Best Visual Effects – 1979

Official Nominations: Alien. 1941. The Black Hole. Moonraker. Star Trek.

The reason Star Trek didn’t win this award, apart from Alien being the obvious winner, is simply because Star Wars had raised the game so much and Star Trek doesn’t make that next leap. With the pedigree involved – Douglas Trumbull, John Dykstra et al, it is an effects bonanza, but alongside the revelations of Alien it seems meek. Steven Spielberg movies were beginning to get shoehorned into categories such as this rather than admitting their overall quality. In truth the film isn’t one of his best, and the Visual Effects are notable. Also notable is Disney’s first attempt at stealing Star Wars – The Black Hole has plenty of good effects which look great when you’re a kid, while Moonraker gets a nod for it’s floating and laser shooting. Alien has to be the winner – its effect and setting by and large aiming for realism rather than the fantastical, and among all of the Star Wars copycats it goes for something completely different, and succeeds.

My Winner: Alien

fx alien miniature 1979 special effects Science Fiction Movies practical effects Richard J Anobile martinlkennedy •

My Nominations: Alien. 1941. The Black Hole. Moonraker. Star Trek. Phantasm.

Although obviously low budget and ropey in places, the effects in Phantasm are so fresh and imaginative that they overshadow more expert and money-laden ones in bigger movies. It’s the only other film I nominate this year, but it hasn’t a hope against Alien. 

My Winner: Alien

Let us know your winner in the comments!