Top 26 Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s

From low-budget depiction of post-apocalyptic world to a high-end imagination of a space opera, sci-fi fantasy movies of the 1970s had it all wrapped up in a neat package of surprises. Some of the best are as follows.

The Andromeda Strain (1971)

Based on Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name, The Andromeda Strain does fall into a science fiction category, but in truth the film puts more focus on the science side of the genre. Take the very probable premise for example: it is about a lethal extraterrestrial virus brought to Earth by a fallen space probe. 

World on a Wire (1973)

One thing that makes World on a Wire such an impressive feature for its time is the elaborate storytelling. It is the first film (originally a miniseries) to explore the idea of concentric realities. Think of it as the true ancestor of Inception.

Logan’s Run (1976)

Nobody lives to their 30s in the future. If someone appears to have surpassed the threshold, it is the first sign to run and hide. Although Logan’s Run was not the critics’ baby upon release, it has become a cult classic after a few reassessments. 

Westworld (1973)

A supposedly safe theme park, which of course it isn’t, becomes a playground for guests to explore their wildest American desires, from shooting people like during the Wild West without consequences to guilt-free lustful practices. Somebody (or something) will fight back against the untamed indulgence.

Sleeper (1973)

Woody Allen finally comes back to the world after spending two centuries inside a cryogenic chamber. He is now in the future in the middle of a chaotic nation in which high society is crushing the poor citizens. It may come with a serious premise, but everything is plain and simple noisy comedy.  

Fantastic Planet (1973)

Aliens play the civilized society, whereas humans take the role of savages in Fantastic Planet. Anyone can tell that the plot is rather flimsy and you’ll likely get confused by the storyline, so it is best to focus on the over-the-top visual imagination instead. 

Dark Star (1974)

The crew of a long-term space mission to destroy unstable planets at some point find themselves bickering over everything. The film also features a talking bomb and an alien that bounces all around. It would be a good time for everyone to get along.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: invasion of the body snatchers

Hollywood has seen its fair share of remakes over the decades, even in the 1970s. Although revamped classic movies like The Thing and The Fly are more recognizable than The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, sci-fi fans appreciate the latter’s courage to question the concept of free will. 

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

David Bowie is the perfect humanoid extraterrestrial life form in The Man Who Fell to Earth. He has orange hair and feels uncomfortable with himself. In a never-ending search for a purpose, alcohol and guns are the readily-available means to reach the destination.

Silent Running (1972)

There are no more plants on Earth. Few surviving species are brought to be cultivated in spaceships in the hope of future reforestation. Things go awry when big businesses start to interfere with such a noble undertaking. 

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: clockwork orange

McDowell is the embodiment of violence. The government has to do something about him to prevent more atrocities. By the time he is taken into custody, the line between criminals and lawmakers gets blurry. 

Solaris (1972)

Kelvin’s journey through space brings him near Solaris, a self-aware planet with the ability to resurrect the dead. His deceased wife suddenly reappears, and all sorts of strange events start to happen from that point on. 

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

After a sizable number of sequels, prequels, and anthology series, it is easy to underestimate all the groundbreaking ideas of the original Star Wars film. The sci-fi fantasy is strong with A New Hope, thanks to its impressive visual effects and inventive character models. 

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Stephen Spielberg’s message in Close Encounters of the Third Kind tells viewers that perhaps some extraterrestrial lifeforms are not violent creatures. In fact, they may even act as catalysts to help people discover the greater meanings of humanity.

Alien (1979)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: alien

There is no fantastical depiction of space in Alien. Many things look grim and the monster is as dark as it is evil. It is the ultimate sci-fi horror of the 1970s and remains a respectable entry when compared to its more modern counterparts.

Phase IV (1974)

A colony of ants has developed an intelligent level beyond their own comprehension. They actually manage to trap some scientists inside a laboratory. Colonizing the world is a big task for the ants, and they will need food. A few human bodies will do just fine.

Mad Max (1979)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: mad max

Part thriller, part post-apocalyptic punk, and part a glorious Western, Mad Max is a story of vigilante in the middle of a war-destroyed wasteland. Max is the only one standing between civilization (or what’s left of it) and barbarism.

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: a boy and his dog

Money is no good in a ruined world. Canned goods are what everyone is after. A teenage boy who sees a beautiful woman in a wasteland nearly void of people becomes overtaken with lust. When he learns the woman, and many others like her, need a sperm donor, he is only too happy to sign-up. 

