Annal: 1994 Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film

Results of the Saturn Award in the year 1994.

Film:Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 mega-hit rivals Jaws as the most intense and frightening film he’d ever made prior to Schindler’s List, but it was also among his weakest stories. Based on Michael Crichton’s novel about an island amusement park populated by cloned dinosaurs, the film works best as a thrill ride with none of the interesting human dynamics of Spielberg’s Jaws. That lapse proves unfortunate, but there’s no shortage of raw terror as a rampaging T-rex and nasty raptors try to make fast food out of the cast. The effects are still…

Film:Demolition Man

Demolition Man

Marco Brambilla

Years before the fast-food chain hired a talking chihuahua as its official spokeshound, Taco Bell got some high-profile product placement in this dopey thriller set in the year 2032, when the sprawling megacity of “San Angeles” has banned violence and profanity, and where virtually all the restaurants are Taco Bells. (So much for democracy!) Sylvester Stallone plays an ex-cop who’s been thawed out after 36 years of imprisonment for manslaughter, and Wesley Snipes plays his nemesis who also emerges from deep-freeze and proceeds to wreak havoc. It’s not nearly as…

Film:Fire in the Sky

Fire in the Sky

Robert Lieberman

Fire in the Sky is the comprehensive story of a logger named Travis Walton who mysteriously disappears in 1975 only to turn up bloodied and bruised five days later. Walton and co-workers accidentally discover a UFO and unfortunately they all escape except Walton who is elevated aboard the bizarre aircraft. Onboard he undergoes painful unearthly medical treatments and tests.

Film:Fortress

Fortress

Stuart Gordon

The story of Fortress takes place in drastically overpopulated America of the year 2017, where each woman is allowed only one pregnancy. John Brennick (Christopher Lambert) and his wife Karen (Loryn Locklin) flee to Mexico when she becomes pregnant after the death of their first child. They are captured by border police and sent to the Fortress, a subterranean high-security prison owned by the Men-Tel corporation and operated by “Zed-10,” an omnipotent computer system, and a sadistic, genetically “enhanced” warden (Kurtwood Smith) who has nefarious plans…

Film:Man's Best Friend

Man's Best Friend

John Lafia

This story centers around a high-tech biotechnology lab. From its confines comes “Max,” a genetically engineered killing machine in the guise of a household pet dog.

Film:The Meteor Man

The Meteor Man

Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend has managed to build an entire career on the basis of one funny movie (The Hollywood Shuffle)—even though he hasn’t had one that was anywhere near as funny since. Case in point: This would-be comedy about an unwilling black superhero. Townsend plays a schoolteacher in a bad Washington, D.C., neighborhood that is controlled by a vicious drug gang (recognizable by their blonde-dyed hair). Then he is hit by a meteor and suddenly finds that he has super strength and can fly (and can read the minds of dogs). But Townsend’s writing is…

Film:Robocop 3

Robocop 3: 3rd in series

Fred Dekker

Early on in Robocop 3, an action figure of our metal hero on the nightstand in a little girl’s room informs us that he’s now become a children’s toy. The image is right on the money; despite following up two of the most violent, hilarious sci-fi/action films ever made, Robocop 3 is strictly for the kiddies. It’s not just that the gore has been toned down considerably to make for a PG-13 rating; also excised is the straight-faced portrait of a world run by corporate fascism. When evil corporation OCP, and its even more evil Japanese parent company,…

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