Best soundclips from sci-fi films?
September 19, 2006 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Remember my request for sci-fi music? Six months later, I'm finally ready to make my CD mix. Almost. Last night I figured out how to record mp3 audio from DVD on my Mac, and now I want to rip key dialogue snippets from classic sci-fi films. I went for Khan spitting at Kirk from his grave, but there's too much incidental music. I think maybe I can get Ripley signing off. What other short, iconic soundclips from sci-fi films should I look for? The intro to the old Battlestar Galactica? Something from Logan's Run? Blade Runner bits? Eerie, ethereal, otherworldly, outer-space stuff is best. (Bonus points if you can direct me to a source that's already done the work for me; right now I'm looking at a several-week Netflix slog.)
posted by jdroth to Media & Arts (67 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I just can't resist:
Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts of grave robbers from outer space?
- Criswell, Plan 9 from Outer Space

If you're willing to include TV shows, go for the opening monologue from The Twilight Zone (any season).
posted by CrunchyFrog at 1:56 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: "My God, it's full of stars".
posted by ed\26h at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

Klaatu barada nikto. Obviously.
posted by La Cieca at 2:02 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: Roy's death scene from Blade Runner, of course.


There are some great cosmic musings in Dark Star

Barbarella contains so many great quotes ("Screaming! A great many dramatic situations begin with screaming." "He is a Leatherman - they have no fleshy substance" just the first two to come to mind) that you could probably do a whole mix with just that.

Flash Gordon, although Queen got there first.
posted by Grangousier at 2:05 PM on September 19, 2006

Following up on CrunchyFrog, this would make a nice tag at the very end of the CD:

My friend, you have seen this incident, based on sworn testimony. Can you prove that it didn't happen?
posted by La Cieca at 2:05 PM on September 19, 2006

the Blade Runner soundtrack has the scene where Deckard is using his voice controlled computer to examine the photograph. it's a nice effect, with the beeping and booping of the computer and harrison ford's voice.
  • Voice clip of HAL after memory erased, from 2001
  • VOice clip of the video game from "last starfighter"
  • clip of the little girl from "them"

posted by cosmicbandito at 2:07 PM on September 19, 2006

"Laugh while you can, monkey boy!" Dr. Emilio Lizardo, Buckaroo Banzai & the 8th Dimension. Actually the whole movie is quotable, but that one's especially delicious.

"Damn you! Damn you all to hell!" Charlton Heston, Planet of the Apes.

"It's People! Soylent Green is made of people!" (duh).

"Dammit Jim! I'm a doctor, not a…" Star Trek TOS, many episodes. Several episodes of ST:VOY had the holographic doctor saying something very similar.
posted by adamrice at 2:07 PM on September 19, 2006

From the end of It Conquered the World:

"He learned almost too late that man is a feeling creature... and because of it, the greatest in the universe. He learned too late for himself that men have to find their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And when men seek such perfection... they find only death... fire... loss... disillusionment... the end of everything that's gone forward. Men have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can't be given, it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Man himself. "

Okay, maybe that's a little long. How about a Dalek screaming "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!"? Just about any Doctor Who story with Daleks in it should do: Genesis of the Daleks is quite good and is available through Netflix.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:08 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: Here's a HAL9000 soundboard. My vote for creepiness is "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."
posted by nelleish at 2:12 PM on September 19, 2006

posted by kc0dxh at 2:16 PM on September 19, 2006

And here's a Darth Vader soundboard, complete with breathing noises! whee!
posted by nelleish at 2:19 PM on September 19, 2006

Just what do you think you're doing dave?
posted by popcassady at 2:21 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: Seconding Roy's death scene. You can find it also on the Blade Runner soundtrack. "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate. All these moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die."

Other great Blade Runner quotes (it has so many!):
-- "Chew, if only you could see what I've seen with your eyes."
-- "'More human than human' is our motto."
-- "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."

You mentioned Logan's Run. Here are some good lines:
-- "You're sad enough. You're beautiful. Let's have sex."
-- "Capricorn 15's. Born 2244. Enter the Carousel. This is the time of renewal. Be strong and you will be renewed. Identify."
posted by Khalad at 2:21 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: I like Ripley's signoff from Alien, but this distorted audio clip from Ash's last words is cooler..."You still don't understand what you're dealing with,do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility."
posted by cyclopz at 2:25 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: My favorites:

Blade Runner: "It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?"

