Futurism logo

6 of the Best "Worst" Science Fiction Movies You'll Ever See

Enabling Your Guilty Pleasure Love of Awful Sci-Fi Films...Because We Care

By Matt CatesPublished 7 years ago 7 min read
Hard to Beat Battlefield Earth

It's a passion we share, you and I. Low quality science fiction films, movies so bad that they're fun to watch, mock, and over time, come to love intensely. It's the reason you're here.

I know. I know...

So here are our picks for the best worst science fiction movies to be found, floating out there online like undigested bits of gum in the sewer. They're still full of flavor, if you're brave or dumb enough to give 'em a taste...

And I know you are...because it's the reason you are here, with me.

With us...

A space capsule crash-lands, and the astronaut aboard disappears. Is there a connection between the missing man and the monster roaming the area?

Can there be any doubt this film's going to be horrible with a name like that? No. It's a certainty. But perhaps surprisingly, or perhaps not, Monster A Go-Go is also highly amusing!

Even the trailer for Monster A Go-Go is fun, and a great lesson in hyperbole and marketing!

"When you walk out, you wonder what you've seen because never has there been a motion picture like this!"

There is essentially no plot other than one of our own space vessels crashes back down to Earth in the middle of an outdoor party, and the astronaut, now disfigured, starts murdering everyone. This is vintage stuff, folks, Mystery Science Theater-caliber... Pure sci-fi horror camp at its finest.

Must see A Go-Go!

Battlefield Earth

BwahaHaaa, now here's a movie so bad you can't even stream it from Amazon, and brother, that's bad. Maybe the Scientologists had it banned from purchase...? Just kidding (please don't come after me, guys)!

But...the cold fact is, it is unavailable, and that IS odd...

If you don't know what I mean, allow me to explain! I like explaining. It feeds my ego...

The modern religion of Scientology was founded by renowned science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, but after his establishment of the rapidly-growing new belief system in 1954, he penned Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000.

In the 1982 novel, we're presented with Earth of the far-future, a dystopia in which humanity has been reduced to tribes ruled by the malicious alien species, the 9' tall Psychlos.

Yes, the Psychlos. Bear with me...

Lucky for us weak humans, the sociopathic Psychlos were not counting on our protagonist, the unfortunately-named Jonnie Goodboy Tyler.

Yep, Jonnie Goodboy versus the Psychlos.

You starting to see why the film is voted as so-bad-it-is-good?

Around the year 2000, someone in Hollywood decided it was a good idea to make a movie out of the best-selling novel, despite allegations that perhaps the book was only successful because of pressure placed upon Scientology members to buy it. That's a rumor I'm not going to explore in any depth here, out of pure fear and terror! But suffice it to say, they remain somewhat sensitive about the subject...

Actor John Travolta, an avid Scientologist himself, was extremely keen to star in the film and get it produced. His character, the lead bad guy, is an enormous dread-locked, blue-skinned, charismatic a-hole...and is without a doubt the main reason to watch Battlefield Earth! So, even though this list is not in any sort of rank-order, I'm not alone in saying this is one of the best worst sci-fi movies of all time!

One of the most powerful figures on this new Earth is the Psychlo Chief of Security, Terl (John Travolta), a brilliant and monstrous alien who aspires to be transferred from Earth to one of the more glamorous planets under the control of the Psychlo Empire.

If you're really into cheesiness--and you must be--why not rediscover the cheese of the Star Wars 'midi-chlorians?' I think they're worth another debate...

The only way to save Earth from catastrophe is to drill down to the core and set it spinning again.

Yes, the Earth has stopped spinning so Hollywood must hire some relatively unknown (at the time) actors to start it spinning again before we all die by drifting off into the void of space.

This happens much more often than you'd think.

Well, stupid premise aside, The Coreis still a good bad movie to watch, especially if you have a disaster fetish. It's semi-scientific popcorn fluff at its apex, kind of. It's one of those films you can turn off your brain and just pretend that all the technical stuff the "scientists" are saying actually makes sense, because the scriptwriter spent a few minutes researching bologna like this to make it sound convincing to 6 year olds.

Perhaps I'm being harsh. If so, I'm certain I'll hear about it by all the IMDb trivia buffs who will point out that, in fact:

One of the scientific experts consulted for the making of the movie was Dr. David Stevenson of Cal-Tech. After talking to the producers, he thought of a scientifically possible way to send an unmanned probe to the core. His idea was published in the prestigious science journal Nature on 15 May 2003.

No matter. The Core's just a movie, and a bad one! But that's why we are here. We've come to be amused, not educated. You want real science, go watch the Science Channel. I guess.

