I'm trying to rediscover a (presumably low-budget) sci-fi movie from around the 1980's that I saw most of by coincidence. Even 15+ years ago it was not well known, I doubt it was ever in U.S. theaters and might have originally been a non-U.S. film and dubbed in English, the copy I saw was low quality, maybe really worn VHS?

It might have taken place on a crashed spaceship, possibly surrounded by some sort of dome or forcefield that was possible to burrow underneath.

For a large portion of the movie (I'd say at least 30-45 minutes), the cast who have "awoken" from some sort of cryo/sleeper pods (like bunk beds recessed into the wall and "closed" with plexiglass) are just talking to each other about their predicament and how they "still can't move" because of the cryo/sleep while a mostly unseen monster enters their sleeping chamber, breaks the glass to attack someone, then leaves - multiple times.

They eventually are able to move, fiddle with electronics - maybe an intercom - get weapons, there is some sort of sci-fi shootout towards the end, and I think someone crawled through a tunnel under the dome.

I realize it's a long shot, obviously I've tried to figure it out myself:

  • Tried google searches
  • Read a ton of lists of movies and IMDB pages for amnesia, sci-fi cult movies, and many similar topics

Hopefully this sounds familiar to someone?

Edit: included that this was low-budget, probably 1980's, and was never well-known. Added a few more details that have come back.

Update: Haven't found the movie, accepted answer.

Update: It's called "Terrarium" (2003) aka "War of the Planets" ("a Mike Conway film"). https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397679/

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    @codeshare this sounds superficially like Pitch Black from 2000. Crashed ship, cryosleep canisters, monsters that eat people, escape sequence through a dark canyon. The monster is not "unseen" though so I dont think its one you are looking for. But check out the trailer and lets see if we can cross this one off the list. youtube.com/watch?v=fIeSV4i7bxQ
    – skyjack
    Dec 7, 2021 at 4:27
  • @skyjack Pitch Black is way too new and high budget, nice one though :)
    – CodeShane
    Dec 7, 2021 at 6:02
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    Sounds a bit like Dr. Who episode "The Ark in Space"
    – Basya
    Dec 7, 2021 at 12:42
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    @CodeShane sorry it was a dead end. If you are looking for low budget I'd trawl through the films Roger Corman put together.
    – skyjack
    Dec 9, 2021 at 6:06
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    @CodeShane - I'm a little late with this comment I guess, but I would not recommend accepting an answer which is not the correct answer -- you lower your chances of eventually getting the correct one. And, yes, we have had story or movie id questions answered correctly years later.
    – Basya
    Nov 29, 2022 at 9:05

2 Answers 2


The most likely answer is a movie called TERRARIUM (A.K.A. WAR OF THE PLANETS) from 2003. It is later than you remember but the plot is identical. According to the blurb: "12 astronauts volunteer to pioneer a colony, on a newly discovered planet. They awake from their frozen 15 year sleep to discover that the ship has crashed and that they are trapped in their cryotubes. To make matters worse, a hairy beast breaks in and begins devouring them, one by one..."

It is very low budget - $25K! - and very obscure. Barely getting a release. Filmed in Nevada. Here is the trailer. At the end you see the cryopods - as described by the OP - and the gorilla-like monster.

Trailer for the movie

IMDB page

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    This is the movie, and now I can inflict it on my wife and an entire new generation, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
    – CodeShane
    Dec 24, 2022 at 5:08

It could be the Klaus Kinski Alien knock-off, Creature released in 1985.

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Common elements: Could have seen it 15-20 years ago; It takes place on a crashed spaceship, particularly one that collapsed underground. For a large portion of the movie, the cast who have "awoken" from some sort of cryo/sleeper pods (like bunk beds recessed into the wall and "closed" with plexiglass) are just talking to each other about their predicament, while a mostly unseen monster continues to come in, attack and presumably eat someone, and walk off for a break before returning. They eventually are able to move, fiddle with electronics, get weapons, travel through a tunnel.

Also, it is widely considered a sci-fi cult movie.

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    That's a great guess! Creature isn't the one I'm looking for, sadly, but I'm watching it again now. The one I'm thinking of is either much lower budget or maybe an earlier production, though the film quality (what could be captured) was probably similar, so I think this is the right era. In the unknown film, the cast is laying down unable to lift a finger for at least 20-30 minutes.
    – CodeShane
    Dec 7, 2021 at 6:31
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    Jeez that sounds so boring. Producers must have told them they had to lower the cost per minute of film, so they filmed a half hour more of people lying in bed. Dec 7, 2021 at 13:04
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    The first half was so boring I couldn't look away, and at that point I was committed to seeing it through. Really thought someone would recognize it..
    – CodeShane
    Dec 9, 2021 at 22:29
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    This isn't it, but accepting answer as a close match to the description, thanks.
    – CodeShane
    Dec 12, 2021 at 6:37
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    Yes!! I’m 25 now and I watched this movie when I was little! Ive been trying to figure out what it is for years now. Have you had any luck? @codeshane
    – Jonathan
    Nov 29, 2022 at 5:25

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