“I’m sorry. I’d hoped to have prepared you somewhat beforehand. This is a mutant.” A Metaluna Mutant to be precise! Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Doc Rotten, and Jeff Mohr – as they journey to Metaluna and back, survive an encounter with said mutant, and make it back to This Island Earth (1955).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 162 – This Island Earth (1955)
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Aliens come to Earth seeking scientists to help them in their war.
- Director: Joseph M. Newman (as Joseph Newman)
- Writers: Franklin Coen & George Callahan (as Edward G. O’Callaghan)(screenplay); Raymond F. Jones (story “The Alien Machine”)
- Producer: William Alland
- Music: Herman Stein (Universal staff composer) (uncredited), Henry Mancini (uncredited), Hans J. Salter (uncredited)
- Cinematographer: Clifford Stine (director of photography)
- Editor: Virgil W. Vogel (film editor) (as Virgil Vogel)
- Costume Design: Rosemary Odell (gowns)
- Makeup Department:
- Special Photography: David S. Horsley, Clifford Stine, Cleo E. Baker (uncredited)
- Visual Effects: Roswell A. Hoffmann (optical printing) (as Roswell A. Hoffman), Frank Tipper (effects animator) (uncredited)
- Matte Painting: Russell Lawson (uncredited)
- Rotoscope Artist: Millie Winebrenner (head rotoscoper) & the roto-girls (uncredited)
- Mutant Constructors: Robert Hickman (uncredited), Jack Kevan (uncredited), Chris Mueller (uncredited)
- Mutant Design: Millicent Patrick
- Movie Poster Art: Reynold Brown (uncredited)
- Selected Cast:
- Jeff Morrow as Exeter
- Faith Domergue as Dr. Ruth Adams
- Rex Reason as Dr. Cal Meacham
- Lance Fuller as Brack
- Russell Johnson as Dr. Steve Carlson
- Douglas Spencer as The Monitor
- Robert Nichols as Joe Wilson
- Karl Ludwig Lindt as Dr. Adolph Engelborg (credited as Karl L. Lindt)
- Charlotte Alpert as Metaluna Woman at Decompression Console (uncredited)
- Orangey as Neutron the cat
- Regis Parton as Mutant (uncredited)
- Olan Soule as First Reporter (uncredited)
- Richard Deacon as Pilot (uncredited)
Ah! The Metaluna Mutant! This beloved Universal Monster stands proudly alongside the classics such as Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, and even the Creature from the Black Lagoon, while the film in which it is featured is often overlooked as being included as a Universal Monster movie. Regardless, it’s time for the Grue Crew to revisit this cherished 50s Sci-Fi landmark entry, This Island Earth (1955). In the film, Rex Reason and Faith Domergue unwillingly follow high-browed, white-hair-domed alien Jeff Morrow to his distant home planet where they finally, in the last few minutes, encounter the Metaluna Mutant face-to-face. Fun, sometimes goofy, always entertaining, the film delivers! During the episode, the Classic Era crew debunk a Hollywood myth about the film and uncover some key behind-the-scenes contributions from the film’s crew.
At the time of this writing, a stray copy of This Island Earth might be found streaming from Dailymotion or YouTube. The film is currently available on disc as a Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by Jeff, is Isle of the Dead (1945), a Val Lewton RKO film with an Oscar-nominated director starring Boris Karloff! Beware the vorvolaka!
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To each of you from each of them, “Thank you so much for watching and listening!”