One Million Years B.C. Review

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A caveman, Tumak, is banished from his tribe after a spat with the chief Akhoba. After wandering alone he stumbles across a coast dwelling and is nursed back to health by the lovely Loana. But with her betrothed getting jealous, so the pair make a run for it. Meanwhile, various dinosaurs reap havoc.


Only held in any regard because of Raquel Welch’s fetching turn in a furry bra rather than even Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion dinosaurs and the nutty caveman politic of its plot (in fact, a remake of a 1940 Hal Roach movie). Other than that, it’s a very silly film, whose idea of geological history is about as anachronistic as Welch’s natty hair cut — dinosaurs and man never crossed paths apart from in Jurassic Park. And once you’ve tossed your hand in with the fantasy league, is there really any need for the cast to grunt and pummel their chests in communication, as if that was the wholly authentic way to go?

Out of all the Harryhausen creature features, this one is the least attached to his legacy, although the pterodactyl sequence is pretty damn good for its time. There is something just a bit tame in only recreating dinosaurs, rather than say skeleton dinosaurs. The actors fair little better, subsumed into their grunts and facial hair. It’s a tough gig considering the fabric of the story has to be conveyed with body language alone. Richardson manages some intensity, but Welch has one setting — come-hither let’s get evolution going. Little wonder everyone is bashing everyone else with a rock over her.

It’s notably Hammer’s 100th film, no small achievement, but its pleasures are purely guilty ones: a laugh-out-loud, attempt to give prehistory a cinematic perspective. Although, it is much more fun than Quest For Fire.

A prehistoric adventure that is just plain funny now.