Thursday, July 10, 2008

One Million Years B.C. (1966)

Director: Don Chaffey

Starring: Raquel Welch, John Richardson

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: This is the way it was.

Plot: Caveman Tumak (Richardson) is banished from his savage tribe. He finds a brief home among a group of gentle seacoast dwelling cave people until he is banished from them as well. Missing him, one of their women, Loana (Welch) leaves with him, deciding to face the harsh prehistoric world with its monsters and volcanoes as a couple.

My Rating: 6/10

Would I watch it again? Meh

After all these years I've FINALLY gotten around to watching this and it's about what I always expected. "This is the way it was." HA! My ass. That was the way it was on the set maybe. It's pretty much a Creationist's wet dream only 996,000 years too old.

The iconic image of Welch in that leather (not furry as people tend to remember) bikini outfit is second only to Ray Harryhausen's outstanding stop-motion dinosaur animation. WOW! It's especially cool when the humans get eaten. Top-notch work in that department. So while most people will watch this for the scantily clad Welch, I'm in it for the dinosaurs. I'm such a nerd.

There's an effectively creepy scene involving our favorite caveman couple stranded in a tree surrounded by ape-men. The apes don't see them and the sheer number of them along with their obvious ferocity elevate the tension far beyond what I would've expected and what this film deserved.

"It's got spotty fake chest hair and everything!"

The location, shot in Spain, is beautiful and looks/feels ancient. That's pretty much the good. The movie's rather silly and childish so when you notice things like the glue-on hair for the men and the hot, clean-shaven women, you just laugh it off. I suppose there aren't many out there that want realism of the hairy women kind in their movies.

"They didn't teach THIS in my early history books..."

It's sort of a cross between the silly CAVEMAN (1981) with Ringo Starr and the realistic QUEST FOR FIRE (1981). I haven't seen the former since the 80s and I remember loving it. But then that was twenty something years ago. I did see QUEST last year for the first time in over twenty years and it blew me away with it's care for getting as much accurate as we know and for taking it so seriously. I'll have to revisit both of those and soon.

Although it's unlikely I'll ever watch this again in lieu of one I haven't seen, I do recommend it solely for the location shooting and Harryhausen's special effects. It's not that bad of a movie. It's just not a great one, either.

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