Blue-collar / working-class Sci-fi flicks: List them here

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In my recent viewing of a lot of Weird West flicks, I came upon 'Outland,' having never caught it before. Got me wondering. Sci-fi flicks have been the realm of space opera or clinical science since the beginning, but how many of what could be termed blue-collar stuff is out there? James Cameron has(had) a thing for them, probably coming from his truck driver past.

Examples I can think of:

Outland
Alien
Aliens(very much from a grunt-level perspective)
The Abyss
Moon

Don Homer, I have baked a special donut just-a for you (kingfish), Friday, 4 June 2010 01:33 (nine years ago) link

Armageddon

EZ Snappin, Friday, 4 June 2010 01:34 (nine years ago) link

though it's a TV show and not a movie, red dwarf definitely has a working-class/blue-collar vibe about it.

No Guru, No Method, No Teacher (Eisbaer), Friday, 4 June 2010 01:45 (nine years ago) link

And I want to narrow this to films, b/c stories & novels don't nec. need that high glamor aspect to them to get sold, I think.

Don Homer, I have baked a special donut just-a for you (kingfish), Friday, 4 June 2010 01:47 (nine years ago) link

Dark Star, surely. Buncha bored working stiffs in outer space going nuts, etc.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 June 2010 01:50 (nine years ago) link

Firefly/Serenity probably would go into this category.

Nhex, Friday, 4 June 2010 01:51 (nine years ago) link

Holy crap, Dark Star is up for free streaming in its full version. I love this world:

http://www.amctv.com/videos/b-movies/?bcpid=13332913001&bclid=14056329001&bctid=14095584001

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 June 2010 01:55 (nine years ago) link

don't forget the late Dennis Hopper in Space Truckers.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 4 June 2010 02:05 (nine years ago) link

The first part of Otomo Katsuhiro's Memories (available for streaming on netflix)

GENE PITNEY'S SWEATER BY KANDAHAR (los blue jeans), Friday, 4 June 2010 02:11 (nine years ago) link

Silent Running

GENE PITNEY'S SWEATER BY KANDAHAR (los blue jeans), Friday, 4 June 2010 02:14 (nine years ago) link

star wars

real eyes realize real truffle fries (dyao), Friday, 4 June 2010 02:14 (nine years ago) link

And SpaceBalls!

Doctor Casino, Friday, 4 June 2010 03:52 (nine years ago) link

"They Live", surely?

property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:03 (nine years ago) link

Also The Thing. Carpenter has a lot of form here.

every time i pull a j/k off the shelf (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:05 (nine years ago) link

Tremors

sent from my neural lace (ledge), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:06 (nine years ago) link

SHit I didnt even realise They Live was a Carpenter joint, ha.

property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:06 (nine years ago) link

But yeah. thats def his vibe.

property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:07 (nine years ago) link

Saturn 3?

sent from my neural lace (ledge), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:09 (nine years ago) link

Nah, the 3 protagonists in that are all kinda exotic iirc

every time i pull a j/k off the shelf (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:10 (nine years ago) link

Def agree on Firefly btw, which is what I loved about it.

I suppose you could tenatively put Babylon 5 in this category. They certainly allow a lot of working/homeless classes in the show.

property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:13 (nine years ago) link

Primer

eh, it has a gritty vibe but they is educated white-collar engineers.

sent from my neural lace (ledge), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:24 (nine years ago) link

They're working out of a garage. It's about as blue-collar as technology startups get.

They're wearing white shirts so they have white collars CASE CLOSED

sent from my neural lace (ledge), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:36 (nine years ago) link

I think we're waltzing right into a big grey area here.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:38 (nine years ago) link

It's humorous the way they wear their whit collared shirts everywhere and always. It's not just their clothes, it becomes like a costume. There's a definite commentary about class intended there, I think.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:39 (nine years ago) link

They're blue-collar and in deep denial.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:40 (nine years ago) link

I wouldn't put this on the list, but it makes me think of the way that Goldblum in The Fly has several sets of identical clothes. He does it do save the time he would spend deciding what to wear; they do it because it's what guys like them wear.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:48 (nine years ago) link

xp Do they work their glistening, taut muscles almost daily in practical application? No? Then they're white collar. (See unusual details wikipedia thread.)

sent from my neural lace (ledge), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:48 (nine years ago) link

Grey area. Grey collar. (ew.)

