The science fiction genre has grown into a very popular genre of film. It has fans worldwide, and the number of those fans continues to grow into uncountable proportions. Science fiction takes people into a world of imagination where the things that happen in it can be almost conceived to be some day possible. This brings hope and wonder to everyone that watches this genre--a hope for a more wonderful and more advanced future.
Science fiction did not even become a distinctive or individual genre until the 1950s. There was science fiction before the 1950s, but it was centered on the conflict of individuals and not the worldwide conflict of later science fiction. The reason for the change to worldwide conflicts was World War 2 and the Holocaust. After these events people began to understand that science would affect the entire world. The first science fiction movie that used world wide conflict was called Destination Moon, made in 1950. Another good example would be Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which was made in 1956 by Don Siegel. In this movie there was a worldwide crisis. The world wide crisis was the aliens that planned to take over the lives of all humans in order to conquer the world. The aliens not only wanted control of the humans, but they also wanted to convert humans to their way of thinking. This meant that they tried to get humans to do away with all emotion and to pretty much act like mindless zombies. This conversion could be linked to the real world in which people in politics were attempting to change people to their ways of thinking. The politics of the Cold War were a big influence on the ideas of conversion.
Special effects became more advanced in the 1950s also. People that showed these new special effects in their films were producer George Pal and director Ray Harryhausen. One new special effect was Dynamation. Dynamation was the three-dimensional, stop-motion process that made combining animated models with live action possible. This type of special effect was widely used in monster films and science fiction films. All of the 1950s science fiction had elements of dread. When the film The Thing, came out, it created a popular trend of films about monsters that came from outer space or were created by nuclear radiation. In the mid-1950s "monster films" were made frequently. One of the first anti-nuclear science fiction films was The Space Children. The Japanese became really good at making "monster films" because of their recent encounter with nuclear destruction. The American distributors of these Japanese films would try improving the box-office appeal by putting famous American actors in them. By doing this they made the plot of the films far from understandable. The imaginative special effect did make the Japanese "monster films" very popular world wide. Most of the American science fiction films of the 1950s were created by Allied Artists or American International Pictures. Allied Artists was actually the producer of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Science fiction became more mainstream in the 1960s. It also became a fully respected genre in the mid-1960s. A science fiction film that had huge popularity in the 1970s was Star Wars, which was directed by George Lucas. This film had advanced computer effects, sound, and plot. This film is still very popular even today with the three prequels of it having been made. In the late 1980s, the importance of high-tech special effects and sound was still around in science fiction. Many unique sub-genres of science fiction came about in the 1980s. Some of these were pornographic, "parodic"/satiric and the punk.