People of Color in Genre (seen)

by Pantstrovich | created - 19 Nov 2016 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

Because people of color are so woefully absent in genres like horror, sci-fi and fantasy.

I want to see more of them in these types of films/TV in particular. I especially would like to see more PoC led films and TV.

Trying to avoid token PoC or otherwise fairly offensive stereotypes (Sorry, Mr. Miyagi) in this list. I am not saying all of these depictions are totally okay either. (Or that Mr. Miyagi is totally offensive either; just very trope-y.)

I mainly only mentioned actors by name, who are more important to me, having grown up with them, like LeVar Burton, who is awesome.

I'm not going to bother mentioning Star Trek's movies. They basically count as episodes.

Not sure if I want to do animation or otherwise voice acting, like with James Earl Jones being Darth Vader's voice.

In progress.

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1. Blade (1998)

R | 120 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

45 Metascore

A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires.

Director: Stephen Norrington | Stars: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N'Bushe Wright

Votes: 219,538 | Gross: $70.09M

And its sequels.

2. Tales from the Hood (1995)

R | 98 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

A funeral director tells four strange tales of horror with an African American focus to three drug dealers he traps in his place of business.

Director: Rusty Cundieff | Stars: Clarence Williams III, Corbin Bernsen, Joe Torry, De'aundre Bonds

Votes: 5,648 | Gross: $11.80M

Warning: Some messed up domestic abuse & actual images from lynchings of black people. Those were just one scene, but really disturbing.

3. Blacula (1972)

PG | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror, Romance

An ancient African prince, turned into a vampire by Dracula himself, finds himself in modern Los Angeles.

Director: William Crain | Stars: William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala

Votes: 4,881 | Gross: $2.18M

Ahead of its time and not half as goofy as its title. Mamuwalde was played by William Marshall, who was The King of Cartoons on Pee-wee's Playhouse (except for season 1, in which he was played by Gilbert Lewis).

4. Leprechaun in the Hood (2000 Video)

R | 90 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

When three rappers want to get even with a pimp, they accidentally unleash a leprechaun who goes on a killing rampage in the 'hood.

Director: Rob Spera | Stars: Warwick Davis, Ice-T, Anthony Montgomery, Rashaan Nall

Votes: 5,373

Warning: Stereotype of a trans woman in particular is kind of offensive. Really stupid & good for a laugh if you like stupid horror-comedy & gore. The movie after, #6, is only good for the bong scene.

5. The Brother from Another Planet (1984)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

A mute alien with the appearance of a black human is chased by outer-space bounty hunters through the streets of Harlem.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: Joe Morton, Daryl Edwards, Rosanna Carter, Ray Ramirez

Votes: 5,034 | Gross: $3.70M

Sounds goofy, but it's mostly a message film about immigrants & Harlem culture. Odd pacing & ocassionally hard to follow because of mute main character. I appreciate it for being different.

6. Ash vs Evil Dead (2015–2018)

TV-MA | 30 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

Ash has spent the last thirty years avoiding responsibility, maturity, and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind's only hope.

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless

Votes: 53,351

While not PoC led, you can see just by the cover that most main characters are PoC (nevermind; one is missing). Though some were stereotypical. Could have been better, but I really want to see the second season now, so it's obviously made an impression.

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

R | 96 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror

49 Metascore

A psychiatrist familiar with knife-wielding dream demon Freddy Krueger helps teens at a mental hospital battle the killer who is invading their dreams.

Director: Chuck Russell | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Craig Wasson, Patricia Arquette

Votes: 60,611 | Gross: $44.79M

Yes, there is only one black Dream Warrior (Kincaid - Ken Sagoes), but I don't think they put him in to just be a token black guy. There was also Max, the main orderly, played by Laurence Fishburne. I'm really fond of both characters, so there's no way I'm leaving them out. Kincaid is my second favourite character, next to Freddy, out of all (8) of the movies!

8. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

R | 93 min | Horror

56 Metascore

Freddy Krueger returns once again to terrorize the dreams of the remaining Dream Warriors, as well as those of a young woman who may be able to defeat him for good.

Director: Renny Harlin | Stars: Robert Englund, Rodney Eastman, John Beckman, Kisha Brackel

Votes: 43,284 | Gross: $49.37M

Sheila has always been a big favourite of mine, partially for being one of the few black nerds I've ever seen in media of any sort. Filmmakers: There are all kinds of black people! Take note! Kincaid was also in this film & I still resent that this series has been predominantly white, suburban horror, like most horror. :/

9. Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986–1991)

TV-PG | 30 min | Family, Comedy, Musical

Pee-Wee Herman and his friends have wacky, imaginative fun in his unique playhouse.

Stars: Paul Reubens, John Paragon, Phil Hartman, Laurence Fishburne

Votes: 3,521

Weirdo fantasy sh!t, so it counts. Paul Reubens has always had diverse characters on his shows, such as Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne), Reba the Mail Lady, The King of Cartoons, Tito, Ricardo, etc. Big fan.

