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  Creatures the World Forgot Prehysterical
Year: 1971
Director: Don Chaffey
Stars: Julie Ege, Brian O'Shaughnessy, Tony Bonner, Robin John, Marcia Fox, Rosalie Crutchley, Don Leonard, Beverly Blake, Sue Wilson, Doon Biade, Ken Hare, Derek Ward, Fred Swart, Josje Kiesouw, Hans Kiesouw, Gerard Bonthuys, Frank Hayden, Leo Payne
Genre: AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: The most robust members of this tribe are taking part in a hunt for food, which happens to gallop their way when they catch sight of an antelope heading in this direction. With a well-placed spear one of them brings the animal down, but just as they are preparing to fall on it another antelope crashes through the bushes and impales their hunt leader on its horns, killing him almost immediately. Before taking their prize back to the tribe, the hunters swiftly bury their dead comrade in a shallow grave, but there is more trouble than that to come for them...

One Million Years B.C. had been one of Hammer's most recognisable hits of the sixties, if nothing else creating an indelible image of Raquel Welch in her fur bikini, which was followed by When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth offering Victoria Vetri a minor cult renown, but there had been grumbles from historians about the accuracy of these cavewoman epics. Basically, these spoilsports were keen to point out that dinosaurs became extinct millions of years before humankind appeared on the scene, so apparently taking this to heart, and needing another hit for his studio rather badly, producer Michael Carreras fashioned a script to silence the complainers.

Alas, the historians may have been satisfied, but anyone looking for an hour and a half of entertainment would be sorely let down: Creatures the World Forgot proved nothing but forgetting the creatures was a big mistake. So without the special effects to contend with, the results may have been cheaper to stage with the barely there costuming and no sets needing to be built, but they were excruciatingly boring, creating one of the worst caveman movies ever in a genre which didn't exactly boast many (any?) classics anyway. The potential pin-up was Julie Ege, but she didn't show up until the film was practically halfway over.

Not helping were rumours of behind the scenes disharmony between Miss Ege and the rest of the cast and crew, apparently due to misunderstandings but explaining why for the supposed star even when her character had entered the plot she hardly appeared in shot until the grand finale. Unlike its predecessors, in this case the purging volcanic eruption was brought forward from the ending to the beginning, so once we had been offered what would ostensibly be the climax anywhere else in the first ten minutes, you were left pondering how they would fill up the rest of the time. The answer to that was lots of fights, grunting and groaning, and a vaguely mystical bent to the way events developed.

Not too coherently, sadly, as Carreras' script found that without the benefit of the English language he had trouble crafting sympathetic characters and achieving clarity as to what the hell was supposed to be happening: there were Michelangelo Antonioni movies more understandable than this one. As the cast went through their paces with a purpose, you could only sit back and let them get on with it as various elements cropped up such as the first, dark-haired tribe teaming up with a new, blond-haired tribe, then we have to assume a lot of time is going by so that we get a yarn about twin brother and sister who emerge to lead the combined tribes, then the brother's rival kidnaps Julie (who, though famously blonde, has an unflatteringly huge brunette wig on for the duration), and so on, grindingly dull and failing to take advantage of the African locations which look uniformly uninviting. In its dedication to the grimness of caveperson life, this proved grim in itself. Music by Mario Nascimbene.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Don Chaffey  (1917 - 1990)

British director best known for directing fantasy favourites Jason and the Argonauts and One Million Years B.C, both of which featured groundbreaking Ray Harryhausen effects. Chaffey also directed Hammer's Viking Queen, but much of his work was in television, both in the UK (The Prisoner, Man In a Suitcase) and, later, the US (Charlie's Angels, CHiPs, Airwolf). Also made kids' favourites Greyfriars Bobby and Pete's Dragon for Disney.

 
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