One Million Years B.C

Hammer | March 21, 2017

£7.39

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One Million Years B.C. might be about as palaeontologically accurate as The Flintstones, but it’s still a lasting kitsch masterpiece, as much for Raquel Welch’s Amazonian presence in an abbreviated fur bikini as for Ray Harryhausen’s wonderful stop-motion dinosaurs. A rare big-budget venture from Hammer Films, this 1966 version of the 1940 Victor Mature classic One Million B.C. is set in a fantasised prehistory where Caucasian cavemen coexist with dinosaurs. Loana (Welch) of the Shell People teaches Tumak (John Richardson) of the Rock Tribe that harmonious cooperation on the beach is a better way of life than rule-of-the-mightiest savagery in caves.

Every quarter of an hour, the gibberish-spouting (“Akita akita”), skin-wearing, remarkably clean cave folk are inconvenienced by special effects: a giant sea turtle, a hungry Allosaur, a Triceratops/Iguanodon battle, a Pterodactyl that wants to feed Raquel to its chicks, a major volcanic upheaval. Poster icon Welch gets stiff competition from a lithe Martine Beswick in a cat fight, and the camp goings-on are given real screen presence by gorgeous, primitive Canary Isles locations and an epic score from Mario Nascimbene.

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