Bertolucci. Fellini. Leone. The immortal names of fine Italian cinema have elevated their craft to the very pinnacle of the motion picture arts. Yet, emerging from the shadows of the masters, fearless filmmakers of science fiction made some iconic contributions to the country's embrace of big-screen cult spectacles seasoned with insane killer robots, maniacal experiments, sleek spaceships, rogue planetoids and mod outer space madness.
Any of the phenomenal sci-fi films served up on this platter are best watched with a bottle of your favorite vino and steaming dish of penne pomodoro (with fresh Parmesan, of course), for a tempting taste of Italy's wild and wonderful offerings like Planet of the Vampires, Mission Stardust, Assignment: Outer Space and Wild, Wild Planet. What these spirited movies lack in bulging budgets and screenplay coherence, they more than make up for with imaginative direction, stylish set design and unexpected parades of far out fashion.
So sip from this selection of 17 vintage sci-fi classics from the country that delivered Michelangelo, spaghetti westerns and spumoni ice cream, then tell us which ones you have tanto affeto for!