• Gattaca (1997). (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
We've travelled through time to bring you some of quality sci-fi. Join Marc Fennell for Movie Mayhem, Wednesdays on SBS 2.
SBS Movies

24 Jun 2015 - 5:41 PM  UPDATED 23 Jul 2015 - 11:07 AM

Wednesday July 1, 8:30pm


(USA, drama/sci-fi/thriller)

Director: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law
What's it about?
In the 21st century, genetic engineering makes possible the creation of biologically superior human specimens ("valids"), who then grow to positions of power and prestige. Would-be astronaut Vincent (Ethan Hawke) born the old-fashioned way, can only hope for a janitorial position at the elite Gattaca Corporation – until he buys the blood, urine, and identity of a perfect but paralysed athlete. A thoughtful, beautifully shot movie that poses important questions about the ethics of genetic engineering.

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The Blob

(USA, horror/sci-fi)

Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillon, Donovan Leitch Jr.
What's it about?
Another case of science gone wrong in The Blob, a remake of the 1958 version starring Steve McQueen, which follows a growing gelatinous byproduct of secret government chemical experiments, that crashes from outer space in a meteorite. The slimy goo then proceeds to eat and dissolve every living thing, particularly the citizens of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. It's ultimately up to the local bad boy, a fresh-faced Kevin Dillon (Entourage), to defend the town, all the while sporting magnificent '80s hair.


Wednesday July 8, 8:30pm

The One

(USA, action/sci-fi/thriller)

Director: James Wong
Starring: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Delroy Lindo
What's it about?
The versatile Jet Li (Hero, Fearless) plays a dual role as Gabriel Yulaw, a police officer confronted with his evil alter ego - a sinister version of himself escaped from an advanced, parallel universe. Bad Gabriel's hunt culminates in a fateful battle between good and evil that changes Gabriel's perception of reality and forces him to examine the evil hidden within himself. This first movie by X-Files writer James Wong also stars Jason Statham and Carla Gugino (San Andreas, Elektra Luxx).



Watch it now at SBS On Demand

(China/Hong Kong, sction/comedy/mystery)

Director: Wing-cheong Law
Starring: Donnie Yen, Baoqiang Wang, Shengyi Huang 
What's it about?
This remake of the 1989 film The Iceman Cometh stars martial arts legend Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Hero) as a Ming Dynasty royal officer who, after being falsely accused of treason, is buried alive in the snow while fighting with three of his captors. Their frozen bodies thaw out 400 years later in 2013 Hong Kong, and they do what any warring martial arts legends would: pick up exactly where they left off.

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Wednesday July 15, 8:30pm

Safety Not Guaranteed

Watch now at SBS On Demand

(USA, comedy/drama/romance)

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson
What's it about?
This charmer stars Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) and everyman indie Mark Duplass. When an unusual classified ad inspires three cynical Seattle journalists to look for the story behind it, they discover a mysterious eccentric named Kenneth, a likable but paranoid supermarket clerk, who believes he’s solved the riddle of time travel and intends to depart again soon. Together, they embark on a hilarious, smart, and unexpectedly sweet journey that reveals how far faith can take you. 

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Read interview with director Colin Trevorrow
Read interview with actor Mark Duplass


The Door

(Germany, drama/mystery/sci-fi)

Director: Anno Saul
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Jessica Schwarz, Valeria Eisenbart
What's it about?
The one and only Mads Mikkelsen stars in this psychological thriller about a famous painter, whose daughter dies from an accident on his watch. Five years on, wrecked by guilt and grief, he stumbles on a time-travel corridor, which could help him save his daughter's life. But he soon finds out that righting past wrongs has unintended consequences. A gripping and haunting experience.


Wednesday July 22, 8:30pm

Attack the Block

Watch now at SBS On Demand

(UK, horror/sci-fi)

Director: Joe Cornish
Starring: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail
What's it about?
This refreshing take on the alien movie genre, set against an über-cool electronic soundtrack by Basement Jaxx and Steven Price (Gravity), stars young actor John Boyega, who will soon be seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and features an appearance by Nick Frost from Shaun of the Dead as a local weed dealer. When a South London council estate comes under attack by aliens, a gang of tough inner-city kids grabs their bikes and arms up to set out to defend their turf. 

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Blog: Why You Should Watch Attack the Block



(USA, action/adventure/horror)

Director: Christian Duguay
Starring: Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin
What's it about?
Based on a short story (Second Variety) by sci-fi master Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Total Recall), Screamers is set in 2078 on Sirius 6B, a distant mining planet ravaged by a decade of war. Scientists have created the perfect weapon: a blade-wielding, self-replicating race of killing devices known as Screamers designed for one purpose only - to hunt down and destroy all enemy life forms. But these creepy-crawly machines have continued to evolve without any human guidance, with one goal in mind: eradicate all human life.


Wednesday July 29, 8:30pm

Flash Gordon

(USA/UK, action/adventure/sci-fi)

Director: Mike Hodges
Starring: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow
What's it about?
And what better to finish our Sci-Fi Movie Mayhem with a bang than this '80s camp classic, where a star footballer and everyday hero Flash Gordon leads the charge to save the world from certain destruction by Ming the Merciless, a bored alien king who keeps conjuring up a series of disasters on Earth. Retrotastic special effects and a soundtrack by Queen make this required viewing for any self-respecting B-movie buff.