At the Earth's Core (1976) Poster

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Masterpiece of the Z grade fantasy genre.
hitchcockthelegend26 September 2009
I'm serious as well, I mean don't get me wrong, if you haven't got a bent for this type of Z grade, creaky creature feature (why would you be watching is my first thought?) then it's most likely a rating of about 4 to 5 out of 10 tops, but to me it's a special kind of nonsense that takes me back to a nice time in my childhood. You know the kind, where the memories have never left you. Eagerly taking it all in with youthful wonderment as Doug McClure and Peter Cushing tunnel beneath the mantle to do battle with a host of creatures and sub-human species. And guys! Now we are all grown up we can admire most seriously at the wonder of Caroline Munro and her heaving cleavage. No wonder my older brother was keen to take me to the cinema to see this one!

Yes the effects are bad, men in suits, strings pinging parrot monsters around and exploding rubber frog like thingies amuse us greatly. And yes, Cushing and a surprisingly pudgy McClure (wearing bell bottomed flared trousers) act as if they have truly been mesmerised by the evil Meyhas at the "core" of our film. But it matters not, zany and clunky and awash in glorious colour, At The Earth's Core is a throwback to a special pre ILM time when kids like me queued around the block to see such joyous nonsense. 8/10
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Sure, it's cheap but it's FUN!
Maciste_Brother10 January 2007
The main criticism of AT THE EARTH'S CORE is that it's cheap, the special effects are bad and so on and so forth. Yes, some of the special effects are painfully bad but what a lot of folks overlook about it is that it's actually quite fun, which is very important in my book.

In comparison, just look at the latest STAR WARS films: they have the latest, greatest special effects created by the latest technological advances which are capable in creating stunning visual effects as far reaching as the human imagination can imagine and yet, with all the razzle dazzle, those films were as exciting as a funeral. As Yoda would say, Fun they're not! In other words, who cares if the FX aren't the greatest when the spirit of the film is fast-paced, humorous and clearly set on the side of action. I love everything about AT THE EARTH'S CORE: the contrast between stodgy Victorian England VS the wild other-worldly, colorful setting of Pellucidar, the cast of characters, the concept of a lost underground world, the telepathic Pterodactyls, the human slaves rebelling, Jubal the ugly one (lol!), the inspired teaming of Peter Cushing (who's great!) and Doug McClure, the excellent music (it's really good), cinematography by the amazing Alan Hume and last but not least, Caroline Munro. She's effing sexy in this movie. One of the sexiest B-movie babes ever captured on screen.

Seriously, anyone who doesn't like this movie doesn't know what fun is. Gimme AT THE EARTH'S CORE over any turgid STAR WARS prequels any time! At least it has Caroline Munro, which no CGI fx can ever recreate.
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*gasps* "It's Jubal the Ugly One!"
Angel_Meiru29 October 2004
Man, what isn't there to like about this movie? Sure the SFX are kinda low-budget and some of the actors sort of ham it up, but imagine if this film was made today with CG and bland actors whom take everything seriously, it just would not be the same movie.

The movie follows, well, two scientists whom drill beneath the Earth's core, run into bizarre monsters (whom looked like they were kicked out of Daiei's Gamera films BTW), become slaves, and explore the strange world and so on. I don't remember the novel very well, but I sure know that this movie is one of those "so cheesy and wild, it's hard to forget" type of movies.

BTW, check out the part with Jubal the Ugly one! PRICELESS!
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"You cannot mesmerize me! I'm British!"
Hey_Sweden11 February 2015
Dr. Abner Perry (Peter Cushing) is a Victorian era scientist who is about to take his revolutionary vehicle, capable of boring through the Earth, on its maiden voyage. Accompanying him is former student turned businessman David Innes (Doug McClure). The vehicle is more powerful than they thought, and they end up deep inside the Earths' core. Here they encounter a nonstop assortment of monsters, a kingdom named Pellucidar, a tribe of primitive people, and their subhuman captors / tormentors, who pray to dinosaur gods.

