12 Most Underrated 1980s Sci-Fi Movies

From the surreal to the sublime, we're exploring the underrated Sci-Fi films of the 1980's.


The 1980's proved to be a great time for Sci-Fi, with the likes of The Terminator, the evolution of the Star Wars franchise, comedies such as Ghostbusters and the move into family friendly fare with E.T. bringing critical acclaim and significant box office success. The move away from campy thrills to bigger and 'better' special effects also made the genre more accessible to a wider audience than ever before.

With such big budget fare out there, many of the lower profile and small budget Sci-Fi films of the decade didn't garner the positive reaction they deserved. Many low budget films of the early 80's in particular flew significantly under the radar, quality films that never got the acclaim they so richly deserved. There are also several 'big name' movies that also find a spot on this list, with insanely high audience expectations not allowing viewers and critics alike to appreciate that these films still had something to offer.

A number of films on this list work well as nostalgia pieces for the time they were created, while others had ideas that were years ahead of their time. All films on this list have some degree of imperfection, but this shouldn't mean they are not appreciated for the quality products they are.

So be prepared to reflect back on the Sci-Fi films that never got the love they deserved as we explore the most underrated films of the genre from the 1980's.

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While he likes to know himself as the 'thunder from down under', Luke is actually just a big dork who loves all things sport, film, James Bond, Doctor Who and Karaoke. With all the suave and sophistication of any Aussie half way through a slab, Luke will critique every minute detail of films and shows from all eras- unless it's 1990's Simpsons episodes, because they're just perfect