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:49 (nine years ago) link

OK now you guys are just being nerdy pedants.

property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:50 (nine years ago) link

and?

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:51 (nine years ago) link

touche my dear.

property-disrespecting Moroccan handjob (Trayce), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:53 (nine years ago) link

He does it do save the time he would spend deciding what to wear; they do it because it's what guys like them wear.

I hope I'm not the only guy on ILX this describes perfectly. I'm pretty sure it covers a pretty high % of guys irl anyway.

Brazil has a clerical worker hooking up with a truck driver

The Clegg Effect (Tracer Hand), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:57 (nine years ago) link

Terminator. Sarah Connor just a hard workin' waitress, Kyle just a hard workin' resistance fighter, T-101 just a hard-workin' killer robot.

sent from my neural lace (ledge), Friday, 4 June 2010 10:58 (nine years ago) link

Gordon Gocko's pretty hard workin, is he blue collar?

Gordon Gocko, whatta guy huh

"A Clockwork Orange"

Wenlock & Mandelson (Tom D.), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:00 (nine years ago) link

No.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:01 (nine years ago) link

Eh?

Wenlock & Mandelson (Tom D.), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:02 (nine years ago) link

Poshos

Yarbles

Wenlock & Mandelson (Tom D.), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:04 (nine years ago) link

Tom D., I'd be interested to hear your case for that. But it seems clear to me that Alex is supposed to be an over-privileged little snot.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:05 (nine years ago) link

Repo Man

Otherwise you're kinda being comp-lit in his racism. (kkvgz), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:06 (nine years ago) link

In fact, the whole movie takes place in this vaguely futuristic place where almost everyone is over-privileged, and if you're not, you're living in a tunnel waiting to get the shit kicked out of you by snots like Alex. It's kind of part of the plot. At any rate, it ain't blue collar.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:09 (nine years ago) link

Repo Man is excellent, yes.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:09 (nine years ago) link

Tom D., I'd be interested to hear your case for that. But it seems clear to me that Alex is supposed to be an over-privileged little snot.

Lives in a tower block. Parents seem fairly w/c. Northern accent. One of his friends is Warren Clarke!

Wenlock & Mandelson (Tom D.), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:10 (nine years ago) link

There are British-specific overtones that I do not understand, clearly.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 11:11 (nine years ago) link

one planet was home to the rebel princess tho

my favorite fanboy argument about star wars is the claim that by blowing up both death stars, the rebels are just as guilty as the empire is of committing mass murderer, since think of all the janitors/maintenance workers/blue collar dudes who are working on the death star keeping it running & functioning, they probably had no ill will towards anybody and were just conscripted by the empire, won't somebody think of the children!!

real eyes realize real truffle fries (dyao), Friday, 4 June 2010 17:39 (nine years ago) link

3po would have sold his droid bros out -- total class traitor -- did you see how quickly he maneuvered himself into exploiting ewok religion to make himself queen of the ewoks? don't weep for 3po.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:40 (nine years ago) link

Feudal system was v. different from slavery, sunshine

The only evidence for a supposed slavery of droids is the scene in the A New Hope where they're selling the droids on the market, but maybe Luke just lives on a backwater planet that hasn't yet abolished droid slavery. Nothing in the movies suggests Leia thought the droids were her slaves.

Tuomas, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:43 (nine years ago) link

my favorite fanboy argument about star wars is the claim that by blowing up both death stars, the rebels are just as guilty as the empire is of committing mass murderer, since think of all the janitors/maintenance workers/blue collar dudes who are working on the death star keeping it running & functioning, they probably had no ill will towards anybody and were just conscripted by the empire, won't somebody think of the children!!

^isn't this from Clerks?

sofatruck, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:44 (nine years ago) link

xpost

She did solder a HAYYYYYULP message into his guts

every time i pull a j/k off the shelf (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 June 2010 17:45 (nine years ago) link

have never watched clerks xp

real eyes realize real truffle fries (dyao), Friday, 4 June 2010 17:46 (nine years ago) link

since think of all the janitors/maintenance workers/blue collar dudes who are working on the death star keeping it running & functioning, they probably had no ill will towards anybody and were just conscripted by the empire

The prequels supposedly explain this away by revealing that they're all clones. Though why a sentient clone's life should be worth less than anyone else's, I have no idea.

