The Mole People - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mole People Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2017
Only the cinematic era of the 50's could come up with a movie like this, a movie about actual mole humanoids (or humanoid moles). As I've said before, within this decade they pretty much used every kind of insect and animal they could think of to besiege humanity.

The movie starts off in a unique way by having a science and history lesson. And by that I mean an actual Californian professor (Dr. Frank Baxter) talks and explains to the viewer about various old theories of a hollow Earth and how this movie is a fictional representation of those theories. Although I enjoyed this amusing little snippet from a stereotypical looking 1950's professor in his stereotypical 1950's looking study, it all seemed rather bizarre to me. What was the need for this? Did the audience back then really need confirmation that the movie was fantasy?? Did they need to have a professor talking about ancient hollow Earth theories?

[i]'Primitive man, going into caves, reaching back and back and down and down, wondered what lay beyond. Then in terror he fled out!'[/i]
Is this proper English, Mr. English professor? Who wrote this?? Its terrible geez!

Any way the plot is what you might expect. Some archaeologists are digging around somewhere in Asia and discover ancient relics that are apparently Sumerian. One thing leads to another and before you know it they're up a mountain discovering a temple, then the ground opens up and some bloke falls down into a deep cave. Well I guess you know what comes next, down the hole they go and piff paff poof! They end up discovering a lost Sumerian civilisation beneath the Earth. These people are of course way behind the times worshiping ancient gods. They are albino, can be killed by sunlight, oh and they also enslave a race of mole people to harvest fungi which they eat.

So first off let me just point out the casting of Alan Napier here as Elinu the High Priest. Yes that Alan Napier of the campy classic 1966 [i]Batman[/i] series with Adam West. The rest of the cast are pretty much your standard affair truth be told. There is nothing special about any of them. A couple stout white blokes, a sexy blonde bit of totty for them to rescue...and of course fall in love with. All the native actors are of course white and generally terrible at acting in a charming kind of way. But then you have Alan Napier, clearly a class act, clearly on another level in terms of talent and experience. The man gives this movie credibility it does not deserve. Whilst the rest of the crew are merely meh, Napier's campness is fecking marvelous! When a native girl starts her ritual dance before, what I presume to be virgins, are sacrificed to the light; the girl flirts her way over to Napier's High Priest. She starts to seductively jiggle before him which results in the most brilliant look of disgust, disapproval and exasperation from Napier's priest.

Effects wise its what you have come to expect from these movies. The first opening shot of the lost Sumerian city is a nice matte painting back-projected against some live action of the actors. Again bog standard fair but it looks relatively acceptable, some nice depth. All the caves are generally very basic looking whilst the very clean and in good condition temple areas (they are supposedly 5000 years old) are clearly sets that look more like a theatrical stage productions (although large). As with many of these black and white movies the lack of colour helps sell the effect because it hides the joins so to speak. All the natives are wearing rather hokey medieval/Arabian looking outfits that look more like Halloween costumes. But surprisingly the mole humanoids (or humanoid moles) actually look pretty good. It does appear that maybe the budget was maybe spend on getting the mole masks looking as terrifying as possible...and it was worth it! Obviously they are just men in suits with big rubber claws and rubber masks but they do work.

I must also point out how effective it was seeing these mole people rise from the earth like the undead (hmmm). Its a simple effect for sure but very eerie and again it works wonders here, I'm sure the audience would have been scared shitless seeing this. But like I said, other than the mole people its all a bit average really, stereotypical ancient tribal stuff. Everyone is albino so they're simply painted white from head to toe. The characters generally don't seem fazed by anything such as finding mole people, finding a Sumerian civilisation and vice versa them finding modern humans. The heroes take it all in their stride whilst the natives just wanna sacrifice everyone to their God. Final mention to the native dancing girl for the most obviously made-up native dance ever; plus the actress looks to be Asian as in possibly Chinese or Southeast Asian, whoops!

Lets also just overlook how they managed to get so much metal and precious stones down there, surely the mole people could only mine so much in that region. Oh and how they made their clothes, why they sacrifice young women and not die out, how they only live on mushrooms, and how this civilisation never ventured back to the surface in 5000 years! I suppose I should also mention that the mole people are actually not required in this movie despite being awesome. They have no real point to the plot other than to scare the audience, plus we never find out what they are or how they came to be. You could of quite easily just had a movie about the explorers in this subterranean world. So the movies title is a bit cheeky. I'm also unsure as to how exactly the Sumerians managed to keep the mole folk in slavery for so long with only whips and swords. The mole people aren't allergic to light so that gave them an advantage.

