The Best Sci-Fi Comedies You’ve Never Seen

guardians of the galaxy 2

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: some of the best sci-fi comedies you’ve never seen!)

A little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters this week, and while it’s a Marvel comic/superhero movie, it also looks to follow its predecessor in being a fairly funny comedy as well. The sci-fi/comedy sub-genre is one with a universe worth of material to have fun with, but it isn’t nearly as crowded as you might think. There are great ones (Back to the Future), bad ones (Morons from Outer Space), unintentional ones (Battlefield Earth), ones you think you love but haven’t actually seen recently enough to realize they’re actually terrible (The Ice Pirates), and, of course, the best one (Galaxy Quest).

You know what there aren’t a lot of though? Great ones that haven’t found the audience they deserve. So yes, this is probably the least collectively obscure of these columns so far, but hopefully there are at least a few on here you haven’t seen yet.

And with that it’s time to look at some lesser-known sci-fi comedies guaranteed to leave you laughing, giggling, or maybe just slightly smiling while you shake your head and wonder what the hell is wrong with this Hunter guy.

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‘John Dies at the End’ Anti-Piracy Trailer

Don Coscarelli‘s film John Dies at the End, which features humans and monsters drifting between dimensions thanks to a popular drug, has been earning fans at festivals for the past year, and it is finally available to be seen by everyone thanks to the miracle of VOD. Many films that are available digitally also end up being seen by a lot of people thanks to piracy, and the marketing folks working for John Dies at the End have put together a great little trailer that hopes to prevent that from happening this time.

Looks like some of the film’s fun, grisly moments ended up in this trailer, so be warned of that before going in, but with that disclaimer shared, have a look below. Read More »

There’s no denying that Don Coscarelli‘s latest film, John Dies at the End, is destined to be a cult classic. It’s filled with the kind of off-beat, funny, violent and weird stuff that plays like gangbusters at midnight screenings, or when seen with a bunch of friends at home. Based on a novel by David Wong, the film stars Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes as two friends experiencing an existential, monster-filled adventure to save the world, all set off by a futuristic drug. Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown and Doug Jones pop up, too.

John Dies at the End opens on demand December 27, and is in theaters January 25. You can get a sense of what’s in store right now by checking out the red-band trailer below.  Read More »


John Dies at the End, which is director Don Coscarelli‘s take on the wacky, cult novel by David Wong, is incredibly entertaining for the sake of being entertaining. Featuring huge monsters, metaphysical conversations, pop culture-based humor, hilarious performances and big action scenes with flame throwers, explosions, and bullet time, you’d be hard pressed to be bored by the picture. Unfortunately, all of that promise and entertainment value feels wasted because the film has very little to say, and is capped with a slightly disappointing payoff.

John Dies at the End comes on demand December 27 and in theaters January 26, but recently screed at the AFI Fest presented by Audi. Read more below. Read More »

Don Coscarelli‘s latest film, John Dies At The End, has spent the entirety of 2012 playing the festival circuit. It started at Sundance, played South by Southwest, headed up to Toronto and, after a quick stop at the AFI Fest this week, it will finally be unleashed on the public. So the story of a futuristic drug setting two friends (Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes) on an existential  monster-filled adventure to save the world already has plenty of fans. You might become one too after watching its latest trailer, which is filled with just enough humor, effects and money shots to get anyone excited.

Co-starring Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown and Doug JonesJohn Dies at the End hits iTunes on December 27 and theaters January 25. Until then, check out the new trailer and poster below. Read More »

Be it Sundance, Toronto or South by Southwest, some of the most exciting films to play in any film festival these days are part of the midnight line up. That’s where festivals feel comfortable playing the over the top genre stuff and, last year, SXSW’s midnight schedule included films like Attack the Block, Insidious and Kill List. Now the 2012 schedule has been announced.

The main schedule is already cool enough, featuring the world premieres of fantastic films like The Cabin in the Woods and 21 Jump Street, but at midnight, they’re adding to that with the world premieres of [REC] 3: Genesis, Girls Against Boys and The Tall Man with Jessica Biel. They’ll also screen the awesome anthology V/H/S, John Dies at the End and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Intruders with Clive Owen, just to name a few.

Read the full list after the jump. Read More »

We’ve already had the chance to ooh and ahh over most of the Sundance Film Festival 2012 slate earlier this month, but with weeks to go until the festival four latecomers have just been announced. There are a few last-minute additions every year; last year’s included Miranda July’s The Future, while 2010’s included Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right.

This year, we have the intriguingly titled sci-fi John Dies at the End; This Must Be the Place, starring Sean Penn as an aging rock star; Jesse Eisenberg and Melissa Leo‘s new comedy Predisposed; and the Norwegian drama Oslo, August 31st. Read the descriptions after the jump.

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Don Coscarelli is back! The director of the Phantasm films and Bubba Ho-Tep may not be the most technically proficient filmmaker around, but he makes films that have an undeniable appeal. I can’t imagine how anyone who likes strange films and genre stuff wouldn’t love Coscarelli’s movies — they create their own space outside the typical horror/fantasy sphere.

And now he’s back with John Dies at the End. I’ve avoided a lot of material about this movie, and prior to watching this trailer knew only that the film features Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown and a story about a new drug and subjective reality.

After watching the teaser trailer I don’t know much more than that, but I do know that I’m very excited to see the film, which appears to be characterized by a really bizarre story and some spectacularly gooey, very practical creature effects. Check out the footage below. Read More »

Don Coscarelli, the writer/director of the Phantasm films, The Beastmaster and the Bruce Campbell cult classic Bubba Ho-Tep, has been trying to get the latter film’s prequel, Bubba Nosferatu: Curse of the She-Vampires, off the ground for some time now, but Bruce Campbell’s departure from the project left the production in a sore spot. It was said that the film might shoot fall of last year, with Ron Perlman replacing Campbell as Elvis and Paul Giamatti co-starring as Colonel Tom Parker. Obviously that hasn’t happened yet, but curiously enough, Coscarelli and Giamatti are working together on another film—one which, much to my surprise, is currently in the midst of filming. Read More »

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