But there was still enough room for creative filmmakers with more limited budgets to grab a slice of the sci-fi pie. The fledgling Star Trek franchise finally found its voice with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. John Carpenter had his biggest post-Halloween hit with Starman. With Spielberg’s help (and clout), Robert Zemeckis struck absolute box office gold with Back to the Future. George Miller’s Mad Max 2 and James Cameron’s The Terminator served as calling cards promising greater things to come.
There are also a lot of decent films from the same genre and era which have fallen by the wayside, some which were just as ambitious as those with mega-budgets and bigger names in the credits. A few of the films on this list were actually minor box office hits at the time, but simply never resonated for too long afterwards, while others never really had the opportunity to find an audience to begin with, perhaps because they were too dark, indefinable or esoteric to be marketed effectively. There are also a couple of titles which, on the surface, are low budget sleaze, but display enough ambition or talent behind the camera to render them somewhat memorable. However, something they all have in common is one or more qualities which make them worth discovery…or rediscovery.
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