Listen up kids: once upon a time, science fiction and horror films had to be filmed without the luxury of thousands of CG artists creating amazing scenes in post-production. Back in the 1950s and 60s, film-makers had to use their skills, imagination, and some pioneering techniques, to make genre films that would convince audiences to suspend their disbelief in the fantastical story they were witnessing. Some achieved that, and some….didn’t.
But from George Romero’s hugely influential Night of the Living Dead, to the so-bad-it’s-kinda-awesome Ed Wood film Plan 9 From Outer Space, many of these movies from the mid-20th century were a huge influence on the next generation of film-makers – so much so that you’ll often find nods of the head to those films via ‘easter eggs’ in modern-day cinema blockbusters (for those with eyes to see).
And what’s great is that, due to many of those seminal movies’ copyright having lapsed and moved into the public domain, you can now watch a bunch of them (almost 500!) online at Archive.org’s “Science Fiction and Horror” section.
To get you started, here’s Romero’s hugely influential 1968 zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead. Then head over to Archive.org and browse for more brilliant viewing.