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100 worst sci-fi movies of all time

  • 100 worst sci-fi movies of all time

    Quality science fiction cinema remains not just a visual document of mankind’s own potential, but an ongoing foray into the possibilities of the medium itself. The output in 2017 was naturally no exception, with entries like "Blade Runner: 2049," "Logan," and the upcoming "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" each exploring prescient human archetypes against a limitless expanse of imaginative terrains, situations, and characters. Even when dystopian vibes persist, audiences still exit the theater with their jaws agape. That’s the magic of sci-fi cinema. 

    However, as compelling as great science fiction can be, terrible science fiction retains its own special place in the annals of cinematic history. Whether filled with clumsy acting, shoddy special effects, amateur directing or all of the above, bad sci-fi has become its own rich tradition complete with cult followings and midnight screenings. To think, there’d be no "Mystery Science Theater 3000" without these classic clunkers.

    In celebration of campy sci-fi excess, Stacker has ranked the worst 100 sci-fi movies of all time. For the analysis, we’ve built an index (the Stacker Score) that combines IMDb ratings and Rotten Tomatoes Audience Scores. To qualify, a film needed to have at least 1,500 IMDb votes. Stacker Scores are based on a 1-100 scale; and now, we present the 100 worst sci-fi movies of all time.

    You may also like: 100 best sci-fi films of all time, according to critics

  • #100: The Incredible Melting Man

    Year released: 1977

    Stacker Score: 31.50
    IMDb User Rating: 3.9
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 24%

    He’s melting! He’s melting! So went the story of "The Incredible Melting Man," about an astronaut who returns from space and slowly degenerates into a murderous blob. The budget for this tone-deaf turkey was apparently so low that the producers couldn’t even afford stock footage of Saturn for the opening sequence, substituting public domain footage of the sun and a satellite moon instead. Shot in just fourteen days, the movie featured a cameo from future acclaimed director Jonathan Demme, possibly the best thing it had going for it.

  • #99: Double Dragon

    Year released: 1994

    Stacker Score: 31.50
    IMDb User Rating: 3.7
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 26%

    1988 video game "Double Dragon" was a worldwide smash in arcades and on Nintendo systems. By contrast, 1994 movie "Double Dragon" was a cheesy box office dud that didn’t do the game’s legacy any justice. The movie took place in a futuristic wasteland and involved two brothers squaring off against an evil gang over a powerful Chinese medallion. To call the movie the quintessence of cheese would be putting it lightly.

  • #98: The Killer Shrews

    Year released: 1959

    Stacker Score: 31.00
    IMDb User Rating: 3.8
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 24%

    Not to be confused with ill-tempered women made famous by Shakespeare, shrews are small rodent-like animals with long snouts and tiny eyes. In 1959’s "The Killer Shrews," the little creatures terrorize a group of people stranded on an island during a hurricane. For close-ups of the shrews, the director went with hand puppets. For long shots, he went with coon dogs. In spite of its poor reception and bad special effects, the movie actually turned a handsome profit for its time.

  • #97: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

    Year released: 1997

    Stacker Score: 31.00
    IMDb User Rating: 3.7
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 25%

    Awash with redundant action sequences, dated electronic music and wooden performances, "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" was the paltry follow up to a much better first installment. The video-game based movie, which pitted a group of martial artists against extra-dimensional invaders, was so bad that game creator Ed Boon himself dubbed it the worst moment in the franchise’s history.

  • #96: Trog

    Year released: 1970

    Stacker Score: 31.00
    IMDb User Rating: 3.6
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 26%

    As anyone who saw FX’s "Feud" is likely to know, "Trog" was Joan Crawford’s final and arguably worst effort. In the film, Crawford played an anthropologist trying to communicate with a troglodyte dressed in an ape suit leftover from Kubrick’s "2001: A Space Odyssey." According to legend, Crawford provided her own wardrobe due to budget constraints, and later claimed she might have killed herself from embarrassment if not for a late stage conversion to Christian Science. In spite of all the terribleness, the movie was the top grossing film in the USA in its first week of release.

  • #95: Reptilicus

    Year released: 1963

    Stacker Score: 31.00
    IMDb User Rating: 3.6
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 26%

    Big, prehistoric monsters commonly make for epically campy sci-fi movies. Take 1963’s "Reptilicus" for instance, a monster movie only worth watching for all the unintentional laughs. Among its other achievements in comedy was a quick appearance in a "South Park" episode (“Cancelled”).

  • #94: Dinocroc

    Year released: 2004

    Stacker Score: 31.00
    IMDb User Rating: 3.1
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 31%

    Presented by Roger Corman, aka the king of B movies himself, was 2004’s "Dinocroc." It detailed the misadventures of a reanimated prehistoric crocodile that escapes from a lab, grows substantially and devours everything in its path. As one might expect, the film is an all-you-can-eat buffet of rough acting and cheesy special effects.

  • #93: C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud

    Year released: 1989

    Stacker Score: 30.50
    IMDb User Rating: 3.8
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 23%

    1984’s "C.H.U.D." was a camp classic about a bunch of sewer-dwelling zombies. However, the 1989 sequel, "C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud," was dead on arrival. This time around, it’s a Chud named Bud chewing brains and spreading infections. Look for a cameo from scream king Robert Englund, and then put something better on.

  • #92: R.O.T.O.R.

    Year released: 1988

    Stacker Score: 30.50
    IMDb User Rating: 2.4
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 37%

    With a story ripped straight out of "RoboCop," and VHS artwork ripped straight out of "Mad Max," 1988’s "R.O.T.O.R." was about as derivative as a movie could get. The cinematic tale of a cyborg crime fighter was executed so poorly that the screenwriter has since disowned it, laying all the blame squarely at the director’s feet.

  • #91: Galaxina

    Year released: 1980

    Stacker Score: 29.50
    IMDb User Rating: 3.5
    Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 24%

    As part of a genre that might be best dubbed “spaceploitation,” 1980’s "Galaxina" was a particularly inept movie about a voluptuous, 31st century android with feelings. The clunker was directed by the same man who made "The Incredible Melting Man" and famously starred Playboy centerfold Dorothy Stratten as the emotional robot.

    Tragically, Statten was murdered by a jealous boyfriend the same year the film was released.

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