In a world where primitive but well-coiffed humans coexist with dinosaurs and giant crabs, the prejudice against blondes and the birth of the moon create conflict.
Really, what more do you need to know?
This 1970 creature feature follows up Hammer's better-known One Million Years B.C.. It's not as celebrated as that film, but it's better than Hammer's other quaintly ridiculous "Cave Man Pictures"—and it exists in both family-friendly and slightly more adult variants.
A few things differentiate this film from its predecessor. It lacks the slightly-serious approach, its budget and effects aren't as impressive, it doesn't star Raquel Welch, and it includes nudity.
Both this film and its predecessor take place in the pop-culture, pseudoscientific Prehistoric World, where all things carbon-dated from a trilobite to your bachelor uncle's suit coexist. But One Million B.C. attempts to reconstruct individual elements sem-plausibly: the dinosaurs look like actual dinosaurs, and we see a Cro-Magnon funeral based on anthropological evidence. When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth] doesn't even try. It gleefully invents creatures. And, of course, it features the birth of the moon happening with human witnesses. With craters already marking its surface?. And no effect on the world below beyond some extra light at night.
Effects legend Ray Harryhausen worked on One Million Years BC. He was either unavailable or too expensive. However, the stop-motion is charming, and we get a couple vintage slurpasaurs thrown in for fun. Our heroine Sanna's interactions with the dinosaur family that adopts her (See, after she sleeps in a dino egg shell, she gets mistaken as one of the hatchlings) provides goofy entertainment. Hammer shamelessly rips off the past, including its own. The film includes some stock footage from The Lost World (1960), and it largely recreates One Million's pteranodon attack. This time, a ludicrously upsized rhamphorhynchus menaces our scantily-clad ancestors.
And then there's the overall production. Star Valerie Vetri looks beautiful in this film, but she's no Raquel Welch.
Yeah, that's the level of acting in this movie.
In many markets—the US, notably—those scenes were excised, in order to tap the younger audience that otherwise wouldn’t be able to watch. The nudity crept into a family-rated Best Buy release (quickly recalled), and can now be seen on the official DVD/Blu-Ray, for the benefit of those who have absolutely no interest in big rhamphorhynchi.
You cannot watch this film seriously. It's a guilty pleasure if you enjoy cheesy special-effects flicks from the end of the drive-in era, and therefore makes passable viewing at the end of a summer day.
Directed and written by Val Guest.
Based on an idea by J.G. Ballard
Special effects by Jim Danforth and Alan Bryce
Victoria Vetri as Sanna
Robin Hawdon as Tara
Patrick Allen as Kingsor / Narrator
Drewe Henley as Khaku
Sean Caffrey as Kane
Magda Konopka as Ulido
Patrick Holt as Ammon
Jan Rossini as Rock Girl
Carol Hawkins as Yani
Imogen Hassall as Ayak
Lizard with fins as Adinosaur