SciFi-Horror Movies that should have got more Oscar consideration . . .

It seems that with the exception of “The Sixth Sense”, and these movies get relegated to “Best Special Effects” or “Best Makeup” awards at the Oscars. Here’s some that I think got overlooked for higher honors, or at least nominations:

“The Matrix”, Best Picture’
Rutger Hauer, “Blade Runner”, Best Actor
“Solaris”, Best Picture
“Nightmare on Elm Street”, Best Picture; Robert Englund, Best Actor
Bela Lugosi, “Dracula”, Best Actor
“Carrie”, Best Picture
“Alens”, Best Picture
Jack Nicholson, Best Actor, “The Shining”
“Psycho”, Best Picture

There might be 1 or 2 up there that were nominated, but what are your suggestions?

Just to nitpick your list a little (without going into your choices):

Rutger Hauer, “Blade Runner”, Best Actor
Part was too small, Supporting Actor nod maybe.

I can’t think of too many SF-horror films right now. I’ll be back when I can think of some.

Just like comic book movies, Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies rarely get the nod. It’s sad, but the Academy doesn’t look at films like these as important. The Matrix wasn’t even on the nomination list for Best Movie (although it wasn’t the best movie that year by a long chalk).

In the end, if you don’t like what they choose then get into the Academy! :slight_smile:

The their book “The Making of King Kong” Goldner and Turner complain at length about how “Kong” wasn’t nominated for ANY Oscars. There was no “special effects” Oscar then, so it couldn’t be nominated for its ground-breaking effects (Goldner was one of the effects men on KK, so I can understand his feelings in this), but KK could have been nominated for any other award, and one could make a good case for Max Steiner’s score (which was ransacked for a lot of other RKO movies in later years) or for its cinematography, if you don’t want to give any of the actors a nod. (Effects chief O’Brien got a special oscar years later, but it ain’t the same).

Since Special Effects became a category SF/Fantasy/Horror films usually get a nomination there, but in most cases they are overlooked, unfairly I think.

I could argue with some of your suggestions, but I won’t. What I will say is that the little girl who played Newt in Aliens should have gotten a nomination for best supporting actress.

Leonard Nimoy probably should have gotten a Best Actor nod for Star Trek II.

Let’s not even mention all the Emmys that SciFi TV shows were passed over for…

When the remake of The Fly was released in 1986, there was some buzz, if you’ll pardon the expression, about Jeff Goldblum getting nominated for Best Actor. Of course, he wasn’t, and I don’t remember what the competition was that year, but it wouldn’t have been unreasonable for him to be in the top five: he was pretty f’in intense. Seriously. I watched it on DVD a while back, and I think it’s as good now as I thought it was then.

Dude…i don’t know about Solaris…when was the last time that the academy ever nominated a Russian film…oh yeah…never. It’s a classic(better then 2001, IMHO),but the academy would never even consider it. The book was also really enthralling.

Rilchiam: I totally agree about Goldblum. Even better, I’d say, was Jeremy Irons in Cronenberg’s film Dead Ringers. When Irons won the Best Actor Oscar for Reversal of Fortune three years later, he specifically thanked Cronenberg.

Re the OP, I agree, in general, that science-fiction, fantasy, and horror don’t get the respect they deserve. (FWIW, Psycho was nominated for a couple of awards. You can check IMDb for all the relevant details.) But in general, this is true for everything except dramas. Comedies, in particular, are sorely overlooked. Where were Steve Martin’s acting nominations for Roxanne and All of Me?

And specifically looking at your proposed list, I can’t support most of them. The Matrix nominated for Best Picture in a year that gave us Being John Malkovich, The Insider, Three Kings, American Beauty, The Straight Story, Boys Don’t Cry, Magnolia, The Sixth Sense, Eyes Wide Shut, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Mansfield Park, Felicia’s Journey, The Limey, Existenz, Bringing Out the Dead, Limbo, Mr. Death, The Iron Giant, Run Lola Run, Princess Mononoke, American Movie, All About My Mother, Topsy-Turvy, Election, Titus, the South Park movie, and Fight Club? I think you’d have to be a pretty rabid fan to even consider making a case for The Matrix being in the top ten, let alone the best film of the year.

And Rutger Hauer for an acting award? Here’s who was nominated for Best Actor that year: Jack Lemmon, Missing; Peter O’Toole, My Favorite Year; Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie; Paul Newman, The Verdict; and the winner, Ben Kingsley in Gandhi. The supporting-actor lineup is a little more forgiving; you have to keep James Mason, The Verdict; Robert Preston, Victor/Victoria; John Lithgow, The World According to Garp; and the winner, Lou Gossett Jr. from An Officer and a Gentleman. I can see dumping Charles Durning from Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and putting Rutger Hauer in there, but you’d have to disregard John Gielgud in Gandhi, Kevin Kline in Sophie’s Choice, and half the cast of both Tootsie and Diner. However you look at it, the competition is stiff.

