2 May 2009

Bank Holiday Midday Movies

Three slices of Doug McClure pie; mmm that’s some good pie.

This week, for one week only, DeadlyMovies.com is replacing the Friday Midnight Movie with Bank Holiday Midday Movies to celebrate three days of no work or school. There’s something about a three-day weekend that makes you want to sit about in your pants, cook up some popcorn, and hit the DVD collection. Bank Holidays, Easter, and Christmas are perfect excuses to regress into your inner child and explore those films for your childhood movie memories. Films like Ghostbusters, The Goonies, and Back to the Future are perfect examples, but here at Deadly Movies we prefer to dig a little deeper into the memory vaults of movies past. So without further ado this Bank Holiday DeadlyMovies.com recommends a treble helping of adventure with the 1970s answer to Harrison Ford; Doug McClure! Between 1975 and 1977 McClure starred in three B-movie adventure films based on Edgar Rice Burroughs books, The Land That Time Forgot (1975), At The Earth’s Core (1976), and The People That Time Forgot (1977). These films really mark a period where low budget sci-fi adventure films were coming to an end to be replaced by the high budget, high concept adventure blockbusters of the late 70s and 1980s, namely the post Star Wars era. So get on the couch and enjoy the ludicrousness that is these three helpings of McClure adventure:

The Land That time Forgot (1975): Set in World War I, McClure and a bunch of British military types overrun a German U-boat and abscond towards the Antarctic where they find themselves emerging from the icy seas into a lost tropical land known as Caprona. Here Brits, Germans, and McClure must work together to fight off cavemen, volcanoes, and best of all dinosaurs. Yes you heard it right; Germans, dinosaurs, cavemen, and Doug McClure. There’s some bad dinosaur puppet effects and some hilariously rubbish dinosaur effects, including the glider Terradactyl who’s wings don’t move. Muppets with sharp teeth aside, there are some great sets and matt paintings that add a real mystical quality to the proceedings. The film is bookended by a surprisingly brave downbeat somber ending that’s set up in the opening scenes.

At The Earth’s Core (1976): Firstly its worth pointing out here that this is a stand alone film that doesn’t run in any sequence with The Land That Time Forgot, but does share a similar tone and sense of adventure as well as again featuring angry cavemen types, more creatures, and of course Doug McClure. This time McClure travels with hammer veteran Peter Cushing, here playing against type as bumbling professor. Cushing and McClure journey to the centre of the earth via a Thunderbirds style drilling machine only to find that on arrival they are greeted by less than friendly earth core holiday reps. From here on I you get the usual capture and escape routine with a giant laughable dinosaur parrot and some heaving breasts thrown in for good measure.

The People That Time Forgot (1977): This is a direct sequel to The Land That Time Forgot whereby a search and rescue party heads out to Caprona to bring home the stranded Doug McClure. This time McClure is sporting a very rugged hobo beard. This is basically a reworking of The Land That Time Forgot, minus the Nazis, and with far more tribal wars between the islands inhabitants. You get more crappy dinosaurs (which by this stage aren’t resembling any recognizable animals but rather starting to look more like finger puppets), more heaving breasts, and the return of the rubbish gliding Terradactyl…, Yay.

There is something wonderfully old fashioned and naive about these films, they have a whimsical charm about them that doesn’t involve fast food tie-in’s. The effects may be rubbish, but over a Bank Holiday beer they are great to laugh at and laugh along with. That and you get three helpings of action man extraordinaire Doug McClure.

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