Extraterrestrial Sci-Fi Main

1972 to 1979

1980 to 1986

1987 to 1999

2000 to 2009

2010 to Present



As our referenced quote states in SFMZ's Sci-Fi Subgenres A to Z feature, Extraterrestrial Sci-Fi is the very discovery of life beyond the Earth. Extraterrestrial Sci-Fi is a huge subgenre, almost a descriptive category. In many of these tales, or even just its signals or ancient artifacts, has a tremendous impact upon current society. This section focuses on an encounter / discovery / conflict with one or a small handful of alien beings whether it be friendly or hostile, such as Contact or Super 8.

This feature highlights only films where Extraterrestrial Sci-Fi premises are the central theme of the film's plot, or at least plays an important part in the story. Alien Invasion, a subset of Extraterrestrial Sci-Fi, is a common theme in science fiction stories and film, in which a technologically-superior extraterrestrial society invades Earth. This subset is featured at SFMZ's Alien Invasion Sci-Fi section. The fifties Extraterrestrial films listed below are featured in SFMZ's Fifties Sci-Fi section.


The Man From Planet X - 1951


The Day the Earth
Stood Still - 1951


It Came From Outer Space
- 1953


It! The Terror From
Beyond Space - 1958


Solaris - 1972


Close Encounters
of the Third Kind - 1977


Alien Franchise - 1979 to 1997


The Thing Franchise


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - 1982


Cocoon - 1985


Predator Franchise
- 1987 to 2010


The Abyss - 1989


Contact - 1997


Pitch Black - 2000


Signs - 2002


The Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy - 2005


The Day the Earth
Stood Still - 2008


District 9 - 2009


The Fourth Kind - 2009


Super 8 - 2011


Prometheus - 2012


Dark Skies - 2013


Under the Skin - 2013


Arrival - 2016



Highlights on other Extraterrestrial Sci-Fi Film





The Man Who Fell to Earth - 1976

Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth from a distant planet on a mission to take water back to his home planet, which is experiencing a catastrophic drought. Newton uses the advanced technology of his home planet to patent (nine basic patents) many inventions on Earth, and acquires incredible wealth as the head of a technology-based conglomerate, World Enterprises Corporation, aided by leading patent attorney Oliver Farnsworth.


His wealth is needed to construct his own space vehicle with the intention of shipping water back to his planet. While revisiting New Mexico, he meets Mary-Lou, a lonely, unloved, and simple girl who works as a maid, bell-hop, and elevator operator in a small hotel; he tells her he is English. Mary-Lou introduces Newton to many customs of Earth, including church-going, alcohol, and sex. She and Newton live together, eventually in a house Newton has had built near where he initially landed in New Mexico.


Meanwhile, Dr. Nathan Bryce, a former womanizer and college professor, has landed a job as a fuel technician with World Enterprises and slowly becomes Newton's confidant. Bryce senses Newton's alienness and arranges a meeting with Newton at his home where he has hidden a special X-ray camera. When he steals a picture of Newton with the camera, it reveals Newton's alien physiology. Newton's appetite for alcohol and television becomes crippling and he and Mary-Lou fight.


Realizing that Bryce has learnt his secret, Newton reveals his alien form to Mary-Lou, and her resulting reaction is one of pure shock and horror. He leaves her. Newton completes the spaceship and attempts to take it on its maiden voyage amid intense press exposure. However, just before his scheduled take-off, he is seized and detained, apparently by the government and a rival company; his business partner, Farnsworth, is murdered.





Enemy Mine - 1985

In the late 21st century, an interstellar war between humans and Dracs (a reptilian humanoid race) is fought. Battles are periodically fought between fighter spacecraft. During one such battle, human pilot Willis E. Davidge and Drac pilot Jeriba Shigan engage in a dogfight which results in both crash-landing on Fyrine IV, an alien world uninhabited by intelligent life, with two moons, a breathable atmosphere, water and native fauna.


After initial hostilities, the two eventually learn to cooperate to survive. They work together to build a shelter for protection against meteorite storms, a natural phenomenon that periodically strikes the planet. Over the next three years, they overcome their differences, become friends and learn each other's languages and cultures. Each saves the other's life several times. Davidge, haunted by dreams of spaceships landing on the planet, leaves in search of help.





Fire in the Sky - 1993

On November 5, 1975 in Snowflake, Arizona, logger Travis Walton, and his co-workers Mike Rogers, Allan Dallis, David Whitlock, Greg Hayes and Bobby Cogdill, head to work in the White Mountains. Driving home from work, the men come across an unidentified flying object. Curious to learn more, Walton gets out of the truck and is struck by a beam of light from the object. Fearing Walton was just killed, the others flee the scene. Rogers decides to go back to the spot to retrieve Walton, but he is nowhere to be found.


Making their way back to town to report the incident, the loggers are met with skepticism, as they relate what sounds like a tall tale to Sheriff Blake Davis and Lieutenant Frank Watters. They are suspected of foul play despite no apparent motive or knowledge of Walton's whereabouts. Five days later, Rogers receives a call from someone claiming to be Walton. He is found at a Heber gas station, alive but naked, dehydrated, and incoherent. A Ufologist questions Walton but he is thrown out and Walton is taken to a hospital.





The Forgotten - 2004

What if one day you were told that everything you knew, everything you loved, everything you remembered never really happened? The film starts out several days after a plane crash with a grieving mother, played by Moore, trying to get over the death of her son. When she finally seems to be doing better, strange forces seem to be trying to cause the children to be forgotten, and therefore giving the mother no other choice but to find out why.





Paul - 2011

Two sci-fi geeks take a pilgrimage to America's UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. When he discovers he's been taken prisoner, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town.


The vehicle: A rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost). Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes.



Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com




Extraterrestrial Sci-Fi Main

1972 to 1979

1980 to 1986

1987 to 1999

2000 to 2009

2010 to Present



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