Release Date: November 29th, 1974 (UK)
Directed by: Kevin Connor
Written by: Michael Moorcock, James Cawthorn
Based on: The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Music by: Douglas Gamley
Cast: Doug McClure, John McEnery, Susan Penhaligon, Keith Barron
Amicus Productions, American International Pictures, 91 Minutes
The Land That Time Forgot is a better film than what is typically featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 but it was nice seeing it pop up in the new revival season. Also, it is made by Amicus and compared to the quality of most of their pictures, this is like a big budget epic for them. I’m not knocking Amicus but they were sort of a poor man’s Hammer Studios in the UK and typically made small gothic horror pictures.
This film features rubber dinosaurs, cavemen and a submarine. Those three things are an interesting enough mix. Unfortunately, the film spends more time on the submarine than the island it seems. Being that Amicus is not a big studio, they needed to distract from the island wildlife for budgetary reasons but there were probably better ways to do this.
The creatures aren’t horrible but they also aren’t great. What you have here is a typical rubber suit monster movie. It isn’t as cool and creative as a Toho kaiju flick but it is still well executed for what Amicus had to work with. The dinosaur battles were fairly decent despite the film’s limitations, technically and financially. The pterodactyls probably could have been a bit more convincing though.
The cast is pretty decent and the characters are an interesting mix. You have the military men from a German submarine, a few people from a ship that they sank and a caveman sidekick. Ultimately, the group has to work together, as they try to traverse and survive the dangerous island.
The Land That Time Forgot is not the best of the classic literary sci-fi adventure pictures that were big from the 1950s through 1970s but it is a really good effort from a studio that didn’t have Disney money. It is a good and fun film with a lot of flaws but it doesn’t get dull and it keeps your attention throughout. It is also a quicker paced film compared to others in its genre.