Now how can you resist any hokum featuring those elements? Produced by Amicus, and scripted by Milton Subotsky (based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs), this is decently executed by director Kevin Connor, who was a real go-to filmmaker for this kind of fantasy material in the 1970s. McClure is a jut jawed hero, and Cushing seems to be relishing a rare opportunity to ham it up. His performance may not be one of his most accomplished, but it's certainly a fun one. Caroline Munro is *extremely* alluring as cave girl Dia. Also performing this amiable nonsense with straight faces are Cy Grant as the helpful Ra, Godfrey James as the stolid Ghak, and Sean Lynch as the devious Hoojah (just to be sure we get the point, Hoojah is nicknamed "The Sly One").

The movie begins in grand style, with some striking opening titles and a beautiful, rousing piece of music. It promises a solid diversion, and that's what it delivers. The understandable criticisms often leveled at the production are its obvious budget issues, and rubber monsters. But these monsters are just so damn amusing, especially the exploding fire breathing frog. All of this is done in an agreeable tradition of the Saturday matinée feature. The sets and the visuals are reasonably impressive, and Connor keeps things moving along nicely (the movie hits the ground running), and building to an exciting and destructive finale.

"At the Earth's Core" does put a goofy smile on *this* viewers' face.

Seven out of 10.
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A claustrophobic world
wilsonbond_997 June 2008
Funny, I'd read most of Edgar Rice Burroughs' fantasy adventure novels by the time I saw this movie, and knew that this wasn't Pellucidar: where were the vast, open spaces of the hollow earth, the blazing sun, the endless forests and lakes and mountains? Where were the friggin' tarags and thipdars?? And yet, this cheesy movie has managed to stick with me over the years. I love the cramped, fake-looking sets, the dazed actors playing slaves, the hyperactive Sagoths acting like Japanese prison camp guards in some WWII flick. And best of all are the dinosaurs, looking more like something from a medieval bestiary than actual prehistoric animals. They seem to combine aspects of human, rhino, frog, titanothere, you name it. All this, and cave princess Caroline Munro running around screaming, shooting smoky glances at Doug McClure from her sexy, kohl-rimmed eyes. It was TOO MUCH.

I can't help it. At the Earth's Core is one of my all-time great guilty pleasures. I only wish I could see it properly in a movie theater with an audience some day before I die.
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You cannot mesmerize me... I'm rubber
w00f6 January 2004
Make no mistake, this is a very silly movie. Peter Cushing knew it; he gives one of his most over-the-top, ham it up performances.

Generally speaking, this movie has awful production values. Flying rubber pterodactyl creatures ruling the underworld. Piggish humanoid servants of said pterodactyls. A vapid, vacant-eyed Caroline Munro. An oh-so-macho leading man who, when you really look at him, doesn't look all that tough.

Still, At the Earth's Core has a charming innocence about it that gives it a bit of appeal. Best viewed by 10 year old boys on rainy Saturday afternoons, it's all in good fun.
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Total B-Movie delight. Watch it and be amused.
Rob_Taylor24 December 2002
Hi! I'm Doug McClure. You may remember me from such other cheesy adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs works as, The Land that Time Forgot and The People that Time Forgot.

This movie is hysterical. Even allowing when it was made, the monsters are just bad, bad, bad, bad, bad! All rubber suited things with people inside. There's even a fire-breathing beastie, but don't look at it's mouth too close or you'll see the flame-thrower nozzle poking out. Couple that with Peter Cushing's wonderfully useless "old professor" routine and Doug's stoic hero performance and you'll laugh the whole way through. Carolyn Monroe plays Dougies love interest, though I did wonder where she got cosmetics from, living deep in the Earth. Perhaps the Avon lady calls there.

The flying monsters at the end are particularly silly. They have all the aerodynamic properties (and believability) of a concrete block. Just a bunch of fat blokes in rubber suits. All they do is sit on a ledge and hypnotise people. It's only when that fails, or it's feeding time, that they "swoop" down to attack. And when I say swoop, I mean someone prods the rubber thingy in the back and it swings down on a cable.

