Howdy, members of the 1992 Olympic stream team. With the summer blockbuster season in full effect, steaming websites have been a little lax on giving sci-fi fans what we want: namely, something to do besides sweat and deal with teenagers roaming the streets. Stay off of my lawn! Go inside! Sit down! Watch TV! Ahem. On with the list!
The More Recent
The Leftovers (HBO Go)
While HBO’s new drama The Leftovers isn’t strictly speaking science fiction, it’s a high-concept project conceived by the novel’s author Tom Perrotta and Damon Lindelof, co-creator and co-writer of things like Lost, Star Trek Into Darkness, and World War Z. In The Leftovers, two percent of the world is gone due to some unexplainable event, and the town of Mapleton is coping like many others: with public remembrances and silent, chain-smoking cults. The first episode debuted last night and it didn’t really give away a lot of where this plot is going, other than that Justin Theroux’s police chief Kevin Garvey has a lot to deal with.
Almost Human (Netflix Instant)
Not to be confused with the cancelled Fox series of the same name, Joe Begos’ directorial debut Almost Human is a tense, low-budget effort straight out of a 1980s drive-in. (That can be either a good or a bad thing, depending on your taste.) In the film, Seth (Graham Skipper) loses his best friend Mark (Josh Ethier) to a mysterious force. Mark eventually returns, only it’s been two years and he’s now got this killer bloodlust that wasn’t there before. It doesn’t get a lot more complicated than that, but it doesn’t really have to.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (Showtime Anytime)
Is there any reason to watch a movie other than it starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, and Scott Adkins? What if I told you it was part of the Universal Soldier series? And what if I told you that its biggest descriptor is “violent?” What if I stopped asking you questions and let you get to watching Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning right now?
Asteroid vs. Earth (Netflix Instant)
Did you read that title and wonder if The Asylum produced it? Because yes, they did. A meteor is headed straight for Earth, and the only way that a bunch of smart geniuses can think to stop it is to knock the Earth off of its axis. Because that won’t change anything else, will it, Tia Carrere? We all know this isn’t a “run out and watch it” kind of a movie. It’s a “sit down and drink until you’re five pounds heavier” kind of a movie.
Creative Galaxy (Amazon Prime Instant)
Creative Galaxy is Amazon Prime’s second children’s program, and it utilizes talented aliens named Arty and Epiphany who take children on “make-it-as-you-go” creative adventures. The first six episodes of the series are available now, while another six will be released later this year, along with a holiday-themed episode in December. It’s from Angela C. Santomero, the co-creator of such wildly popular series such as Blue’s Clues and Super Why, so you can bet your children will love it as well as learn something from it.
The Less Recent
The Thing (HBO Go)
The greatest creature feature that’s ever existed? John Carpenter’s 1982 sci-fi/horror classic certainly makes a great argument for itself. Starring the incomparable Kurt Russell, Keith David, and Wilford Brimley (!), The Thing excels in almost every way, from its use of a limited setting to the way in which they present the alien killer to the characters. And it goes without saying how fucking outstanding the makeup and special effects were, as they gave Stan Winston his first shades of fame. There’s a reason why we talk about The Thing a lot here on GFR.
Transformers: Rescue Bots – Season 2 (Netflix Instant)
Don’t want your kids to go to theaters to watch Transformers: Age of Extinction take robot violence and destruction to insane levels? No matter, just let them watch this toned-down take on the heroes. Instead of random expensive vehicles, these guys (with names like Heatwave and Blades) are pretending to be normal service robots in the setting of Griffin Rock, Maine. And they save people, duh, but not from Decepticons, because those guys are just too evil.
Supernova (HBO Go)
James Spader. Robert Forster. Angela Bassett. Peter Facinelli. Robin Tunney. A space movie featuring all of these actors should be pretty stellar, right? Well, it might have been that way when it was first conceived back in the last 1980s, but it became a pretty watered-down thriller without a lot of edge to it. A medical ship in deep space is drawn to the signal beacon of a mining ship, and the visitor they take aboard is hiding something, or several things. And most of them end in BOOM!
And in case you missed Cockneys vs. Zombies on Netflix, it’s now on Showtime Anytime for all your accent-filled gore pleasure. Until we meet again, streamers…make sure your dogs are safe from evil aliens.