On a naval expedition to Antarctica, three men and reporter Maggie Hathaway crash-land in a crater 1000 m below sea level. There, they encounter steamy tropical forest, dinosaurs, carnivorous plants, and human footprints, as Maggie's clothes become more and more abbreviated.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The cover photo of Best Buy's "Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection - Volume 2" is adapted from Maggie's encounter with a man-eating squid-plant. See more »
As Dr. Carl is kidnapping Maggie and bringing her to his cave for the first time, we see a long shot of the mouth of the cave - look close and you can see the rubber raft that Maggie will row there later in the film, tied up next to Dr. Carl's reed boat. At this point the rubber boat should be back at camp, with the crew. See more »
Your goal, gentlemen: Antarctica. Five million square miles of terra incognate, but your job to make it just a little less incognate.
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This rip-roaring sci-fi adventure scores high marks in several categories. The story concerns four people whose helicopter lands in an unknown prehistoric valley, a freak temperate zone located thousands of feet below sea level in the Antarctic, kept warm by volcanically-heated water and a permanent cloud layer that traps the warm air.
The special effects are by Universal's FX wizard Clifford Stine, and even though the dinosaurs are not animated, they aren't badly done. The Tyrannosaurus Rex is a man in a suit, the flippered dinosaur is fairly convincing puppet, and the rest are enlarged lizards. All the dinosaurs are skillfully integrated with live action shots.
Stine loaded the film with wonderful scenes of the fog-shrouded prehistoric landscape, using marvelous matt shots and impressive sets, creating a Skull Island atmosphere.
In some ways, this is the perfect 1950's sci-fi film, because it proudly presents a wealth of facts about the Antarctic before it begins its fanciful story.
The music by Joseph Gershenson is extremely effective. Director Virgil Vogel ("The Mole People") keeps the action moving right along. Hero Jock Mahoney (who later played Tarzan) is a stalwart hero, and Shawn Smith (the stern lady astronaut in "It! The Terror from Beyond Space" and the luscious babe in a mini-skirt in "World Without End") makes a gorgeous heroine. Henry Brandon does a commendable job as a half-crazed survivor from a previous expedition -- and I read somewhere that he was actually a member of the 1947 Bird Expedition to the North Pole. Don't remember where I read it, so I might be misinformed.
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