Total B-Movie delight. Watch it and be amused. Be very amused.
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Edgar Rice Burroughs was never like this.
G.Spider13 June 1999
This film begins with a wonderful piece of music and an excellently tense and edge-of-seat sequence in which Victorian scientists (played by Doug McClure and Peter Cushing) drill into the depths of the earth in their 'Iron Mole'. You truly believe you're going to see a great film to rival 'The Land That Time Forgot'. But then the two companions arrive in the underground world and encounter their first monster, which is quite obviously a man in an outfit which looks like a dinosaur with a parrot's face. From here it's downhill all the way as the intrepid scientists encounter ovens with tentacles on strings, fire-breathing critters with clearly visible flame-thrower nozzles and pterodactyl-people who, when they fall down, explode for no apparent reason. It's a shame the special-effects are so awful, as the storyline is quite interesting with some good situations and the music is excellently atmospheric. But what we have here is a good script let down by poor execution. All I can say in this film's favor is it's watchably bad. But I'd have been a lot happier if it was watchably good.
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One of the BEST Old School Monster Movies
kc_gttld6 February 2007
CONTEXT is everything when one goes to rate a movie. When rating this movie one has to consider the time in which it was made. We didn't really know WHAT the inside of the EARTH was in those days so you can't rag on the movie too much for the plot (based on a much older book). For the era, this was top notch special effects and the production quality was great. I watched this movie in a masterfully restored HD master. For the time the makeup and effects almost make the guys in the rubber suits look plausible as a monster-thing. This is pure movie cheese complete with bad rubber suits, models, and creepy costumes. AWESOME. PS Doug McClure ROCKS!
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Pellucidar Comes Alive!
retrorocketx3 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
One of my favorite lost world settings is Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar. It is a primordial world existing on the underside of the earth's crust, with the central core of magma providing a perpetual noonday sun. The land is full of ancient mammals, dinosaurs and beautiful cave girls. The story begins with a eccentric inventor and his friend who plan to explore the earth's crust in an 'iron mole.' They go off course and plunge toward the center of the earth, finally surfacing in Pellucidar. They discover a world in which telepathic flying reptiles dominate, and human cave tribes are either on the run or enslaved. What do our plucky explorers do upon encountering this primeval world? They attempt to liberate the humans and civilize them!

There are a lot of cheesy 'Lost World' type movies. At the Earth's Core is certainly one of the cheesiest. I would never argue with those believe that this is a bad movie, but I love it.

The setting has a wonderful inner world feel with weird plants and a pale red sky. The caverns and tunnels are well developed. The iron mole looks very cool. The cave people and Sagoth costumes are adequate and cheesy in a fun '70s way. How about the dinosaurs and creatures? Hmm. The monsters in this movie are the lamest monsters to ever grace the silver screen. They set a standard for lameness that will probably never be surpassed. But as lame-o as the monsters are, they are a fun and active group. Several of them seem to have a propensity for exploding at the moment of death. That's always fun, isn't it? The Mahar telepathic powers are clearly presented with the eyes lighting up, the zzzzzz-zrt! sound, the eyelids closing. 'Cmon, admit it, it's a cool effect. And the way the Mahars swoop down upon the sacrificial cave girls, this scene actually provides a moment of horror, in spite of the lame Mahar costumes.

Doug McClure, Peter Cushing and Caroline Monroe are perfectly cast in the roles of David Innes, Abner Perry and Dian the Beautiful. I can no longer read the books without picturing these actors in the story. I could have watched many Pellucidar sequels with these actors. McClure is the perfect actor for any cheesy lost world adventure. Nobody - and I mean nobody - fights lame-o monsters like Doug McClure. The guy is brilliant. Check out the arena scene, where he faces off against a lame saber-toothed hippo thing. McClure swings, he grits, he staggers and strains. I love how he jukes the monster off balance to retrieve the spear head from underneath it. Yeah! What other actor would have put so much into that scene? Peter Cushing is certainly a far better actor than this movie deserves, and yet he gives a surprising and outrageous performance. Don't critique him too much for hamming it up, some of his lines are right out of the book, and the character calls for a goofball. Caroline Monroe looks like she just stepped out of a Frank Frazetta painting. Too bad her role is limited to being a mere one-dimensional love interest.

