At the Earth's Core Reviews
A scientist set in classic times and his friend try out a new drilling machine the scientist created. The machine drills into the Earth's core and they find a strange civilization with creatures they have never seen. The friend falls in love with a tribal girl they encounter and she helps them survive the rugged terrain. How will the scientist, friend, and Lovely Lady survive their journey inside Earth?
"I'm at the controls and you must keep a clear head too!"
Kevin Connor, director of The Land that Time Forgot (1975), Motel Hell, Frankenstein (2004), Strawberry Summer, Chasing Leprechauns, Sweet Surrender, and The Thanksgiving House, delivers At the Earth's Core. The storyline for this picture is very average with an obvious Journey to the Center of the Earth feel. The acting may be better than you anticipate and the cast includes Peter Cushing, Doug McClure, Caroline Munro, and Bobby Parr.
"After what we've seen they've got to be destroyed."
I grabbed this off Netflix when I discovered it starred Peter Cushing (one of my favorites from the horror genre). Overall, this is a pretty average movie with some cool science fiction elements. This is far from as good as the Harryhausen classics, but this is still fun to watch the different creatures. This is worth seeing once but far from a classic.
"This is my fight."
This is one of those movies that a certain generation of people have grown up with and loved, but when you watch it now it really isn't as good as you remember. The story is your classic adventure complete with heroes, villains, monsters and love interest and even though it doesn't make sense at certain points, it moves along very well. The acting is as cheesy as you would imagine, with Peter Cushing and Doug McClure chewing the scenery at every given moment, and there is always the added bonus of Caroline Munro wearing animal skins. The special effects are spectacularly bad, with some amazing 'men in rubber suits' monsters and liberal usage of poor blue screening - but in an odd way it just adds to the overall tone. All in all, this is not really a good movie, but if you are of a certain age, it will always have a special place on your heart.
This British classic really does look every bit like a Hammer horror. The start of the film shows Cushing and McClure in their dapper Victorian suits, sitting within their huge drilling machine which is decked out like 'Sherlock Holmes' study, you half expect Chris Lee to flutter in through a port hole (I do love that drilling machine model though).
All American star Doug McClure plays the slightly brash yet tough heroic half of the lead duo, while the eminent distinguished Peter Cushing gives up his usual sinister roles for the fumbling yet likeable good doctor. Together the pair work well off each other and do give an early blockbuster-like chemistry that you see in most modern day flicks. Of course its all very quaint, charming and hammy, tongue planted firmly in cheek...and that's just Cushing's adorable little performance.
The film kicks off with a blast as the duo commence drilling deep into the earth, it all feels very much like 'The Time Machine'. No sooner have we got through the silliness of actually getting to the Earth's core the pair are attacked by huge rubber monsters much akin to 'Godzilla's' well known 'men in suits' style. Yes it all looks incredibly tacky and pantomime-ish but remember in its day this was equivalent to a Michael Bay flick.
The general appearance of the Earth's core is pretty much your standard 'The Land That Time Forgot' type fantasy jungle with huge plants, vines, trees, primitive humanoids, sexy scantily clad females and various man eating beasties all shrouded in an eerie pink glow. It may all look terribly plastic and fake but again remember this was way before CGI so everything is real, which is pleasing to the eye, well if you ignore the horrendous blue screen live action/creature sequences.
The plot makes no real sense frankly, its all very stupid and revolves around some big rubber prehistoric eagle looking creatures that rule this interior world by controlling little 'Jawa' type humanoids with telepathy. They enslave other regular looking humans (all black folk with daft wigs it seems, apart from the sexy women) that live in a nearby village for some reason (some kind of mining or something), and...errr I don't really know. Not sure why these creatures do this, why the little 'Jawa' men obey them, why they like to sacrifice sexy big breasted women (do they eat them? is that what happened there??), why/how the big bird-like creatures are so telepathically powerful etc...so many plot holes you give up.
You must look past the crappy plot and its massive inconsistencies, its all about the big cool rubber monsters running amok (could of done with more), Cushing's unbelievably corny stereotypically polite British gentlemanly performance, McClure's ruffled hair and of course Caroline Munro's tanned body.
The story starts off really well but does lack severely throughout the middle as the plot goes down the toilet. You're not sure what's going on, why and if there's any point to any of it, end of the day all you know is the goodies have got to kill those big prehistoric bird things...for some reason. McClure looks buff, Cushing looked so damn thin and fragile it worried me, whilst Munro was clearly made up to try and copy the success of Raquel Welch's famous fantasy character.
Anyone notice that the screeching sound effects used for the big prehistoric bird things was reused in 'Krull' for 'Slayers', when they got killed.
Caroline Munro is true eye-candy.
"Sir, we've been on top of the Earth long enough, it's time we find out what's underneath"-David Innes (Doug McClure)
Throwback camp of the highest order.
"Your act of civilary, wasn't very popular."-Dr. Abner Perry(Petre Chushing)