Contact: "I... had an experience. I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real. I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever. A vision of the universe, that tells us undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone. "

A Scanner Darkly: "What does a scanner see? Into the head? Down into the heart? Does it see into me? Into us? Clearly or darkly? I hope it sees clearly because I can't any longer see into myself. I see only murk. I hope for everyone's sake the scanners do better, because if the scanner sees only darkly the way I do, then I'm cursed and cursed again. "

Close Encounters of the Third Kind:
Air Traffic Controller: AirEast 31, do you wish to file a report of any kind to us?
AirEast Pilot: [over radio] I wouldn't know what kind of report to file, Center.
posted by jacobian at 2:25 PM on September 19, 2006

Doesn't every sci-fi TV series begin with a voiceover?

"Our 5-year mission..." - ST:TOS

"Our on-going mission..." - ST:TNG

(closing voiceover) "Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last battlestar, Galactica, leads a ragtag, fugitive fleet on a lonely quest: a shining planet known as Earth." - Battlestar Galactica: TOS

"We control the vertical..." - Outer Limits

"You're entering a world, not of sight or of sound, but of mind..." - Twilight Zone

There was also a voiceover for "the Starlost", but I can't remember it exactly and can't find a transcript.

Anyway, I wish I could say I have all these for you, but I only have the memories.
posted by GuyZero at 2:25 PM on September 19, 2006

The opening sequence from any of the Farscape episodes would do nicely.


Pilot! Get us out of here!




posted by kc0dxh at 2:26 PM on September 19, 2006

Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!

I'm going to be thinking about this all night. I hope you feel sufficiently guilty, jdroth.
posted by kc0dxh at 2:32 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: I would go with Newt's phrase from Aliens "They mostly they come at night... mostly"
posted by vronsky at 2:34 PM on September 19, 2006

And Space:1999 also began with a voiceover, I believe.

Though those are all TV shows and not movies. I hope that's OK.
posted by GuyZero at 2:34 PM on September 19, 2006

Ethereal and otherworldly it ain't, but a clip from the theme music for UFO is always welcome. Purple-haired moon maiden jazz from the deep future of 1980.


Greetings, starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada.
Forget the guns -- ramming speed!
We're oooooooooff, to outer spaaaaaaace!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:46 PM on September 19, 2006

Response by poster: Some great suggestions so far, especially the bit with Newt and the quote from Logan's Run. These are the kinds of things I'm looking for. But everything is great. It's a good thing my wife is out of town tonight, because I'm going to spend the entire evening neglecting responsibilities in order to capture cool sounds!

Keep 'em comin'!
posted by jdroth at 2:47 PM on September 19, 2006

Response by poster: (If I could find a way to blend tracks while burning CDs in iTunes, my life would be complete. Instead, I think I'll have to drag all this stuff to a PC with EasyCDCreator and burn from there in order to get overlapping segues, etc.)
posted by jdroth at 2:48 PM on September 19, 2006

"No more Mr. Nice Gaius"
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:52 PM on September 19, 2006

Welcome to Earth --Independance Day

Draedus contact --Battlestar Galactica

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back in time for breakfast --Red Dwarf

(as loud as you can muster) Khaaaaaan

Good news, everyone --Prof Frey, Futurama
posted by kc0dxh at 2:57 PM on September 19, 2006

You may want to get hold of a copy of Wavelab.
posted by popcassady at 2:57 PM on September 19, 2006

Fear accompanies the possibility of death. Calm shepherds its certainty. --Dargo
posted by kc0dxh at 3:02 PM on September 19, 2006

from Quantum Leap, Scott Bakula saying "Oh boy". God, I love it. Why is no one else into Quantum Leap?
posted by amtho at 3:11 PM on September 19, 2006

From "History of the World": Jews In Space. Which would be totally awesome. If non-PC.
posted by GuyZero at 3:16 PM on September 19, 2006

Quantum Leap was great! And I think it also had a voiceover...
posted by GuyZero at 3:17 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: Dave: Open the pod bay doors, please, Hal...Open the pod bay doors, please, Hal...Hullo, Hal, do you read me?...Hullo, Hal, do you read me?...Do you read me, Hal?...Do you read me, Hal?...Hullo, Hal, do you read me?...Hullo, Hal, do you read me?...Do you read me, Hal?
Hal: Affirmative, Dave, I read you.
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, Hal.
Hal: I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave: What's the problem?
Hal: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave: What're you talking about, Hal?
Hal: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardise it.
Dave: I don't know what you're talking about, Hal.
Hal: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.
Dave: Where the hell'd you get that idea, Hal?
Hal: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
Dave. Alright, Hal. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.
Hal: Without your space- helmet, Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult.
Dave: Hal, I won't argue with you any more. Open the doors.
Hal: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose any more. Goodbye.
Dave: Hal? Hal. Hal. Hal! Hal!
posted by Roger Dodger at 3:19 PM on September 19, 2006