But I think one of the most surprising aspects in this movie (other than the excellent looking mole monsters) is the fact they used a real ancient civilisation. I'm sure I wouldn't be alone in expecting them to just make up some ridiculous sounding ancient race like 'Zynapians' or something (I Googled that word and its definitely not an ancient race). But on the other hand that means they would have had to get the Sumerian culture visually correct, did they? I don't know not being up on my Sumerian culture, but kudos for going there I guess. I suppose we should all just be thankful they didn't resort to using ancient Greek or Roman costumes. This movie is good fun in the usual schlocky way; its certainly engaging with its natives, moles and crazy Fu Manchu priest. Just don't expect anything to be explained much, it all just happens because.
July 18, 2016
Exactly what you would expect.
December 14, 2015
Gotta give it a 3 star can you not like a cast with John Aga and Hugh "Ward" Beaumont of " Leave it to Beaver" decent effects but thin story line...I'd recommend this film for any fan of "B" movies...
½ December 13, 2015
The cloying self-righteousness of the Americans-against-the-Slave-State theme becomes acutely offensive very fast, not the sort of thing you want to see in a movie that starts out by insulting the viewer(TM)s intelligence. On the other hand, we all know why we really watch these movies" we want to see cool rubber-suit monsters. And The Mole People has a veritable army of them. It(TM)s not enough to make it a good film, but it(TM)s enough to make it suitable entertainment for an otherwise unoccupied Saturday afternoon" which, after all, is what it was really designed to be in the first place.
December 12, 2015
Just a genuinely odd feature, starting with the introduction wherein a professor relates a kind of pre-history of the mole people. The story then commences, with a cheery and camera-loving John Agar teaming up with the workman-like Hugh Beaumont (Beaver's dad). Scenes underground move slowly and are pretty much without any pizazz. Once in a while, a mole person grabs someone and those scenes have to carry the rest of the movie. Yet somehow the movie retains some entertainment value.
½ October 22, 2015
I'll be honest here and admit that the title The Mole People sounded much more intriguing than what I actually got. I expected some kind of plot about a small town being terrorized by nuclear-infested killer moles, or something along those lines. Instead, the mole people aren't even the point of the story. They're just a part of it. The movie's about a group of archaeologists who find a secret society of people underground who believe their world to be the only world, and they'll do anything to protect it. As a matter of plot convenience, they have a race of mole people they keep as slaves, until they revolt against them that is. The film is overly long, but does have some basic plot points and isn't terribly acted. The crew at Mystery Science Theater 3000 did a good riffing on it. It's not a completely bad movie, but it's not really that noteworthy. I actually forgot nearly all of it after watching it, so I can't say I'd recommend it.
September 1, 2015
This film only has value for an episode of Mystery Science Theater. It was easily the worst of the entire Universal Horror films portfolio from the 1920's to end of 1950's. The only mercy is that it is so short. Ridiculously poorly written--isn't it amazing that ancient Sumerians spoke colloquial English? Whoever was responsible for this effort was smoking the mushrooms they subsisted upon in this civilization.
½ June 30, 2015
The movie is okay, but the title is sort of misleading because the "Mole People" are kind of the secondary creatures in the movie and are actually kind of helpful for the survivors. Anyways, the movie is still a lot of fun, and starring John Agar.
½ March 17, 2014
Lord Deliver Us from John Agar--A nifty 50's subterranean creature feature flick!!
½ June 16, 2013
The only enjoyable way to watch this movie is on Mystery Scince Theater 3000. If anyone ever called it "bad" that would be a huge compliment.
½ April 14, 2013
Bland, slow-moving plot with a slow pointless and boring introduction. The mole people aren't worth the wait, and the story is full of holes and confusion. Stock footage galore, dull dialog, and uninteresting characters, nothing really good comes out of this film, but it still could be worst.
½ January 25, 2013
A much-better story than the title would lead one to believe, done in by horrid acting, in particular Hugh Beaumont (aka Mr. Ward Cleaver). Far from just another monster mash-up, this flick posits an underground ancient civilization of albinos who enslave the 'mole people' as food harvesters. Agar and Beaumont are part of a human expedition who stumble across the strange, new world. Great concept that, in Hammer Studio's hands, could have (and should have) worked but better. Too bad Beaver's Dad mailed this one in, as did many more in the cast. Of note, features Batman's Alfred (Napier) in a prime (albeit almost unrecognizable) role. Would have made for a classic Wally Wood tale for EC Comics.
January 20, 2013
Like a cross between a bad Star Trek episode and matine Flash Gordon. And pretty lame.
½ November 1, 2012
Has some interesting sets and a few other decent elements, but it starts out so slow.
½ June 30, 2012
I really enjoy 1950's science fiction but this was hard to watch. Actually, John Agar (Dr. Roger) and Hugh Beaumont (Dr. Jud) made a relatively credible team of scientists. However, the third co-hort, Professor Lafarge, was one of the most helpless characters I think I've ever seen in one of these movies. First off, he's old and he can't keep up. He's also one of the biggest chickens in the history of science. Lafarge practically gets everyone killed numerous times. I know that gives away part of the story but believe me, if you watch this you'll want Lafarge dead anyway.
The underground civilization is actually called Sumerians. The mole people seem to be slaves to the Sumerians, but why they put up with the pasty white mushroom eaters, I do not know. The mole people are actually almost secondary characters which is very strange.
The hardest thing to take about this movie was how corny it was. The ancient Sumerians could barely get out of their own way. It's not even conceivable they could have survived underground for so many years.
The sets look cheesy, the matte paintings are the worst I've ever seen and Alan Napier makes an awful high priest. The ending is also totally ridiculous. Don't bother with "The Mole People" unless you're a John Agar fan or something.
April 6, 2012
Ward Cleaver journeys to the center of the earth to do battle with a race of albinos living on mushrooms (I'm not kidding). This is science fiction at it's corny, campy best. I love this stuff (I'm not kidding).

*Kudos to the makeup and special effects artists at Universal Studios. Not once did I notice a single zipper!
½ January 7, 2012
I thought this was great. Could almost pass as a Star Trek episode. The ending with the mole lady confused me though. So many questions regarding her and her character.But that aside, highly enjoyable.
½ November 8, 2011
What can really be said... First off for supposedly being somewhere down under the earth they sure had an easy job climbing in and out! As a whole I liked what they were trying to do, but it really didn't work out too brilliantly! Admittedly I didn't fade interest but there's nothing so substantial that you need to see it...
August 22, 2011
Really bad horror flick made better by MST3K. (Sounds familiar.) Also, John Agar did play a total douche in this film and I'm glad they skewered him so harshly.
February 2, 2011
Made in 1956.Archeologists go exploring in the mountains of Mesopatima,underground they discover a new world of Mutant Mole People and Sumerian Cults,they must escape this bizzare new world.Highly original Concept which works well for most of the film,it may not be one of the best Monster Moviews of the 50's but it still entertains and is an interesting watch.
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