Friday, August 5, 2011
Coming Attractions: AT THE EARTH'S CORE (1976) Theatrical Trailer
At The Earth's Core was another of the John Dark/Kevin Connor 70s adventure films based on and/or inspired by the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs. As with the others - The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot - the film starred stalwart Doug McClure. In this case, though, he was joined by the stunning Caroline Munro (Starcrash's Stella Star, herself) and the always awesome Peter Cushing (Star Wars' Garnd Moff Tarkin) in a loose adaptation of the Burroughs classic, which I watched again last night on DVD.
Set in a savage, Stone Age jungle within the hollow Earth, the film version of At The Earth's Core eschewed the dinosaurs and primitive mammals of the novel in favor of utterly fantastic monsters portrayed by men in rubber suits and animatronic 'bots. Truth be told, I actually dig these goofy monsters, and am kinda glad the filmmakers went that way with the beasties. The two best things about the movie, though, are Caroline Munro as Dia the Beautiful ("Dian" in the book) - and the realization of the heroes' subterranean "Iron Mole" vehicle, which has a gorgeous, Victorian aesthetic to its design and features. The third best aspect of the film is Cushing's delightfully scatterbrained portrayal of Professor Abner Perry.
I'll write more about this film one of these days, because corny as the Dark/Connor films were, they were among the more high-profile genre movies of the era. I remember really wanting to see them whenever they played at local theaters and drive-ins, and am still annoyed that I never got to see Warlords of Atlantis... and still haven't.