1950s Science Fiction Films and 9/11: Hostile Aliens, Hollywood, and Today's News

Algora Publishing, 2007 - 163 páginas
1950s Cold War-era monsters meet 21st-century terrorists: Matthews provides a thoughtful interpretation of sci-fi movies that examines the similarities and differences between the political environment and popular culture of two eras. This well-researched examination and appreciation of science fiction films includes behind-the-scenes tales about their production and many quotes from those who produced and starred in the films. The book will tantalize not only fans of the science fiction genre but also sociologists, film historians, and politicians. The author draws parallels between the Cold War fears of the 1950s and 60s and the constant terrorism alerts of the September 11th era, exploring how the politics and the psychological climate of the times influences and is reflected in this vehicle of popular culture. This book is the first of its kind, studying the pop culture genre in the wake of the September 11th tragedy. The alien invaders of the 1950s signified a Russian invasion of America, while other films of the genre such as Invaders from Mars depicted aliens utilizing mind control to manipulate humans to commit acts of sabotage, signifying Communist enslavement. If such a film were made now, such invaders could be seen as terrorist masterminds using human slaves to commit terrorist acts. Them the 1954 atomic mutation classic, is the spiritual ancestor of the 2002 film Eight Legged Freaks. Finally, several 1950s films depicted the end of the world at a time when Americans expected a nuclear war with Russia. Godzilla, the only 1950s-era monster to remain a movie star beyond that era, can be fashioned to reflect whatever issues dominate the times: nuclear war in the1950s, environmental pollution in the 1970s. Conceivably a Godzilla for the age of terrorism is soon to be released. The immediate pre-September 11th era witnessed films presenting galactic threats to mankind''s existence (Independence Day, Armageddon, Deep Impact), while the early 2000s witnessed the popularity of the Left Behind Christian films dramatizing the Tribulation period in the Book of Revelation. It seems that whatever the era and whatever the challenges and crises confronting America, many entertainment themes remain the same, reflecting their respective times and the relevant issues. * Melvin E. Matthews, Jr. is a freelance writer and a horror movie aficionado who has been studying the genre for thirty years. In this work he shares his personal correspondence with film and television star Beverly Garland, and brings together a wealth of detail about the fun and the challenges of the costumes, stunts and special effects, as well as the actors'' and producers'' thoughts on the meaning behind the stories.

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Página 74 - And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with' violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Página 80 - The more important responsibility of this Atomic Energy Agency would be to devise methods whereby this fissionable material would be allocated to serve the peaceful pursuits of mankind. Experts would be mobilized to apply atomic energy to the needs of agriculture, medicine, and other peaceful activities. A special purpose would be to provide abundant electrical energy in the power-starved areas of the world.
Página 5 - 9/11" refers to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2001.
Página 80 - To the making of these fateful decisions, the United States pledges before you — and therefore before the world — its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma — to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.
Página 40 - People are pods. Many of my associates are certainly pods. They have no feelings. They exist, breathe, sleep. To be a pod means that you have no passion, no anger, the spark has left you ... of course there's a very strong case for being a pod.
Página 52 - Now, this does not mean giving up any freedom — except the freedom to act irresponsibly. Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves and hired policemen to enforce them. We, of the other planets, have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all planets, and for the complete elimination of aggression.
Página 52 - It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration.
Página 27 - Martians had no resistance to bacteria in our atmosphere to which we had long since become immune. Once they had breathed our air, germs which no longer affect us began to kill them. The end came swiftly. All over the world, their machines began to stop, and fall. After all that men could do had failed, the Martians were destroyed, and humanity was saved, by the littlest things which God, in his wisdom, had put upon this earth.
Página 12 - Three mad, hate-filled eyes blazed up with a living fire, bright as fresh-spilled blood, from a face ringed with a writhing, loathsome nest of worms, blue, mobile worms that crawled where hair should grow...

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