Sci-Fi and Monster movies not in English
August 1, 2011 10:07 AM   Subscribe

What movies am I missing outside of America that have great sci-fi and monster movie themes?

I've seen Gantz over the weekend. I thought it was original, entertaining, and, full of sci-fi goodness. I come to the hive for recommendations. Looking for more SCI-FI / Monster movies made outside American borders.

Gantz was good. The Host was awesome. Give me more!
posted by bleucube to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
There is Timur Bekmambetov Russian Night Watch trilogy. It was released in the United States (as Night Watch) but from what I have heard, it was a miserable edit/translation. Try to hunt down the subbed Russian edit if you want to see the actual movie.
posted by griphus at 10:14 AM on August 1, 2011

Best answer: Time Crimes is a recent Spanish effort that is worth a look.
posted by biffa at 10:22 AM on August 1, 2011

Best answer: Troll Hunter
posted by Foam Pants at 10:30 AM on August 1, 2011 [4 favorites]

Big Man Japan is straight-up crazy. Also, Death Kappa.
posted by cog_nate at 10:35 AM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

I popped in to recommend The Host, but there it is in your [more inside]!

If you like zombies, and UFOs, and rock n' roll, and general low-budget high-octane goofball tongue-in-cheek madcap awesomosity, Wild Zero may just be the greatest movie of all time.
posted by Shepherd at 10:43 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding Troll Hunter. Really enjoyed it.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:44 AM on August 1, 2011

Best answer: You've seen District 9, right? (If not, drop whatever you are doing right now and watch it immediately.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:52 AM on August 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

More straight-up horror movie than monster movie, but [REC] probably qualifies. I think it's much better than the English-language remake (Quarantine) but they are similar in many, many ways so if you've seen one you probably don't want to bother with the other.

Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos), the Spanish film remade here as the terrible Vanilla Sky, is quite good.

Oh, monster movies! The Great Yokai War from Takashi Miike is, basically, a kids' adventure movie with guest appearance by a raft of classic Japanese Yokai, or monsters. Well worth the watch.

Andrei Tarkovsky made some fine science fiction films in Russia (Solaris and Stalker) and while I think they're great films indeed, they're not to every taste.
posted by Joey Bagels at 10:56 AM on August 1, 2011

If you like zombies, and UFOs, and rock n' roll, and general low-budget high-octane goofball tongue-in-cheek madcap awesomosity, Wild Zero may just be the greatest movie of all time.

Also in a similar spirit to Wild Zero is Electric Dragon 80.000 V.

Also, if you like body horror, definitely check out Tetsuo: The Iron Man.
posted by griphus at 10:57 AM on August 1, 2011

Best answer: for a start, browse through the archives of Fantasia ... which, coincidentally was shown both Gantz films this past weekend. I wasn't sure if that was your entre into the genre, but if it was and if you liked, I'd recommend that you go back for more. Fantasia is probably one of the best genre film festivals in the world, and while there's a lot of shlock, there's also some really, really, excellent stuff that makes its way through there.

more specifically (these have been remade into American films, but the originals are much more interesting)

Let the Right One In (Swedish vampire horror)
[REC](Spanish zombie horror)

Dead Snow (Norwegian Nazi zombie horror comedy ... so awesome)
Thirst (Korean vampire horror ... from Chan Wook Park of Oldboy\Vengeancy Trilogy fame)
Black Death (British medieval supernatural gore horror)
Long Khong (aka Art of the Devil 2, not really a sequel ... Thai supernatural gore horror)
posted by bl1nk at 11:01 AM on August 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

I very much enjoyed Monster (2010)
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 11:07 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

oh, sorry, my bad ... realized that sci-fi and monster != horror. so, other suggestions:

Jack Brooks Monster Slayer (Canadian monster comedy)
Pan's Labyrinth (Spanish supernatural monster fantasy)
Accuracy of Death (Japanese supernatural drama ... makes me think a lot of Neil Gaiman's work in Sandman)
posted by bl1nk at 11:15 AM on August 1, 2011

