Check out our picks for the best sci-fi movies of 1988. These sci-fi films our rated as our top movies of 1988. New movies are added everyday and we are dedicated to including every sci-fi movie ever made.
1988 Sci-Fi Movies List
R | 2h 04min | 124min | 16 Jul 1988Score: 8.26/10
Directors: Katsuhiro Ôtomo, Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring: Lex Lang, Beau Billingslea, Steve Blum, Wendee Lee, Michael McConnohie
Synopsis: Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader. The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo's supernatural power leading to bloody death, a coup attempt and the final battle in Tokyo Olympiad where Akira's secrets were buried 30 years ago.
Tagline: Signal Traced to Tokyo!
They Live (1988)
R | 1h 34min | 94min | 04 Nov 1988Score: 6.98/10
Director: John Carpenter
Starring: George 'Buck' Flower, Peter Jason, John Carpenter, Keith David, Al Leong
Synopsis: Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination", "Submit to Authority". Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued.
Tagline: "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubblegum."
Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
PG-13 | 1h 28min | 88min | 27 May 1988Score: 6.52/10
Director: Stephen Chiodo
Starring: Royal Dano, Harrod Blank, Johnny Martin, John Vernon, Suzanne Snyder
Synopsis: When a small town is invaded by aliens from outer space who are capturing and killing the townspeople, no one takes them seriously. Why? The aliens all look like circus clowns, use weapons that look clown like, and all have painted on smiles. Only a few of the young people in the town realize the danger and of course no one believes them. Armed with an ice cream truck they try and rescue their friends.
Tagline: It's Craaazy!
The Blob (1988)
R | 1h 35min | 95min | 05 Aug 1988Score: 6.23/10
Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Bill Moseley, Beau Billingslea, Frank Collison, Rick Avery, Jeffrey DeMunn
Synopsis: Meg Penny is a cheerleader out on her first date with one of the football players, Paul Taylor. It doesn't go very well. Before they get where they're going, an old vagrant runs out in front of Paul's car, screaming in terror. The old man is closely followed by Brian Flagg, the local teen rebel, complete with long hair, black leather jacket, motorcycle and tough-guy attitude. Paul blames Brian for chasing the old man, but after the threesome takes him to the doctor's office, it becomes clear the vagrant had more to worry about than some young tough. He was…
Tagline: Man is no longer the supreme being on this planet.
Trancers: City of Lost Angels (1988)
R | 0h 24min | 24minScore: 6.2/10
Director: Charles Band
Starring: Grace Zabriskie, Tim Thomerson, Art LaFleur, Telma Hopkins, Helen Hunt
Synopsis: A trained female assassin escapes a maximum security holding cell and travels to 1988 to kill Jack Deth.
Earth Girls Are Easy (1988)
PG | 1h 40min | 100min | 12 May 1989Score: 6.17/10
Director: Julien Temple
Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Rick Overton, Geena Davis, Charles Rocket, Jim Carrey
Synopsis: Three furry (and funny) aliens travel around the universe in a spaceship and receive a broadcast showing human females. They are fascinated by these shapely creatures and discover that the broadcast came from Southern California on Earth. Meanwhile, Valley girl Valerie Gail feels her cold fiancé Dr. Ted Gallagher is slipping away and decides to seduce him. Instead, she catches him cheating on her with a nurse, throws him out, smashes his things and refuses to see him again. The aliens' spaceship crash lands in Valerie's swimming pool - putting a decided damper on her future wedding plans in Las…
Tagline: Valerie's about to discover how far a girl has to go to find Mr. Right.
Monkey Shines (1988)
R | 1h 53min | 113min | 29 Jul 1988Score: 6.13/10
Director: George A. Romero
Starring: David Early, Stephen Root, William Newman, Stanley Tucci, Jason Beghe
Synopsis: When Allan becomes a quadriplegic he loses all hope for living until he meets Ella - a monkey trained to fetch and carry for him around the house, obeying him in all things. But Ella is part of another experiment, and when she starts responding to Allan's underlying rage and frustration she has the ability to carry out her master's darkest wishes.
Tagline: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil...
Pulse Pounders (1988)
R | 1h 17min | 77minScore: 6.03/10
Director: Charles Band
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, David Warner, Barbara Crampton, Grace Zabriskie, Richard Moll
Synopsis: In this 'sequel' anthology, the film offers a TRANCERS sequel written by original creators Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo, a new Lovecraft adaptation THE EVIL CLERGYMAN, featuring Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, and finally a sequel to THE DUNGEONMASTER.
