Reel Life Films

Cover image for


Author: Sam Merwin
Published: 1954
Language: English
Wordcount: 3,888 / 19 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 62
LoC Category: PZ
Downloads: 1,161
Added to site: 2009.06.24 24519

At least a contributing factor to the current cycle of science fiction movies being made in Hollywood is the touchiness of minorities having their nationals being portrayed as villains. Cinema-makers are now trying to avoid further boycotts by using space aliens for villains. But suppose some of our Extraterrestrial neighbors are also a bit touchy? Pity the poor purveyor of mere entertainment in today's world. He can't afford to offend a soul, yet must have a villain.

Show Excerpt

ocate them on a real planet like Venus rather than a fictitious one like Mars. If minority pressure groups force us to use fantasy then it is as well to stay as credible as possible."

"Right, Dorwin! Right on the nose!" cried Bezdek. "And we can make real villains out of these Venerians, real bang-up nasty heavies!"

The banker's voice came through the door again. He said doubtfully, "But how can we be sure about the Venerians ..."

"Because I can feel it here!" cried the movie-maker. The thump that accompanied his final word told Ty that his boss had smote himself dramatically over the heart as he delivered the climactic line.

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Fantastic Universe May 1954. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and typographical errors have been corrected without note.

End of Project Gutenberg's Reel Life Films, b


Average Rating of 1 from 2 reviews: *
Lisa Carr

An easy to predict attempt at humour. Personally, I think it would be a better story if everyone died.

Sonnet Monger

The faulty logic used in this story hurts just thinking about it.

Apparently what keeps Hollywood from making good movies are "minority pressure groups" that protest every time one of them ends up being the villain. What are two rich white men to do?

Also, Hollywood has to hurry up and make as many Sci-Fi movies as possible because apparently once humans discover just how mundane the universe is no one will ever want to watch the SyFy channel ever again.

A Martian does show up at the end (the one minority the producers thought safe to villainize) and while I am sure that in 1954 this was played for laughs, considering the HUGE amount of casual racism found in the Golden Age, what could have been a radical critique instead is simply eye-rollingly bad status quo pulp ...

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