Scientists decide to combine alien and human DNA, presumably because they've never seen any movies, and end up with Sil, an alluring woman who escapes and tries to get herself pregnant to start populating the planet with monsters. Species is cheesy and kinky, but the material is elevated by a surprisingly good cast, which includes Sir Ben Kingsley, Forest Whitaker, Alfred Molina, Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger and Natasha Henstridge.
Jason Voorhees goes to space and it's exactly as ridiculous as you'd expect. But Jason X is also a self-aware send-up of sci-fi clichés, one that subverts your expectations while simultaneously giving you every great kill you could want. By the time Jason finally becomes a cyborg and fights a sexy robot, it's hard not to cheer at the sheer, unbridled zaniness of it all.
An alien infection is unleashed in an underwater science station, and even though you know exactly where the story is going to go, you don't really mind because the practical effects are gross and impressive, and the great cast is selling it like it's new. Peter Weller, Richard Crenna, Daniel Stern, Ernie Hudson and Hector Elizondo are all great in the familiar, but underrated Leviathan.
One of the best SyFy Original Movies ever produced, 51 is all about an alien jailbreak in Area 51, but the real gag is that there are a whole bunch of different species unleashed at the same time. Fun practical effects and a pretty darned clever screenplay compensate for 51's low budget and occasionally amateurish acting.
Alien has been called "a haunted house in space", but Event Horizon takes that concept literally. Another great cast, bolstered by awesome production design, is menaced not by monsters but by the literalization of their innermost fears. It's a neat concept, but we liked it a lot better when it was called...
Bruce D. Clark's ambitious, grimy and bizarre sci-fi thriller finds yet another cool cast of characters menaced by their own phobias in the furthest reaches of space, but the effect is more personal and anxiety-inducing than in the comparatively slick Event Horizon. Some of the scares in Galaxy of Terror will leave you feeling dirty.
One of the most underrated sci-fi films of the last ten years, Pandora finds Ben Foster awakened from his cryogenic slumber to find a spaceship overrun by mysterious monsters. The great performances and sharp direction by Christian Alvart would have been enough to make Pandorum worth watching, but Travis Milloy's screenplay is also full of clever, satisfying surprises.
Trapped on a desolate planet with man-eating aliens is bad enough, but in David Twohy's fantastic Pitch Black, the heroes are also stuck with a homicidal criminal named Riddick. Pitch Black was Vin Diesel's breakout performance and it's easy to see why: he's dangerous and charismatic, and ably matched by his great supporting cast and a creepy new species of monsters.