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Horror Channel’s Classic Sci-Fi Weekend is BACK with more otherworldly thrills

CBS Horror Channel Sci-Fi Weekend splash
(Image credit: CBS)

It’s huge! It’s mutated! It’s unstoppable. Horror Channel’s much-loved Classic Sci-Fi Weekend from 2020 is back with a sequel on April 16th and 17th and has more otherworldly delights than ever before. The Classic Sci-Fi Weekend features five fresh channel premieres of iconic monstrous invasions and has five returning favourites to make sure you can get plenty of Ray Harryhausen-packed comfort watching in too. 

Over these two days on Horror Channel, you can expect giant insects, creatures from another world, and even some rampaging murderous rocks. This is a perfect chance to catch up on some of the absolute classics of the genre from the 1950s, as Hollywood recognised the popularity of glorious sci-fi.

This is also an ideal opportunity to get the whole family watching practical effect wizardry. With no green screens, the special effects of these sci-fi classics had to get seriously creative and there’s a joy to be found in the sheer homemade nature of it all. They really don’t make ‘em like they used to.  

So whether you want to catch up on some long-lost classics or rewatch your favourites, don’t miss Horror Channel’s Classic Sci-Fi Weekend. Here’s what’s on and where to find Horror Channel, the home of the UK’s best horror and sci-fi content (opens in new tab)

You’ll find Horror Channel on Sky 317, Virgin 149, Freeview 69, and Freesat 138

It Came From Outer Space (1953)  

Horror Channel Sci-Fi Weekend 2

(Image credit: Horror Channel )

CHANNEL PREMIERE - 13:00 April 16th  

The weekend kicks off with a classic channel premiere. It Came From Outer Space is from an original story by sci-fi master Ray Bradbury. This brings an extra layer of intelligence to proceedings in a decade of genre movies where smarts weren’t always the biggest focus. When a meteor crashes into the desert, things don’t go well for a small town in Arizona as the population are gradually abducted and replaced with alien clones. This is an unnerving alien horror classic from director Jack Arnold and goes down in history for its unique take on the invasion genre. All might not be as simple as it first appears…       

Earth Vs the Flying Saucers (1956) 

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(Image credit: Horror Channel )

14:40 April 16th  

The Classic Sci-Fi Weekend knows exactly what it’s doing. Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers is our first look at the work of legendary practical special effects artist Ray Harryhausen but there’s plenty more lined up. Here though, as a perfect warm up for what’s ahead, Harryhausen goes to town with flying saucer car chases, monstrous invasions and iconic battle scenes. This is a thrilling classic as a scientist (Hugh Marlowe) and his new bride (Joan Taylor) - happy honeymoon, guys - plan the ultimate weapon to fend off the alien invaders. Can they do it in time…?    

Tarantula! (1955) 

Horror Channel Sci-Fi Weekend 2

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CHANNEL PREMIERE - 16:20 April 16th

Check the Trip Advisor reviews for the (thankfully fictional) town of Desert Rock, Arizona and you’ll find it really isn’t suitable for arachnophobes. Jack Arnold’s classic eight legged creature feature once again proves that testing absurd new science on animals is generally a bad idea, as Professor Gerald Deemer unwittingly unleashes a gargantuan spider on the community. Chaos duly ensues in the sweltering desert. Complete with an uncredited appearance from none other than Clint Eastwood in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo as a fighter pilot, this ‘50s giant bug movie is a webby classic. And you thought finding a spider in the bath was bad enough.  

It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955) 

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17:55 April 16th 

Get ready to bask once again in the tentacled artistry of Ray Harryhausen. This might only be his second feature film but Harryhausen brings the gargantuan octopus of It Came From Beneath the Sea to life in a way that has to be seen - sea-n? - to be believed. Who needs modern CGI when you can watch an enormous creature from the deep annihilate the Golden Gate Bridge, fishing trawlers, and even skyscrapers as it arrives in San Francisco for a spot of lunch. Starring Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, and Donald Curtis, this squelchy classic is an essential education in the rich history of practical visual effects.     

