This Island Earth (1955)

Actors: Jeff Morrow, Faith Domergue
Director: Joseph M. Newman
Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Number of discs:
Run Time:
86 minutes

DVD Features:

  • Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)



Most people will know This Island Earth as the 1950s sci-fi movie featured in the big screen version of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the now sadly defunct TV show that lampooned bad movies.

Our square-jawed scientist/jet pilot hero Dr. Meacham (played by Rex Reason, whose own name sounds like the name of a 1950s sci-fi movie hero) is co-opted into partaking in a super-secret research project run by aliens run with huge oversized foreheads. The movie ends with Meacham and a female sidekick being whisked off to a distant planet in a flying saucer where they somehow thwart an alien invasion and battle some memorable alien monsters.

While This Island Earth isn’t quite as bad as some of the other movies ripped apart by Mystery Science Theater 3000, it isn’t that good either. Throw in some stilted acting and at times overcomplicated plotting in with a storyline that is too ambitious for the film’s limited budget and now badly dated special effects. Still, it is a rather good example of 1950s science fiction and fans of that particular retro look and feel will find lots to appreciate.

THE DISC: No extras, except for a theatrical trailer. For some reason while the movie is divided into chapters, chapter selection isn’t a menu function and you’ll have to use your Skip button instead. Image and sound is pretty decent though considering the movie’s age it is after all, half a century old.

WORTH IT? It is difficult to watch This Island Earth without recalling the Mystery Science Theater 3000 cracks and one liners but this joke-free version is still worth checking out.

RECOMMENDATION: This Island Earth is compulsory viewing for fans of ‘Fifties SF. Non-fans of this particular subgenre would probably want to give it a skip though.



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