10. The Matrix (1999)

R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 1,447,097 | Gross: $171.48M

And its sequels. Though I'm going to have to point out that Laurence Fishburne's character, Morpheus, is basically the little old Asian mentor stereotype. People would fuss if I didn't include him though. :p

11. Star Trek (1966–1969)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

In the 23rd Century, Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols

Votes: 63,673

Where would we be without our beloved Uhura & Sulu? Star Trek was always ahead of its time culturally. Seeing Nichelle Nichols play Uhura is what made Whoopie Goldberg think that she could play Guinan in the next series, and our dear Uncle Takei has been fighting for diversity and human rights as long as he's been able. So much love to them! Uhura & Kirk is widely considered to be the first interracial kiss shown on US TV. Nichelle Nichols also encouraged black women to join NASA. They've both done a lot to help move us forward. (I grew up on the reruns. Loved it as a kid.)

12. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)

TV-PG | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

Set seven to eight decades after Captain Kirk's five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in a new Enterprise on their own mission to go where no one has gone before.

Stars: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton

Votes: 82,361

TNG continued the first Star Trek's vision of a better future, with PoC characters like Geordi, Guinan (big fave of mine), Worf (love him too), Troi, Keiko, etc. Whoopie Goldberg has said that she knew she could play Guinan by seeing Uhura in the previous series. She has said, that she said to her mother after seeing Uhura: "I just saw a black woman on television; and she ain't no maid!" Possibly that trivia could have gone in the TOS notes, but I already said too much there. (Also grew up with. Maybe helped shape who I am.)

13. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)

TV-PG | 45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In the vicinity of the liberated planet of Bajor, the Federation space station Deep Space Nine guards the opening of a stable wormhole to the far side of the galaxy.

Stars: Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton, Alexander Siddig

Votes: 42,408

Finally we have a black captain (Sisko)! As well as his son (Jake), Julian Bashir, Worf again, etc.

14. Ghost (1990)

PG-13 | 127 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

52 Metascore

After a young man is murdered, his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic.

Director: Jerry Zucker | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn

Votes: 173,789 | Gross: $217.63M

Whoopie Goldberg's Oda Mae.

15. The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999– )

139 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

American businessman Jack Woods rents a cottage on the enchanted Emerald Isle which is occupied by a family of leprechauns. Leprechaun Seamus Muldoon's son and son's friends crash the ... See full summary »

Stars: Randy Quaid, Whoopi Goldberg, Roger Daltrey, Colm Meaney

Votes: 3,478

Whoopie Goldberg played the Grand Banshee, which if I'm remembering correctly, was basically the queen of fairies.

16. The Midnight Hour (1985 TV Movie)

Unrated | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Romance

Phil, Melissa, Mitch, Mary, and Vinnie are high school friends, who unwittingly raise the dead on Halloween night. Once the dead have returned, Pitchford Cove will never be the same again....or will it?

Director: Jack Bender | Stars: Jonelle Allen, Shari Belafonte, LeVar Burton, Peter DeLuise

Votes: 1,309

Melissa, Vinnie (LeVar Burton - Yay!) and Lucinda.

17. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

PG-13 | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

76 Metascore

A group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe.

Director: James Gunn | Stars: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana

Votes: 886,846 | Gross: $333.18M

Green is a colour. :p

18. Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

27 Metascore

Maximillian is the only survivor from a race of vampires on a Caribbean Island, and as a vampire, he must find a mate to keep the line from ending. He knows that a child had been born to a ... See full summary »

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Allen Payne, Kadeem Hardison

Votes: 19,353 | Gross: $19.75M

Haven't seen this in a long while. Time for a rewatch.

19. The Wiz (1978)

G | 134 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross

Votes: 12,332 | Gross: $21.05M

Almost forgot. This was an interesting depiction. Scared the crap out of me as a kid.

20. Warehouse 13 (2009–2014)

TV-14 | 43 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

After saving the life of the President in Washington D.C., a pair of U.S Secret Service agents are whisked away to a covert location in South Dakota that houses supernatural objects that ... See full summary »

Stars: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti

Votes: 42,242

She wasn't exactly a main character, but she was their main boss, and she had a pretty awesome presence when she was there - CCH Pounder as Mrs. Frederic. There was also Leena, their energy reader. Saul Rubinek (Artie), is also Polish-Isreali, which probably counts.

21. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 966,070 | Gross: $136.80M

Almost don't want to add it, because Michael Clarke Duncan definitely was playing a common stereotype, for the most part, as John Coffey, but man, his performance really squeezed the stuffing out of you. I can't even watch this again because it was so upsetting.

22. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

71 Metascore

After being exiled from the most advanced town in post apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town's queen.

Directors: George Miller, George Ogilvie | Stars: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn

Votes: 115,186 | Gross: $36.20M

Does Tina Turner count as a stereotype in this? Maybe an 80's stereotype. She's practically Jereth the Goblin King (which was the year after) in this. :p

23. The Fifth Element (1997)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

52 Metascore

In the colorful future, a cab driver unwittingly becomes the central figure in the search for a legendary cosmic weapon to keep Evil and Mr. Zorg at bay.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm

Votes: 390,986 | Gross: $63.54M

Black president of the US. I think a few of sci-fi movies have had black presidents, but I can't remember which ones. Should I even mention Chris Tucker as Ruby Rodd? I did love his character though, even if he was super obnoxious. Super green!

