13 Terrifically Terrible Sci-Fi Movies to Watch on a Long Weekend

By Adam Clark Estes on at

You know that great line from Party Down: “I’m into hard sci-fi. Fantasy is bullshit.” That’s me.

Well, that’s me for the most part. There’s nothing quite like kicking back on a long weekend, closing your curtains, and suspending disbelief for hours at a time. And to really escape, you need a cocktail that mixes the best of fantasy with the worst of sci-fi. You know the genre I’m talking about. I’m talking about sci-fi movies that are so bad, so ridiculous, and so unbelievable that they’re amazing. Check out a baker’s dozen of my favourites.

1) Starship Troopers

Space bugs, brain bugs, Denise Richards, Doogie Howser—this movie’s got it all. It’s weird how everyone from Argentina speaks perfect English, and it’s weirder how bugs poop lasers. But Starship Troopers is a great movie.


2) The Fifth Element

This is an excellent movie, in my opinion. It is also cheesy as hell if you step back and consider the premise of Korben Dallas saving the universe by way of an orange-haired superwoman with really great outfits. It’s Luc Besson at his best and worst.

In my opinion.


3) Event Horizon

So some astronauts go looking for a lost ship with a gravity drive that generated an artificial black hole and discover that it has literally gone to hell and back. Sign me up.


4) Hollow Man

Kevin Bacon figures out how to make living organisms invisible. Of course he goes crazy and spies on his sexy neighbor and kills his friends and eventually destroys his life’s work. Wait, was that a spoiler?


5) A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Stanley Kubrick started making this movie, died, and then Steven Spielberg took over. The final result is pretty much what you’d expect from this absurd juxtaposition of filmmaking prowess. Plus, Jude Law plays a robot gigolo.


6) Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Haters gonna hate.


7) Judge Dredd

Sylvester Stallone is at his very best when he plays a future cop.


8) Mission to Mars

A decade and a half before The Martian, there was Mission to Mars. Unlike the Matt Damon blockbuster, this movie features a killer twist that would make even M. Night Shyamalan shit his pants.


9) Bicentennial Man

The greatest tragedy is that Robin Williams wasn’t alive to make more movies. This is not his best. But boy, it’s fun to watch.


10) Demolition Man

See the above comment about Sylvester Stallone as future cop. Also, the three shells.


11) Source Code

Did you know that David Bowie’s son is a director? Indeed, Duncan Jones is a director who’s made a couple curious sci-fi films, including Source Code and Moon. The latter is pretty good. The former is terrifically terrible.


12) Lucy

This Scarlett Johansson super drug movie is also Luc Besson at his best and worst—emphasis on worst. It’s fun to watch until you get the end and wonder what the fuck anyone involved in this project was thinking.


13) Blade Runner

LOL just kidding! Blade Runner isn’t terrible at all. Blade Runner is the greatest movie ever made, and you should watch it right now.