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One Million Years B.C.

One Million Years B.C.

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Storyline : One Million Years B.C

One of the best cave man epics out there

One Million Years B.C., An epic adventure yarn from Hammer Studios, which as you would expect is a very visual movie in that it must tell a story through pictures rather than words. This is colourful, expensive-looking, action-packed film-making and a bit of a treat to watch, packed as it is with beautiful fur bikini-clad women and tons of monsters and dangers for our heroes to fight. ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. successfully depicts a savage and violent prehistoric world in which death is only a moment’s notice away. Thanks to some good acting on the part of John Richardson, who plays the noble and heroic caveman Tumak, the human drama is always to the fore which keeps things interesting and not just another special effects extravaganza.

The film is chiefly remembered today for the sight of Raquel Welch running around in a skimpy fur bikini, and that really is an iconic image, summing up the spirit of fun which surrounds the movie. The plot basically moves from one fight/monster/adventure scene to the next and packs so much action in that you’ll never become bored during the hundred minutes. Dangers include attacks from decapitating ape men; bloodthirsty dinosaurs, and giant creatures, all achieved through some top-notch (for the time) effects work, which incorporates back and forward projection; blown-up lizards (like in JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH) and spiders; men in ape suits; and, best of all, some fine stop-motion work from Ray Harryhausen. Here, the SFX maestro offers up such treats as a Triceratops fighting an Allosaurus, a Brontosaurus, an attack from a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Pterodactyl. All are staged lavishly and are a lot of fun.

More threats come from a giant stop-motion turtle which crawls across the sand to eat Raquel, and a vengeful turn from jealous caveman Percy Herbert. Then there’s a cat fight between Welch and a rival cave girl (as played by Martine Beswick) and a tremendous climax involving an erupting volcano in which dozens of extras go tumbling into collapsing chasms. Richardson is heroic, Welch is stunning, the action is exciting and the pacing is spot-on – therefore I think I’m right in saying that this is one of the best cave man epics out there.

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