Sure, it is a cheesy movie. But if you can suspend disbelief and stay with this movie, you just might like it. No question, it is a challenge to hang in there, neither mocking the movie nor beating your head against the wall. If you can get in, and stay in, this is an amazing lost world movie. But you have to fight the cheesiness, you have to fight the lameness. You have to fight like Doug McClure!
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grotifer12 July 2008
Shame on you if you give this film a low rating. How can you not like a film that has Doug McClure, Peter Cushing, silly rubber monsters, fights, (and for the guys, that woman that was the baddie's henchwoman in The Spy Who Loved Me and one of the seventies Sinbad films, not wearing very much of whom my mother said "She wasn't picked for the colour of her eyes"), lava, silly wigs and a daft Victorian drilling machine very much like the one used in the old Thunderbirds series? Whoever watched this film and slagged it off was watching it for the wrong reasons. It may be crap, but is definitely good crap. They don't make 'em like they used to, sigh......
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Just about worth watching for the delectable Ms. Munro.
BA_Harrison22 October 2008
Way back in the 70s, when I was kid, we didn't have fancy CGI effects in our monster movies: if we were lucky, the film featured stop motion work, but often they would rely on men in shonky rubber suits, made to look enormous through dodgy matte work or back projection.

Case in point: At The Earth's Core, a ropey adaptation of an Edgar Rice Burroughs story (which I caught on its original release in '76) that presents creatures so pathetic that I'm surprised that any of the actors in the film managed to keep a straight face. To their credit, though, B-movie hunk Doug McClure and horror legend Peter Cushing do manage to hold back the laughter, playing a couple of Victorian explorers who travel under the Earth's crust in a mechanical 'mole', only to discover lost civilisations and prehistoric monsters.

Even as an 8 year old kid, I remember being distinctly unimpressed with this pretty poor effort from director Kevin Connor, finding not only the effects to be laughably bad, but also the acting to be of a pretty poor standard (Cushing, in particular, gives an amazingly hammy performance that still makes me cringe to watch). Nowadays, however, I find this whole sorry affair just about watchable thanks to the gorgeous Caroline Munro, a major hottie of the 70s who spends this film prancing around in a skimpy outfit that reveals her ample cleavage, and the unintentional laughs that can be had from the awful dialogue, bargain basement visuals, and general atmosphere of cheesiness.
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Going underground
one9eighty26 July 2017
Peter Cushing and Doug Mclure, Victorian scientists, piloting an Iron Mole into the Earth's core, what an adventure!

This film from the 70's is undoubtedly dated by today's standards but this film was made at a time when cinema was finding itself, and new techniques were being used to bring strange new worlds to it's audiences. That is exactly what you get in this film, new sights and sounds brought to audiences in a new way. That being said, Star Wars was only released a year away from this film but even low budget films and techniques need to find themselves and explore capabilities.

Finding themselves in a labyrinth of tunnels where psychic bird creatures rule over their slaves of prehistoric man and woman, the scientists have to save the day, stop the oppression, and find a way back to their own part of the world.

OK, so the acting is tongue in cheek ham, the creatures are as rubber as the boulders and walls, and it's pretty inaccurate the majority of the time...what it is is harmless and it's fun. This is exactly the kind of film you can put on any Sunday and just relax without having to engage your brain. Enjoy.
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Under a cherry red sky
bkoganbing9 December 2017
I will say this for At The Earth's Core and its creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. No one could ever accuse Mr. Burroughs of no imagination. No lost world of dinosaurs falling through the surface and surviving in the bowels of the planet. His monsters were quite real and quite terrifying and completely original as in this film.

Nutty professor type scientist Peter Cushing and student Doug McClure have invented a new drilling machine which they are exhibiting and the test is to drill a tunnel through a small mountain in Wales. Problem is the machine makes a wrong downward turn and these two arrive in a different kind of society under a cherry red sky.

Humans are at the bottom of the social strata, slaves to giant bird like creatures with a hypnotizing glare. Enforcing the will of the big birds are these other ape like creatures who keep the human captives in line.

Of course it's not hard to figure out that the story is of McClure and Cushing leading a revolt against this society. Especially when the fate of the humans is either to be slaves or to be food. Along the way he wins native princess Caroline Munro who did a lot of these pulp fiction adventure stories. As did Doug McClure back in the day. I guess they were fated to be together in one.

At The Earth's Core will appeal to pulp fiction film fans. And I did love that ending. Won;t say a word, you have to see it.
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Screwing to the center of the earth.
michaelRokeefe15 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Based on a Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, AT THE EARTH'S CORE provides little more than means to escape and give your brain a rest. A Victorian scientist Dr. Abner Perry(Peter Cushing)invents a giant burrowing machine, which he and his American partner(Doug McClure)use to corkscrew their way deep into the earth to explore what mysteries it may hold. They soon discover a lost world of subhuman creatures having conflict with prehistoric monsters.

