One Million Years B.C.

One Million Years B.C. (1966) movie poster

(1966) dir. Don Chaffey
viewed: 06/10/09

This cult caveperson film from 1966 features special effects from the legendary Ray Harryhausen, but as it is best known, the best special effect in the film is simply Raquel Welch is a leather bikini.  And yeah, that figure is something else!

This movie has got it all: giant tarantulas, giant iguanas, giant turtles, and a couple of T-Rex-like dinosaurs and a triceratops (with the obligitory battle between the two dinos) and even some ape-men.  And volcanos.  And a catfight between Welch and another cavewoman with hair-pulling and rolling around.  What’s not to love?  The only thing that it doesn’t have is meaningful dialogue.  Largely because it doesn’t really have any actual “dialogue”, though I’m sure if it did it would have been meaningful.

What’s interesting, that I’ve only semi-stumbled upon since watching it, is that this film seems to be a remake of sorts of a Hal Roach-directed One Million B.C. (1940) but also echoes back to The Lost World (1925) though that has more to do with the dinosaur battle than the true period setting.  Because despite the massive scientific anachronisms, this film is meant to be set amidst the real time of the film’s title and even features a very humorous voice-over that begins the film, setting back, back to the creation of the Earth.

The film is directed by Don Chaffey, who worked with Harryhausen on what is probably both men’s masterpiece (certainly more so for Harryhausen), Jason and the Argonauts (1963).  This one is more rip-roaring camp, saddled as it is with Caveman acting.  And oddly enough, though I am going through the entire Harryhausen catalouge, I actually rented this one with an eye to the Caveperson movie, after having watched 10,000 BC (2008), which clearly is of a later time, but at the same time not lacking in its own anachronisms.

As a cult film, it’s pretty solid, because it’s pretty funny to see a giant iguana and a giant spider alongside a giant sea turtle and dinosaurs.  As well as caveman acting.  And monkey people.  And Raquel Welch in her bikini, well, that will never ever go out of style.

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