The one from your list I can see is Solaris, but in 1972 it was competing with Cabaret, Deliverance, The Ruling Class, Sleuth, Sounder, Jeremiah Johnson, The Candidate, and The Godfather, for crying out loud.

There is a larger point being made by the OP, and I think it’s valid. Speculative films, such as Kubrick’s 2001, generally gain in prominence over time. Blade Runner was dismissed at the time, but the last two decades have shown just how influential it really is. Similarly, horror movies occupy a cinematic ghetto, but the ones that last over the years, like Tod Browning’s Freaks or Tourneur’s original Cat People from 1942, gain their reputation by the simple fact of their longevity. Dramas, on the other hand, are potent right away.

So it’s a valid point. I just don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon.

I heartily agree with all the kudos for Cronenberg’s “The Fly.” I’ll add that the film definitely deserved a best picture nod as well; it was positively operaesque. Likewise for “Dead Ringers.”

I’ll also put in a nod for Jeff Bridges’ overlooked performance in “Starman”, as an alien trying to awkwardly get along in a foreign (human) body-form…great stuff.

I seem to recall that Bridges was nominated for Starman. Am I misremembering?

I’ll never understand how The Ten Commandments beat out Forbidden Planet for the effects Oscar in 56. Commandments was considered an A picture, while Planet wasn’t, I suppose.


The Biggest Oscar Ripoff occurred when Spaceballs was spurned of it’s rightfully-earned Best Movie Oscar.

Yeah, you’re right, SPOOFE, that mustachioed Daphne Zuniga stunt-double should have taken home some kind of trophy.


I thought Dark City deserved Oscar recognition.

So did Ebert and (the late) Siskel.

The OP:

  • you do mean “Alien”, not “Aliens”, right ?

Because, IMHO, Alien (Oscar for Visual Effects, BTW) is a better movie (and come to that, better sci-fi) than Aliens. Giger’s phallic monster, introducing the “rusty spaceship” concept, the Alien never being in clear view - it’s a classic. I’d rent it over “Cramer vs. Cramer” (1979 best movie) any day.

Aliens (again, in my opinion) is an action/war movie in a sci-fi setting. It’s certainly a very good one, but it doesn’t really break any new ground. Cool flick, but not Oscar material.
S. Norman

Spiny Norman:

The OP:


“Alens”, Best Picture

  • you do mean “Alien”, not “Aliens”, right ?
    I think the OP meant “Aliens”, and I agree. “Alien” was stylish and well-directed, and Ridley Scott is to be highly praised for selecting H.R. Giger for the design of both ship and creature, but I was profoundly disappointed in the film as a whole. The plot was hackneyed, old hat in sf literature by now, and already used in the neglected 1950s sf film “It! THe Terror from Beyond Space” (written by Jerome Bixby)-- a film I highly recommend. The actions of the characters were annoying and illogical (“There’s a monster loose on this space ship. All of us are going over here – YOU go over THERE, where it’s dark”. And they do this THREE TIMES!)No one questions how a pint-sized chest-burster turns into a seven-foot tall monstrosity with no food supply. I realize that you can ignore such things in the name of ART, but 1.) I suspect people WOULD question such things outside of fantastic cinema and 2.) such disregard for logic seems woefully out of place in a genre like science fiction.

“Aliens” did not suffer these flaws. Characters were well-motivated and their actions reasonable. Cameron was able to pay proper homage to the original film and be consistent with it while building his own vision – even to the extent of copying Scott’s smoke-filled style. It was NOT a case of monsters just jumping out and attacking people for no reason – a criticism often leveled at this flick – although that seems to happen a lot in the original. Pauline Kael thought it cloying that Ripley was driven by the need to protect Newt, but it apparently didn’t bother her that Ripley was driven by her need to protect her damned Cat in the first movie. Give me a character who will save a kid over a cat any day.

I know to a small degree how difficult it is to make all the elements come together in a decent production. To be able to juggle storylines, art direction, acting, special effects, and all of this in a SEQUEL, while keeping true to the vision of the original, is unbelievably hard. Cameron pulled it off. I find his film incredibly well-done and entertaining. I find Alien, on the other hand, hard to watch, despite Scott’s brilliance.

I’m going to put an “NO” next to the films Matrix was better than that year (please don’t take multiple NOs as TOO much sarcasm), and a “?” to the ones I did not see:

** Narrows down the field a bit, eh?


OK I goofed. I meant Best Supporting Actor. Sorry to waste your time.


Perhaps it should be noted that The Matrix, while not garnering any “major” Oscars, did take home the second-highest number of Oscars for any one film.

But, frankly, The Sixth Sense was a much better speculative film and heartily deserved the Nebula Award it earned, beating The Matrix.

(As an aside: As to spec-fic movies not getting recognition, of the list posted by Cervaise, I think: Being John Malkovich, The Sixth Sense, The Iron Giant, Run Lola Run, and on some level even Fight Club could all be considered speculative.

Now, if only some of those movies had been released this year…)

LL <-- not nearly the movie buff Cervaise is.

Um. For any one film last year.