Tagline: Three heart stopping tales in one film. Three new dimensions in terror, treachery and time travel.
Return of the Living Dead II (1988)
R | 1h 29min | 89min | 15 Jan 1988Score: 5.87/10
Director: Ken Wiederhorn
Starring: Brian Peck, James Karen, Mitch Pileggi, Forrest J. Ackerman, Forrest J Ackerman
Synopsis: In this first sequel to The Return of the Living Dead, a group of kids discover one of the drums containing a rotting corpse and release the 2-4-5 Trioxen gas into the air, causing the dead to once again rise from the grave and seek out brains.
Tagline: Just when you thought it was safe to be dead.
PG-13 | 1h 35min | 95min | 04 Mar 1988Score: 5.8/10
Director: Paul Golding
Starring: Cliff De Young, Matthew Lawrence, Robert Romanus, Tim Russ, Joey Lawrence
Synopsis: An intelligent pulse of electricity is moving from house to house. It terrorizes the occupants by taking control of the appliances, either killing them or causing them to wreck the house in an effort to destroy it. Then it travels along the power lines to the next house, and the terror restarts. Having thus wrecked one household in a quiet neighbourhood, the pulse finds itself in the home of a boy's divorced father whom he is visiting. It gradually takes control of everything, badly injures the stepmother, and traps father and son, who must fight their way out.
Tagline: It traps you in your own house... then pulls the plug.
PG | 1h 18min | 78min | 02 Mar 1988Score: 5.7/10
Directors: René Laloux, René Laloux
Starring: Glenn Close, Christopher Plummer, Terrence Mann, Bridget Fonda, Penn Jillette
Synopsis: Gandahar is a utopian world of rare beauty and tranquility, the result of extensive mutation and genetic experimentation. But the perfect peace is shattered when a mysterious evil force invades this idyllic serenity, turning people into stone with petrifying rays. The Council of Women hold court and decide to send Sylvain, son of Queen Ambisextra, on a mission to destroy the enemy. Together with the beautiful and adventurous Arielle, the enemy that Sylvain eventually discovers very far from his home is the ultimate failure of Gandaharian scientific experimentation. It is a giant brain known as the Metamorphis, which has created…
Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis (1988)
R | 2h 15min | 135min | 30 Jan 1988Score: 5.69/10
Director: Akio Jissôji
Starring: Wendee Lee, Michael McConnohie, Kirk Thornton, Steve Kramer, Michael Forest
Synopsis: A demonic reincarnation of a Japanese general from the 10th century appears in the early 20th century Tokyo with a mission to destroy the blooming city.
Tagline: Evil has a face and it has waited an eternity for a chance to live again
Alien Nation (1988)
R | 1h 31min | 91min | 07 Oct 1988Score: 5.4/10
Director: Graham Baker
Starring: Peter Jason, Frank Collison, Terence Stamp, Francis X. McCarthy, Tom Morga
Synopsis: A few years from now, Earth will have the first contact with an alien civilisation. These aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after years of quarantine but are victims of a new type of discrimination. When the first Newcomer police officer, Sam Francisco is assigned his new partner, he is given Matthew Sykes , a mildly racist veteran, the animosity between them soon gives way to respect as they investigate the Newcomer underworld, and especially Newcomer leader William Harcourt.
Tagline: Prepare Yourself.
R | 1h 11min | 71min | 20 Oct 1993Score: 5.38/10
Director: Kazuyoshi Katayama
Starring: Vincent Marzello, Tamio Ohki, Jeff Harding, Yôsuke Akimoto, Lorelei King
Synopsis: Officer Deunan Knute and her cyborg partner Briaros Hecatonchires must prevent terrorists from gaining control of the Olympus city computer and causing massive chaos. As they fight to stop the terrorists and preserve their society, the question of who is actually in the right--their society, or the "terrorists"--continues to arise.
Tagline: Biodriods vs Humans!
Phantasm II (1988)
R | 1h 37min | 97min | 08 Jul 1988Score: 5.24/10
Director: Don Coscarelli
Starring: Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister, Phil Fondacaro, A. Michael Baldwin, Ed Gale
Synopsis: Mike is released from psychiatry, when he agrees with the doctors that the terrible happenings in his past were just in his imagination. But once he's free, he contacts Redge and they team up to hunt down and eliminate the "Tall Man", who plunders the graveyards and steals the corpses with help of his terrible dwarfs. A beautiful strange girl starts to appear in Mike's dreams. He assumes she's in danger and needs their help - will they find her before the Tall Man can do her any harm?