Tuomas, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:46 (nine years ago) link

She did solder a HAYYYYYULP message into his guts

So you think all those bike messengers on the streets are slaves?

Tuomas, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:47 (nine years ago) link

they used boba fett clones to clean toilets? seems like a waste

xp

peter in montreal, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:48 (nine years ago) link

xpost

they have to swallow their messages?

every time i pull a j/k off the shelf (Noodle Vague), Friday, 4 June 2010 17:48 (nine years ago) link

oh wait, they probably had droids to clean toilets

xp

peter in montreal, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:48 (nine years ago) link

Now you're being antropomorphic. R2 didn't "swallow" anything, it was just its version of a messenger bag.

Tuomas, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:49 (nine years ago) link

The prequels supposedly explain this away by revealing that they're all clones. Though why a sentient clone's life should be worth less than anyone else's, I have no idea.

not enough midichlorians

http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/b/b9/Lobot_btm.jpg

This guy has the worst of it -- looks human, but named LOWbot.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 4 June 2010 17:51 (nine years ago) link

I heard they almost got him to star in death of a salesman

real eyes realize real truffle fries (dyao), Friday, 4 June 2010 17:52 (nine years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zd_khk6zXo

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 June 2010 18:10 (nine years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFKhV_X6-cg

apparently George Lucas addressed the matter in the DVD commentary to one of the prequels.

sofatruck, Friday, 4 June 2010 18:19 (nine years ago) link

Jay and Silent Bob are not in Clerks. Well, ok, except for kind-of.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 18:22 (nine years ago) link

I can understand the confusion there, certainly.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 18:23 (nine years ago) link

Isn't it Lobot? As in lobotomy?

Yes! Yes! Hammerheads! (Jon Lewis), Friday, 4 June 2010 18:30 (nine years ago) link

You're right! Poor lobot! Why they gave you a lobotomy? Maybe you wanted too much freedom.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 4 June 2010 18:37 (nine years ago) link

I heard they almost got him to star in death of a salesman

― real eyes realize real truffle fries (dyao), Friday, June 4, 2010 1:52 PM

more like Death Star of a Salesman

EZ Snappin, Friday, 4 June 2010 18:45 (nine years ago) link

Yeah, but C3PO is a "protocol droid", i.e. built for a white collar job. Can you imagine him doing manual work?

"My last job was programming binary load-lifters, very similar to your vaporators!"

the original trilogy doesn't really show any of the Empire's supposed oppression.

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/1/14/OwenBeru_dead.jpg

I guess for copraphiles this is gonna be awesome (Pancakes Hackman), Friday, 4 June 2010 18:59 (nine years ago) link

"My last job was programming binary load-lifters, very similar to your vaporators!"

c3po just bragging how l33t his coding skills are, but whenever they need to hack empire security, notice it's always R2 who steps up.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 4 June 2010 19:27 (nine years ago) link

3po would have sold his droid bros out -- total class traitor -- did you see how quickly he maneuvered himself into exploiting ewok religion to make himself queen of the ewoks? don't weep for 3po.

― Philip Nunez, Friday, June 4, 2010 1:40 PM Bookmark

But 3PO initially demurs, claiming it would be against his programming to impersonate a deity. He gets browbeat into this idea by, if I recall correctly, the princess.

Thread probably needs some distinction between "has blue collar character in it" and "blue collar sensibility." Like, it's hard to find ANY Hollywood picture where every character is a rich snot who only occasionally tips at restaurants.... whereas Alien is really interested in imagining what the bold new future really looks like to the delivery people and Marine draftees.

Doctor Casino, Friday, 4 June 2010 19:28 (nine years ago) link

"My last job was programming binary load-lifters, very similar to your vaporators!"

Me at every job interview ever.

Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, 4 June 2010 19:28 (nine years ago) link

which one is Aunt Beru and and which one is Uncle Owen?