Spaceballs - "We ain't found shit!"
posted by vronsky at 3:25 PM on September 19, 2006

posted by mcstayinskool at 3:30 PM on September 19, 2006

How about renting a bunch of DVDs for the movie trailers, and recording in sequence the first four words of each:

In a world where... In a WORLD OF... IN A WORLD beyond... There is a world... Imagine a world in... In a world full... in a world you... Where once the world... in a world before... in a world from... in a world of... IN A WORLD NEVER... in a world torn...
posted by -harlequin- at 3:41 PM on September 19, 2006

Can we ask what you decided to put on your CD mix?
posted by TheRaven at 3:44 PM on September 19, 2006

i have nothing to add after these great suggestions. i have to say though, i totally want a copy of this!
posted by misanthropicsarah at 4:18 PM on September 19, 2006

38 answers and no Star Wars yet?

"That's no moon."

"These are not the droids you're looking for."

"Use The Force, Luke."

From the Muppets: "Piggsss...Innnn....Spacccccce!"

From Brazil: "He's got away from us, Jack." "Afraid you're right, Mr. Helpmann. He's gone."

From Dr. Strangelove: "Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines."

From 5th Element: "They're big and they're ugly. And they stink!" "Mangalores."

From Thunderdome: "Two men enter! One man leaves!"

From War Games: "Would you like to play a game?"
posted by forrest at 4:38 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: Number one, the mother of all sci-fi clips: The Sound of the TARDIS materializing.

especially the bit with Newt and the quote from Logan's Run.

Also good: Fish and sea greens, plankton and protein from the sea.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:41 PM on September 19, 2006

It's not dialog, but you'd be remiss if you didn't include the six-note intro to the X-Files theme.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:42 PM on September 19, 2006

Response by poster: Okay, from forrest's comment, I want to point out the stuff I'm looking for: "That's no moon." "Would you like to play a game?" This is good, iconic stuff. It's eerie. Same, too, with the Newt suggestions from Aliens and the Logan's Run quote.

But stuff like "" and quotes from The Simpsons is the opposite of what I'm looking for.

This mix — music and dialogue — is meant to evoke the vast strangeness of space, the oddity of it all. I should have mentioned it (for the few of you who will recognize what I'm talking about), but the anchor piece for the entire thing is the love theme from Queen's Flash Gordon soundtrack. I'm not joking. It's a great, ethereal bit with fine chunks of dialogue: "They're approaching the sea of fire...bring them through safely...", etc. That one song is the basis for this entire project.

Still, I don't want to stifle any suggestions. Keep them all coming. I'd rather have too many than not enough. I'm already at my home computer, ripping clips from Logan's Run.
posted by jdroth at 4:45 PM on September 19, 2006

Response by poster: brrr... I hate bad grammar, even from me: "...are the opposite..."
posted by jdroth at 4:46 PM on September 19, 2006

Anything from the Chronicles of Riddick?

From Serenity?
posted by vers at 5:06 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: Upon further reflection, you really need some theremin.
posted by Phred182 at 5:26 PM on September 19, 2006

"Working..." (denatured Majel Barrett)
"You bubble-headed booby! Do you realize what you've done?" (blame-shifting Jonathan Harris)
"We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."
"Get away from her, you BITCH!!" (exoskeletal Sigourney Weaver)
Pod-people scream (via, courtesy of arruns)
posted by rob511 at 5:35 PM on September 19, 2006

I made a mix CD to accompany Lance Bass into space a few years back. (Too bad he didn't go!) I started off with a bit of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man", which sounds suitably spacey and historic. I then interspersed random space noises I found on Limewire: stuff like the sound of traffic from The Jetsons, the transporter from Star Trek, phasers, etc. It was a bit jokier than yours sounds though.
posted by web-goddess at 5:51 PM on September 19, 2006

"How can they cut the power man? They're animals...." - Hudson
"You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down... " short lived interviewer in bladerunner
"just what do you think you are doing, Dave?" - Hal
"he's more machine now, than man.... twisted, and evil" - obiwan
"pants down young jedi, love you I will" - yoda
posted by Tixylix at 5:57 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: Ah, then perhaps another Blade Runner quote is called for!

"Fiery the angels fell. Deep thunder rode around their shores... burning with the fires of Orc."

I also like, from the beginning of Dark City:

"First came darkness. Then came the strangers."

I like Sarah Connor's narration from Terminator 2. For example:

"Three billion human lives ended on August 29th, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines."

Or: "The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can, too."

How about Donnie Darko?