Tagline: Now, the horrifying truth is about to be revealed...and all it took was a little digging.
Incident at Raven's Gate (1988)
R | 1h 34min | 94minScore: 5.23/10
Director: Rolf de Heer
Starring: Ritchie Singer, Terry Camilleri, Vincent Gil, Steven Vidler, Celine O'Leary
Synopsis: Ex-con Eddie Cleary gets a job working on his older brother's isolated farm. It's not long before bizarre things start happening--dead birds falling out of the sky, family pets attacking their owners, strange apparitions beginning to appear, and people who had been "normal" suddenly going insane.
Tagline: stranger...deadly companion
The Brain (1988)
R | 1h 34min | 94min | 04 Nov 1988Score: 4.93/10
Director: Ed Hunt
Starring: George Buza, David Gale, Cynthia Preston, Kenneth McGregor, Steve Mousseau
Synopsis: Dr. Blake runs a TV show called "Independent Thinkers", which is sort of a Scientology-like self-help/religion program. But he's not making his audience think any more independently - with the help of an alien organism he calls The Brain, he's using brainwashing and mind control. The only thing that stands between them and world domination is a brilliant but troubled high school student with a penchant for pranks...
Tagline: The Pounding of the Afterbrain Signals Vengeance and Death!
The Nest (1988)
R | 1h 29min | 89min | 13 May 1988Score: 4.89/10
Director: Terence H. Winkless
Starring: Jeff Winkless, Terri Treas, Diana Bellamy, Lisa Langlois, Jack Collins
Synopsis: Horrifying shocker as a biological experiment goes haywire when meat-eating mutant roaches invade an island community, terrorizing a peaceful New England fishing village and hideously butchering its citizens.
Tagline: The terror has hatched.
R | 1h 31min | 91min | 02 Dec 1988Score: 4.85/10
Director: Jon Hess
Starring: Michael Ironside, Corey Haim, Frank C. Turner, Duncan Fraser, Don S. Davis
Synopsis: Based on a novel by Dean Koontz. A boy takes in a stray dog, later finding out that its an ultra-intelligent runaway from a genetic research lab. Unknow to him, the dog is being stalked by another escaped creature thats not quite so friendly.
Tagline: Secret experiment, Unstoppable monster, Deadly mistake...
Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988)
PG | 1h 38min | 98min | 22 Apr 1988Score: 4.84/10
Director: John De Bello
Starring: John Astin, Teri Weigel, George Clooney, Anthony Starke, John De Bello
Synopsis: Mad scientist Professor Gangreen is cooking up the second coming of the Great Tomato Uprising, in which music converted tomatoes into human form to war against mankind. Pizza delivery man Chad Finletter must save the world and beautiful tomato-girl Tara.
Tagline: They were out for blood, and rotten to the core. Now they're back ...
My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)
PG-13 | 1h 45min | 105min | 09 Dec 1988Score: 4.79/10
Director: Richard Benjamin
Starring: Seth Green, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Lovitz, Juliette Lewis, Earl Boen
Synopsis: An alien is sent on a secret mission to Earth, where she appears as a gorgeous, attractive, and single lady. Her mission is to make contact with a rather nerdy young scientist, who's quite overwhelmed by her attentions, and isn't aware of the connection between her arrival and his work.
Tagline: She's gorgeous, and she's never been kissed. Needless to say, she's from another planet.
Death Street USA (1988)
R | 1h 36min | 96min | 29 Jul 1988Score: 4.77/10
Director: Nico Mastorakis
Starring: Kimberly Beck, John Stewart, Bo Hopkins, Brion James, George Kennedy
Synopsis: Scientists poison the water supply of a small town, turning the residents into homicidal maniacs who kill each other and anybody who passes through.
Tagline: An Experiment in Terror.
Zombi 3 (1988)
R | 1h 35min | 95min | 29 Jul 1988Score: 4.71/10
Directors: Lucio Fulci, Claudio Fragasso, Bruno Mattei
Starring: Ted Rusoff, Marina Loi, Russel Case, Maricar Totengco, Claudio Fragasso
Synopsis: When a terrorist's body, infected with a stolen chemical, is recovered by the US military, the corpse is cremated, unintentionally releasing the virus/bacteria into the atmosphere over a small island. Soon the infected populace mutate into flesh-hungry zombies, and a trio of soldiers on leave must team up with a group of tourists and board themselves up in an abandoned hotel as they try to fend off the agile and aggressive living dead.
Critters 2 (1988)
PG-13 | 1h 26min | 86min | 29 Apr 1988Score: 4.68/10
Director: Mick Garris
Starring: Lin Shaye, Mick Garris, Cynthia Garris, Sam Anderson, Terrence Mann
Synopsis: A batch of unhatched critter eggs are mistaken for Easter eggs by the country-folk inhabitants of Grover's Bend and, before long, the ferocious furballs are on the rampage again.
Tagline: The Main Course.
Deep Space (1988)
R | 1h 30min | 90minScore: 4.66/10
Director: Fred Olen Ray
Starring: Michael Forest, Rachel Howard, Bob Ivy, Charles Napier, Peter Palmer
Synopsis: An American satellite with a new biological weapon gets out of control and crashes onto US territory. A slimy monster emerges and manages to escape, killing everyone who crosses his path. Police Lieutenant McLemore gets the job to stop the killing machine.
Tagline: They created a monster over lunch. Now it's back for dinner...
Lone Wolf (1988)
R | 1h 37min | 97minScore: 4.6/10
Director: John Callas
Starring: Kevin Hart, Michael Parker, Eric Hill, Holly Kennedy, Gordon Hamby
Synopsis: A struggling rock band and other college students cope with the trials and tribulations of their young lives and find themselves in the role of determining what exactly is behind the recent full-moon killings which have been attributed to wild dogs.
Cocoon: The Return (1988)
PG | 1h 56min | 116min | 23 Nov 1988Score: 4.3/10
Director: Daniel Petrie
Starring: Courteney Cox, Herta Ware, Mike Nomad, Linda Harrison, Wilford Brimley
Synopsis: Art, Ben and Joe are back! So are their wives and good friend Bernie in their first adventure since their last! Five years since the senior citizens blasted off into space with the Antareans return to earth because their alien friends have to collect the rest of the cocoons in the ocean, believed to be in danger from an earthquake. Ben and Mary visit their family, while Art and Joe visit Bernie, who's still hangin' on. Art, Ben and Joe had forgotten what it was like on earth and immediately begin to feel their weaknesses, except for Art's wife who's…
Tagline: This holiday season, journey to the most wonderful place in the universe... home.
R | 1h 32min | 92min | 05 Feb 1988Score: 3.91/10
Directors: Juan Piquer Simón, Juan Piquer Simón
Starring: Silvana Mangano, Stan Schwartz, Karen Landberg, Patty Shepard, Juan Maján
Synopsis: People are dying mysteriously and gruesomely, and nobody has a clue what the cause is. Only health worker Mike Brady has a possible solution, but his theory of killer slugs is laughed at by the authorities. Only when the body count begins to rise and a slug expert from England begins snooping around does it begin to look like Mike had the right idea after all.
Tagline: No-one is safe!
Alien from L.A. (1988)
PG | 1h 27min | 87min | 26 Feb 1988Score: 3.9/10
Director: Albert Pyun
Starring: Deep Roy, Thom Mathews, Megyn Shott, Greg Latter, Ashley Waldorf
Synopsis: Wanda is a shy plain girl with a very boring life. When her father, an archaeologist, disappears on an expedition, she flies out to look for him. She ends up in an underground world, where no one believes in a surface world. Except for the secret police, who think she and her fathers are spies.
Tagline: Venture to the core!
Dead Heat (1988)
R | 1h 26min | 86min | 06 May 1988Score: 3.55/10
Director: Mark Goldblatt
Starring: Robert Picardo, Linnea Quigley, Peter Kent, Vincent Price, Keye Luke
Synopsis: Roger Mortis and Doug Bigelow are cops that are chasing crooks that are dead serious about crime. Or should I say they are chasing dead crooks perpetrating serious crimes? Seems some nutcase has learned how to bring back the dead and is sending them on crime sprees. Now these indestructable goons are in the way of officers Mortis and Bigelow. To even things up, when Mortis is killed (in the line of duty, of course) he gets a jump start from the Resurrection machine and takes the fight to the zombie bad guys.
Tagline: These cops are on the biggest murder case of their lives... their own.
R | 1h 28min | 88min | 14 Jul 1988Score: 2.9/10
Director: Rick Sloane
Starring: Duane Whitaker, Don Barrett, Daran Norris, Ken Abraham, Patrick Dean Bostrom
Synopsis: A group of hobgoblins, who allow you to live out your fantasies but kill you in the process, escape from a studio vault, and a security guard and his friends must stop them before dawn.
Tagline: Be careful what you wish for... You just might get it!
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