Cushing comes across as an absent minded professor to the point of being annoying. Instead of being a bold adventurer, he comes across effeminate. On the other hand McClure overacted enough to make himself also laughable. Caroline Munro plays the pretty Princess Dia that refuses to leave her world near the center of the earth. Also in the cast are: Godfrey James, Cy Grant and Michael Crane.
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So Campy You Can't Help but Enjoy It
Michael_Elliott9 March 2013
At the Earth's Core (1976)

*** (out of 4)

Set in the Victorian times, this Amicus picture has a scientist (Peter Cushing) and his assistant (Doug McClure) creating a machine that allows them to dig through the ground. They plan to go to the center of the Earth but they end up in some sort of land with monsters and humans who are being held by slaves by some sort of tribe. AT THE EARTH'S CORE turned out to be the final film from Amicus and it's really a good movie. Well, it's not really a "good movie" but I think it's so silly and so wacky that you can't help but have a blast with it. The term "so bad it's good" certainly fits this thing but the most important thing is that it's highly entertaining. We've got several different types of monsters on display here and all of them are nothing more than rubber suits, which look extremely bad. Just take a look at the first monster attack when a man is eaten by the creature. This sequence is one of the funniest things I've seen from any sci-fi picture. The entire catalog of monsters are pretty fun to watch even with the rubber suits that make some of those Godzilla creatures look like Oscar-winning work. Even the monsters holding the human slaves are incredibly cheap as they just wear masks that cover half of their faces with their normal skin still showing making it all the more obvious. Cushing plays a dimwitted scientist and while his performance is good the character is certainly less than memorable. McClure is good in his supporting role and we got Caroline Munro at least wearing a somewhat cute outfit. Throughout the film there are all sorts of fights, weird looking sets and other strange things that really make this film stand out compared to other low-budget films of the genre. AT THE EARTH'S CORE isn't going to be confused with THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL but those who enjoy campy movies should enjoy it.
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Adventure tale full of colorful scenarios and pretty fierce monsters
ma-cortes1 January 2011
This engaging adaptation is a special version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure yarn . There are rip-roaring action, spirit of adventure, derring-do, thrills, and results to be quite entertaining. It's a brief fun with average special effects , passable set decoration , functional art direction and none use of computer generator. Fantastic adventures full of monsters in a lost continent on the center of earth . Searching for adventures, a Victorian professor (Peter Cushing acting against his usual type as the absentminded scientific) and his American supporter named David Innes( an impulsive Doug McClure who has a good time) set off in their new boring rocket with a short proof on a Welsh mountain. Unfortunately the things were wrong and less easy than expected and they end up in a large cavern at the centre of the earth. When they're watching how humans are dragged by an evil over-sized prehistoric bird , then they suddenly are attacked by a flying monster . It's a domineering world governed by a monstrous race which rules the human beings with extra-sensory abilities. There they meet a race of humans enslaved , being one of them a gorgeous and eye-catching cavern-girl ( the scream-girl Caroline Munro from Hammer Productions as film's chief attribute) in scantily clad .

This fantasy picture produced by Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky packs thrills, action, weird monsters, lively pace and fantastic scenarios. The rubber monsters are the real stars of this production ,however being middling made . The fable is silly and laughable , though the effects and action are regularly made . Among the most spectacular of its visuals there are a deeply shrouded caverns full of monsters roaring menacingly towards the camera , a little tableau comprising attack of a giant monsters and the colorful backgrounds of the lost land . Some monsters are clumsily made but movie is OK . Some illogical parts in the argument are more than compensated for the excitement provided by Roger Dicken's monsters, though sometimes are a little bit cheesy. Filmed in glimmer and shimmer cinematography by Alan Hume in Pinewood studios , England , showing a colorful camp treat. Splendid and stirring musical score by Mike Vickers. This is the fourth collaboration between producer John Dark and director Kevin Connor who also made in similar style : ¨The land that time forgot(1975)¨, , ¨The people that time forgot(77)¨. ¨Warlord of Atlantis¨ , mostly starred by Doug McClure and with Dicken as the monster-maker. The film will appeal to adolescents who swallow whole and sit convulsed in their armchair. Older kids will enjoy the colorful sets and fire-breathing animals. Rating : Passable and acceptable film .
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Spoilers follow ...
parry_na23 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Many years ago, films like this were released during school summer holidays, a number of them starring Doug McClure. Here he plays, not unusually, a wise-cracking, cigar chomping devil-may-care physical leading man (trip financier David Innes) to Peter Cushing's bumbling Doctor Abner Perry, or 'Doc.' Perry could be a close relative of Cushing's Doctor Who, a part he played about ten years earlier in two Dalek-bothered films. It isn't my favourite Cushing formula - he is such a talented, sensitive performer, but this smacks of 'putting on a show for the kids'. Very enthusiastic, but perhaps could be dialled down a tad. Sweaty, sultry Dia is played by the incomparable Caroline Munro, a character who gives Innes a reason to come over all unnecessary.

