Science fiction cinema is the favorite of many viewers, but that has not prevented many films of this genre from crashing at the box office throughout the history of cinema. In some cases they were simply not worth the money, but in others it became clear soon after that they deserved better luck in theaters. Today I am here to talk to you about several of the latter with a review of 11 Unfairly Floppy ’90s Sci-Fi Movies That You Can Stream Or Blu-ray.
Obviously, it is about a personal selectionso other titles that got it undeservedly may well have been left out, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of the comments to vindicate science fiction productions from that decade that you think got it undeservedly.
In case the selection falls short, I remind you that at Espinof we have a list of 4 of the best science fiction movies of recent years available on platforms, another with some of the best Spanish science fiction movies on streaming or a review for the best science fiction film of last year. Without further ado, let’s go with the most unfair failures of the genre in the 90s:
‘Dark City’ (1998)
Direction: Alex Proyas. Distribution: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, Richard O’Brien, Ian Richardson, William Hurt
The film that was ahead of the success of ‘The Matrix’ but received a resounding failure at the box office in return and soon after became a cult title. The skill with which he presents a fascinating universe is key to this, but also the atmosphere that he manages to create. Alex Proyas to a story that invites the viewer to meditate without giving up placing them in an uncomfortable position and not giving them anything good.
Review of ‘Dark City’ (by Sergio Benítez)
‘Deep Rising (The mystery of the depths)’ (1998)
Direction: Stephen Somers. Distribution: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O’Connor, Wes Studi, Derrick O’Connor, Jason Flemyng, Djimon Hounsou
Before destroying the stupendous version of ‘The Mummy’ starring Brendan Fraser, Stephen Sommers He already gave us a great pastime with this giant monster movie with the spirit of b-movie movies but more generous means. A simple adventure, with a very good rhythm and that knows exactly what to offer to spend a most entertaining time.
‘Strange Days’ (‘Strange Days’, 1995)
Direction: Kathryn Bigelow. Distribution: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Vincent D’Onofrio, Michael Wincott
A wonderful union of the talents of Kathryn Bigelow Y James Cameron which surely continues to be the film that has best approached the world of virtual reality. All of this in the spirit of a dirty urban thriller that explores the fears associated with the end of the last millennium and with an undeniable energy when it comes to reflecting all of this on screen.
Criticism of ‘Strange days’ (by Sergio Benítez)
‘The iron giant’ (‘The Iron Giant’, 1999)
Direction: Brad Bird.
One of the best animated films of all time in which it is committed to a more emotional journey than anything else. A small miracle that overflows with imagination, is full of talent and has a very special charm, especially in relation to its two main characters.
Criticism of ‘The Iron Giant’ (by Sergio Benítez)
‘The village of the damned’ (‘Village of the Damned’, 1995)
Direction: John Carpenter. Distribution: Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Paré, Mark Hamill, John Falk
New version of the novel john wyndham which had already been brought to the big screen in 1960. A stimulating cross between horror and science fiction that is certainly not among the best works of john carpenter, but it was very unfair to her at the time of its premiere, as it was beaten by critics and ignored by the public. By the way, it was also the last film released by Christopher Reeve before he became a paraplegic.
Criticism of ‘The town of the damned’ (by Adrián Massanet)
- You can see it on Filmin (discontinued on blu-ray)
Direction: David Cronenberg. Distribution: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm, Don McKellar, Callum Keit Rennie, Sarah Polley, Robert A. Silverman, Christopher Eccleston, Willem Dafoe
Cronenberg’s cinema has always shown a special interest in technology and here he flirts with the world of videogames but always taking his obsessions as a reference, since it is a field he is not very familiar with either. The result is a risky work, as fascinating as it is imperfect, and one that deserves more recognition than it received at the time.
Criticism of ‘eXistenZ’ (by Juan Luis Caviaro)
Direction: Andrew Niccol. Distribution: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Alan Arkin, Jude Law, Loren Dean, Ernest Borgnine
An indisputable gem that failed miserably and later became one of many viewers’ (and even NASA’s!) favorite science fiction movies. Visionary in some aspects and posing an exciting moral dilemma, her emotional point is also one of her strengths. All this trusting in the intelligence of the viewer and also in a soundtrack that enhances everything even more.
Criticism of ‘Gattaca’ (by Pablo Muñoz)
‘Final Horizon’ (‘Event Horizon’, 1997)
Direction: Paul WS Anderson. Distribution: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs
Few Hollywood directors have been so battered in recent decades by Paul W. S. Anderson, but there is also a fairly clear consensus that ‘Final Horizon’ is his best work behind the scenes. I will not be the one to discuss it, since this tale of space terror has an undeniable force to hook the viewer who is not satisfied with being another heiress to ‘Alien, the eighth passenger’ and leaves several scenes to remember.
Criticism of ‘Final Horizon’ (by Sergio Benítez)
‘Mars Attacks’ (1996)
Direction: Tim Burton. Distribution: Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Pam Grier, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Rod Steiger, Tom Jones, Lukas Haas, Natalie Portman, Jim Brown, Lisa Marie, Sylvia Sydney, Jack Black
A hilarious sci-fi comedy with the unmistakable style of a Tim Burton who was at the peak of his career at the time. Full of appearances of familiar faces and with some aliens with an unforgettable design, it is true that it may be a bit irregular in its eccentricity, but how much fun you have with it is not taken away from anyone.
Panic on the road (‘Retroactive’, 1997)
Direction: Louis Morneau. Distribution: James Belushi, Kylie Travis, Shannon Whirry, Frank Whaley, Jesse Borrego, M. Emmet Walsh
I have no doubt that this is the least known of the 11 included here, but I hope that this will change little by little, since we are facing a time travel film with the spirit of a road thriller that knows how to go straight to the grain -although I already warn you that this means not going as deep as some would like in its science fiction component- and has an unforgettable interpretation of an unleashed James Belushi.
Criticism of ‘Panic on the road’ (by Mikel Zorrilla)
- Available on Youtube (not edited on blu-ray in Spain)
‘Starship Troopers’ (1997)
Direction: Paul Verhoeven. Distribution: Casper Van Dien Dina Meyer Denise Richards Jake Busey Neil Patrick Harris Patrick Muldoon Michael Ironside
An amazing anti-war satire that many did not understand at the time of its premiere -it was even accused of promoting Nazism!-. That led to its box office slump after a strong opening weekend, and it’s one, as it also works great as a massive spectacle, boasting some top-notch visual effects. All this without giving up a grateful bad temper, especially noticeable during the newsreel scenes.
Review of ‘Starship Troopers’ (by John Tones)