“Over there was a recreation center.”
As a kid, This Island Earth, to me was boring slow and nothing that said “sci-fi” to me. Yes it looks better than most 1950’s genre flicks, the make-up and monsters are well done. And it is scripted well and acted pretty well too. But it always felt like what an adult thought sci-fi should be.
As I’ve gotten older, my opinion of the movie hasn’t changed very much. It looks and feels like it should be a good movie, but it just seems so pointless. A round trip bus ride in space that accomplishes nothing. Some spirited words about free will and all, but it all feels so empty. Maybe this was a try to show sci-fi could be adult drama, which I guess it succeeded at, but it should have been, could have been, so much more.
The time cut for MST3K: The Movie, about 20 minutes, did weaken the film. There is more about the war Exeter’s people are involved in, and more about Ruth, Cal and The Professor conspiring against Exeter and why the other scientists couldn’t be trusted. We also miss an attack on the ship as it nears Metaluna and some great matte paintings of Metaluna were cut from the riffed version. I won’t say the cuts were unfair, but the overall story and decisions make more sense.
Rex (Dr. Cal Meacham) Reason was the main scientist in The Creature Walks Among Us, the third and most forgettable of the Gill-Man movies. Jeff (Exeter) Morrow was also in The Creature Walks Among Us as well as The Giant Claw (an all-time bad creature effect movie) and Kronos (a better than it deserves to be robot attack movie).
Coleman Francis sighting: he is the delivery man who brings the catalog to Dr. Meacham.
I’m watching the trailer (thank you DVD) and it looks like it was sold as an adventure/questing movie (2 ½ years in the making, as if that is a good thing, it tells me) and not the polite, “let’s chat about everything and take a nice drive to Grand’s” it turned out to be.
Watchability: 2 of 5. It isn’t a bad movie, it is just kind of dull. If you asked me “what was the message of the movie”, well, something about free will, I suppose. I just don’t really see the point of the story.
Missing the Riffs: 3 of 5. While The Movie isn’t my favorite experiment, that is mostly because of the host segments. They riffs about the movie are pretty good. I’d rather watch the riffed version but would probably just choose a different experiment to watch.