ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.—-monumentally silly remake of the entertaining 1940 Vic Mature camp out. ‘Tumak’ (John Richardson) opens the story by wrestling a wild boar (apt enough), then his grungy dad poles him out of the cave.
He wanders around, dodges an enlarged lizard, and eventually staggers to the seashore, where he comes nose-to-navel with Raquel Welch*. He immediately passes out face-first in the muck. They get along, get it on, and get to make total Neanderthals out of themselves in front of the audience, substantial in 1966, as the heavily publicized grunter clubbed a meaty $8,000,000 from slavering fans in the U.S. alone.
Ray Harryhausen did the amusing special effects, which include an Allosaurus that interrupts a picnic, a Pterodactyl that kidnaps Raquel to feed its young with, and a tank-sized turtle with two hind legs that, due to budget considerations, just drag along in the sand.
The music score from Mario Nascimbene is loud and foolish, ditto all the grunting, gnashing and slurping the cast converse with. The film is marked for immortality via its casting, publicizing and especially its costuming of Miss Welch, who revitalized the pinup industry with her strategically tattered critter-skin bikini.
The wicked among you might think the highlight is a panting wrestling bout between ‘Loana’ (Raquel) and slinky ‘Nupondi’ (Martine Beswicke), a segment that should give furtive pause to any mancave dweller.
Directed by Don Chaffey, shot in the Canary Islands, running 100 minutes, with Percy Herbert and Robert Brown. It spawned a brief spate of fanciful prehistory man+ beast epics—Prehistoric Women (with sex-bomb Beswicke elevated from party animal to worshiped Queen), When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth (gotta love that title!, thinking they couldn’t do a worse job than people have)) and Creatures The World Forgot, which, besides characters named Mak, Rool and Noo, had credits for ‘The Old Crone’ and ‘The Dumb Girl’.
- *Raquel could thank Ursula Andress for turning down this part—not enough money for the Bond beauty. The bikini poster (in every locker from Peoria to the Mekong Delta) and the same year splash-hit of Fantastic Voyage announced the volcanic dawn of the Welch Age, lasting roughly a decade. Many men never fully recovered.