The Rivets Zone: The Best SF Movies You’ve Never Seen!

Running out of interesting new SF films to watch?

If you’re a serious fan of SF cinema as I am, you’ve seen most of the classics, a lot of the really good ones, and far more of the indifferent, uninspired and out-and-out bad than you care to admit.

So for you, we offer a carefully curated collection of some of the best little-known and little-seen films featured on this site!

The Classics

The best Island of Dr. Moreau ever made, with a standout performance by Charles Laughton.

Wonderfully atmospheric Mexican horror film — weird and lyrical, with hints of the old Universal Studios horror films.

Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s remarkable excursion into virtual reality.  

One of George Romero’s best — and a brutal kick to the head of a film!

The Indies

A true rarity:  an independent film from China.  Elegant, beautiful and intelligent.

Strange and mysterious, with the impossible mixed with something unseen — and yet with a solid and very human story of two brothers to anchor it all.  A triumph from Moorhead and Benson.

Harsh, gritty, intensely real, with all the unglamorous dirt and noise of working in space.  A Seventies revisionist Western in space.

Weird and Culty

a strange and insane Italian delicacy, with four armed killers, women who blow up when you shoot “the thing on their chests,” the most WTF mad scientist plan ever, and a vast flood of goo.

A young woman who has no idea where she has been for the last few days, and a sinister scientist who abandons an astronaut on the moon.  A beautiful and strange Giallo film with an ending you won’t easily forget.

From the director of Tetsuo:  The Iron Man, a warped children’s film with time travel, vampires, and a naked girl in a machine.

A retro-cardboard short film which glories in its cheap and corrugated origins! A wacky and very funny film about zombies, spaceships and an indestructible robot hero.

Time travel, alien bears, plant people, a serial killer, and the longest stay in detention on record.  Very strange — and very funny.

A warped retro space western musical from Cory McAbee and the Billy Nayer Project!  Welcome to Mars!

An absolutely strange action/animation/film noir/Science Fiction hybrid, that takes all the classic Private Eyes tropes and has far too much fun with them.

Monsters and Aliens

A strange and unexpected steampunk-ish adventure film that reminds me quite a bit of The Land That Time Forgot (1974) and Hammer’s The Lost Continent.  One of the best Italian SF films ever.

A brutal, non-stop killer robot movie.  One of the best SF films of the Nineties, even if no one paid any attention to it at the time…

Made in Japan

An alien stalks the survivors of a crashed jetliner.  Hellish and bizarre, with enough style for any three Kaiju Eiga films!

A complex, non-linear film about saving the Earth from a giant asteroid and what that has to do with a forgotten proto-punk song…

An epic three-part movie about childhood games, a mysterious plague, a sinister cult and the end of the world.  It may not be quite as awesome as the manga, but that’s still pretty awesome!


A fantastic hybrid of live action and animation, designed to look like those steel engravings in the old editions of Verne’s books.  Wild, funny, beautifully designed and family friendly!

A movie about people sitting around in a cafe talking to robots?  Yes, it is that, and far more — and it is better than most of the Anime out there.

One man, hand drawn, and defiantly adult in an age where everyone thinks animation is just for kids.  And it looks like it was drawn by one of the great Euro-cartoonists!

Hong Kong Chop Sockey at its Finest!

Robots, Metropolis references, and slapstick comedy.  Okay, it’s silly, but you expect that from an HK film.  So your mileage may vary!

A pulpy adventure about the legendary pulp hero, with a totally insane final sequence.

Yet another adventure for Wisely, this time with a deadly plant monster from outer space and an ancient warrior in the body of…a dead cat?

The Guiltiest Pleasures

I have no clue what demented mind came up with something this awesomely stupid.  All I know is that this clown car trainwreck of a movie is more entertaining than most of the SF films out there.

Quatermass and Other Horrible British Things

The first of the original serials to survive intact, and proof that a good story and cast will beat even the limits of a live TV broadcast.

Alien invaders, space travel with your mind, and creepy, unsettling British horror.  A subtle, slow burn mystery which amply rewards those who love their horror suggested, rather than thrown in their faces.

A creepy and disturbing Nigel Kneale TV play about the next new recording media.

Peter Cushing and Chrisopher Lee face a body-hopping alien on a train stranded by a blizzard.  One of the best Hammer Horror films Hammer didn’t make.

Silents — With Rivets

Weird and striking:  more of a surreal work of art than a coherent movie, but with a great lab set and a show-stopping reanimation scene!

The best Lovecraft adaptation ever made — and a very scary movie as well.

It Came From Behind the Wall!

Perhaps the funniest SF comedy ever made!

A dark mystery thriller about a society closed off from the rest of the world, which suddenly goes off into some truly strange SF…

Stunning — and remarkably faithful — adaptation of the Asimov novel.


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