Four explorers are summoned to Peru by the brilliant physicist Dr Thorkel. They discover a rich source of radium and a half-mad Thorkel who shrinks them down to one-fifth their normal size when they threaten to stop his unorthodox experimentation. Written by
Steve Hill <email@example.com>
The first science fiction film to be shot in three-color Technicolor. See more »
[Referring to Thorkel]
He's a very strange man, abnormally secretive about his experiments, and now for two years he's buried himself in a camp in the Amazon jungle. Who knows what his mental state may be?
Dr. Rupert Bulfinch:
Dr. Thorkel may be eccentric, but he is also the greatest living biologist. I shall be glad to help him if I can.
See more »
For unknown reasons, the opening credits do not list any of the cast members; they're only shown in the traditional cast card at the end. See more »
The impressive effects are the whole show but it is still entertaining even if I wanted more excitement
With the gradual loss of his sight, Dr Alexander Thorkel calls out to other scientist to come to his deep jungle retreat to assist him. When Drs Bulfinch and Robinson arrive (with Stockton and Baker with them) they are astonished to learn he literally wanted them to confirm a sample with his microscope. Bulfinch is so annoyed that he refuses to leave and the group remain while Thorkel locks himself away in his lab. When Stockton finds some small bones, Bulfinch is excited at the discovery of a new species. However the whole group is even more pleased at the discovery of large quantities of valuable ore and deicide to take it for themselves. Mad with isolation, Thorkel prevents them from leaving and uses his research on his guests.
I'm surprised that so few people appear to have seen this film (judging from the low number of votes for it on this site) because it is a cool piece of Technicolor adventure with some impressive (for the time) effects. The plot is a bit clunky early on as it stutters to the premise we all know is coming when the visitors get shrunk. At this stage it becomes a bit more enjoyable even if it isn't as exciting and spectacular as I wanted it to be. This is perhaps an unfair complaint because of the age of the film and it does provide a small scale (sorry) adventure where the novelty value of the special effects tends to dominate the development of the story.
It is a shame because Dekker gives an intense and interesting performance in the title role. He easily towers over his co-stars (sorry) who are mostly pretty wooden and unconvincing. Halton is OK but Logan makes for a very unconvincing scientist. Her chemistry with Coley is poor as indeed he is as well, although Kilian has a bit of a stiff sway about him. As said before, the effects are the majority of the show and they are impressive.
Overall this is a basic story that goes just where you expect it to but does have entertainment value. The effects are good for the time but, thanks to the heavy Technicolor, still retains a sort of retro cool for modern audiences. The cast aren't that good (although I did enjoy Dekker) because the material isn't there for them, but for what it is it is worth a look.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?