Monday, February 1, 2016

This Island Earth (1955)

That is one exciting poster, huh?  Here's a movie I read so much about as a kid but never got to see.  The images of the Metaluna Mutant were everywhere, which isn't surprising since it's such a striking creation.  It was a movie I always wanted to see but it never aired in my area.  I'm thinking I'd like it a lot more than I do now had I seen it back then, but only if I saw it before the superior Forbidden Planet, since it still falls short of that wonderful movie (which I did see several times growing up).  While watching this on Svengoolie I was thinking of why I didn't quite care so much for it like I should.

Part of it is that it's far more dated than FB, which in part has to do with the fact it's set in the  CE, whereas FB is set in the future.  The story is serviceable, but ultimately the Zagons win and Metaluna is destroyed.  It was all for nothing, really.  The cast is quite good, but the music is straight out of Universal's stock scores- the Mutant menaces (barely) our heroes to the cues of Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Speaking of the Mutant, boy, there's a huge letdown.  It, or perhaps they, do nothing the entire movie.  Nothing.  They look great, but could easily be removed from the movie and no one would have missed them.  I think they are supposed to be slave labor, but they seem very poorly designed to do anything but look scary.  It sure succeeds, but it's inclusion just seems to be for that.

It is a good movie, but I wouldn't call it great.

1 comment:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I first saw "This Island Earth" through its inclusion in "Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie", I would agree with you there on it's rather letdown conclusion. The whole plot revolves around the eventual destruction of an alien civilization and only two earthlings live to know of it (but probably won't tell anyone else once they're back).