* (Guest Review by John Ulmer, The Movie Portal)

STARRING: Jeff Morrow, Faith Domergue, Rex Reason, Russell Johnson, Lance Fuller, Robert Nichols, Douglas Spencer, Karl Ludwig Lindt

1954, 86 Minutes, Directed by: Jack Arnold, Joseph Newman

Perhaps the best thing about This Island Earth is that Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie came out of it. Yes, that's probably the only redeemable value of this film.

It's not exactly one of the worst films ever seen, but after you watch it in light of MST3K, you realize just how stupid it is.

Rex Reason plays Dr. Meacham, who is chosen, along with others, to do research that will help save the dying planet Metaluna. However, an evil scheme is uncovered by the suspecting Dr. Meacham when he discovers the Metalunan's plan to take over Earth. Dr. Meacham then escapes an exploding Metalunan-built Earth lab along with Dr. Adams (Faith Domergue), only to be kidnapped while flying away in a small plane. A flying saucer whisks both the scientists off to Metaluna where they are held accountable for blowing up the Metalunan Earth lab during their escape. One thing leads to another, and whaddaya know, Our Planet Earth is saved.

I don't think this film should be viewed for no purpose. You see, the only reason worth seeing this piece of trash is to be able to watch the Mystery Science Theater version afterwards. You suddenly pick up on countless stupidities that never crossed your mind. For example, in MST3K (if I got that abbreviation right), the silhouettes will say things, like "Welcome to the Buddy Ebson society," and before that you never realized how one of the characters' head looks like Buddy Ebson.

Things like these are countless, and probably the only reason for watching this. Watch the film, then view it with MST3K, and you'll see a million things that you never saw before, and it evokes more than a few guffaws.

Not quite the worst film to be featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Actually as far as 'Fifties sci-fi goes, This Island Earth is quite ambitious and should be seen by aficionados of that era's SF efforts despite the film's various faults (stilted acting, clunky dialogue, etc.) (* * ) James O'Ehley


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