Jarlrmai, Friday, 4 June 2010 19:39 (nine years ago) link

xxxp

Jarlrmai, Friday, 4 June 2010 19:40 (nine years ago) link

Posted this thread as a response to Star Wars, as a sense, which is space opera only in a scruffier universe. Ridley Scott took that look and mixed it with the 70s bits of trucker films, Dark Star, Silent Running, et al, and did his own.

Don Homer, I have baked a special donut just-a for you (kingfish), Friday, 4 June 2010 22:46 (nine years ago) link

"My last job was programming binary load-lifters, very similar to your vaporators!"

Me at every job interview ever.

― Eighteen straight. I think that's a record. (kenan), Friday, June 4, 2010 3:28 PM Bookmark

LOL

Doctor Casino, Saturday, 5 June 2010 03:30 (nine years ago) link

"They Live" is the ultimate blue collar scifi film.

Adam Bruneau, Saturday, 5 June 2010 03:44 (nine years ago) link

'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' - i.e. Richard Dreyfuss' character.

Chooglin'alCarbon, Saturday, 5 June 2010 07:08 (nine years ago) link

Non blue collar sci-fi = Wyndham

Jarlrmai, Saturday, 5 June 2010 13:29 (nine years ago) link

I haven't seen it since it aired in 1993, but I remember Space Rangers as going for an Alien inspired blue collar atmosphere

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dd/Space_Rangers_cast.JPG

GENE PITNEY'S SWEATER BY KANDAHAR (los blue jeans), Saturday, 5 June 2010 18:57 (nine years ago) link

Does 12 Monkeys ever tell you what Cole's job was before he was put in prison?

James Mitchell, Saturday, 5 June 2010 19:03 (nine years ago) link

two months pass...

I think Starcraft 2 fits in this category. Interesting mix of backgrounds, too, as you have the hero with his southern/hick/redneck drawl vs the lambchopped mechanic with a strong NY accent

Don Homer (kingfish), Thursday, 5 August 2010 06:18 (nine years ago) link

You can't have a white collar/blue collar distinction in slavery

In the pre-Civil War U.S. south, there were house slaves and field slaves.

Charlie Chaliapin (j.lu), Thursday, 5 August 2010 13:31 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

I suppose someone should mention the Planet Express delivery team.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 25 May 2012 18:43 (seven years ago) link

Hmm, true, tho the vibe I always got from them is more white collar/90's corporate/kinko's/fed-ex like

but I guess Scruffy would have harsh words for that

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Scruffy_2_9337.jpg

Choad of Choad Hall (kingfish), Friday, 25 May 2012 19:00 (seven years ago) link

this was a solid thread, well done everyone

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 25 May 2012 19:26 (seven years ago) link

"the island", while indefensibly shitty, was ultimately pretty working class

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 25 May 2012 19:27 (seven years ago) link

"indefensibly shitty, was ultimately pretty working class"
haha that's all of michael bay's movies.

Philip Nunez, Friday, 25 May 2012 19:32 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

Playing Borderlands 2 this weekend and realized that both this game and Guardians of the Galaxy(much like Starcraft I & II) had great depictions of sci-fi rednecks/hillbillies. Yet again, I posit that Michael Rooker will probably never get the full credit for what he contributes to GotG.

Stephen King's Threaderstarter (kingfish), Saturday, 23 August 2014 22:28 (five years ago) link

Ha, and I completely forgot this thread had this exchange:

Yeah, but C3PO is a "protocol droid", i.e. built for a white collar job. Can you imagine him doing manual work?

"My last job was programming binary load-lifters, very similar to your vaporators!"

Stephen King's Threaderstarter (kingfish), Saturday, 23 August 2014 22:30 (five years ago) link

I guess we can add Elysium / Total Recall(remake) to this list, and also Edge of Tomorrow, which pointedly highlights the contrast between grunt & pretty-boy officer

Stephen King's Threaderstarter (kingfish), Saturday, 23 August 2014 22:33 (five years ago) link

I'm watching Snowpiercer right now. Definitely counts.

Scary Darey (dog latin), Sunday, 24 August 2014 02:39 (five years ago) link

that repo men flick from a few years back. terrible, but working class, even trying to say something abt it.

Adding ease. Adding wonder. Adding (contenderizer), Sunday, 24 August 2014 07:51 (five years ago) link


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