The Giant Claw (1957) 

Horror Channel Sci-Fi Weekend 2

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19:30 April 16th 

It’s not quite the same as the denial of last year’s Don’t Look Up, but there’s really nothing worse than trying to warn people who just don’t want to know about an enormous bird that’s arrived on Earth and appears to be eating passenger planes for breakfast. Poor scientist Mitch McAfee (Jeff Morrow) is vindicated soon enough as the huge feathered creature from another universe continues to use America as a breakfast buffet. It’s probably not a spoiler to say that it all ends with some ludicrously silly carnage amidst the skyscrapers of New York. Watch and prepare to demand a 21st century reboot.       

The Mole People (1956) 

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(Image credit: Horror Channel )

CHANNEL PREMIERE - 13:00 April 17th

If you’re obsessed with Hollow Earth theories, you won’t want to miss Universal’s The Mole People. The movie even starts with an official introduction from Dr Frank Baxter, an IRL English professor at the University of Southern California, musing the possibilities of life at the centre of the earth. Thankfully though, what follows is definitely fiction. We join a Middle Eastern expedition journeying to find a lost tribe of Sumerians. What they find when they inexplicably travel deep into a tunnel below the surface of the earth is much more than they bargained for.. Yes, they’re also in the title.  

20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)

Horror Channel Sci-Fi Weekend 2

(Image credit: Horror Channel )

14:30 April 17th  

It’s time for even more Harryhausen worship as a squelchy blob arrives on earth after hitching a ride on a US Spaceship on a return journey from Venus. Of course, as you’d expect, this blob then transforms into a terrifying monster that seems to be everything proof. 20 Million Miles to Earth is especially refreshing in that the action all takes place in Italy. Instead of a traditional US city rampage, this showdown all takes place in Rome. It even makes the brawl with a zoo elephant classier somehow. Grab your popcorn. You really won’t want to miss this monstrous fun.    

The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Horror Channel Sci-Fi Weekend 2

(Image credit: Horror Channel )

CHANNEL PREMIERE - 16:05 April 17th  

Yes, don’t say Horror Channel’s Sci-Fi Weekend isn’t good to you, there are two giant insect movies playing. This channel premiere follows an enormous praying mantis as it defrosts from its icy Arctic cocoon and goes on a murderous rampage. Unsurprisingly, the lure of the USA is just too irresistible and the mantis scuttles all the way to Washington DC. Astonishingly, to bring the mantis to life, the special effects team built a 200 foot long paper mache model, complete with a 150 foot wingspan and hydraulic legs. A real mantis was used for up close and personal shots as it clambers up the Washington Monument. 

The Monolith Monsters (1957)

Horror Channel Sci-Fi Weekend 2

(Image credit: Horror Channel )

CHANNEL PREMIERE - 17:40 April 17th 

The final channel premiere of the weekend is The Monolith Monsters and this little-known sci-fi classic simply rocks. No really. It’s about monstrous rocks trying to take over the world... After a meteor lands in the desert, a group of geologists discover that fragments of the stone grow in size when exposed to water and can solidify people. Cue a race against the next rainstorm as the rocks advance across America, drying out humans in their murderous wake and attempting to create the next literal stone age. The solution to this madness? Yes, it’s saline.  

The Blob (1958) 

Horror Channel Sci-Fi Weekend 2

(Image credit: Horror Channel )

19:15 April 17th 

What better way to end a weekend of stone cold classics than with 1958’s The Blob? This iconic monster movie was Steve McQueen’s first leading role and follows the titular mass as it grows in size with every human it envelops. Interestingly never referred to as a blob in the movie itself, the gelatinous monster grows to the size of a building as it carves a path of destruction across America. Will a weakness be found before the whole planet is consumed? We suggest watching with a bowlful of jelly to make the experience fully 3D. 

Classic Sci-Fi Weekend is on Horror Channel on the 16th and 17th of April. You’ll find it on Sky 317, Virgin 149, Freeview 69, and Freesat 138

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