Sunday, March 22, 2015



This is EXACTLY how I look when I'm "feeling the spirit" of Eris, Goddess of Chaos.

This 1957 sci-fi spectacular, starring John Agar, Joyce Meadows, Robert Fuller and (uncredited) George the German Shepherd, is not an underappreciated film by any means.  It's on every list of really boss science fiction movies, which is one reason I have regretted not seeing it all these years -- even as I rebelled against the constant hail of "you've GOT to see it" advice from the cinematic Thought Police.  But as a Discordian teaching film, this one is beyond underappreciated.  In fact it's never been mentioned before, as far as I know.

Steve March (Agar) has discovered what looks like a problem with his Geiger counter.  It keeps reporting short bursts of radioactivity, source unknown.  As Steve's co-worker, Dan Murphy (Fuller) points out, that's not supposed to be possible; radioactivity registers as a steady clicking on the counter; it can't just turn itself on and off.  But the Geiger counter appears to be working fine.  Further tests show that the apparent source is something in the area of a spot in the desert called, rather fittingly, Mystery Mountain.  They decide to head out there with their canteens and their scientifical type equipment to GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS. 

THINGS GO SOUTH FROM HERE when the intrepid explorers encounter something terrifying in a cave that looks just like the one where they filmed key scenes in Attack of the Crab Monsters.  Dan disappears completely and Steve comes home to his fiancĂ©e, Sally (Meadows), behaving very strangely indeed.  When he's not kissing the daylights out of her he's hunched over in pain.  And then he starts exploding stuff with his mind, and laughing as cities burn...WILL ANYONE SURVIVE?

It started to come together in my mind when Steve called all the representatives of the really big-name countries together so they could see how dangerous and unstoppable he'd become.  The image above is a screen capture of Steve as he lights up with joy while BLOWING STUFF UP WITH HIS MIND.  Why was that so familiar?

At the end of the movie I decided to watch the trailer.  I think it was famed movie critic Chris Holland (or one of his B-movie brethren) who said "movies are just watered-down trailers," and this turned out to be an excellent example of that.  The words on the screen read:  A WORLD TOTTERS ON THE BRINK OF CHAOS WHEN THIS MAN'S BODY IS INVADED BY...THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS!  And there was the above image again.

Then it hit me.  All you have to do is change the spelling a little, not really even the sound of the name, and you get THE BRAIN FROM PLANET ERIS!!!  What more frightening specter of doom could you find in the 1950s, when they lensed this movie, the peak of the most Aneristic decade in this nation's history?  All anybody wanted after the horrors of World War Two was peace, prosperity...ORDER.  And here we had one of the cheerleaders of orderly scientific progress laughing merrily as he set off an atomic explosion with his mind.

Well, it just reminded me irresistibly of Eris and her brother Ares, roaming the battlefields.  He used to enjoy the carnage while she tasted the confusion and controversy. 
When Steve put paid to the menace, what did they restore?  ORDER.  They restored ORDER. 

Although I can't help wondering what they said when they had to explain themselves to the Great Nations Of The World the next day when everyone got together as scheduled. 


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