It is indeed typical that you Earthpeople refuse to believe in the superiority of any world…

Below is thirteen minutes from THIS ISLAND EARTH, starring Faith Domergue and an actor who rejoices in the name Rex Reason, which sounds like a superhero name if ever I heard one.

("Dr. Reason! Can you explain why you and Captain Reason are never seen together?" "Why, of course, clueless but beautiful spunky reporter girl! But first–I see police Commissioner Armstrong is shining the A=A signal on the bottom of a conveniently lowhanging cloud! (aside) Quickly Syllogism Lad! To the Reason poles! We must defeat Wesley Mouche and his dastardly crew of looters and moochers!")

Faith Dormerge, of course, is destined to be our Queen, and absolute ruler over the new human race, once the underdweller armies loyal to Howard Hughs have conquered the surface world. If only Captain Reason had not stopped us! And you all thought Howard Hughs was a madman! You scoffed at the Spruce Goose airplane! You mocked his fear of your surface world germs! Would a madman have made such movies as SON OF SINBAD, or ICE STATION ZEBRA! I think not! And Hughs was the true inventor of the rocket pack, not that glory-seeker Doc Savage!

In any case, here Faith Domergue plays an attractive earth scientist named Ruth or something, and Rex Reason plays a brawny yet handsome earth scientist with a great voice, named something else, not Ruth. Exeter is played by an alien named Xionglathphtotep of Alpha Draconis IX, who is energizing the form of flesh of an earth-actor named Jeff Morrow. The Professor from Gilligan’s Island has a bit part as a guy who gets blown up in a car.

This Island Earth – cult scene
Uploaded by soulpatrol. – Classic TV and last night’s shows, online.

Because the clip is longish, and this is the Internet, and therefore only used by those of short attention spans, I will sum up the action:

1. A spaceship is flying over Mordor.

Great soundtrack, eh? By ancient convention, all hobbit doors and metaluna starship starscopes are circular.

2. Faith Domergue is leaning against those upright chairs actors use in movies to have makeup applied. So either the Metalunars have chairs just like that in their spaceships, or this is a movie, and someone in the prop department couldn’t think of anything better.

3. Some cool matte paintings.

4. Faith and Reason (hmm…) are taken to see THE MONITOR, who gives her a heart and him some acting lessons. Or something. They get in an advanced futuristic form of rail car, and listen to Exeter complain about the schools and recreation center being bombed. (By the way, all those explosion are from Zaygon guided-meteorite bombardment, what we would nowadays call Colony Drop. See MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS for details.)

5. At about time 5:49 we have this immortal dialog:

THE MONITOR (pompously): It is indeed typical that you Earth people refuse to believe in the superiority of any world … but your own! Children looking into a magnifying glass, imagining the image you see is the image of your true size.

BRAWNY EARTH SCIENCE GUY WITH THE GREAT VOICE (even more pompously): Our true size is the size of our God!

THE MONITOR (coldly): Do you still insist, Exeter, that we can allow any of these Earth creatures to have free minds? You have wasted our time! Take them to the Thought Transference Chamber!

Richard Dawkins feels the same way, and wishes he had one of those Thought Transference Chambers. I also do not get the " children with the magnifying glass " metaphor, since that would imply the child is seeing something small, like a bug, and imagining it is large, which would imply the child is actually underestimating his size compared to the environment, wouldn’t it?

Not to worry. The Monitor is struck down by the wrath of God, um, excuse me, I mean smitten by an alien meteor bomb, one scene later.

6. Despite our current opinions about sexual stereotypes in the 1950’s, it is clear that many gorgeous scientist girls from earth had minds of their own. Indeed, in this next scene, Faith Domergue, our future Queen, says "My mind is my own! And nobody is going to change it!"

You’ve come a long way, Baby! That is true feminism in action!

Or maybe that is merely one more stubborn earth female refusing to listen to reason.

And I have never been a able to get a single earth female to step into my thought transference chamber, either. Curse those stubborn yet gorgeous Earth females! It is indeed typical that she refuses to believe in the superiority of any planet, but her own!

7. Cool looking guy in a suit with a bug-head steps awkwardly into the corridor, accompanied by a blare of evil trumpets. Our future Queen, Faith Domergue, looks aghast. My, she looks attractive when she looks aghast. Exeter explains it is a giant bug. Like your earth bugs, but bigger, of course. That makes it all OK or something, I guess. No doubt you earthmen are like a child with a magnifying glass imagining bugs are giant mutants or something.

8. Exeter asks the earth creatures to trust him. In another moment of immortal dialog, Earth Science Guy with a Great Voice says "In this place I wouldn’t believe my grandmother!" (Since it is established earlier in the movie that Rex’s grandmother is Ma Parker, leader of the ruthless Parker gang, this statement is not as controversial as it may seem.)

9. Brawny but goodlooking earth science guy with a great voice decks Exeter with a right to the gut and a left uppercut, proving indeed that our world is superior to any other, but our own!

