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--> Low Budget Sci-Fi "GEMS" !!! <--


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i have been re-watching a bunch of movies recently that i remembered likeing when i saw them X years ago
during this process i realized how much i am in love with a very very distinct sub genre: the low budget scifi movie !
the kind of movie that doesn't have the money for effects but makes up for it by tackling a brilliant IDEA instead.
the kind of movie that feels like a 1 to 2 hour long twilight zone episode !

and what better thing to do than to SHARE THE LOVE !
so i give you my run down of 9 GEMS that i know that you may have never even heard of ... there will be absolutely no plot summery here out of fear of spoiling the fun.

here comes my top 9 (sorted by my perceived obscurity):


9 ) Equilibrium



this one most of you probably know ! (hey we are just getting started here) and it actually is the one of this list that dares to go the closest to having some kind of special effects. but its fucking A and if you haven't seen it you should go check it out !


8 ) donnie darko



you probably heared of this one as well (or at least that song that was also used in the gears of war trailer) its really fucking wired and i love it ! emot_smile.gif


7 ) Memento



its only arguably scifi but would certainly be twilight zone material ... this one kick launched christopher nolans career. (also go see "the prestige" it fits the list perfectly it just doesn't count as low budget)


6 ) moon



fairly recent saw it at the fantasy film festival ... actually does have some decent effects but its the story that shines here really !


5 ) tetsuo



bloody disgusting but the closest thing to cyberpunk cinema has produced so far ! actually the story / idea is kind of dumb but the low budget stop motion visuals are crazy insane awesome.


4 ) pi



the math might not hold water but its some disturbingly fine sci fi


3 ) cube



some people call this one out for being a straight to dvd movie but don't be fooled i saw it at the cinema and it whipes the floor with just about anything else that gets a theatrical release now a days ... ironically it was also the first dvd i ever bought.


2 ) primer



the el-mariachi of sci fi movies. "the prestige" times a million.


1 ) moebius



student film from argentina.
if you liked pi you'll love this it has one of the best movie endings ever ( ... except for the very last shot)
you ll probably have to pirate this one because it never got released outside of film festivals (there are very obscure bootlegs dvd aroudn with Italian subtitles)
if you manage to find it and it has no english subtitles i can hook you up just pm me .


if you know more movies that would fit this list ffs add them now i NEED MORE !!!!!!!! other wise just post which ones already posted you know(or not ) and if you approve of them or not ! emot_smile.gif

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I love this shit since they are a goldmine of ideas. I really have to check out moebius =)

the american astronaut

it's a space western "musical" and it's very awesome =)



a boy and his dog

fallout the movie, this movie has also the best ending in any movie ever =)



le dernier combat

for some reason humanity loses it's ability to speak, society collapses. Cool movie by Luc Besson, starring Jean Reno :)!

weird trailer:



dark star

hippies are bored in space. They have to blow up unstable planets. One of the bomb's computers has gone insane and think's it has become god.


i'll probably post some more later =)

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I'll have to check out Moebius because PI is one of my favorite films of all time. Off the top of my head I can only think of a few but I'll check my collection later.

Almost any film by Andrei Tarkovsky will seriously fuck up your head. He directed the original solyaris (1972) that Steven Soderbergh remade into Solaris a few years ago.

If you're going to give him a shot I highly recommend starting with Stalker (WIKI):


The setting of the film is a tiny town on the outskirts of "The Zone", a wilderness area which has been cordoned off by the government. The film's main character, the Stalker, works as a guide to bring people in and out of the Zone, to a room which is said to grant "the deepest, innermost" wishes. Residual effects of an unnamed previous occurrence have transformed an otherwise mundane rural area scattered with ruined buildings into an area where the normal laws of physics no longer apply.

Mirror is probably his most intense and inaccessible film to people who aren't familiar with his style but once you are it's great

Another film that is so weird and sci-fi that you'll probably want to write off after 15 minutes is Last Year at Marienbad. It's about the memories of a man meeting a woman at a mansion in France the year before. Or is it? The memories are disjointed much the same way our real memories are. You remember a noise, smell or person but very little else about your surroundings. The idea you remember permeates what might have really happened. Some people consider it the film equivalent of Salvador Dali's famous painting "The Persistence of Memory." Highly recommended but it requires extreme patience.


And just for the record the only film listed so far that's truly low budget would be primer.

edit: I just remembered this TV show called Dark Shadows from the 60s. It was a gothic soap opera that was filmed live so some of the episodes had hilarious flaws and mistakes. People hiding behind props, stage hands walking around, actors forgetting lines and improvising. Great stuff. Don't watch it unless you're with friends or stoned or you'll be disappointed. You can find torrents for the whole series.

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DOH for leaving luc bessons "le dernier combat" "dark star" and "a boy and his dog" out of the list i really should have thought of them !

i was thinking about adding stalker and the old solaris as well but decided they were too high budget .... strange though that equilbrium made the cut in my head :shifty:

i haven't seen:

-the american astronaut

-Last Year at Marienbad

so ill definitely check those out

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Been wanting to see the original Stalker film every since I worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. back in ye good olde dayes.

It's creepy how the film came out 7 years before the Chernobyl accident.

The Thing's f/x don't hold up over time, but the overall movie/concept really hold up. What a sick film.

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the thing owns, I think the effects hold up very well! The animatronic puppets looks really awesome I think, and they work really well. It would be less scary if they made that today with CGI :).


maybe not really low budget, but it's a great movie anyway. Very atmospheric and awesome sets. It takes places at a mining colony on Io, one of Jupiter's moons, where the miners mysteriously start becoming psychotic and start committing suicide.

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The Cube:

That was a fanstastic film. Incredible the levels of atmosphere that can be achieved in one reusable box.

Escape from New York:

I'd been wanting to watch this one for a while. Although the actual plot is pretty good the film is really bad and is a big disappointment compared to The Thing.


My contribution to the thread. Discovered this via a Cracked.com article. It's about a Doctor that discovers a way to reanimate the recently deceased, with often hilarious results.



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Re-Animator is the shit!

Its sequels aren't as good as the first one but are good B-movies nonetheless. I recommend watching other Stuart Gordon's movies if you like Re-Animator, he has made some of the most awesome adaptations I ever saw, like the Black Cat in Masters of Horror season 2. A true masterpiece if you ask me, yet very different from his other movies. :)

I second Outland, Eraserhead and Carpenter's movies, expecially They Live with its infamous combat scene in the streets. :lol:

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