Release Date: April 15th, 1966
Directed by: Arthur C. Pierce
Written by: Arthur C. Pierce
Music by: Gordon Zahler
Cast: Wendell Corey, Keith Larsen, John Agar, Paul Gilbert, Merry Anders, Stuart Margolin, Todd Lasswell, Irene Tsu
Realart Pictures, 90 Minutes
Women of the Prehistoric Planet is most famous for being featured in the first nationally televised season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is considered to be horrendous and it holds a 2.3 rating (out of 10) on IMDb. I don’t think it is as bad as a 2.3 would suggest, however.
This film is pretty hammy but it has a good amount of charm to it.
It follows a group of astronauts sent on a rescue mission to save the possible survivors of a ship that crashed on an unexplored primitive planet years earlier. There is one survivor, who has grown up to be a man on the wild planet. Linda, one of the crew members, meets Tang, the man who grew up marooned on the planet. The two fall in love but they must deal with the dangerous natives of the planet. The rest of the ship’s crew, separated from Linda, search for her and the survivors while encountering their own strange challenges.
Women of the Prehistoric Planet is not a good film, at all. It doesn’t have very good actors, the direction seems nonexistent, the cinematography is very basic and the sets, while lush and inviting, are very limited in scope and design. Yet, the film isn’t awful and it is still fairly fun and watchable. Although, the film’s title is a bit misleading.
The movie has a sort of sci-fi meets Tiki vibe. It feels like an island movie, even though it is primarily set on a tropical jungle planet. It isn’t ugly to look at, despite its technical flaws and limited budget. In fact, the people who made this did a pretty good job using the tools that they had.
This isn’t a film that I would tell people to run out and see. You’ll do just fine never spending your precious time on it. However, it does make for a good episode of MST3K and it certainly isn’t anywhere near the worst schlock that they had to watch and riff on the show.