Science fiction movies can be exciting, they can be dramatic, they can be frightening…and they can be funny. From ghostbusting to alien hunting and from galactic adventures to time travelling, science fiction has spawned some of the most popular comedy movies of all time.
Here are the five best…
5. Tremors (1990, Universal Studios & Columbia Pictures)
A cult classic starring Kevin Bacon, Tremors takes place in a remote settlement in the Nevada desert that’s under siege from mysterious snakelike creatures that get named Graboids.
Although the movie does feature a full shocks, it’s mostly played for laughs and the two lead characters, handymen Val and Earl, are a great double-act with some fantastic lines.
Critically adored and turning a tidy profit, Tremors spawned two sequels, a prequel and even a short-lived TV series. But the original movie remains by far the best and has timeless comedy moments.
4. Ghostbusters (1984, Columbia Pictures)
This sci fi comedy classic needs little introduction and was one of the biggest movies of the 80s. Some people may argue that Ghostbusters is more supernatural than science fiction but if you need convincing, try reading this.
Whatever genre you think it is, there’s no doubt that Ghostbusters is a very funny movie. From the opening scenes in the New York Public Library, right through to the ending with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, there’s plenty to enjoy and Bill Murray and Dan Aykroid are on particularly fine form here.
It’s a shame then that the sequel, Ghostbusters II, failed to live up to expectations.
3. Galaxy Quest (1999, Dreamworks Pictures)
There’s no arguing that Galaxy Quest is science fiction. Ans there’s no arguing that it’s very, very funny.
A big budget parody of Star Trek that can be enjoyed by anyone, fan or not, Galaxy Quest follows the cast of a cancelled TV space drama who get caught up in an intergalactic war between the peaceful Thermians and reptilian Sarris.
A lot of the comedy with this movie revolves around the fact the Thermians have no idea that the Galaxy Quest TV show was just fiction and so built an exact replica of the starship NSEA Protector thinking the cast could actually crew it. This sets the movie up for a lot of adventure and many comedy moments.
Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and the rest of the cast are all excellent and despite being a parody of Star Trek, the effects in Galaxy Quest are actually better than any seen in a Star Trek movie up to that point.
2. Men In Black (1997, Columbia Pictures)
The third movie on this list from Columbia Pictures and the second to feature a hit theme song, Men In Black was a massive comedy hit when released back in 1997.
Based on the little known comic book series of the same name, the movie features Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in possibly their best roles ever. As well as being very funny, Men In Black is also a great science fiction movie and features some brilliant special effects work and an intelligent story.
Like Ghostbusters II, it’s a shame the sequel turned out so badly but maybe this year’s Men In Black 3 will bring the series back on top.
1. Back to the Future (1985, Universal Pictures)
Perhaps it’s only right that we have to go back in time again to find the best science fiction comedy movie ever but Back to the Future has it all. It’s funny, action-packed, thought-provoking and has great leads with Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
It’s a beloved classic with some of the best lines of any comedy movie and is just as watchable today as it was almost 30 years ago.
There will no doubt one day be a remake of Back to the Future but it will never be able to equal this brilliant piece of 80s fun.
Other Comedy Movies with a Science Fiction Twist
Short Circuit, Mars Attacks, Paul and Innerspace are just some of the other popular science fiction comedy movies.
What are your favourites?