Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Never Miss A Good Doug McClure Movie

There was a time in my life when Doug McClure was the biggest action adventure hero in the movies. He seemed to always be in pictures set on some mysterious island or at the center of the Earth. He fought bad CGI to defeat the monsters and win the love of some savage jungle beauty.

By 1978 he was a little long in the tooth but he still had that great 'love me' charm. I imagine in real life that he was a guy who couldn't get enough out of life and living. That is what always came across to me the most. You knew things were going to be okay if Doug McClure was involved in the situation.

War Lords of Atlantis is the fourth in a series of science fantasy adventure films produced by John Dark and directed by Kevin Connor. Doug Mc Clure has been the star of each of them. The first was 'The Land that Time Forgot', based on material by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It presented the exploration of a strange land in a period netting. Trick photography and special effects were to the fore with the strange animals of this land.

There was a sequel and the rescuing of the hero of the original with 'The People that Time Forgot’. The best of the four is a very entertaining exploration of the centre of the earth, 'At the Earth's Core'. One of the strengths of this film in the performance of Peter Cushing. There is a repetition of the stories in the other films - and also a presentation of the monsters but the tongue-in-cheek irony in stronger in this film. Something of this remains in 'War Lords of Atlantis’. This is, quick paced and colourful and has guest appearances from Cyd Charisse and Daniel Massey. The monsters are again very effective. All in all a very entertaining and popular science fantasy series.

The Giant Octopus is the true star of the movie. He attacks multiple times and meets out judgement to all those who do evil. The thing was also unkillable. You gotta put them down the first time or they will be back to mess with your day and your expedition. I have never seen an octopus so pissed off at the crew of a ship where it left the ship alone after plucking each one off one by one. Usually everything ends up at the bottom of the sea.

If your gun runs out of bullets, don't throw it at the octopus. You might just find a box of bullets later in the movie. Plus you have to know better than to shoot all your bullets at ONE tentacle. They don't care if they loose 7 arms in a fight if they can strangle you with the eighth. You only shoot for the giant eyeball. Everyone knows that.

What happen to the kitty? I hope the kitty is safe on the ship. Maybe that is why the filmakers didn't have the ship sink - so the kid and the kitty could wait out the rest of the film. I am gonna be worried about the kitty until I know the truth.

I enjoyed how the inhabitants of Atlantis were perpetually in a bad mood. Evolution didn't help anyone's manners did it?

The effects and mat paintings were cutting edge for their time and were among the last of their generation to be fully rendered without the use of computer. For that reason alone they deserve more praise than movies of this type ever get.

Lea Brodie imediately catches the eye of McClure as Delphine. She is great in all her peasant girl glory. Brodie was also part of the cast of Space 1999.



Debra She Who Seeks said...

I remember when Doug McClure was in damn near everything too. I wonder whatever happened to him? Wikipedia time!

M. D. Jackson said...

I loved this movie when I saw it in the theaters (it almost made up for me missing At the Earth's Core in the theaters). It was a great movie and McClure was awesome. He was a great action star despite not really having the pecs to take off his shirt at all.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I KNOW. He spends the last half of the movie shirtless in a time before the Ab Roller.

giantsizegeek said...

I liked Doug McClure too. Did you ever see a 1972 tv series called Search? It had McClure as one of three rotating stars. The other two were Hugh O'Brian and Anthony Franciosa. They were spies who communicated with a main base (led by Burgess Meredith) through an audio-ear device and mini tv camera disguised as a tie clip.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

That Search sounds like something I should seek out. It has stars I like and sounds just goofy enough to be fun. Mini TVs...are you kidding me?