Futurism logo

Best Genetic Modification Movies

by Natasha Sydor 6 years ago in list / scifi movie / humanity

Genetic modification movies, along with science, have evolved over time.

Genetic modification is the foundation of evolution. All species change and are altered because the planet is exposed to radiation. Radiation causes DNA to break down; the damage is repaired and is often followed by mutation. This mutation is what creates variety in individual species and the world as a whole. Genetic modification movies have reached across all sub-genres including comedy, horror, thriller, and mystery; but they will always belong under the heading of science fiction. Science is not at the same level that is portrayed in these films, giving them a somewhat magical element that viewers are more than ready to embrace. From Sharktopus to X-Men, here are our top genetic modification movies.

Piranha is a genetic modification movie originally created in 1978, in which two people accidentally freed mutant piranhas near a summer camp and resort lake. The fish were part of a government experiment called Operation Razorteeth. Scientists were told to engineer a voracious strain of piranha that could live in the cold water of the North Vietnamese rivers in an effort to aid US troops fighting the Vietnam War. After they are released, they attack anyone who gets in their way. The film was so successful that there were a few remakes and sequels created, including Piranha in 1995 and Piranha 3DD in 2012.

The X-Men comic books from Marvel Comics follow the superhero mutants, or humans born with superhuman abilities. Each of the characters on the X-Men team is genetically modified; but one character who modified himself is Hank McCoy. McCoy is a human with hands for feet, giving him the ability to run faster than other humans. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, he injects himself with a serum of Mystique’s blood, as he believes it will cure his own mutation. However, he finds himself with fangs, claws, and covered in blue fur, officially turning himself into Beast.

This 1999 horror film is one of the scariest sci-fi movies of the 90s. It tells the tale of a scientist who studies sharks that have been genetically altered as a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, the sharks are incredibly intelligent and even go as far as using a dead body as a battering ram to break underwater windows and flood the facility they are housed in. Soon enough, the sharks start attacking the scientists and they must be stopped before they get out in open water and mate. Empire magazine wrote, “It was never going to crash any parties come Oscar night, or usurp previous nature-fights-back epics (Jurassic et al), but Deep Blue Sea remains defiant. It's about giant sharks eating people. And that's exactly what you get.”

Splice is a 2009 horror genetic modification movie about what happens to a geneticist couple after they splice human DNA with animal DNA in order to create a new species. While they are successful, the creature they create begins to develop at an alarming rate and becomes a threat to their careers and lives. This genetic modification movie won the 2011 Telefilm Golden Box Office Award and was the highest-grossing Canadian film in English in 2010. The Flick Cast said “Splice is funny, frightening, and shocking all at once. It's a disturbing commentary on where science is heading, and it is not easily shaken off once you leave the theatre.”

In contrast to Splice, Black Sheep is a horror comedy from New Zealand about genetically modified sheep that change from docile vegetarians into violent carnivores whose bite can transform a human into a bloodthirsty half-sheep called a were-sheep, which is part demon and part mutant. Although it has an outrageous story, the film holds a 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The website review says, “With an outrageous premise played completely straight, Black Sheep is a violent, grotesque, and very funny movie that takes B-movie lunacy to a delirious extreme."

Sabretooth is a 2002 SyFi Channel genetic modification movie. The story is about the discovery of fossilized DNA of a saber-toothed cat and how a billionaire genetically modifies the creature and tries to resurrect it. The creature escapes into the woods and starts to attack campers as well as other animals in the forest, prompting the scientists who created it to go looking for it. The intention is to capture the creature and bring it back to the lab to be studied but its violent acts increase and the scientists have no choice but to try to kill it. The film stars David Keith, Jenna Gering, Josh Holloway, and John Rhys-Davies.

Besides Spider-Man himself being genetically modified, the spiders that bite him were exposed to radiation. In the comics, Parker attends a public event demonstrating the safe handling of nuclear laboratory waste materials from the General Techtronic Corporation. Unfortunately, a spider is exposed to radiation from the nuclear laboratory and ends up biting Parker. The venom, now altered by the radiation, affects Parker’s DNA and transforms him into Spider-Man.

Like Sharknado, Sharktopus is a SyFy original film that made its debut in 2010. Also like Sharknado, it contains one of the deadliest movie sharks. The film is about a group of scientists who are employed by the US Navy to create a half-shark, half-octopus creature to send into war. Sharktopus ends up escaping during a demonstration and wreaks havoc on beachgoers. Eric Roberts, Sara Malakul Lane, Kerem Bursin, and Hector Jimenez star in the film. It was so successful that there were two sequels, Sharktopus vs Pteracuda and Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf.

This successful 1986 genetic modification movie is about a scientist who creates a teleportation device. He successfully uses the device, but a fly slips in with him and the teleportation process merges their genes together. Slowly, the scientist begins to turn into a fly as the fly’s genes take over his body. The all-star cast includes Jeff Goldbum, Geena Davis, and John Getz. The film won an Academy Award for Best Makeup. There were two sequels titled The Fly II and The Fly: Outbreak which were not as successful as the first.

The newest installment of the Jurassic Park series features a dinosaur that was created in a lab. The Indominus Rex, the villain of the film, is comprised of genes from cuttlefish, a species of tree frog, T-Rex, and other dinosaurs. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and B.D. Wong, the film was a commercial hit. Jurassic World has grossed $611.1 million in North America and $902.3 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $1.513 billion, making this film the highest grossing film of the Jurassic Park franchise

Dr. Edward Pretorius and his assistant Crawford Tillinghast have developed a machine to stimulate the sixth sense, known as the Resonator. When activated, it causes Crawford to see creatures flying in the air. The experiment goes out of control, but Dr. Pretorius will not shut down the machine. Once the police arrive, summoned by the neighbors, only to see Crawford attempting to escape with a headless Dr. Pretorius left behind. Crawford is sent to a mental institution, where he is placed in the care of the sadistic Dr. Bloch. A prominent psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Katherine McMichaels requests custody of Crawford instead, and he is transferred into her care under the additional supervision of Detective Bubba Brownlee. The three of them go to see the Resonator, and Katherine activates it. This causes a mutant Dr. Pretorius to attack them, along with other weird life forms.

In Austria, the medical student Herbert West develops a serum to resuscitate the dead while working with a famous scientist who mysteriously dies. Herbert travels to Massachusetts and his application is accepted by the Miskatonic Medical University Dean, Alan Halsey. He moves to the basement of the house of Daniel 'Dan' Cain, a medical student that is seeking a roommate to share his expenses. When Megan's, Dan's love interest, cat disappears, she finds it dead in Herbert's refrigerator. Later, Daniel hears a cat and Herbert screaming and he sees the cat alive violently attacking Herbert and they kill the animal again. Herbert invites Daniel to work with him, but Megan sees the bizarre experiment and tells her father, who then expels the students from the University. Herbert and Daniel go to the morgue to find a corpse to revive and are surprised by the Dean that is murdered by a resurrected man. Herbert injects the re-animating fluid in Alan, reviving him, but the envious and greedy Dr. Carl Hill wants his formula to become famous.

After his ship goes down, Edward Parker is rescued at sea. Parker gets into a fight with Captain Davies of the Apia and the Captain tosses him overboard while making a delivery to the tiny tropical island of Dr. Moreau. Parker discovers that Moreau has good reason to be so secretive on his lonely island: the doctor is a whip-cracking task master to a growing population of his own gruesome human/animal experiments. He does have one prized result: Lota, the beautiful panther woman. Parker's fortunes for escape look up after his fiancée Ruth finds him with the help of fearless Captain Donohue. However, when Moreau's tribe of near-humans rises up to rebel, no one is safe...

In the futuristic year of 2019, Los Angeles has become a dark and depressing metropolis, filled with urban decay. Rick Deckard, an ex-cop, is a "Blade Runner." Blade runners are people assigned to assassinate "replicants." The replicants are androids that look like real human beings. When four replicants commit a bloody mutiny on the Off World colony, Deckard is called out of retirement to track down the androids. As he tracks the replicants, eliminating them one by one, he soon comes across another replicant, Rachel, who evokes human emotion, despite the fact that she's a replicant herself. As Deckard closes in on the leader of the replicant group, his true hatred toward artificial intelligence makes him question his own identity in this future world, including what's human and what's not human in this genetic modification movie.

In the near future, cloning is possible in a technologically advanced society, but human cloning remains illegal. Adam Gibson returns home after working with his friend Hank Morgan only to find a clone of himself with his family. Before he has chance to find out the truth, he is attacked by a group who want him dead. Adam must escape and find out the truth from the creator of the clones, Michael Drucker. Adam knows for sure he couldn't have been cloned, but isn't ready for what he's about to hear.

Construction worker Doug Kinney finds that the pressures of his working life, combined with his duties to his wife Laura and daughter Jennifer, leave him with little time for himself. However, he is approached by geneticist Dr. Owen Leeds who offers him a rather unusual solution to his problems - cloning.

After losing her childhood sweetheart in a car accident, Rebecca decides to bring him back to life by cloning him and carrying him as her baby. While Tommy’s mother objects, his father agrees, though he asks Rebecca to carefully consider her decision. Tommy is reborn and raised as Rebecca’s son, and the two have a close relationship. The neighborhood they live in is deeply prejudiced against clones, and as rumors against Tommy spread, his playmates abandon him. They move to a more remote location. As Tommy grows he becomes more and more like his original self. Tommy begins to question his identity when he encounters his original mother, who arrives unexpectedly and is recognized by Tommy, who has never seen him as his current self. Rebecca reveals Tommy’s true identity to him, and they share a passionate night together. However, the next morning Tommy departs, thanking Rebecca for the life she gave him.

listscifi moviehumanity

Natasha Sydor

creative @ amazon studios

Receive stories by Natasha Sydor in your feed
Natasha Sydor
Read next: Love Always Survives

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links