The film is colourful and psychedelic and boasts a great showcase for 'back projection' to provide its special effects: actors in restrictive monster costumes lumber about in garish studio-bound foliage, and this image, enlarged, is played in the background of the leading actors reacting. This isn't just reserved for the monsters - the spectacle of The Iron Mole, which transports our two heroes beneath the crust of the planet is achieved in a similar way.

The monsters themselves are a good example of their kind: you don't know whether you want to run away from them or give them a hug. They rarely convince, but once you are used to the style of their depiction, they appear to get more impressive. An interesting line in telepathic communication helps bring many of them to life. Director Kevin Connor's camera looms in on their open eyes to indicate mind control, snapping shut to suddenly curtail it. The monsters all have a uniform look about them, with extra detail signifying different species and rank - the ones who seem to be in control of everything certainly look the most impressive, swathed in dry ice and gurgling inhuman, guttural sounds.

Difficult not to enjoy, this was produced by Amicus (their final production) and based on the story by Edgar Rice Burroughs, it boasts an impressive, trippy soundtrack by Mike Vickers. The film performed well at the box office, proving an understandable fondness for this kind of monster adventure.
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Cheapjack sci-fi adventure
Leofwine_draca22 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
After their relative success with THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, Amicus were quick to run out this unofficial 'sequel' to that film, although a year later the proper sequel, THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT, turned up. AT THE EARTH'S CORE in fact is reminiscent of Jules Verne stories like JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH, although it is supposedly from a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The low-rent action and outrageous imagery make this film a must for any '70s fan. The decade's influence is clear, as a number of native tribesmen sport fetching afros!

Although the film is cheaply made (it employs VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA-style shaking cameras to simulate movement), on the plus side it is a fast-paced adventure tale which never lets up and gives in to characterisation or depth of any sort. In essence it's a series of fight scenes, which take the form of monster vs. monster, man vs. man, man vs. monster. Tacky, ludicrous and awful, this is truly the nadir of British cinema. manages to be exciting, hilarious and a damned good ride through a strange, psychedelic prehistoric land, enlivened by strong performances from two genre veterans.

AT THE EARTH'S CORE has a number of spaced-out, obviously drug-induced sequences which are hilarious to watch. The first is the bit where Peter Cushing, no less, is being chased through the cardboard jungle by a giant bird man! I've seen some weird stuff in my time but this really takes the biscuit. The bird men are guys with huge rubber heads on, strange how they remain so motionless throughout the film. The second moment is when a group of people stop to watch some men in monster suits battle it out, kind of like a wacky GODZILLA moment which has been inserted in the film. For a start it's not for one minute believable or realistic, and also the bellowing noises these monsters make are hilarious!

More wackiness ensues when a psychic connection between the bird and rodent men is revealed, with the bird guys blinking their green eyes to give commands, these birds are truly strange and yet wonderfully artistic. Especially the noises that are made, which are strangely computerised! Another hilarious moment comes when Peter Cushing shoots a fire breathing, pincushion-like monster with some arrows, it falls off a cliff and explodes in a rib-tickling scene, so cheap and yet so comic. You probably have to have a weird sense of humour like me to appreciate these admittedly dodgy delights. Other merry moments include a caveman with a blatantly cardboard weapon and bird men flying around on visible wires.