But if you want to see Aaron Eckhart travel to the planet's molten core in a ship made of "unobtainium" so he and Hillary Swank can set off some nukes to get the Earth spinning again, thus reinstating the proper balance of its magnetic field--then this one's for you!

Speaking of planets, it is quite possible, in fact likely you'd like to read The No-Kidding Coolest Planets in Science Fiction!

A large asteroid is heading directly toward Earth.

Maybe my favorite new thing about Armageddon is the blurb I just copied from Amazon! Really, that's all it says. "A large asteroid's heading to Earth!!"

They are not trying hard to sell this movie, and that's a shame because for all the ridiculousness of sending Die Hard's John McClane (Bruce Willis) into space to head off said asteroid, to be honest the 2 1/2 hour blockbuster of cinematic ingenuity has its moments. And it has Liv Tyler, too. There's more cheese in this thing than a Papa's Pizza, but you know you want to watch Willis do that patented iron squint of his as he curses his soul out in a whisper so soft you could wipe a baby's butt with it.

And let's be really frank, for those of us who were around when this sucker was in theaters, the Aerosmith theme song, "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" was all the rage! I guess if you want Liv Tyler, you gotta bring her daddy's gotta get signed into the deal, too.

Love 90's flicks? Check out 90's Hero Movies Well Worth Another Watch!

Turkish Star Trek (Turist Ömer Uzay Yolu'nda)

Turkish Star Trek

I wanted to throw you for a loop with this one, because 1) I get off doing that sort of thing; 2) I love Turkish culture, and nothing represents the humor and irony of said culture better than their old cheesy movies!

Turist Ömer Uzay Yolu'nda (1973) was such an unabashed Star Trek rip-off that fans still reel in glee by its corniness and brazen copyright infringement. Turist Ömer made his debut in Turkish cinema in 1964, and his misadventures took him far and wide around the world. But, as with many series, the creative writing team began to run out of ideas...so they decided to steal someone else's! Thus we find the poor tourist stumbling across a team of cosmic explorers who very VERY closely resembled the crew of the USS Enterprise.

Indeed the whole 'Turkish Star Trek' movie is essentially a spoof of 'The Man Trap,' mixed with a few other choice episodic scenes, such as the classic fight between Captain Kirk and Mister Spock in 'Amok Time' (or Kaptain Kirk and Mister Spak, as they're known in this comedic travesty).

It may be hard to track down a bootleg copy of this gem, but YouTube does what it does best and offers up several clips for your perusing pleasure. Below is one!

Oh, and speaking of Turkey--not to give a spoiler here, but my piece on Where Would Darth Vader Go on Vacation? might surprise you!

The most popular Atomic Age cult film of the twentieth century. Winner of two Golden Turkey Awards for Worst Picture and Worst Director of All Time, the immortal Edward D. Wood, Jr.! It's all here, the not-so-special effects, aliens in skating skirts zooming around in string-powered flying saucers to implement the ninth plan of Earth's conquest (the first eight failed) with an army of zombies...

You knew how this would end.

And if you didn't, maybe you shouldn't be here.

What can we say about this monstrosity that hasn't already been said? It sucks! Plan 9 is so bad, it is beyond bad. It really has gone full circle from bad back to good, and then it keeps going. It's so bad it defies the laws of nature.

Plan 9 is so bad, you don't know where it's going to end up, it's like that giant multi-colored Wheel of Fortune wheel, but even after it has ceased its spinning you are so discombobulated you cannot tell if it landed on "Bankrupt," "Lose a Turn," or you just won $1,000.

But...but...there's much to be appreciated here in this little gem of low-cost creativity from director Ed Wood. Wood had big ideas, and no money to film them. He didn't care. He filmed 'em anyhow, and as God-awful as the effects were, at least you could use your imagination to fill in the gaps. Wood had other fish to fry, like tackling the era's distrust of the government over UFO cover-ups, and the possible threat of aliens from "outer space."

Veteran horror film actor Bela Lugosi turned his last performance in the film, though technically the filmed scenes were for other movies which were never completed due to the actor's untimely demise in 1956.

Tim Burton later brought Wood's own story to the screen in Ed Wood, starring Johnny Depp as the eccentric visionary. You can check that film out below; it is not part of this list, though!

Plan 9 from Outer Space truly is the Omega of movies so bad they're good.

Guess what, I've got a whole 'nuther list of Underrated Sci-Fi Movies just waiting for you to skip over to... HEY, you still here? Click my article link; I need the love!

scifi movielistvintagemovie review

About the Creator

Matt Cates

Freelance writer and owner of Cates Content and Copywriting; retired Air Force Veteran; former administrative assistant at Oregon State University; author of Haveck: The First Transhuman, the greatest sci-fi novel in the multiverse.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.