Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This Island... Earth!

Ok, this is not exactly a science fiction illustration done for a mainstream magazine of the 50's - its an ad for a science fiction film that ran in a mainstream magazine from the 50's. So sue me.

I must confess that This Island... Earth! is a sci-fi classic I somehow missed seeing during my late teen - early twenties late night, post-party, semi-high, semi-asleep movie viewing days. Luckily they invented the internet in the meantime so finding a synopsis of the film was a snap.

And again thanks to the internet, a thorough look at illustrator Reynold Brown's career is also available, including a biography and examples of both his movie poster art and his fine art paintings.

As for the Reynolds piece above, I encourage you to take a look at it in my Flickr archives. Click the "All Sizes" tab to enjoy the details at full size.


  1. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Brown was a genius, and anyone interested in his work should seek out a documentary called "Reynold Brown; The Man Who Painted Bug-Eyed Monsters". It's a fascinating look at primarily his 50's monster movie poster art.

  2. Thanks for that, Joe. And TI list member Neil Shapiro just emailed me with this link for those interested in learning more about the Reynold Brown documentary:


    Brown was the subject of an affectionate documentary made several years
    ago called The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters. I saw it on a cable
    channel here called AMC (American Movie Classics). You read more about
    the doc here:


  3. This film is supremely bad. It was used as the basis for Mystery Science Theater 3000's theatrical offering, and it's a classy bit of work I'd love to watch again.

  4. "So bad it comes all the way back around to good again"? ;-)

  5. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Great article with some HUGE scans! Thanks, Neil!

  6. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Sorry "Matress", but but all things considered, This Island Earth is a pretty good film. The designs are great, and the matte paintings are really super. It was recently rereleased in DVD and even the New York Times had nice things to say about it.

  7. Oh I don't think mattress was saying it was bad in a bad way, jack - sometimes really bad can be a good thing.

    I never saw This Island Earth, but for my personal example I would say the Star Trek episode where Kirk is hounded across a desert planet by a rubber-suited lizard man while he figures out how to build a primitive gun is my all time favourite bad/good sci-fi story!

    Saw it for the first time when I was six years old and could not tear my eyes away. Even at that age I could tell it was just a guy in a modified scubadiver suit, but I was gripped with terror at that lizard dude's relentless pursuit of the exhausted and clearly weaker Kirk.

  8. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Oh, I wasn't offended or anything like that. The movie was no classic, for sure, but it was miles beyond most MST 3000 fare. I loved the episode of Star Trek you mentioned (especially Kirk's wooden bazooka). The rubber suit monster from Star Trek that really scared me was the salt sucking beast from the very first episode.

  9. Anonymous1:34 PM

    Hey Leif,
    I remember you saying you were a fan of the Star Trek episode where Kirk battles the lizard in a rubber suit. Check out this funny inspirational poster based on the show:

    scroll to the bottom of the page.

  10. HaHA! Now THAT's funny! Thanks for the heads-up, Jack. ;-)