You've probably grasped the kind of naïve charm this film holds for me by now, but the three main actors are also reasons to watch. Firstly we have low-budget British actress Caroline Munro as the token love interest in highly revealing costume, then there's Doug McClure as the American hero, sporting a disgusting striped jacket. McClure's charm is one which you have to view to really appreciate, but let's just say he's fun as the brawny, indestructible hero type. However it's Peter Cushing who steals the show, this time around being the comic relief, a major departure from his usually heroic or sinister roles. His doddering old man is a great creation, and his dialogue is along the lines of "they're so excitable, like all foreigners" and "You cannot mesmerise me, I'm British!" (reused from a similar line in HORROR EXPRESS). The novelty value of seeing him terrorised by these men in suits is great.

You wouldn't get away with tackiness like this in a film anymore, that's for sure. Cheap, with atrocious back projection; rubbery, cardboard, yet fun, AT THE EARTH'S CORE is one for the child in all of us - the child who truly appreciate the delights of bad film making.
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Low budget thrills at the centre of the Earth
chris_gaskin12321 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This is the second movie to be directed by Kevin Conner and starring Doug McClure.

In this one, McClure and fellow scientist, Peter Cushing give their "Iron Mole" a test run. All doesn't go to plan and they end up at the centre of the Earth and discover a strange land, Pelucidar. It is inhabited by rubber prehistoric and non prehistoric monsters (more of which later) and strange human type creatures, the Mahar. After being captured by these people, the two scientists are taken to their home, some caves and McClure falls in love with one of the female slaves there. After several adventures, McClure kills "the Ugly One" and then takes some of the goodies to defeat the Mahar. They achieve this and after McClure's love interest decides to stay behind, he and Cushing leave and **SPOILER** end up in the grounds of the White House...

Now to those monsters. The first one we see walks upright, has the head of a bird and a long tail. Then we see two fighting. I can't make out what those are suppose to be. Then we are introduced to the rather unfriendly Pterodactyl like creatures which seem to control the Mahar. These explode at the end when they are killed. We also see a fire breathing dinosaur, which gets blown up after Cushing fires some arrows at it and McClure has a fight with another strange looking beast, a cross between a dinosaur and a hippo (a similar creature turned up in The People That Time Forgot a year later in 1977, possibly the same one used here). We also see some man-eating plants.

McClure's love interest is played by Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me) and Keith Barron, who starred with McClure in The Land That Time Forgot, has a small part as a reporter.

I have seen this movie several times and find it great fun, despite those monsters. The movie also has nice theme music.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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"core" values
lee_eisenberg3 August 2006
"At the Earth's Core", as far as I could tell, was deliberately trying to be sort of corny. Portraying two scientists - a tough young American (Doug McClure) and a kindly old Englishman (Peter Cushing) - tunneling down into the earth and encountering a society ruled by weird beings, there does actually seem to be an allusion to the real world, given how the beings in control have limited brain power and rule only because they have the weapons (sound familiar, people?).

So, the movie's nothing really special. Mainly one of those sci-fi flicks from the '70s (meaning that the special effects look silly by today's standards) that now works best if we want to be nostalgic for the Me Decade. But make no mistake about it, this is a pretty cool movie. Worth seeing.

So why would his status as a Brit deprive them of the ability to mesmerize him?
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Rubbish Fantasy Adventure
Theo Robertson22 May 2005
Doug McClure has starred in a few of these British produced genre adventures and this one has got to be the worst of the lot . I know THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT has its critics but please at least that movie featured location filming and relatively good production values . That's the problem with this movie - The production values go way beyond " So bad they're good " affectionate territory and become " so bad I think I'll go and see what's on the other channels "

One case in point is the first scene featuring the intrepid Cushing and McClure encountering a monster . It's painfully obvious the monster is an average sized man dressed up as a rubber monster being made to look over twenty foot tall via overblown back projection . It becomes even more painfully obvious that our heroes are trying to escape the monster by running on the spot . Have I mentioned that this is one of the more convincing set pieces ? No really this looks like it was filmed in somebody's living room with the spare change left over from that year's DOCTOR WHO budget . Even former DOCTOR WHO Peter Cushing is bland and what should have been an amusing line " You can't mesmerise me - I'm British " is delivered in a very flat way ( A very similar line is spoken by Cushing in HORROR EXPRESS ) in a script devoid of characterisation , plotting and memorable dialogue . It's not just the fact that the dialogue is unmemorable it's also infrequent and rare since the monsters don't speak . Wouldn't it have been better having the chief bad guys humanoids like in WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS so that they could explain the plot . Does anyone here know what the plot actually is ?