24. Heroes (II) (2006–2010)

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Common people discover that they have super powers. Their lives intertwine as a devastating event must be prevented.

Stars: Jack Coleman, Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Masi Oka

Votes: 215,613

Hiro, Ando, Suresh, Micah, Kaito Nakamura (George Takei), D. L., etc. Michael Dorn (Worf) was another black president.

25. Batman (1966–1968)

TV-G | 25 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The Caped Crusader and his young ward battle evildoers in Gotham City.

Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier, Neil Hamilton

Votes: 16,004

I know she wasn't a popular Catwoman, but Eartha Kitt was a pretty cool Catwoman in season 3. Didn't want to leave her out, as another of our first black ladies on TV that "ain't no maid."

26. Robot Stories (2003)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

Winner of over 23 awards, "Robot Stories" is science fiction from the heart, four stories in which utterly human characters struggle to connect in a world of robot babies and android office... See full summary »

Director: Greg Pak | Stars: Tamlyn Tomita, James Saito, Vin Knight, Gina Quintos

Votes: 1,361 | Gross: $0.13M

Been a long while since I've seen this.

27. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

PG-13 | 147 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

Political involvement in the Avengers' activities causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan

Votes: 531,744 | Gross: $408.08M

With Black Panther being introduced. I'm excited to see his movie.

28. Black Panther (2010)

TV-14 | Animation, Action, Adventure

Black Panther is the ruler and protector of the African nation of Wakanda. Using technology, wits, and extraordinary fighting ability he must protect his nation from an invasion led by Ulysses Klaw, the man who killed his father.

Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Jill Scott, Carl Lumbly, Stephen Stanton

Votes: 1,162

I am going to mention this animated series, because it's rad as hell.

29. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

81 Metascore

Three decades after the Empire's defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. Stormtrooper defector Finn and the scavenger Rey are caught up in the Resistance's search for the missing Luke Skywalker.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson

Votes: 759,676 | Gross: $936.66M

Mainly for Finn.

30. The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

38 Metascore

The wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe.

Director: David Twohy | Stars: Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton

Votes: 200,787 | Gross: $57.76M

31. Pitch Black (2000)

R | 109 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

49 Metascore

A commercial transport ship and its crew are marooned on a planet full of bloodthirsty creatures that only come out to feast at night. But then, they learn that a month-long eclipse is about to occur.

Director: David Twohy | Stars: Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, Vin Diesel, Keith David

Votes: 210,732 | Gross: $39.24M

32. District 9 (2009)

R | 112 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

81 Metascore

An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.

Director: Neill Blomkamp | Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt

Votes: 590,916 | Gross: $115.65M

33. The Mummy Returns (2001)

PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

48 Metascore

The mummified body of Imhotep is shipped to a museum in London, where he once again wakes and begins his campaign of rage and terror.

Director: Stephen Sommers | Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo

Votes: 277,048 | Gross: $202.02M

34. Doctor Dolittle (1998)

PG-13 | 85 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

46 Metascore

A doctor discovers that he can communicate with animals.

Director: Betty Thomas | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Peter Boyle, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt

Votes: 84,336 | Gross: $144.16M

Stupid, but I saw it and it's fantasy, so I guess it counts.

35. Westworld (1973)

PG | 88 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

77 Metascore

A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, Norman Bartold

Votes: 44,915

Yul Brynner, of course.

36. Under the Shadow (2016)

PG-13 | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

84 Metascore

As a mother and daughter struggle to cope with the terrors of the post-revolution, war-torn Tehran of the 1980s, a mysterious evil begins to haunt their home.

Director: Babak Anvari | Stars: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Arash Marandi

Votes: 17,177 | Gross: $0.03M

37. México Bárbaro (2014)

Not Rated | 114 min | Horror

Eight Mexican directors unite to bring tales of the most brutally terrifying Mexican traditions and legends to vividly shocking life.

Directors: Isaac Ezban, Laurette Flores Bornn, Jorge Michel Grau, Ulises Guzman, Edgar Nito, Lex Ortega, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Aaron Soto | Stars: Adrián Aguirre, Dulce Alexa, Leslie Arce, Leif Bridgman

Votes: 629

38. Candyman (1992)

R | 99 min | Horror, Thriller

The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth.

Director: Bernard Rose | Stars: Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley, Tony Todd, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 57,193 | Gross: $25.79M

39. The Shape of Water (2017)

R | 123 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones

Votes: 263,995 | Gross: $63.86M

40. Black Panther (2018)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

After the death of his father, Prince T'Challa ascends to the throne of the small African country of Wakanda. T'Challa is also Black Panther, superhero. Now not only must he govern his country but defeat a dangerous adversary.

Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira

Votes: 414,355 | Gross: $700.06M

41. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

85 Metascore

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

Votes: 426,452 | Gross: $620.18M

Really upset about the actors getting harassed.

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