In a world of weird, everyone needs a laugh. A variety of subgenres mesh well with science fiction, but comedy seems to add a new inventiveness to the whole equation. The seriousness of science and the hilarity of comedy together has given us some great iconic movies.
Here is my top 10 list of the best science fiction comedies. Enjoy and may the “schwartz” be with you!
Weird Science (1985)
Do hot babes and science go hand in hand? Of course, if you have nerds with bra helmets and a Barbie doll, that is. This is one of the iconic teen movies of the 80s, directed by John Hughes that fulfills the hot girl fantasy of every nerdy teenage boy. Using their knowledge of science, combined with their computer skills, a Barbie doll, and LOTS of luck, a geeky duo set out to create “the perfect woman” who will hopefully get them a little closer to being part of the popular crowd. Sci-fi, 80s comedy, and zit-faced teenage nerds make one of the best teen cult classics that’s still popular today.
This is one movie that will leave you feeling like the smartest person alive. Seriously...
A test subject, let's call him your average Joe, becomes part of a government experiment and put into hibernation. However, later down the road, scandal erupts, the base is shut down, and poor Joe is forgotten, until he wakes up… 500 years later! During this time, human evolution, in polite terms, had intellectually down-spiraled and it's discovered by the new government that he's the smartest person alive. He’s seen as a threat and ordered to be executed, but will receive a full presidential pardon if he can solve the country’s biggest problem—he has to figure why plants won't grow. These are coming from people that think water is only for toilets, mind you. So, even though this movie is absolutely hilarious, it's a good reminder that we should see this movie only as comedy and not as a future documentary.
Back to the Future (1985)
When you build a time-machine, what better choice than a Delorean that runs on plutonium? Every teenager, at some point, doesn’t like their parents, but not everyone gets to travel back in time to 1955 to meet them when they were in high school. It's 1985 and Marty McFly is a typical teenager who’s best friend, Doc Brown, invents a plutonium-powered time machine. When they’re testing it out, something seriously goes wrong and Marty’s sent back to 1955. Not only does he meet his parents and the guy who still bullies his dad in 1985, he has to be careful not to do anything that will alter the future. Oh yeah, he also has to find a way to get “back to the future.” It’s just a really great movie from the 80s that’s stood the test of “time.”
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Not only is this film an amusing spoof of science fiction fandom and Star Trek, it's a brilliant action-adventure/science-fiction film in its own right. Galaxy Quest has it all: scantily clothed women, romance, technology, space ships, ugly and evil monsters and dynamite catch phrases. It gives you a wickedly funny sneak peek at science fiction’s inner sanctum as the alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Whoa… History’s about to be re-written by two dudes who can’t even spell. Despite the success of the films Speed and The Matrix trilogy, to a lot of people, Keanu Reeves will ALWAYS be Ted… I think everyone wishes they could use a time machine and go back in time to see all of life’s historical moments in person, whether it be for a historical presentation or not. In this movie, two seemingly dumb teens do, and they end up with a pretty KICKASS history class presentation. Now, always be excellent to each other!
Men in Black (1997)
This movie is a great science fiction/tongue-in-cheek comedy that includes some serious moments, as well as some of the best special effects for 1997, all crammed into one. The alien make-ups are some of the best of that time period. Agents J. and K. of the MBI protect our world which is full of a variety aliens who live among us, most of them being respectful citizens of planet Earth. However, the fleet is warned that a "Bug," a member of a giant cockroach-like alien species that’s currently at war with another alien race, has crashed down to Earth and is seeking an object known as the “Galaxy.” To prevent this, they are willing to destroy the Earth unless the MIB can secure the Galaxy before their deadline within a day.
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Everything wonderfully comes to life, pun intended, in this story about the American grandson of the infamous scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who struggles to prove that he's not as insane as people believe. He's invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body. Another Mel Brooks masterpiece that will be quoted for years to come. Oh sorry, that's right, it's “Fronk-en-steen!”
Time Bandits (1981)
Take everything you know about historical figures, and throw it right out the window. Time Bandits takes a young boy and a band of time travelling dwarves through time looking for treasure to steal. Along the way, they find Napoleon, who’s a height-obsessed drunkard and Robin Hood who’s an aloof, unlikely leader of a band of violent, too-merry men, and then some. It's all here, plus the technocratic, pyromaniac "Evil" vs. the Supreme Being. It’s another hilarious movie about time travel.
Scientists develop the technology to shrink a ship to a size so small it can travel inside the body of any life form. As this is a comedy, you know things go awry and the ship ends up inside the body of grocery store worker John Putter, played by Martin Short. The ship’s presence turns Putter’s world upside down, making people think he’s lost his mind. How they can even still fit a tiny ship inside Martin Short is beyond me.
Oh wow, what can I say about this one! If you haven’t seen it, please do. It’s filled with that spectacular 80s humor that will keep you laughing and quoting the movie forever. If you love Star Wars, imagine it as a slapstick comedy and, ta dah... that’s Spaceballs. This is one of Mel Brooks’ best parodies.
Lord Helmet and President Skroob wish to steal all of Planet Druidia's fresh air and transfer it onto their own, but they must get the combination to the air shield that is protecting it. King Roland's daughter, Princess Vespa, runs away from her wedding, and since King Roland is the King of Druidia, Lord Helmet kidnaps her to get the combination. King Roland asks space rebel, Lone Starr and his faithful sidekick Mog (half-man/half-dog) Barf, to save the princess. But things quickly turn bad when Helmet gets the combination and now Lone Starr must use the "schwartz" and defeat Lord Helmet and Skroob before they suck all the air from Druidia. It's just a freaking hilarious movie. If you like silly humor in space, this is for you.
Again, may the "schwartz" be with you all—and please be excellent to each other, dudes! The 80s, ha, gotta love it...