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

Before the prevalence of Skynet, a supercomputer known as Colossus is given the permission to control the U.S. nuclear weapon system. Predictably enough, things do not go as expected. The engineer behind the project, and all his co-conspirators must be terminated.

God Told Me To (1976)

Another feature that depicts an extraterrestrial creature as superior to human, God Told Me To presents the idea that aliens can control people’s minds. With such great power, they can easily order mere mortals to kill each other.

The Brood (1979)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: the brood

A psychologist has discovered a method to manifest patients’ anger into physical objects. Of course, the negative emotions can only take shape in the form of aggressive beings. The Brood is a striking presentation of old-school rage packed in a creative premise.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: star trek the motion picture

While no Star Trek film can take the place of The Wrath of Khan, the predecessor is often regarded as an appropriate (if not more thoughtful) response to Star Wars. In the 1970s sci-fi world, praise cannot be any higher than that. 

Death Race 2000 (1975)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: death race 2000

An exciting blend of a sci-fi story of gear-head eye-candy, Death Race 2000 depicts the violent idea of a murderous race in which a killing spree is just part of the competition to the finish line. 

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: conquest of the planet of the apes

Chimpanzees and monkeys are popular pets and become an exploited labor force. Since this is the third installment in the series, viewers can expect action-packed scenes during and after the animals turn the table. The utopia seen in the beginning quickly disintegrates.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: beneath the planet of the apes

In this bonkers sequel to the original feature, some astronauts accidentally travel in time to arrive on a future Earth ruled by English-speaking simians. There is also mutant cult involved in the story. The film transforms an already familiar premise into something much darker. 

Wizards (1977)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: wizards

After two million years, the sun’s rays finally hits the surface of the Earth again. The planet is now ruled by fairies and elves. Twin wizards, Avatar and Blackwolf, start a family feud that will shake the foundation of the establishment. 

The Omega Man (1971)

Sci-Fi Fantasy Movies of the 1970s: the omega man

Based on Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend novel, The Omega Man is the last man standing after an apocalyptic event. He doesn’t fight zombies here, but albino mutants hungry for the remnants of humanity.

We love the sci-fi movies from the 1970s! So many diverse and exciting ideas made into film that fire the imagination in a decade where special effects were just beginning to take off. Do you like any of the sci-fi movies made then? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know about.

Who are the best sci-fi fantasy actors?

According to here are some well known actors that have been in sci-fi fantasy movies. 

  1. Sigourney Weaver
  2. Leonard Nimoy
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger 
  4. Jeff Goldblum
  5. Harrison Ford
  6. Patrick Stewart
  7. Carrie Fisher
  8. Mark Hamill
  9. Keanu Reeves
  10. William Shatner
  11. Christopher Lloyd
  12. Will Smith
  13. Brent Spiner
  14. Michael J Fox
  15. Alan Rickman
  16. Warwick Davis
  17. Zoe Saldana
  18. Milla Jovovich
  19. Linda Hamilton
  20. David Tennant

Go to to read more about these actors and their movies. Even though this article was written in 2019, it’s still fun to go back and read about these actors and movies. 

Who are some actors that got their debuts in sci-fi movies?

According to there are 10 famous actors that got their start in the sci-fi genre. 

  1. Mark Hamill – Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
  2. John Boyega – Attack The Block (2011)
  3. Drew Barrymore – Altered States (1980)
  4. Warwick Davis – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  5. Chris Hemsworth – Star Trek (2009)
  6. Liam Hemsworth – Knowing (2009)
  7. Elisabeth Moss – Suburban Commando (1991)
  8. Elijah Wood – Back to the Future II (1989)
  9. Ethan Hawke – Explorers (1995)
  10. Rachel Weiss – Death Machine (1994)

Go to and read this article by Marine Perot for more information about these actors and their movies. 

What are some upcoming sci-fi movies for 2022?

According to there is plenty to see in 2022-23.

  1. Hellraiser – release date October, 2022
  2. Black Adam – release date October, 2022
  3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever –  release date November, 2022
  4. Avatar: The Way of Water – release date December 16, 2022
  5. Distant – release date January 27, 2023
  6. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – release date February 17, 2023
  7. 65 – release date March 10, 2023
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – release date May 5, 2023
  9. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part one – release date June 2, 2023
  10. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts – release date June 9, 2023
  11. The Flash – release date June 23, 2023
  12. The Marvels – release date July 28, 2023

Go to to read more about these movies. The contributing writer for this article is Grace Dean. Mark your calendars!