The ’90s Sci-Fi Thriller Blockbuster Hit That Is Being Totally Forgotten

By Jason Collins | Published

The X-Files is probably one of the most famous television shows of the 90s and for a good reason. It combined the elements of sci-fi with horror and drama elements and fit them all inside a unique and compelling narrative. It actually managed to give birth to a franchise before it was sadly discontinued. Now, one of its greatest spin-offs, 1998’s The X-Files movie, is nowhere to be found on streaming media.

The X-Files Movie Isn’t Streaming Anywhere

ryan coogler x-files

The absence of The X-Files movie was covered on the GenreVision podcast, and it only underscores the importance of media preservation in a digital era that’s dominated by streaming services. But before we dive into all of that, let’s discuss the movie itself. The X-Files, also known as The X-Files: Fight the Future, is a movie based on Chris Carter’s television series of the same name, which basically revolves around fictional unsolved cases dubbed the X-Files. The movie featured all the main stars from the series, including David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.

The Black Oil

The X-Files movie opens with a scene from 35,000 BC during the Ice Age when one of the cavemen is infected with a black oil-like substance, and some 37,000 years later, the same happened to a boy in North Texas. This soon attracts the attention of Mulder and Scully, who go on to find that the black-oily substance is most likely an alien virus that infects the victims and gestates an alien within its host. It’s pretty Alien-like if you ask us, but the whole point of the movie was a government coverup instead of a little black Xenomorph running around and killing.

Takes Place Between Seasons 4 And 5

Regardless, the movie was a success, and it warranted a sequel and the continuation of the narrative. The production itself took place between the fourth and the fifth seasons, with some re-shoots taking place during the production of The X-Files series, which created some conflicts with the actors’ schedule, prompting some to be absent from the show for a limited time. Regardless, the movie wasn’t as successful in the US, but it was a massive hit internationally, and it’s a darn shame that it’s nowhere to be found on streaming.

Media Preservation

As previously stated, this raises some questions about media preservation. Those who would like to watch the movie would have to buy a physical copy on a disc, and we wish them good luck with that, as it’s most probably out of print by now. This leaves the viewers with one possible solution—digital piracy. Please let the record show that we’re not advocating for digital piracy, but we have to attest to the fact that digital piracy has inadvertently been at the forefront of media preservation efforts.

The Age Of Streaming

Major companies, such as Disney, Netflix, and basically anyone with a streaming service, want audiences to forget that physical media was ever a thing. Instead, we should pay for content that we get to watch for as long as the content’s hosts deem necessary or profitable, while digital services collect our data and sell it to marketing companies that strive to make profits from our entertainment habits. Today, it’s The X-Files, and tomorrow, our favorite releases might suffer the same fate.