10 Most Out Of Place Scenes In Sci-Fi Movie History

Star Wars, Avengers, The Matrix - why did they have to go and include THAT?

The Matrix Reloaded Zion
Warner Bros.

From superheroes to deep space sagas, there are few places in the universe that science-fiction cinema hasn't taken us. But sometimes even our favourite films take us places we didn't necessarily want to go. We can be watching along, happy as Larry Fishburne, before a sudden shift in tone, plot, quality or character takes us out of things completely.

And, whether it is the awkwardness of a blue alien singing opera to a techno beat, the unexpected pain of a zef-style Joburg gangster being torn asunder, or the sheer absurdity of a green goblin spewing up lunch, sci-fi films are full of them.

Some of these scenes are simply the misguided efforts of a writer or director trying out something different, some are attempts to woo the fans, some are included as an opportunity for studios and directors to cynically seed sequels, spin-offs and expanded universes, and others are mysteries that even the cyber gods themselves cannot unpick.

This selection of scenes are some of the craziest, wackiest and occasionally even most wonderful moments ever to have made it into a science-fiction film where they don't belong.

10. Amerika Gets Torn In Two – CHAPPiE (2015)

The Matrix Reloaded Zion
Sony Pictures Releasing

You can always rely on Neill Blomkamp to offer up a creative sci-fi flick that balances societal ills, future tech and plenty of laughs. And 2015's CHAPPiE is no exception. Long-time Blomkamp collaborator Sharlto Copley voices the titular character, a decommissioned enforcement robot and the first true AI, who falls in with Die Antwoord of all people, reluctantly turning to a life of crime on the streets of Johannesburg.

On this journey, Amerika (Jose Pablo Cantillo), one of Chappie's teachers and co-conspirators, teaches the young robot to wear bling, walk with attitude and "put people to sleep". At least until the third act that is, when Hugh Grant's villainous engineer Vincent Moore stomps him using his remote-controlled MOOSE robot. In a sequence better suited to a Saw movie than this edgy yet frequently happy-go-lucky genesis story, the MOOSE grips Amerika with a robotic claw and tears him in half before splatting his torso on the building behind.

Little in the film up until this point prepares you for such a grim and sudden death of a supporting character. Tonally, it doesn't match any of the action, emotion or visuals surrounding it, and it leaves the audience reeling. The end of CHAPPiE may bring the wholesomeness around again, but there's no denying how out of place this moment is.


Writer, editor and lifelong critic of test screenings, money men and films-by-committee.