Newest Reviews
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Power of the Dog, The
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
  This Island Earth Message From Space
Year: 1955
Director: Joseph M. Newman, Jack Arnold
Stars: Jeff Morrow, Faith Domergue, Rex Reason, Lance Fuller, Russell Johnson, Douglas Spencer, Robert Nichols, Karl Ludwig Lindt
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Dr Cal Meacham (Rex Reason) is chatting with reporters by the jet plane he is about to take off in, and they want to know all about the nuclear power project he is undertaking, but he tells them it's top secret until they can get the problems ironed out. Then he zooms off into the skies, heading for his remote base of operations; when he reaches it, he contacts the control tower of the nearby airstrip and shows off with some fancy moves. Suddenly, he loses control of the plane and equally abruptly the craft is surrounded by a mysterious green glow and he is guided into land - someone has their eye on Meacham...

...and they might not be from planet Earth. The cachet of This Island Earth has fallen steadily over the years from a dazzling science fiction epic to the butt of jokes on Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, which is unkind to a film that may seem quaint now, but had a sincere moral at its heart. Scripted by Franklin Coen and Edward G. O'Callaghan from Raymond F. Jones' original story, as it begins it looks to be in love with technology, starting with the aeroplane that Meacham pilots, yet after a while a tone of ambivalence creeps in.

Although if you've heard of this film you'll probably have a decent idea of where it's all heading it actually is set up as a mystery, with the audience left in the dark about what exactly is going on as we find out at the same time as Meacham. The scientist is sent a small bead that has incredible properties at first, which is then followed up with a catalogue where he can order the parts for his Leonard - sorry, interociter, a far advanced machine that acts as a sort of combination videophone and laser gun. When he and his assistant switch it on, they discover who has been sending them all this.

Appearing on the triangular screen there is none other than Exeter (Jeff Morrow), a white-haired, tall-browed chap who invites Meacham to board a plane that he will despatch for him. In the spirit of adventure he agrees and before you know it, the intrepid scientist winds up in a remote country house and ordered to start work on a nuclear programme along with the other eggheads there, including old flame Ruth Adams (Faith Domergue) who oddly denies she has ever met him before. The men in charge of the project all share Exeter's look, but there's an amibiguity about them that throws up all sorts of questions, like whose side they are on for a start.

It won't come as much of a surprise that Exeter and chums are not of this Earth, and that Meacham and Adams are transported across the galaxy for the final act. The special effects may look variable now, but they have an advantage over today's work in the field in that they're a lot of fun to watch, whether they're a flying saucer or the bombed wasteland planet of Metaluna. This is where the thoughtful element comes in: if we let nuclear energy, never mind nuclear weapons, get out of control then will we end up like the futuristic society Exeter hails from? He may be philosophical (Morrow is perfectly cast), but it's clear his kind have let their technology get away from them, so This Island Earth, in its modest way, acts as a warning. Oh and there's a man-in-a-suit mutant designed to menace the visitors as well, which to this day garners most of the publicity for its exposed brain, claw-handed, towering outrageousness.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 8133 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: