Your favorite cheesy sci-fi movies from the '50s and '60s

I just watched *Forbidden Planet * and It Came from Outer Space: Pure, lovely Velveeta!

What are yours?

Forbidden Planet cheesy? Nuh uh. It was state of the art, at the time. Big budget, good acting, great effects.

Besides, it didn’t have John Agar, which is required for cheese. :slight_smile:

I remember some good ones that might be considered cheesy by today’s standards – Them!, The Day the World Ended, When the Earth Stood Still, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Blob, and one good giant spider movie – can’t remember the title. Not Tarantula – that one was cheesy.

Point taken with Forbidden (it was, after all, modeled on The Tempest). For me, the “high tech” Krell center and the theremin music marked it as a quintessentially '50s sci-fi flick. (However, it is heads 'n shoulders 'n toes above Plan 9)

I can’t believe that was Leslie Nielsen!

Forbidden Planet holds up really well; some of the social attitudes are amusing now (it’s funny how science fiction writers who had no trouble imagining FTL interstellar travel and artificial intelligence nevertheless saw gender roles as being pretty much unchanging). The basic premise is good hard sf, and way beyond most of the simple-minded monster movies being made then.

For real cheese, I enjoy stuff like Attack of the Eye Creatures. This movie was so low-budget that they screwed up the title credits: it actually says “Attack of the [new line] the Eye Creatures”. They had big fun with this one on MST3K.

He was kinda hot, wasn’t he?

Baldwin, “gender roles”? Altaira was naive, but she was also independent, even a bit forceful, if I remember right.

Oh wait. Do you mean the way she was treated by the men? Like a delicate flower? Yeah, now I get it.

I always got the impression that Altaira wasn’t as naive as she acted. She seemed to enjoy screwing with Adams’ and Farman’s heads.

Anybody ever see the 1968 flick Project X, starring George Whatshisname and Henry Jones and Monte Markham? Bizarre little flick with great cheesy futuristic costumes and effects.

Sir Rhosis

As for cheesy SF movies, my favorite has to be the movie Alien was based on: “It, Terror from Beyond Space.” I love how a spaceship to Mars is carrying gas grenades, M1 Garands and a freaking BAZOOKA. And how they FIRE the bazooka ON THE SHIP and it doesn’t put a hole in it…

I know the OP is asking for cheesy specimens, but someone mentioned (not quite accurately) The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and said it might be considered cheesy by today’s standards. There are a few scenes that stretch believability, such as the ones where Gort’s laser-like eye-beam either neutralizes or destroys the weapons and tanks arrayed against them, but for the most part this movie was surprisingly clean of gimmicks and “effects” even for its day. The plot and the acting were at least on par with many of the A features of the period and I know that my younger brother and I were both terrified by the prospect of those aliens actually coming to Earth and making our electricity quit working. We were in grammar school in those days so that’s not saying all that much. But we were smart and hip enough to see through the stupidity of things like Tarantula and the ones where they took pictures of crickets and lizards and blew them up to resemble terrifying creatures eating people.

I do remember doing some math on the body parts involved in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) and being impressed where one could park a car. (I was in high school by that time and had thoughts in that direction anyway.)

Ok, it’s a miniseries, but it’s hard to beat Raumpatrouille (Space Patrol) from 1966. Here is a short clip that gives a first impression.

No, both are first-class SF films of the time. Nothing cheesy about them, other than the fact that they get insulted because the CGI was so bad. :rolleyes:

There were many great SF flicks of the time, and they differed from current SF in that they actually put some thought into the plot, and gave the viewer something to think about. Today’s SF is completely mindless action; 50s SF at its best usually had something more.

Other great films of the time include:

Anything by Jack Arnold (It Came From Outer Space, Tarantula, The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Creature from the Black Lagoon)
War of the Worlds and The Time Machine.
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961, but fits otherwise)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers

If you’re concerned with story, and not special effects, these are better than 90% of SF in the past ten years.


I feel manny peoples tend to see B&W, rear projection sets, stop action animation, or the like and automatically get a cheese in their head. Sure, the LOOK is sometimes a little corny by todays standards (but not FP or TDtESS), but it was the IDEA, the STORY, and in many cases the ACTING that carried the film through. Through the ages, even!

Yeah, I’d much rather see a great story told with pipe cleaners than be attacked by wonderfully done tripods in a no story open wound of a movie try.

Ok,time for the cheese movie of the 50’s…Invaders from Mars.I was going to write Donovan’s Brain,but I liked it too much

I don’t think Invaders is cheese. Okay, the visible zippers were cheesy, and the tentacled Martian in the fish bowl (which is how I remember it, it might have looked different) was cheesy, but some scenes were just beautiful.

Plus, it hit on a primal fear – what if people you love and trust suddenly change? That’s scary. It scared me when I was 11, and it still scares me. Invaders played on that.

You are right.When I was young Invaders scared the bejesus out of me.As an adult I can see how it was played like being in a dream

Fantastic Voyage (1966) was great cheese plus it had Raquel Welch in a form fitting suit! :smiley:

This is one of my faves! I just recorded it on DVR and am saving it for a very special evening :smiley:

“The Thing”, with James Arness just scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. You can still see it on reruns today of course.
“The Day the Earth Stood Still” Is a classic! We kids memorized “Platu Marada Nickto” (or whatever) just in case Gort showed up. Talk about impressioning kids! Loved It.
I couldn’t suspend disbelief with “Robbie the Robot” though. Even then I watched the movie with my eyeballs pointed up.

I love this stuff!.

This Island Earth has got to be on the list. :slight_smile:

If you want real cheese track down a few John Agar films as AuntiePam mentioned. The Brain from Planet Arous is my fav.

If you want shear mega-ton bad go for The Beast of Yucca Flats a 70 min long film(?) that manages to be boring. :eek:

Some of the best cheeses have already been given the MST3K treatment. But it’s amazing how many of those I saw (and even liked!) long before the days of Joel and the Bots. Of course, I have a new appreciation of good cheese because of them.

Which brings me to THEM! The Proffessor, without Mary Ann, is an ant! Ahhhhh!

A newer cheese with a simliar title, but a much different plot, was THEY LIVE! Man, I gotta get me some of those glasses!.