Science fiction has long been known to have a weird side to it — and no, we're not just talking about H.R. Giger's Alien designs, either. The entire genre is all about bringing out the strange and mind-bending potential of our reality, and seeing how humanity would deal with it.
When you really think about it, all sci-fi is a bit weird. However, some sci-fi really gets liberal with the strangeness...and tend to turn into sideshows of strange as a result.
When this happens, you often end up with bizarre, head-scratcher movies that don't really make much sense — or, in some cases, straight up masterpieces in their own right. No matter what the outcome, the weirdest sci-fi movies of all time will always be undeniably strange.
To begin this list, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite sci-fi movies of all time — which, incidentally, is also one of the weirdest sci-fi movies of all time.
In Donnie Darko, an angsty, disillusioned teenager gets regularly reminded by a 6-foot tall bunny, named Frank, that the universe will end in 28 days. The movie follows him as his mind seemingly unravels, and as he follows Frank's instructions to make sure that the space-time continuum continues as it's meant to be.
It's one of the first movies of the last decade to really give a sci-fi, psychedelic rendition of Catcher in the Rye. That's why it's one of the best sci-fi cult classic movies of recent history, too. While it's incredibly weird, it's still poignant in its own uniquely surreal way.
David Lynch is known for creating some of the weirdest sci-fi movies of all time, and if you listen to many critics, his magnum opus is Eraserhead. This movie is incredibly difficult to accurately describe in a way that makes sense — and trust me, I've watched it several times to try to make sense of it, too.
There's a lot of body horror in this, especially when it comes to sex and reproduction. The man's child is a deformed, alien-looking creature. Family members presented in the film are extreme caricatures of what their society feels people "should" be, or are.
It's disturbing, yes, and it's really hard to fully decipher, regardless of how often you watch it. As a result, it's one of the weirdest sci-fi movies of all time to become a famous surrealist film around the world.
No list of the weirdest sci-fi films of all time would be without at least one entry from body horror legend, David Cronenberg. The guy is famous for grotesquely weird imagery, to the point that Rick and Morty even made a reference to him via the "Cronenberg Morty" part of one episode.
In Videodrome, a 1980s television station producer called Max finds a strange signal featuring extreme gore scenes and becomes obsessed with finding out where the signal came from. The film involves lots of disturbing hallucination scenes, crazy body horror effects and, of course, a plot that makes you wonder if someone dropped some acid in your drink.
The strangeness in this film is something you have to see to fully grasp. As such, it's really worth a view.
David Cronenberg is active in this video title, too, and the concept somehow ends up being somewhat stranger than Videodrome. Naked Lunch follows the bizarre world of a couple who inject insecticide into themselves to get high.
The couple, an exterminator and his wife, end up getting mixed into a surreal world of disturbing characters and situations. The plot spirals out of control after the man accidentally kills his wife with strange hallucinations of bug-people, murderous guilt, and random visions of dopplegangers.
Naked Lunch isn't the kind of movie to watch if you want to feel comfortable, and not only because it's one of the weirdest sci-fi movies of all time, either. It's just plain grimy — but grimy in a good, good way.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
One of the weirdest sci-fi movies of all time originated from Japan, and it's also one of the top cult classics in the genre. Tetsuo: The Iron Man is all about a man who has a serious metal fetish and can't help trying to meld himself with metal by sticking iron into his body.
Eventually, his love of metallizing his body causes things to get even weirder...and the movie quickly turns into a sci-fi horror that involves two telepathic iron men duking it out in a ridiculous battle in the middle of Tokyo's streets.
Its social commentary and amazing use of low-budget filming makes it one of the top Japanese sci-fi films of all time — even if you're not an art or cinematography major.
Funky Forest: The First Contact
One of the other super-weird, could-only-happen-in-Japan movies to make this list is the obscure title, Funky Forest. It takes place in a high school (normal), but involves body horror, dancing aliens, Giger-esque imagery and, of course, fever-dream style design.
I have no words. All I know is that Funky Forest is as off-kilter as it gets — and that's saying something in Japanese film.
A Boy and His Dog
This post-apocalyptic movie tells the classic, all-American tale of a boy and his telepathic dog. In a world where survivors have to battle it out for shelter, food and water, the handsome young man ends up getting kidnapped by a group of people who want to harvest his sperm.
A Boy and His Dog is a great example of why 70s science fiction produced some of the weirdest sci-fi movies of all time — and why sci-fi can be absolutely hilarious in its own right.
It's one of the most offbeat cult classics of the 70s, and basically, shows what almost every guy has dreamed about having to him at one point or another...until the pretty horrifyingly grotesque end, anyway.
Pooches before cooches, I guess, is the moral here.
Without a doubt, the top of the weirdest sci-fi movies of all time would have to be Zardoz. It's legendary for its LSD-style, trippy and difficult-to-comprehend plotline involving a post-apocalyptic world filled with Eternals and Brutals — those who are immortal, and those who aren't.
There's a lot of talk of class war and bizarre imagery involving floating spaceships shaped like human heads, and weird masks Brutals wear when fighting. Did we mention there's a totally out-of-control topless orgy scene? Yep, Sean Connery himself saves the world with sexuality. Why? Because, who knows.