In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb blinded by the light movie review poster 1

Blinded by the Light

Blinded by the Light, at its very best, captures the experience of being a fan, the pure exhilaration of it, and the sense of your…

Thumb good boys poster 1

Good Boys

There’s an honest heart beneath the racy laughs.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Journal Archives

Reviews

At the Earth's Core

  |  

Peter Cushing has never said the name "David!" so often before in his life. You remember Peter Cushing. He's the one in all those British horror films, standing between Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. His dialog usually runs along the lines of, "But good heavens, man! The person you saw has been dead for more than two centuries! This time all he says is "David!" 

David is played by Doug McClure. You remember Doug McClure. Good. I don't. McClure plays a rich young American inventor who has financed the Iron Mole, which is a gigantic steam-powered screw, designed to penetrate to the Earth's core. The Mole has been designed by Cushing, an eccentric British inventor, as who would not be after such an invention. 

Advertisement

McClure and Cushing settle into their seats and push the appropriate levers and the Mole goes berserk. It forgets all about the hill and screws itself right into the very mantle of the planet itself, emerging in Pellucidar, that mysterious land within the Earth. Pellucidar is inhabited by the kinds of characters whose names make me chuckle aloud even as I type them down. There's Dia, the beautiful slave girl with the heaving bodice, and Ra, her boyfriend, and the evil Ghak, not to mention the impenetrable Hooja. All of these people speak English, you understand, except when it comes to the matter of proper names. 

Well, anyway, Doug and the professor step out into this sinister underworld, which is filled with telepathic giant parrots and the next thing you know they're on the chain gang. The chain gang spends all day breaking up rocks. You wouldn't think there would be a rock shortage at the earth's core, but there you are. 

About here, we begin to notice the Captain Video effect. You remember Captain Video. He was a science fiction hero on the old DuPont TV network. He and his trusty sidekick (Bucky? Rocky?) were forever landing on strange planets and sneaking around rocks. After three weeks, you realized that the rocks were always the same. Same here. Doug and the Professor sneak around one strange man-eating vegetable, and there's another one - which is the original vegetable, photographed from a new angle. Meanwhile, the telepathic parrots wander by, opening and closing their beaks by spring action. It's along about here we begin to really zero in on Dia's bodice. Let somebody else break up the rocks and clean up after the parrots.

Popular Blog Posts

Netflix's Wu Assassins is a Stunning Showcase for Rising Martial Arts Star Iko Uwais

A review of Netflix's new martial arts series Wu Assassins, which premiere on August 8.

Amazon's Anti-Superhero Series The Boys Fails to Be Truly Subversive

A review of Amazon's new anti-superhero series The Boys, which premieres on July 26.

Watch Another Show Instead of Netflix’s Another Life

A review of the new Netflix sci-fi show starring Katee Sackhoff, Justin Chatwin, and Selma Blair.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus