I have a nephew and since he was 6-ish, I've been watching movies with him. And not just any movies---Sci-Fi movies. It started because he caught Alien Vs. Predator on FX. He started asking me questions about the facehuggers flying through the air and the weapons of the Predators and I realized quite quickly that he just needed to watch all those movies from both franchises and all would be clear.

So...that's where we began. Some movies we watched on TV (where the sexual content or super graphic violence was edited out) and some we rented. After making through all six of those movies, we moved on to other franchises---Terminator, Riddick, and some Star Trek movies.

After a few years, it became clear. Special effects become dated. Many of the original Star Trek movies didn't hold up. I, of course, adore them because I watched Star Trek in reruns as a child. But the boy hadn't seen those reruns. And...a movie from the early 80s...well...it's not that flashy. Electronically animated mannequins, smoke, and shitty special effects...not as compelling 30 years later.

Now...a few movies did hold his interest from that era. The main one that comes to mind is the original Terminator. He was interested in it because he saw the second one---from the early 90s---first. He *wanted* to know the beginning of the story. The story, not the effect, kept him interested. And to me, story is very important in sci-fi. Just a quick sidenote here, but that's why Inception is going to endure better as a sci-fi classic than...oh, Avatar. The Story. Avatar (or Dances with Smurfs) has none. Inception...it's got so much I'm not sure I got all of it in one viewing.

So...I have compiled a list a few years ago and have had friends add suggestions over the years and I thought I'd see if anyone who reads the blog has any suggestions for movies I might have overlooked. I'll publish the entire list included those seen so as to avoid any overlap.

One caveat: I prefer movies that don't have a ton of sexual content. I don't have a problem with sexual content myself, but I don't really wanna watch it with my nephew. For example, when I rented Total Recall, I forgot all about that one scene. And if you are guy, you instantly know what scene I'm talking about. And maybe it's cuz I'm a girl, but *I* remember the rubber fake faces on the side of a hill on Mars gasping for air. However...every man I've told this story to remembers the one scene I forgot all about: the three-boobed mutant. When it popped up, I yelled "Don't look!" and he turned away. But...at the end of the movie...he looked at me and asked, "Do all the mutants have three boobs?"

So...if a suggestion has a lot of sex, howzabout a heads up. Maybe he can watch it on his own. Later. Without his auntie sitting on the couch next to him. Trust me, I went to see Bram Stoker's Dracula with my dad while in college. Talk about uncomfortable.

However, language and violence are not issues and the boy *particularly* loves cool weapons/technology and robots. So...without further ado...here is The List.

Alien 1-4
Predator 1-2
AVP 1-2

Terminator 1-4

Pitch Black
The Chronicles of Riddick

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Personal favorite)
Star Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: Nemesis
Star Trek (JJ Abrams reboot)

Lord of the Rings trilogy

Resident Evil 1-2

Jurassic Park 1-3

Back to the Future 1-3

The Matrix
Hitchhiker's Guide
Total Recall
Starship Troopers
Independence Day
War of the Worlds (Tom Cruise version)

Fifth Element
The Thing
Escape from NY
Road Warrior (waiting---rape scene)
Three Days of the Condor
Blade Runner
Running Man
12 Monkeys
Minority Report
Logan's Run
Planet of the Apes
The Descent
Forbidden Planet

Any favorites that I missed in this list? Don't bother with Star Wars...that's a given. And...we've only *just* started with zombies. Personally, zombies scare the crap out of *me* so we watched one Resident Evil movie on FX with the gorier stuff removed. Even so...zombies are scary. So that explains the lack of zombie movies.


DaveM said...

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is classic scifi -- and IMHO didn't have all that much in the way of special effects to become dated. Just pathos :-) And you've already seen VI, so you can leave the rest of them behind.

I don't see "Spaceballs" on your list. Worthy addition as a farce.

TRON is a little dated, but the sequel will be released soon, and it's probably worth seeing again.

ET and Flight of the Navigator are worth seeing.

Phenomenon and Powder are both similar thematically - it's been a while, but I think Powder was a slightly better movie. But that may have been because I was 15 at the time and feeling teen isolation angst.

Anyway, if I think of more, I'll add them.

sf said...

Here is a great website if you want to know what you are getting into before you watch a movie:


it tells you everything you really could want to know about the various types of risky content.

The Duke said...


sf said...

Please don't let him watch Dune. It doesn't make any sense, it isn't exciting, and it will ruin the chances that he might read the book later in life, which is, of course, one of the greatest series of all time.

Gamera said...

KHAN! Good add. Spaceballs is funny. Haven't seen Phenomenon or Powder so those will get added. ET---classic! Can't believe I forgot that one. Haven't seen Flight of the Navigator either.

Hahaha...Dune. I've actually never seen Dune myself. And it's funny cuz I *know* sf is a major Dune fan but not of Lynch's version. Though...I thought I read a new Dune was in the works.

Narc said...

I thought Mad Max was the one that had the rape scene, not Road Warrior. But then, I've only seen bits of the first and none of the second. Beyond Thunderdome is safe, IIRC.

Logan's Run does have some adult content, but no actual sex, I think.

Wizards (1977) is a bit of an animated sci-fi/fantasy mashup. There might be an animated boob or two and possibly some behind-the-bushes nookie going on, but I can't really remember.

Also with the animated boobage is Heavy Metal.

Castles in the Sky and NausicaƤ (not Warriors of the Wind!) are both animated post-apocalyptic sci-fi and family friendly.

The channel I refuse to call SyFy released a Dune miniseries a couple of years ago that was much better than the Lynch movie. They subsequently also did Children of Dune. I thought they were both pretty good, and much less weird than the Lynch version.

The Day The Earth Stood Still is an oldie but a goodie.

And, as always, Wikipedia is your friend:

moongrrl said...

Just FYI, gamera: I own the Dune miniseries from the channel formerly known as Sci-Fi. You can borrow it if you like.

There is one scene with titties in it.

There's always Dr. Who, too!