The Funniest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time!
Most people tend to think of sci-fi as, on the whole, a relatively serious affair. A genre where giddy thrills and amazing sights and sounds edge out levity and light-heartedness. But is that fair? There’s actually a wealth of funny sci-fi movies out there deserving of proper recognition! Here are some of our favorites.
One of the first rules of satire is if you’re going to mock something, it’s pretty much essential that you know it inside and out. One movie that proves this amply is Galaxy Quest. It’s only because of the writers' clear love for sci-fi that the gags hit home quite so well. The Shatnerian smugness of Tim Allen’s Jason Nesmith. Sigourney Weaver’s character having little to do other than look good in a tight–fitting uniform. The running joke about Sam Rockwell playing a security officer who was killed off early on in every show. Moment after moment, the movie spears pulpy Star Trek style serials–and does so with razor sharp accuracy!
Shaun of the Dead
Director Edgar Wright is all about breaking the rules. In Hot Fuzz, he broke the rules of Hollywood action blockbusters by setting things in a peaceful countryside village. In The World’s End, he broke the rules of alien-invasion movies by mashing the whole thing with coming-of-age plot about a group of old school friends. And in Shaun of the Dead he broke the rules of zombie movies by giving us the world’s unlikeliest hero. Much of the humor in Shaun comes from how ill suited its title character is to surviving the undead apocalypse. At first, he doesn’t even notice anything’s wrong, despite strolling past numerous walkers on the way to the shops. Then he can’t figure out what to do, so he just has a cup of tea. Then his best idea for a survival stronghold is the local pub. At each step, he does pretty much what anyone else would do in this kind of situation—panic and mess it up.
Back to the future
Although BttF is as much an adventure movie as it is an out and out comedy, it’s hard to imagine it being anywhere near as appealing without its cheeky sense of humor. From the movie’s very start, where we’re introduced to a time machine made out of a Delorean, we know that this isn’t going to be a particularly conventional genre flick. And from there, things just get more farcical. Marty ends up sent back in time because he’s being chased around a car park by angry Libyans. He encounters his 1950s parents after getting hit by a car outside their house. He has to get his mom to fall in love with his dad… but she’s falling in love with him! The whole thing, if pitched just slightly more towards “wacky”, would pretty much be a sci-fi sitcom!
Men in Black
It’s our contention here at The Mindhut that Men in Black happens to be one of Will Smith’s finest movies. It’s his signature charm that really takes this from being a fairly solid sci-fi comedy to one of the most memorable flicks of the nineties. Smith is great as Agent J, reacting to the alien insanity taking place around him with an equal mix of wit and disbelief—meaning that, despite the movie’s 1960s influences, things never move into the realm of camp. It’s a classic comedy conceit: put a snarky everyman in a fantastical situation and watch the sparks fly.
There may be some that don’t think of Ghostbusters as particularly “hard” sci–fi. And admittedly, the film is probably more about making its audience laugh than it is a serious exploration of what it would be like if a crew of scientists started tracking down and capturing ghosts, but come on! It's Ghostbusters. We couldn't leave it off this list! And the cavalcade of brilliant one-liners is endless: “I’m terrified beyond the power for rational thought.” “You’re right, no human being would stack books like this.” “That’s a big twinkie.” Long may it reign!
What's your fave funny sci fi flick?