I was lucky to go to a lot of movies as a kid. My dad loved movies and the theatre on the military bases we lived on always got the best of the current and classic movies to show. In any given week I could see 'Spartacus', 'This Island Earth' and 'The Land That Time Forgot' because they rotated the movies every three days or so. I fondly remember TLTTF and believed for a time that Doug McClure was the greatest movie actor in the world. That voice of his had an accent that I could never quite place. Back then that was all it took to impress me.
The film begins in 1916 when a steamer ship is sunk by a German U-boat. Did German's even HAVE submarines in WWI? I had to run to da Google to check that out and apparently they did.
The survivors of the attack are few in number and are soon picked up by the U-Boat which they are able to commandeer. Susan Penhaligon is memorably beautiful as another survivor of the attack. I fell in love with her all over again while watching the film tonight.
After several days of sailing the two groups of adversaries find themselves in the position of having to work together for survival. The German U-boat commander is a decent, practical fellow. His scientific knowledge comes in handy throughout the movie.
In the icy south they come upon a mysterious island near the coast of Antarctica. Following a fresh water river they find themselves on the nearly tropical interior. And that is when all the real fun begins.
The story was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs who had a love for dinosaurs and they are the danger the survivors and the German U-boat crew face. They are also the real attraction of the film. I found myself sympathizing with the life and death struggle of the creatures and was saddened when they had to be killed for the safety of the people.
The dinosaurs are all animatronic models like the kind you would see in a dinosaur theme park. For 1975 the combination of green screen tech and models makes for an effective illusion, especially for a ten year old kid like I was when I first saw this film. Watching it today I enjoyed how they try to combine science fact with movie illusion to create an interesting environment for the story to take place in.
I also found it interesting how each tribe is more advanced that others our people encounter. Evolutionary advancement all mixed together in one place. Pretty creative stuff from Burroughs even though in reality I suspect that humans would be lunchmeat for all the dinos.
I love how the first dinosaur they kill ends up on the diner table. Red or white wine with dinosaur?
And the poor caveman they bring on the submarine. What are the chances his head didn't explode with all the new things he was experiencing? They were lucky to pick up the one smart caveman in the bunch who becomes both guide and friend. What is it with cavemen and white women anyways?
I enjoyed this one for the 'Saturday matinee' feel it had. If looked at with an understanding of the special effects available to filmmakers at the time you can overlook the obvious green screening and clunky dinosaurs. The story takes the whole situation seriously and that is what makes it a better example of the 'dinosaur island' genre.
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.