie Darko. It apparently still exists, but does not appear to be available anywhere.
(Update: in a recent interview, Richard Kelly says that this film is safely stored in a vault, but because it is fairly long (40 minutes) he hasn’t wanted to put the work into releasing it to the public).
- Frankenstein’s Planet of Monsters!
A nearly lost Super 8 film by Brad Anderson, who also made the excellent SF Rom Com, Happy Accidents. Lost Media Archives put out an extremely limited VHS re-release a few years ago. From what little is available, it looks extremely wacky in a super low budget sort of way!
- A Message from the Future (Sheder Min Ha’Atid)
Rare Israeli SF film from 1981
- Quantum Project
A historically significant film: the first film made specifically to stream on the internet. Of course, that was in 2000, and it took hours to download! Sadly, it vanished off the internet years ago. Oh, and it stars John Cleese.
- Snake Curse (She Zhou)
A seriously strange Hong Kong movie in which scientists create a monstrous snake woman while trying to cure cancer. I hate it when that happens! I’ve found a Hindi version, but would rather find the original — or at least the subtitles!
English Subtitles Only:
- Eight-Headed Giant Serpent’s Counterattack (Yamata no Orochi no Gyakushū)
A fan film by the crew who would soon become Gainax. While it’s readily available, I can’t find the subtitles anywhere.
(Update: I reviewed this one recently, based on a auto-translated autosub, but I am still interested in finding a better version).
- Kalai Arasi
A 1963 Tamil film from India with aliens kidnapping a young woman so they can learn Earth’s secrets of…music and dance??? It looks quite good, with sort of a Fifties vibe and may be the real first Indian SF film. It’s up on YouTube now, but without subtitles…
Něco je ve vzduchu (1980)
A Czech time travel comedy that is a lot like Back to the Future. A lot like it. It isn’t necessarily that great, but one does wonder if it did influence Zemeckis’ film!
- Tokyo Blackout [Shuto Shoshito] (1986)
A mysterious force dome covers Tokyo and no one can get out or in as the city slowly heats up… While I’ve found a copy, I’m still hoping to find good subs for this one!