Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Land That Time Forgot (UK, 1975)



















Welcome to Jurassic Pa...no wait.

The first fantasy film that Mr McClure starred in which lead to him starring in three more out of this world flicks that are all slightly similar...in visual style at least. Why are they similar? because all but one are British Amicus productions, this film was a surprise success and lead to the sequel plus another Edgar Rice Burroughs fantasy novel adaptation.

The plot is that usual spin, bunch of people get lost somehow (usually at sea, under the sea or in the air) and end up in some mysterious uncharted land. This time we start in the past (again), WWI era, on a German U-boat. The nasty krauts have sunken a ship which just happens to have McClure and an attractive blonde on it...oh and some other blokes. When the U-boat surfaces near them they take it by surprise, seize control, lose control, the radio gets smashed, realise there isn't enough fuel, food or water to get them back to allied territory...oh and they've been going in the wrong direction too.


This all leads to the gang reaching the mysterious massive island of Caprona. Its funny because the film actually starts off as quite a decent war flick, everything that happens on the sub is pretty neat really, in that silly gung-ho all American 'Dirty Dozen' type way. To be honest you do start to wonder if they will ever get to the land that time forgot, they spend so much time at sea fighting each other.

This film is definitely a bit of a classic really, everybody has heard of this I think, and to be frank its not too bad although not as good as I recall. Once we get to the lost land its as you would expect with jungles, swamps, volcanoes, primitive tribal men and lots of big rubbery dinosaurs...yeah this is McClure territory right here people. All the dinosaurs are based on real known dino's but of course there is much artistic license. Some are clearly bad models on wires that don't move at all (Pterodactyl), some are puppets that rise from the water, whilst most are men in rubber suits lumbering around with some truly awesome roaring monster sound effects.

It looks terrible but I just adore those shots of the actors in the foreground and the dinosaurs/creatures/monsters bluescreened into the background, its dreadful but you gotta love it, staple diet of these flicks. Put it this way if you don't like mega cheesy stuff like that then you're watching the wrong type of films.

So once its decided or discovered that there is fresh oil on this fantastic bountiful island everyone goes off to find it with the help of a local primitive man (looking suspiciously like a neanderthal). Long story short they find oil and manage to build their own little military base at the same time including some kind of machinery, pump for the oil I think, nice. The film then wraps up with the predictable volcanic eruption that threatens to destroy the whole island scenario...or so I thought. Turns out it doesn't and I'm not too sure why the volcano goes off either, or why we get this dramatic finale when all they had to do was leave that particular area.

Its at the very end we discover this lost island is actually gigantic with its own massive range of snow capped mountains that go on for some distance, how the hell has this place not been found over and over?! So yep the film is utterly stupid, makes no sense and things happen simply so you have an action fantasy film to watch. The hook is its a Doug McClure flick and its fudging awesome, that's the bottom line my friends, you watch this because you know what you're gonna get, McClure kicking some prehistoric ass baby!

7/10