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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb house jack

The House That Jack Built

Ultimately, it’s more of an inconsistent cry into the void than the conversation starter it could have been.

Thumb mule poster

The Mule

The Mule repeatedly spells out and hammers home its message about the importance of family, but it ultimately rings hollow.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb tvovw7qjj63zbqw5tz8cjpthaud

Schindler's List

This was published on June 24th, 2001, and we are republishing it in honor of the film's 25th anniversary rerelease."Schindler's List" is described as a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog 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

The Ten Best Films of 2018

The staff choices for the best films of 2018.

The Baffling Failure of Fallout 76

A review of Fallout 76.

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

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

Peter Sobczynski's Top Ten Films of 2018

The ten best films of 2018, as chosen by Peter Sobczynski.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus