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Schlock horror.

Science fiction was a staple of B-movie schlock horror in its 1950s heyday.

But classics such as The Day the Earth Stood Still fell out of favour.

With the release of Space Truckers (starring Dennis Hopper and Charles Dance) this week, B-movie science fiction is back with a vengeance.

Budget restrictions usually limited the scale of B-Movie special effects. But the makeshift props actually add to the charm.

Here's a selection of the best sci-fi B-movies since Star Wars made space travel hip again.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1979)

TV series pilot gets theatrical release. Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict zip about in neat Viper fighters as the insidious silver Cylon empire hounds mankind across space.

BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY (1979)

Gil Gerard is astronaut William Rogers, woken from accidental hibernation after 500 years to add his manly, Brut- smelling contribution to Earth's future, while being irritated by a little silver robot and trying to get into Erin Gray's spacesuit.

FLASH GORDON (1980)

Positively revelled in its B-movie status - how else could you have Sam J. Jones whacking Ming's guards with American footie tactics, or Brian Blessed, all grins and wings, or Freddie Mercury's bombastic vocals on the superb Queen soundtrack?

STARGATE (1994)

The old Egyptian chestnut opening the door for ET adventures and themes of love and liberation, and for our mostly 2-D heroes.

INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996)

Yes, it was THE blockbuster of last summer, but it's still very much a B-movie at heart. The Stargate producers return both to lampoon and laud the 50s paranoid alien invasion flicks (The War of the Worlds, Invaders from Mars).
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Head, Tony
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 23, 1997
Words:268
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