|Vintage Pulp||Sep 26 2009|
How times change. This Island Earth—for which you see the Swedish promo art above—was a visually stunning, convincingly scripted and well-directed 1954 sci-fi classic that got skewered by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang forty-four years after its release. But the guys at MST3K didn’t prove This Island Earth had been a bad movie all along—they simply proved they were sharp enough to make fun of anything. Watching this one last week, we realized big Technicolor space extravaganzas with matte backgrounds and guys in latex alien suits really don’t look any less believable than modern sci-fi sagas. Pacing, editing and camera movement have certainly been refined for today’s attention deficit culture, but all that moving, shaking and quick-cutting is also used because the new CGI monsters aren’t really much more convincing than the costumed stuntman who played This Island Earth’s famous Metaluna mutant. Sure, the mutant doesn’t look 100% convincing—but if you tell us Gollum, for instance, does, then we’ll give you the number of a good optometrist. We have to agree with the commenter on IMDB who said maybe he’d better watch MST3K to find out what’s so bad about This Island Earth, because from his perspective—and ours—it’s a treasure. It opened in Sweden as Rymdens Demoner, today in 1955.