• HAL 9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1969) (Warner Bros. Pictures)Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
Sci-fi films from Hollywood and beyond now available to stream at SBS On Demand.
SBS Movies

9 Jun 2017 - 9:10 AM  UPDATED 9 Jun 2017 - 9:10 AM

Dystopian futures, artificial intelligence, alien visitations, drug-induced trips... these ten mind-altering science fiction titles streaming on SBS On Demand include a French New Wave classic, a 1950s special-effects touchstone, cult favorites from the New Hollywood of the 60s and 70s, a recent arthouse oddity featuring an A-list star, and a Philip K. Dick adaptation with an animated Keanu Reeves.

THX 1138

United States of America, 1971
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction
Language: English
Director: George Lucas
Starring: Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley, Maggie McOmie, Ian Wolfe, Marshall Efron, Sid Haig, John Pearce, Irene Forrest, Gary Alan Marsh, John Seaton, Eugene I. Stillman, Jack Walsh, Mark Lawhead
What's it about?
People in the future live in a totalitarian society. A technician named THX 1138 lives a mundane life between work and taking a controlled consumption of drugs that the government uses to make puppets out of people. As THX is without drugs for the first time he has feelings for a woman and they start a secret relationship.

George Lucas' 'THX 1138' is coming to SBS On Demand to make us all happy and effective



A Scanner Darkly

United States, 2006
Genre: Sci-Fi, Animation/3D
Language: English
Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr.
What's it about?
An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.

A Scanner Darkly


United States, 1973
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Language: English
Director: Michael Crichton
Starring: Yul Brynner, James Brolin, Richard Benjamin
What's it about?
In a futuristic resort, wealthy patrons can visit recreations of different time periods and experience their wildest fantasies with life-like robots. But when Richard Benjamin opts for the wild west, he gets more than he bargained for when a gunslinger robot goes berserk.

2001: A Space Odyssey

United Kingdom, 1968
Genre: Sci-Fi, Cult
Language: English
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: William Sylvester, Gary Lockwood, Keir Dullea, Daniel Richter
What's it about?
Four million years ago the tribe of Moonwatcher (Daniel Richter) is engaged in conflict with a rival group. After an encounter with an alien monolith, Moonwatcher leads his tribe to victory when he discovers the use of bones as bludgeons. In the year 2001 the same monolith has been discovered on the moon's surface and an expedition tracking its radio signal is sent to Jupiter. When the rest of the crew are terminated by the ship's computer, HAL (voice of Douglas Rain), surviving astronauts David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) attempt to disable HAL and complete their mission. Bowman discovers the true nature of the mission, and is himself transported beyond the known universe.

Why You Should Watch: 2001: Space Odyssey
Why 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest Hollywood films ever made


2010: The Year We Make Contact

United States of America, 1984
Genre: Thriller, Science Fiction
Language: English, Russian
Director: Peter Hyams
Starring: Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban, Keir Dullea
What's it about?
This is a sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is now 2010 and both the Americans and the Russians are racing to get to Jupiter to investigate the black monolith (similar to the one found in Lunar Crater Clavius) which was found by the U.S.S. Discovery in orbit around Jupiter's moons. 


Altered States

United States of America, 1980
Genre: Mystery, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Horror
Language: English, Spanish
Director: Ken Russell
Starring: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban
What's it about?
A research scientist (William Hurt) explores the boundaries and frontiers of consciousness. Using sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic mixtures from native American shamans, he explores these altered states of consciousness and finds that memory, time, and perhaps reality itself are states of mind.

Ken Russell’s ‘Altered States’ will expand your mind


Japan, 2014
Genre: Action
Language: Japanese
Director: Shinsuke Sato
Starring: Kazumari Ninomiya, Ken'ichi Matsuyamaa, Yuriko Yoshitaka
What's it about?
Two teens (Kazunari Ninomiya, Ken'ichi Matsuyama) come to the aid of a man on the subway tracks, only to wake up in a room dominated by a mysterious black sphere that sends them on an alien-hunting mission.

Forbidden Planet

United States of America, 1956
Genre: Science Fiction
Language: English
Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Richard Anderson, Earl Holliman, Robert Dix, Jimmy Thompson, James Drury, Harry Harvey Jr., Roger McGee, Peter Miller, Morgan Jones, Richard Grant, Robby the Robot, James Best, William Boyett, Frankie Darro, Gavin MacLeod, Marvin Miller, George Wallace
What's it about?
Captain Adams and the crew of the Starship C57D fly towards planet Altair 4 in search for the Bellerphon spaceship that has been missing for twenty years. To their surprise they are already being expected. A classic science fiction film from 1957 starring Leslie Nielsen.


Under the Skin

United Kingdom, 2013
Genre: Sci-Fi
Language: English
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Michael Moreland, Jessica Mance, Scott Dymond, Robert J. Goodwin, Paul Brannigan, Krystof Hádek
What's it about?
Scarlett Johansson plays an alien that takes on human form, who commences a quest of seducing men as 'she' travels throughout Scotland.

Under the Skin: Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Glazer interview
Under The Skin Review


Italy, France, 1965
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Mystery
Language: French
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Starring: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff, Howard Vernon, Christa Lang, Valérie Boisgel, Jean-Louis Comolli, László Szabó, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Michel Delahaye
What's it about?
An American private-eye, arrives in Alphaville, a futuristic city on another planet which is ruled by an evil scientist named Von Braun, who has outlawed love and self-expression.