Junk Head

If Jan Švankmajer were Japanese and considered making something like Sexmission, it might have resulted in a film similar to Junk Head. This animated piece by debutant Takahide Hori is a feature-length expansion of the sci-fi short of the same name, which takes us into a post-apocalyptic future. In it, mankind has finally achieved its longed-for immortality through genetic experimentation. But it has paid the price in fertility, and now faces extinction. The solution may lie in a small underground civilization of clones who broke free from humans long ago and seem to be able to bring forth little baby clones. The human government therefore sends a scout to their weird world to find out how things really are and, consequently, save the human race.

Neptune Frost

You may not have seen something like this before. Neptune Frost is an Afrofuturistic sci-fi musical set in a small Rwandan village built from parts of old computers. Set against the backdrop of the love story of intersexual Neptune (Elvis Ngabo and Cheryl Isheja) and mining girl Matalusa (Kaya Free), Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman’s film tackles anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism and current queer issues. A truly unique film with a magical setting and atmosphere, it was produced by Ezra Miller who you may know as Flash from the namesake film or also as Credence from Fantastic Beasts.

Sputnik

A bit like Alien done the Russian way against the backdrop of the last phase of the Cold War. In Yegor Abramenko’s dark sci-fi horror, a young doctor (played by Oksana Akinshina), in an attempt to revive her dying career, is assigned to a top-secret government project: she’s to investigate and observe cosmonaut Konstantin (Pyotr Fyodorov) who has brought back a troublesome parasite from a space mission. What’s more, the parasite crawls out of the man’s body every night, leaving behind some seriously slimy, bloody havoc. And while the doctor mainly wants to save human life, her employers have their own plans for the aggressive alien creature.

Mad God

If you like classic film animation and analog special effects and you feel like immersing yourself in a dark fantasy world where there’s no talking and not much explanation, Mad God is an absolute must. The feature film by trickster legend Phil Tippett (who worked on Star Wars, Jurassic Park and the original RoboCop, to name a few) has been in the works for the last thirty years and was completed during the Covid lockdown. It tells the story of an assassin who emerges in a world on the brink of apocalypse and embarks on a journey through a hellscape filled with bizarre characters. An exceptional viewing experience for true connoisseurs.

Tiong Bahru Social Club

Thirty-year-old Ah Bee (Thomas Pang) has landed his dream job: becoming the new Happiness Agent at the Tiong Bahru Social Club in Singapore. The club is a community of aging people and their caregivers who have one job: to ensure that their clients spend the rest of their lives in maximum happiness. They are helped in this task by artificial intelligence that can assess what will make a person happier. Tan Bee Thiam’s directorial debut is reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s films with its symmetrical, colourful visual stylisation. Beneath the welcoming visuals, however, lies a satire with sci-fi elements that reflects on society’s attitude towards lonely pensioners and the trust with which we entrust modern technology with our personal information.