Best answer: Let the Right One In (Swedish vampire horror)

Oh god, there's also an American subtitled release of the Swedish version. For the love of god, do not watch that. Get the European English subs.
posted by griphus at 11:16 AM on August 1, 2011

If you haven't checked out the Godzilla and Gamera films that were made from the 1990's and going forward, I strongly recommend them! Especially GMK and the Gamera trilogy.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 11:24 AM on August 1, 2011

I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but The Quiet Earth is an excellent (though now kind of dated) SF film from New Zealand.
posted by Janta at 11:35 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

There's a decent movie version of Bilal's classic Nikopol sci fi French graphic novels (er, bande dessinée, sorry!), pretty trippy and full of interesting looking backgrounds: Immortel (ad vitam).

Another decent one, in the postapocalyptic vein, is the Spanish La hora fría. Another Spanish, though not so good one (but hey, you might like it after all) but with a monster of sorts is Eskalofrío.

Then there are some odd Spanish efforts that have been shot in English, for (mostly?) I understand coproduction issues and so forth. A somewhat odd one is The Kovak Box, which could have easily passed for an entertaining X-Files double episode if it wished to.
posted by Iosephus at 11:39 AM on August 1, 2011

There are also about a metric baskrillion Japanese anime movies/serieses that are high-quality SF or horror. Most all are available both subtitled and dubbed nowadays. The sensibilities can be a bit different; even stuff that's generally pretty serious or trying to be vaguely philosophical might well take a minute for HEY DUDES! LET'S LEER AT THE TITTIES AND/OR PANTIES NOW! DID YOU KNOW THAT PANTIES CONCEAL VULVAS? IT'S TRUE!

Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell 2
Appleseed (there are at least 2 versions; I'm partial to the cel-shaded CGI one)

Cowboy Bebop (also a movie)
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Serial Experiments Lain
Mobile Police Patlabor (also movies)
Martian Successor Nadesico, maybe
Space Cruiser Yamato and movies, but as SF it's very, very silly.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:00 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Save the Green Planet

Seconding Thirst and Monsters
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:28 PM on August 1, 2011

If series count, then the best possible answer is Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. It expects a lot of you, but it pays off.

Calamari Wrestler is another amusing twist on the monster movie premise.

Eden Log isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's quite unique. The first 45 minutes are some of the most riveting sci fi I've seen.

Spooky Encounters is an excellent kung fu comedy with vampires and other undead in it, so I guess it's a monster movie too.

Bluecube, are you really counting films from the UK? Because there are an awful lot of those...
posted by heatvision at 12:30 PM on August 1, 2011

i can't tell from your post if you only want sci-fi monster movies or sci-fi &/or monster movies...

in any case... Sleep Dealer is an amazing sci-fi movie exploring immigration, climate change, global war, labor, empire & a host of other issues. no monsters though (unless you count the rapacious nature of the miltiary-industrial complex).
posted by jammy at 12:36 PM on August 1, 2011

Dante 01 is a French sci-fi film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet's old collaborator Marc Caro.
posted by cazoo at 1:32 PM on August 1, 2011

Night Watch

Oh, man. I have a Russian import DVD of this thing, and the American one, too.
The Russian version has an entire character in it that is edited out of the American version.
But the subtitles are crap; the translation may be closer, but they're painfully badly transcribed: misspelled, bad English, et cetera.

The American release has more polished editing, some more finished-looking effects, and badass "active subtitles" that move around the screen, change size or color, and make the experience of watching a subtitled movie effortless (I love subtitled movies, but sometimes I have to rewind because I missed the action for the words, or vice versa. Not so here).

For completists, track down the Russian import, but the American DVD is a bit more watchable, even if it does lose some stuff.

(Sadly, no active subtitles on Day Watch. Bastards.)

Apologies for the geekout. I love that movie.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:37 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cargo is an excellent German scifi movie from a few years back.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:09 AM on August 5, 2011

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