A very tedious British movie that even the twin talents of Caroline Munro can not save . The whole mood of the movie is summed up by the final sequence featuring two keystone cops
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"You cannot mesmerize me! I'm British!"
bensonmum227 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
How many of these lost-world/center-of-the-earth style movies did they make in the late 60s and early 70s? I swear I think I've seen a dozen or more. In At the Earth's Core, Dr. Abner Perry (the great Peter Cushing) and David Innes (Doug McClure) set off for an experimental ride in their earth digging machine, the Iron Mole. Something goes horribly wrong (and doesn't it always!) and the pair find themselves miles beneath the Earth's surface in a strange and unusual world. This underground world is ruled by some ridiculous looking pterodactyl-like creatures that make slaves of the local human inhabitants. It's the usual story from here on out – defeat the creatures, get the girl, escape, and generally save the day.

As much as I hate rating a movie a wishy-washy 5/10, that pretty much sums up my feelings of At the Earth's Core. I mean parts of the movie are bad and parts of the movie are good. On the bad side you've got the really awful special effects and a whole "been there, done that" feeling to much of the movie. As bad as the rubber-suited pterodactyl men look, they pale in comparison to what I'll call the saber-toothed hippo and the giant fire-breathing frog. You've also got Doug McClure trying in vain to play the hero. It doesn't work. On the positive side you've got Peter Cushing hamming it up like I've never seen before and a sense of fun about the whole thing. It never takes itself too seriously. Just let yourself go with the silliness. Another positive I feel compelled to mention are the outfits worn by Caroline Munro. Too bad she disappears for about 2/3 of the movie. So in the end, the good and bad sort of cancel each other out and I'm left with a completely average movie. And that, at least in my way of rating movies, is just what a 5/10 is – an average movie.
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More silliness from the people who conquered the world and the saucer men.
mark.waltz10 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
U.S. rubber stock must have tripled with the creatures here from the land of the lost. Giant reptiles (or birds) which roam the middle of the planet looking for cavemen snacks are some of the silliest creatures to pop up on movie screens in decades. With middle earth having English speaking cavemen in addition to other walking creatures obviously wearing pig masks, there's a lot for these creatures to snack on.

With Peter Cushing and Douglas McClure invading the earth's core aided by Cushing's boaring device, they find themselves trapped in this nightmare world where Cushing's biggest horrid seems to be not able to have a decent cup of tea. The creatures allegedly have mind control ability over the pig people, but perhaps it's all those gigantic magic mushrooms located all over this strange universe.
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Cheesy and campy monster fun, but an underrated classic.
ultramatt2000-19 July 2017
As you know, I love monster movies, I love dinosaurs, and I love special effects. I got introduced to this movie when I was nine. My father gave me this movie and when I watched it, I enjoyed it! I was struck with awe and wonder and laughed at how cheesy it was. I was an avid watcher of Godzilla movies and I enjoyed dinosaur movies. I loved the special effects, the sound, and the music. Peter Cushing, of Hammer horror fame (which I was not introduced to until my twenties, so sorry), plays a quirky professor who provides the comic moments in this movie. The saggoths sound like skipping CD's, but they remind me of PLANET OF THE APES. Some the monsters look like rejects from a Godzilla movie. The mayhars were the primeval ancestor to the Skeksis from DARK CRYSTAL. Caroline Munroe's beauty steals the picture, but in my opinion, it is the beasts. This film, like LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, had some situations. For instance, when Jim Danforth, who was a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, wanted to get involved in it when he heard that it was announced, but this film, like THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (read my comment), got changed and lacked the stuff that Jim had in mind. For instance, he wanted to use his matte-painting and stop-motion animation skills to be applied in this movie. Instead, Amicus wanted to make a movie that is catered to the kaiju-watching audience. I bet Jim was not happy about this. The effects are clunky be today's standards and if this was made today, then it would be nothing but a CGI fest. If you want stop-motion, let Brett Piper (read my MYSTERIOUS PLANET comment) do it. Also, there are a lot of explosions that might have impressed a young Michael Bay. So if you enjoy DUCKTALES (a reboot is coming next month), then you will enjoy this movie. Bottom line: Great fun despite the clunky special effects. Rated PG for violence, some blood, and scenes that are too scary for children. Who couldn't spell words like Rhamphorhynchus.
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