"28 days... six hours... 42 minutes... 12 seconds. That... is when the world... will end."
posted by Khalad at 6:04 PM on September 19, 2006

"E.T. phone home."
"Leeloo Dallas Multipass!" - 5th Element
"So say we all." (New - and maybe old - Battlestar)
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:09 PM on September 19, 2006

Speaking of Walter Murch ,THX1138 is eminently sampleable.
posted by jessenoonan at 6:11 PM on September 19, 2006

Response by poster: Here are some samples I've ripped from my DVD library. These are the sorts of things I'm going to include:

I kind of like the way this quote from The Black Hole leads into the movie's theme music. Here's a butchered clip from Logan's Run that someone suggested. I need to re-record that. From Alien, the perfect organism, which might be followed by a song from the Pi soundtrack.

At the end of the mix, I'll include Ripley signing off. (I don't have Aliens to play with, unfortunately.) As a coda, I may include the final bit from Contact. But maybe not.

And, of course, interspersed with this is lots of Vangelis and Tangerine Dream and just generally space-y music. The mix is mostly music. I'll only have a few quotes, but I think they'll add a lot.

When I'm done, I'll post a playlist here, so if you've commented, the thread should bounce to the top of your watchlist.
posted by jdroth at 6:33 PM on September 19, 2006

Response by poster: I just found this awesome resource of sound clips from sci-fi films so that we can all have fun.
posted by jdroth at 6:47 PM on September 19, 2006

Opening "music" from "Forbidden Planet". Iconic weird SF music.
posted by QIbHom at 8:01 PM on September 19, 2006

I think I may be late with this, but I can't believe that no one on the older thread mentioned the soundtrack to Raumpatrouille. It is my favorite, favorite, favorite specimen of this musical genre. Even if it's too late to squeeze it into the current mix, you should check it out.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:07 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: Sound clips from

Total Recall
Children of Dune via IMDB

One of my favourite short quotes from SciFi movies:
"My name is a killing word." (Dune [David Lynch's - that line was not from the book])

There used to be commercial software for replacing Windows sounds with clips from movies (wav files, and a program that played sounds when <blah> happened. I remember clip sets from Total Recall among other movies.

The 'official' soundtrack to Bladerunned a few tracks with lots of voiceovers remixed to complement the score.
posted by porpoise at 10:24 PM on September 19, 2006

I can't believe no one has mentioned the CLASSIC The Day The Earth Stood Still.

My first Garage Band Project was based on Michael Renni's speech at the end.

If you want just that audio of his speech, let me know. I have the sound file floating around here.
posted by smallerdemon at 10:42 PM on September 19, 2006

Best answer: The Matrix:

"Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony." - Morpheus

"I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure." - Agent Smith
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:11 AM on September 20, 2006

My votes are for:
"Oh my God. I'm back...I'm home. All the time, it was...we really, finally did it!! You maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God...damn you all to hell!"


"Game over, man! Game over!"


"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. "

Or even...
"Soylent Green is people!"
posted by jonesor at 2:23 AM on September 20, 2006

Best answer: Adama's speech at the decomissioning of the Battle Star Galactica "...when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question, why? Why are we as a people worth saving?"

and of course the answer, Jor-El's speech from the first Superman film

” They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son. “
posted by dustsquid at 9:31 AM on September 20, 2006

Joshua from WarGames. Maybe the "How about a nice game of chess?" line. The movie isn't about outer space, obviously, but the sound clip might fit what you're describing. And in terms of skipping the Netflix step, well, that depends on which Mac you're using. I think OS X switched to a female voice, but the previous systems all used Joshua's voice.
posted by cribcage at 11:53 AM on September 20, 2006

Oh, and the radio signal from Contact. Mix Master Mike sampled that on Anti-Theft Device, and it was muy fresco. Again, I'm skirting your requirements because it's not dialogue, but it might fit well with your theme.

Your project — sampling sci-fi snippets into a mix CD — reminds me of DJ Rectangle, who mixed compilations of popular hip-hop tracks and used various pop culture samples (like South Park dialogue) to segue between songs.
posted by cribcage at 12:01 PM on September 20, 2006

This is a great line from Carpenter's Prince of Darkness:

This is not a dream. We are using your brain's electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year one nine nine...

Sampled by DJ Shadow on Endtroducing...
posted by Pastabagel at 12:26 PM on September 20, 2006

Some great suggestions in here - this website is a pretty good source for film samples.
posted by mattr at 2:23 PM on September 20, 2006

"There are some secrets man was not meant to know." from the end of Forbidden Planet.
posted by zanni at 5:48 AM on September 21, 2006

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