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Tagline: Travel back through time and space to the edge of man's beginnings... discover a savage world whose only law was lust!

Preshow Entertainment: None


What do you mean humans and dinosaurs weren't around at the same time?! Have you not seen how Fred Flintstone gets off work when the whistle blows?

Raquel Welch One million years BC 102

Raquel Welch, in an inteview about ONE MILLION YEARS B.C.: "I probably did overthink it. Not that it mattered. I went to the director, Don Chaffey, very early in the shoot and said, 'Don, may I have a word with you?' And he sighed and said, 'Yeah, what is it?' I could tell right away that he was not very interested. 'Well, I’ve read the script,' I said, 'and I’ve been thinking...' And he turned to me and said, 'Don’t.'"

Yes, you're going to be doing a hell of a lot of belief suspension when watching ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966), but it's okay. It's all in fun, just like Fred and Wilma but with menacing dinos and Raquel Welch in that iconic fur bikini. Speaking of which, did you know that just last year, Time Magazine named Raquel Welch in ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. # 7 of the top 10 Bikinis in pop culture? She beat Phoebe Cates (so did Judge Reinhold, I suppose) in FAST TIMES and also Princess Freakin' Leia. It wasn't just the bikini and the movie that were popular. That picture of her wearing it became a very, very, very, and very popular pinup poster. And in time, that poster would also serve as an integral part of the movie THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (in the novella, it was a Rita Hayworth poster).

"This is a story from long, long ago," our narrator (who speaks the only dialogue in the movie other than an occasional caveman grunt and some caveman language) tells us. I can't imagine who wouldn't know that going in, what with the movie's title and all. Still, I'm not sure if this 'long, long ago' story happens before or after STAR WARS' "a long time ago," but who cares? We have Cleavage & Dinos (wasn't that a 70s cop show?). But we do learn that it takes place "when the world was just beginning," so out of the gate - wrong!! The world didn't begin 1,001,966 years ago. But who cares? Cleavage & Dinos! (New! On NBC this Fall!) Anyway, Narrator Man is right about one thing - it is "a hard, unfriendly world." A world devoid of every amenity, except apparently Max Factor and Aqua Net. Yes, things may look simple back in this age, with not an iPhone, Facebook timeline, or wheel in sight; but there are creatures here that want to eat you. This is a problem for The Rock Tribe, led by Akhoba (Robert Brown). And as if Akhoba doesn't have enough trouble contending with food acquisition and giant man-eating turtles, his son Tumak (John Richardson, who was nearly James Bond instead of George Lazenby) leaves the tribe after a bitter dispute. The Sonny Corleone of the Family, Tumak would have been wise to invest in some anger management classes.

Along the way, Tumak must avoid a gigantic angry lizard (not stop motion), which was actually pretty scary, as well as a tarantula (the movie's only other non-stop-motion beastie) and a brontosaur. But the good news is that his journey through the blazing prehistoric sun eventually leads him to the cave of The Shell Tribe, and into the arms of hottie cave-babe Loana (Welch). This may have been Shakespeare's inspiration for that whole Capulet/Montague affair. Anyway, through bad pantomime, we quickly learn that this new Shell Tribe is more civilized (and blonde) than the (brunette) Rockies (Narrator Man informed us that no tribe knew of any others). In fact, when we first meet Loana, she and her BFFs are spearfishing. This is huge to Tumak, as his tribe didn't even know they can get in the water, which means their cave must have smelled like Ron Jeremy and Robin Williams after a racquetball game. Anyhow, yeah, The Rockies were more savage-y and the Shellies more civilized. Why, they even have morals - when Loana wins a catfight, she refuses to bash her opponent's head open with a rock. The Shellies, whose men looked like members of Styx, end up teaching Tumak to hunt and fish. But first, they emasculate him by pointing at him and laughing when he fails.

One thing that bothered me, and it's just a stupid thing as this is meant to be a cartoony movie, is that these tribes weren't very populous. Yet, it seemed that each day they'd lose a member or two to a dino or by being left behind so a vulture can eat them or from intra-tribe fighting.
Now I'm no statistician, but wouldn't that mean that a tribe would disappear within a few months, just by virtue of running out of people? Maybe that's what happened. Maybe there were twenty million cavemen per tribe, and each day thousands were eaten or beaten to death, and we just came in at the tail end when there were only maybe 35 left. Even the colony of apes beat on each other, as did the different species of dinos. There's even a pterodactyl on pterodactyl beat down. It's just lawless. Though the catfight, that was pretty hot. (There's that catfight again. If I am able to, I'll try and squeeze it in one more time.)

Watching the fun campfest that is ONE MILLION YEARS B.C., I realized that life isn't much different than as it is now. There's sibling rivalry, fighting over women, and families fighting around the dinner table (though now it's not always physically). We've evolved in so many ways, but when it comes to primal instincts and behaviors, we're just encoded back to the stone age. I think men and women will always have trouble communicating, only now, it's unlikely an allosaurus will happen by.

Speaking of which, Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion work here is, not surprising, nothing short of spectacular. That pterodactyl was amazing, and the T-rex and triceratops battle fun and thrilling, much more impressive than my dino knowledge is. Okay, I decided to not be so lazy and look it up. It was a ceratosaurus and a triceratops. And it was a species of pterodactyl, a pteranodon. I also learned that they've found fossils of pteranodons in Alabama! Imagine, hanging out in Alabama and seeing one of those winged things fly by! Anyway, I am pretty sure I have digressed. And possibly regressed. Harryhausen did four more films in the next 15 years, including his much loved THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD and CLASH OF THE TITANS. He himself is a Titan, and a dinosaur, I suppose. He'll be 93 in a few months.  Oh yeah, I also wanted to mention that besides the dinosaurs, I thought the volcano/earthquake scene was pretty great, effects-wise.

raquel 22

There are two versions of ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. We saw the British version, which is longer by nine minutes and features stuff like Tumak's ex, Nupondi (Martine Beswick) doing a primitive and way hot dance (don't worry, both versions feature her catfight with Tumak's new girl Loana). By the way, Tumak and Nupondi, in real life, ended up getting married, so I guess it all evens out. Nupondi was also in a catfight in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

Two things I didn't realize about this iconic movie. One is that it's a Hammer film, the same studio that brought us a wonderful deluge of horror films. In fact, ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. was marketed as "the 100th Hammer film." The other thing I learned - it's a remake. The original, from 1940, starred Victor Mature as Tumak and Lon Chaney, Jr. as his father. Both versions list silent film pioneer Hal Roach as a producer (though he's uncredited in the latter), which sort of makes sense as this is practically a silent movie. ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. was directed by Don Chaffey, who went on to became a prolific TV director, helming episodes for such shows as CHARLIE'S ANGELS and MACGYVER. It was written by Hammer Films producer Michael Carreras (based on that original 1940 movie). The movie was popular, and it didn't hurt that Welch was still on fire from FANTASTIC VOYAGE, which was released six months earlier (out of all the remakes Hollywood has decided to do, obvious choice VOYAGE has yet to be remade...it's been in "development" since 1985, though there are now rumblings of James Cameron producing).

ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. is a great movie for the 14 year old boy in us (there's a line that can get me arrested). At that age, you're losing your love of dinosaurs while gaining your love for women. And both of those, as we have learned, happen to be this movie's two strong suits.  For some odd reason, I couldn't find one dinosaur picture!


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