Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

One Million Years B.C. (1965)

Directed by:
Don Chaffey

Hammer Film Productions were probably shocked when this remake of the popular 1940 Hal Roach film ONE MILLION B.C. quickly became their all-time highest grossing film. In retrospect, it's not really difficult to see why, with the voluptuous beauty Raquel Welch (in one of her first major roles) as a cave woman (of the Shell People tribe) clad in skimpy animal skin get-up. Simply put, this film made it acceptable for both men and women to watch bountiful barely-covered male and female flesh on display under the guise of archeological study. High concept cinema, eh? The plot (Raquel falling in love with a guy from the opposing Rock People Tribe, played by the also easy-on-the-eyes John Richardson) is slim, silly but engaging enough to be acceptable time-killer in between showcasing the real star of this film; the stop-motion special effects genius of Ray Harryhausen. The dinosaur creations crafted by the pioneering FX artist are among his best work.

Producer/scripter Michael Carreras liked second female lead Martine Beswick (who plays cave girl Nupondi) so much that he gave her her own starring vehicle in the similar PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1967), which he also directed. Also in the cast are Percy Herbert, Robert Brown and Lisa Thomas. The film was the 100th from Hammer, who still had many more to come.


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