10. Menacing guy in bug suit lumbers forward, faster than a zombie but slower than a mummy. The Wrath of God, or, excuse me, a convenient nearby enemy explosion, topples the roof onto the giant mutant bug-head thing, allowing Faith and Reason to make a getaway. I notice she is very attractive in her semi-futuristic type jumpsuit. Because of this, I am now jealous of superior Earthman boxer-scientist played by Rex Reason, and am hoping for the bug-mutant to get him.

11. My hope that upstart Earth creature Rex Reason will be slain by bug-mutant reaches a bitter pitch when he dares to put his brawny yet handsome hands on our gorgeous future queen, Faith Domergue. She seems a bit shaken by the impending destruction of the world, and, if it were anyone else, I would say sounded whiny in a typical 1950’s-cute-but-helpless-earthwoman type whine. Of course, she is actually a scientist in this movie, so maybe all lab researchers sound whiny when they are about to die. She utters the immortal line: "Don’t you understand? Let it happen now!" which I take to mean a request for immediate sexual congress from the upstart male Earth creature. This is unacceptable! I hope for his death!

12.My hopes veer near to satisfaction one scene later when wounded bug-mutant menaces upstart Earth creature man, who is altogether too attentive to our future Queen, Faith Domergue. But Exeter helps him, or something.

13. More cool matte paintings, or maybe the same one

14. Brawny earth creature scientist clubs the mutant-bug to death, which is a sad reversal of how it should have happened, and yet this proves, yet again, that our world is superior to any other, but our own!

15. Faith activates the stellarscope, right control, 45 degrees left. The ionization layer fails completely!

16. World incinerated. Now THAT is what makes for good science fiction. Any show where at least one world is not smeared into oblivion, is not good science fiction.

Test out this simple rule for yourself! STAR WARS? Planet Alderon is destroyed by the Death Star–good. STAR TREK movie? Planet Vulcan pasted with singularity weapon–good. FORBIDDEN PLANET–Altair VI destroyed by Krell machine. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE–well, that speaks for itself. Compare this to lame and easily forgotten films where no planets are destroyed, such as 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY, or GATTACA, or DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, or DARK CITY or NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR — all films of limited science fiction appeal, clearly, since they violate this prime rule, which we shall call the Edmond Hamilton Rule of SF.

17. Exeter comments, with a truly remarkable philosophical aplomb, that his world, now that it has been bombarded into a radioactive sun, will still serve a useful purpose, and warm the surface of some other world. Earth scientist Rex Reason does not correct this elementary error in astronomy, proving one more time that our world is superior to any other, except our own!

18. I forget how the movie ends. I think Exeter ditches the starship into the oceans of Earth and Faith and Reason fly away in the airplane, proving that we are the size of our God. Or something.

For those of you who think that God, or, as we followers of Howard Hughs call it, THE FORCE, has no place in science fiction, except as a target for Spock to shoot, I will point out that, in good old fashioned sci fi movies, when the Martians invade and catch a cold and all die, it is because God, in His infinite wisdom, planted germs on our world as a defense to keep the damned Martians out of the garden of Eden–no doubt due to the sin of Ulan Thern, the Adam of Mars–Proving God, who is somehow the same size as us, approves of germ warfare, especially against those nasty Martian filth. And when we stumble upon the Krell machine on Altair IV, and Dr. Morbeus destroys that whole planet with atomic radiation, because neither the Krell, nor your puny human minds, can bear to unleash the monstrous evil of your own Id, which theologians call Original Sin. So the moral of the story is, stay at home, and don’t tamper with nature.

That is why science fiction is called the literature of science, because we science fiction writers keep telling you, that you are going to mess up and create a monster if you mess with science. Our efforts have been so successful that the level of scientific illiteracy has reached a point where any alarmist claim about global warming, overpopulation, DDT, alar, acid rain, or genetically altered grains is certain to be seriously heeded. Thanks, my fellow science-fiction-writing earth creatures!

In closing, let me say that I think I am the only person I know who has read the book THIS ISLAND EARTH. During World War II, on certain isolated Pacific islands, the governments persuaded or dragooned native tribes into helping build war materials, for the war efforts of a war unknown and unimaginable to them. The idea for the book was that Earth was a primitive island unaware of a war — in the book, a galactic war, not merely one planet bombing another — and that Earthmen were being maneuvered into helping the alien war effort. As in the movie, one earthman gets parts of some machine whose principles are more advanced than earthly technology can explain; he uses the parts to build an interociter, which turns out to be a type of radio that communicates with the manufacturer of these unearthly machine parts. In the climax of the book, the computers guiding the galactic war have calculated that Earth should be abandoned to the enemy, but the Earthman persuades the aliens to rely on intuition and emotion rather then cold reason, and to do the unexpected, and make a huge offensive push near the Sol battlefront. So the moral of that story is don’t trust computers to run your war for you.