Here at Total Film, we love sci-fi. If it’s got aliens, Austrian-sounding cyborgs or somebody wearing their hair in Chelsea buns, we’re THERE.
Sometimes, though, the genre’s no-holds-barred attitude results in some of the weirdest creations ever projected onto a canvas. And when we say weird, we mean bad. Not just Tim Burton’s Planet Of The Apes bad, but genuine get-me-that-nose-peg stinkers.
Takes this lot, which are less about science and more about really, really awful fiction…
Ultra Warrior (1990)
The Terrible Movie: A post-apocalyptic travesty that’s not just the worst sci-fi ever made, but one of the worst movies in general.
Don’t be fooled by the rather awesome poster (six-packed dude and bikini-clad babes fight greasy monsters), this dystopian dirge from directors Augusto Tamayo San Román and Kevin Tent has a cool premise (a nuclear holocaust creates deadly mutants) but never delivers.
Worst Moment: Any moment the film falls back on stock footage in true Ed Wood style. Aiming high, guys…
Jurassic Shark (2012)
The Terrible Movie: The punsome title is so awesome we almost forgive the movie its T-Rex-size shortcomings, but there’s no getting around the fact that Brett Kelly’s DTV monster movie is anything but a Spielbergian tension-ratcheter.
Starring a load of people you’ve never heard of (Emanuelle Carriere, Christine Emes), the film centres on that titular megalodon, which is nudged out of its centuries-long slumber by evil oil bandits.
Worst Moment: We get our first glimpse of the shark – a horrendous CGI creation that would’ve looked dated even around the time of Jaws.
AVH: Alien Vs Hunter (2007)
The Terrible Movie: One of ‘budget blockbuster studio’ The Asylum’s more high profile, um, ‘tributes’, this is an unabashed attempt to cash-in on the Alien Vs Predator franchise.
It makes that woeful Paul WS Anderson flop look positively Shakespearean, following a band of characters who are caught in the middle of a fight between the Alien and the Hunter…
Worst Moment: Really, pick any of the shoe-string fight scenes.
The Terrible Movie: Infamously dreadful sci-fi that jumps on the ET bandwagon in the same year as the equally repellent Mac & Me.
The plot, which would bore even the most tolerant of kids, sees two alien brothers crashland on Earth and attempt to track each other down.
Most shocking piece of trivia – a total of seven editors worked on the film.
Worst Moment: Alien Nukie makes his first appearance. He looks like he was made out of Playdough.
Star Quest: The Odyssey (2009)
The Terrible Movie: A micro-budget sci-fi that wants to appeal to the Star Trek market (just check out the blue-tinted poster), but it’s not a patch on JJ Abrams’ soaring reboot.
The plot, such as it is, sees various forces scrapping over their corner of the universe.
Worst Moment: The scene in which the film’s cyborgs – who are little more than guys dressed up with circuit boards on their chests – start punching the cardboard sets…
Aliens Vs Avatars (2011)
The Terrible Movie: Brought to you by the director of The Amazing Bulk and Queen Cobra (no, really), this shocking sci-fi aims for James Cameron cool with its blue alien entities and interspecies war.
It’s fair to say it’s not a patch on his 3D marvel. For a start, there’s no mo-cap, the actors instead getting slathered in blue make-up…
Worst Moment: The rampant misogyny is guaranteed to leave a bitter taste in the mouth of any unfortunate viewer.
Universal Soldiers (2007)
The Terrible Movie: Where’s Dolph Lundgren when you need him? In Griff Furst’s woeful sci-fi odyssey, a Marine unit go up against unstoppable soldiers when they head to an isolated island to rescue the professor that created them.
Obviously, the results are alternately laughable and soul-destroying.
Worst Moment: The moment you realise that the ‘exotic’ island the Marines head to is actually some hill in mainland Europe.
Evil Behind You (2006)
The Terrible Movie: “There’s something evil behind you” states the imaginative tagline. There’s something evil in front of you, too, if you’ve got this playing.
Jim Carroll’s sci-horror sees people who have been abducted suddenly developing unusual abilities…
Worst Moment: Middle Eastern terrorists are introduced for no discernible reason, then they blow up the lab where the weird experiments take place. For no discernible reason…
Brain Robbers From Outer Space (2004)
The Terrible Movie: The title’s genius and the plot’s pretty B-movie fun (aliens reanimate the dead in order to take over the Earth), but that’s all this seriously ill-advised sci-fi has going for it.
That it took four people to come up with the plot beggars belief.
Worst Moment: Really, pick any of it, from the ridiculous, blood-spewing kid zombie to the shocking special effects.
The Terrible Movie: Legendary in sci-fi circles for being one of The Aslyum’s most shameless attempts to cash in on a major blockbuster production, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out which film this is piggy-backing.
The only good thing about the Transmorphers franchise? They stopped at two films. The same can’t be said for Michael Bay.
Worst Moment: That aerial strike, with CGI that looks like something from a bad 1980s videogame.
Outlaw Of Gor (1988)
The Terrible Movie: Loosely based on John Norman’s Gor series of books.
This sequel to, er, Gor, was filmed at the same time as the original and sees an Earthman fight back against the tyrannical ruler of the eponymous planet.
Worst Moment: A dramatic (read: not dramatic) fight between the princess and The Leather Women. You couldn’t make this stuff up…
The Terrible Movie: Directed by (and co-starring) low-budget cult figures the Polonia brothers, this alien invasion flick sees two friends stumble across a Pennsylvania town where the population is being eaten by evil ETs.
The poster, showing an alien wielding a fork, is brilliantly bad.
Worst Moment: The aliens are quite obviously tennis balls that have been painted green.
Agent For H.A.R.M (1966)
The Terrible Movie: H.A.R.M secret agent Adam Chance (Peter Mark Richman) attempts to take down Russian Professor Stefanik, who’s created a special gun that fires a deadly bacteria spore.
Yep, it’s about as campy as they come, but this sloppy sixties spy-fi flick wishes it was in the same league as Get Smart and Man From UNCLE.
Worst Moment: There are loads – but the saving grace is Barbara Bouchet as a Russian beauty who spends most of her time in a bikini.
Turks In Space (2006)
The Terrible Movie: A Turkish sham in which an Earth man discovers that a space pirate has declared himself the ruler of a distant planet, where the entire population work as his slaves.
Though it’s meant to be intentionally funny, the only funny thing about this film is just how awful it really is.
Worst Moment: The space pirate attacks in one of the campest pirate attack scenes ever filmed.
Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast (2011)
The Terrible Movie: Hopping onto the craze for awful monster B-movies, this finny fright flick sees a prehistoric snow shark unleashed after an earthquake.
It’s shoddy through and through. Shot on weekends (everybody had other day jobs), all of the actors also had to come up with their own costumes. Oh dear…
Worst Moment: Any of the shark attack scenes. The action is mostly off-screen, the filmmakers resorting to bloody snow-splatters and brief glimpses of a terrible shark puppet.
King Dinosaur (1955)
The Terrible Movie: Decades before Spielberg gave us Jurassic Park, legendary B-movie filmmaker Bert Gordon unleashed dinosaurs in this space-travel sci-fi.
A quartet of astronauts discover a planet called Nova that’s populated with prehistoric creatures, including a T-Rex. Yes, a T-Rex…
Worst Moment: When faced with a giant, killer iguana, a scientist attempts to take the monster’s picture in order to ID it. Makes sense to us…
The Roller Blade Seven (1991)
The Terrible Movie: A completely nonsensical sci-flick that shoe-horns in elements of martial arts.
Set in the future, we follow a skater who goes up against evil ninjas and punk roller skaters. See, we told you it doesn’t make any sense.
Worst Moment: The blatant use of the same location for numerous scenes, which includes Scott Shaw driving his motorbike out of the same car park eight times…
Tail Sting (2001)
The Terrible Movie: Before Samuel L Jackson battled snakes on a plane, this low-budget sci-fi from director Paul Wynne pitted a load of travellers against giant, genetically enhanced scorpions.
It tries to pretend it’s a monster movie spoof, but don’t let it fool you. This is just bad.
Worst Moment: The giant scorpions are revealed to be little more than foam muppets. Scary…
The Terrible Movie: Ancient Indian artefacts are the name of the game as a young archaeologist attempts to preserve an Indian site, only for her discovery to coincide with a series of brutal murders.
The only notable thing about this turgid mess is the casting of Tom Savini as a detective. Otherwise, move along, nothing to see here…
Worst Moment: The music video-style, dialogue-free montages, which aim to work like a moving comic book, but end up destroying the film’s already-lethargic pace.
Frankenstein Island (1981)
The Terrible Movie: The final film by director Jerry Warren (Teenage Zombies), Frankenstein Island is a typically irreverent attempt to revive the legend of Dr Frankenstein.
Here, the crew of a hot-air balloon crash on an island that’s home to the descendents of Dr Frankenstein. Before long, they’re battling mutants and Amazonians. Because of course they are.
Worst Moment: Alien cave-girls worship rubber skulls. That’s a sentence we never thought we’d ever write.
Invasion From Inner Earth (1974)
The Terrible Movie: Bill Rebane, who previously directed stinkers like Monster A Go-Go and The Giant Spider Invasion, brings us a sci-fi apocalypse.
The plot follows a group of pilots who hole up in a cabin in the woods when they discover that Earth is under attack from invading aliens. Ah, such bravery.
Worst Moment: The odd ending, in which two children walk off into the wilderness in a clear suggestion that Rebane’s been reading his Bible.
Space Mutiny (1988)
The Terrible Movie: South African sci-fi directed by David Winters, set aboard the spaceship Southern Sun.
A space pirate plots to hijack the ship and turn its travellers into his slaves. In space, nobody can hear you snore…
Worst Moment: The moment you realise that the film’s whole set consists of just one room and a hallway, which are reused repeatedly.
Invasion Of The Neptune Men (1961)
The Terrible Movie: No-budget Japanese sci-fi also known as Invasion From A Planet.
Our hero is an astronomer called Iron Sharp, who jumps into action when metallic aliens from Neptune attempt to take over the Earth.
Worst Moment: Pretty much all of the invasion scenes were pinched from a 1960 movie called World War III Breaks Out.
The Terrible Movie: John Carradine, John Mitchum and Christopher Mitchum take early roles in this travesty of a monster movie, which is basically a King Kong rip-off in which Bigfoot stands in for the giant ape.
When women are kidnapped by the king of the woods, a group of hunters attempt to track Bigfoot down.
Worst Moment: That would be when the monstrous beast itself comes shuffling out, and is revealed to be some chump in a monkey suit wearing the worst Halloween mask we’ve ever seen.
The Terrible Movie: The film’s poster is a wince-inducing Men In Black rip-off, and the original ideas in Ryan Humphries’ woeful sci-fi are few and far between.
The plot follows two FBI agents who attempt to help a woman who keeps vomiting alien egg sacks…
Worst Moment: Any time the film makes a laboured cultural reference – including its bizarre jibes at The X-Files.
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