I really enjoy watching 1950s sci-fi and horror films. When I was growing up I went through a phase where I watched every movie from that era that I could get my hands on. There are a ton of classic movies from that time such as War of the Worlds, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Them!, and more. There are still so many other sci-fi movies out there that have been made that I know a lot of people haven't seen or even heard of. To remedy that I came up with a list of ten flicks that I've seen over the years that a lot of you probably haven't heard of. These are all films worth watching if you can find the time. They are best viewed with groups of fiends because even though they are good, they still have plenty of laughable moments.
These older films paved the ways for the movies that are being made today. They sparked the imaginations of a new generation of storytellers. It's kind of funny to see how some of these stories recycled themselves over and over again through the years. One of the things I love most about these older films are their visual style. A lot of these films are just incredibly cool looking.
Most to the films on this list are available to watch on YouTube. After you go over my list, if you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comment section!
Rocketship X-M - 1950
The film tells the story of a Moon expedition that ends with a trip to Mars instead because of a series of unseen events. The film was made in 18 days on a budget of $94,000, and it was the first outer space adventure to be made after World War II ended.
When Worlds Collide - 1951
This is one of the first disaster movies made that depicted the destruction of Earth. The story centers on a new star and planet that are on a collision course toward Earth. In an effort to save themselves a small group of survivalists frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home on a new planet. This kind of has some of the same elements that will be used in Christopher Nolan's upcoming film Interstellar. It also looks like the kind of movie Roland Emmerich would direct.
Flight to Mars - 1951
This visually awesome film told the story of an American scientific expedition team who was sent to Mars. While there they discover the underground-dwelling of a dying Martian civilization. The anatomically human looking aliens are suspicious of the earthlings' motives so they take them prisoner. The film was apparently shot in only five days!
The Man From Planet X - 1951
The story for this film takes place after a mysterious planet passes Earth, and an ambiguous alien scout arrives on a remote Scottish island with unknown intentions. The story also involves the disappearance of people in the village and a scientist trying to get the formula for the metal that his ship is made out of. The film was shot in six days, and to save money they filmed it on sets for the 1948 Ingrid Bergman film, Joan of Arc. They just used fog to help change moods and locations.
Project Moonbase - 1953
Set in the future of 1970, the story follows a terrorist who is posing as a scientist that is looking to destroy the world's first space station. What makes this film unique is the fact that it is the first movie to try and portray space travel in a realistic manner. It was also one of the first films to show us a future in which women held positions of authority equal to men. Apparently in the script the president of the United States was a woman.
The Quatermass Xperiment a.k.a. The Creeping Unknown - 1955
This Hammer film production tells the story of three astronauts sent into space in a rocket spacecraft. It returns to Earth with only one of the astronauts, and he begins to mutate into a deadly monster due to some kind of space fungus. The head of the project, Professor Quatermass, comes to realize that this is the way an alien will invade Earth.
Kronos - 1957
This film has a great story which centers on aliens from another world who unleash a gigantic robot "accumulator" to invade the Earth and absorb all of the energy that it comes in contact with. This is one of the first movies to portray the consequences of over consumption of both natural and man-made resources on Earth. This idea of an alien machine absorbing energy was reused in the 1966 Star Trek episode "The Doomsday Machine" where an alien machine destroys planets and uses their energy to fuel itself.
War of the Satellites - 1958
When the Russian's launched the satellite Sputnik into orbit, director Roger Corman speedily came up with the idea for the story, shot the film, and released it to exploit the satellite. The story follows an "unknown force" that declares war on the planet Earth when the United Nations ignores warnings to stop in its attempts at launching the first satellite in the atmosphere.
4D Man - 1959
In this film, two scientist brothers by the name of Scott and Tony Nelson, develop an amplifier that gives a person the ability to enter into a 4th dimensional state. This allows them to pass through any object. As Scott experiments on himself, he discovers that each time he passes through something he ages rapidly. To get his youthful looks back, he starts killing people, so he can suck out their life energies.
(The only embeddable video I could find was this German trailer for it.)
The World, The Flesh and The Devil - 1959
This post-apocalyptic doomsday movie centered on a miner named Ralph Burton who is trapped in a mine for several days. After he manages to dig his way out he realizes that almost everyone in the world was destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. He goes to New York to start over, and while there he meets two people. As they try to live in this empty world, tensions rise.