Joe Dante’s love of 1950s B movies cannot be underestimated. When not paying direct homage to the only truly great American showman, William Castle (Dante’s film ‘Matinee’ is a fictionalized version of Castle’s heyday), his films often contain references to some of his science films. -fiction favorites of yesteryear. . Remember the scene in “Gremlins” where the Time Machine from George Pal’s 1960 film adaptation makes an appearance. Or actor Kevin McCarthy reprising his role from 1956’s “Invasion of The Body Snatchers” in Dante’s “Looney Tunes: Back in Action.”
On the special features of the 2013 Blu-ray re-release of “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie”, Dante was interviewed to comment on the show’s legacy and general history of sci-fi B movies. In this interview, Dante revealed how annoyed he was that “MST3K” decided to call “This Island Earth” a “cheesy movie.” The show, after all, was known for bad movies, not good ones, and “This Island Earth” was a far cry from dregs like “Manos: The Hands of Fate,” “Monster A-Go-Go,” or ” Yeah.” Dante wanted to defend the quality and reputation of “This Island Earth”, pointing out that it is certainly on par with Pal’s 1953 version of “War of the Worlds”.
Also, Dante points out, “Mystery Science Theater 3000” didn’t give “This Island Earth” a good jolt. The original film is 86 minutes long and “MST3K: The Movie” was only, even with the intros, credits and welcome segments, 74 minutes in total. All in all, about 30 minutes from the original film was cut, giving any “This Island Earth” neophytes the wrong impression of the overall film’s tone and pacing.