At the Earth's Core

Year Of Release: 1976
Running Time: 90 Minutes
DVD Released By: MGM: Midnite Movies
Directed By: Kevin Connor
Writing Credits: Edgar Rice Burroughs (novel), Milton Subotsky
Filming Location: Unknown

Starring: Peter Cushing, Doug McClure, Caroline Munro, Cy Grant, Godfrey James, Sean Lynch, Bobby Parr, Michael Crane

Tagline: They're in it DEEP now!

Alternate Titles:
Edgar Rice Burroughs' At the Earth's Core (1976) - (UK: complete title)

Interesting Bits of Trivia:

Actor/stuntman Bobby Parr who played the Sagoth Chief, lost a finger during a fight
sequence with Doug McClure that went wrong.




Cast Of Characters
Dr. Abner Perry: Victorian Era inventor who builds this drilling machine thingy called "The Mole". He appears a bit scattered a lot of the time but man can he shoot a bow.

David Innes: An American business man who's invested himself heavily in Dr. Perry's drilling machine. He used to be Dr. Perry's worst student, but now he's financing the "Mole" project and he's teamed up with the old Doc. He's very slick with the ladies, and for some reason, he bears a striking resemblance to Doug McClure. I wonder why that could be?

Princess Dia: She's a BABE! She may not have much in the line of a formal edumacation, but when you got someone who's this incredibly beautiful, and who's a princess to boot! - I don't think having deep conversations with her will be the first thing that would come to mind.

Ra: Ra is one of those characters who starts out as a jerk, but then turns out to be a pretty cool guy and becomes friends with David. He's courageous, strong, and honorable. He's also the leader of one of the tribes. Unfortunately, he was cursed with one negative quality - his hair. Dude, seriously, that nappy hair is just way funky. I know it's the 70's and all but that thing's really gotta go. It looks like some kind of a clown wig or somethin'.

Gak: Gak is kind of a father figure and the leader of one of the other tribes. He doesn't do much and doesn't have a huge part in the movie. He probably just hung out at the catering truck most of the time downin' the chow.

Hoojah the Sly One: What a weasel this guy is. Besides being a general scumbag, he's also ugly, devious, treacherous, lecherous, and has breath that could knock a roadkill skunk off a crap wagon. And those are just his good points! Oh and ladies, by the way... He's available!

Jubal the Ugly One: This is one big dude, and he doesn't smell any better than Hoojah. Have you ever seen one of those movies where there's a really big dude with a really big club who tries to beat everyone over the head with it? Well, you're about to see another one. Jubal wants Dia for his mate real bad. He may be ugly but he's not blind. Well actually he is in one eye, but you can read about that in the "What The Hell???" section. David had to fight him to win the right to claim Dia as his own. Fortunately for David, he was contracted to work through the end of the film, and unfortunately for Jubal, he wasn't.




The Plot

When Dr. Perry invents a huge drilling machine with the help of a rich American businessman and former geology student by the name of David Innes, he couldn't have know what adventure awaited them. When the drilling machine goes out of control, Dr. Perry and David find themselves in a strange underground world, below the earth's mantle. With a lava sky providing light and heat, and strange creatures and vegetation all around them, David and Dr. Perry begin exploring this strange underground realm, only to find that there's a race of humans living in this strange place, and they're being enslaved and used for food by a sentient race of psychic pterodactyls called the Meyhas. Captured, and taken to Pellucidar, the Meyhas' underground empire, they set out to free the slaves, and themselves from the evil that has dominated this underground realm for untold generations.



What The Hell???
1. The drilling machine's got a really nice interior. Wood paneled dash board, comfy chairs, nice brass handles on the controls. Very sweet indeed.
2. I'm wondering how they expected to turn this thing. They're trying to steer it while it's digging through solid rock, but it's like long and straight. How are they supposed to turn it? Seems to me that all it should be able to do is go in a straight line.
3. When David and Dr. Perry are first underground, they encounter a big dinosaur beast thing that chases them through the underground jungle. There's several funny things here. While they're being chased, Doc turns around and starts flipping his umbrella open and closed at the beast saying "Shoo! Shoo!" Then David sends Doc up a tree to get away from this huge thing. Then David lures the thing away and ends up running into a pit of quicksand. All to get away from a dinosaur beast they they could have outrun with four gammy legs and two pair of crutches with only minimal effort. I mean, this thing was totally slow.
4. When Doc and David are captured by the Segoths and chained up with the other human prisoners, they meet Dia. As I stated above, Dia is gorgeous! But somebody please tell me - Why do all these people speak English?
5. Why did the Segoths let Doc keep his umbrella? They were quick to steal David's watch, but let Doc keep his umbrella. I guess he'll be using it to kick some butt in a later scene or something.
6. When the Segoth lead the prisoners into Pellucidar, they have to walk through a lava fall curtain. The curtain stops flowing when the bridge is lowered. How the hell could they #1 be so close to the lava without it killing them, and #2 walk over this stone bridge without burning the ever living crap out of their feet?

7. Why are all these big dudes letting the Segoth push them around? The Segoth are only about 5' 2" at the most and they look pretty weak. If they tried to push me around like that, I'd bitch-slap 'em into the middle of next week.

8. The prisoners are all eating, and what do I see in Doc's hand? A good sized pocket knife!!!! You mean to tell me that they couldn't have figured out some way to use it to help them escape a long time ago? That's almost like saying, "Oh gee, I almost forgot. I've had this gun in my pocket the whole time. I wonder if we can use it for anything?" Sometimes I wonder how smart Doc really is.
9. David finally fights the Segoth and escapes to the outside where he's attacked by Ra for no reason. Now I've had crappy days before, but David just has no friggin' luck whatsoever.
10. While David and Ra are fighting, they end up rolling into this cave where Ra is attacked by some kind of man-eating plant creature. David saves his life and all of a sudden they're best buds. So they're sitting on the ground outside the cave, laughing together about what just happened, and all I can think is...who was doing these guys' hair? Most of the hair in this movie looks like bad wigs. By the way, Ra speaks English too.
11. Two guys in a cave together. They have to climb up a very steep cave wall into the Meyhas grotto. So Ra jumps up and starts climbing the wall and as he does, David puts his hand on Ra's butt just to "give him a little push". I don't know about Ra, but if I all of a sudden felt a hand on my butt, I'd have fallen off the wall.
12. When the Meyhas fly, they swing around like they're on wires and barely move their wings. I don't really care how they were flying, I'm just glad I wasn't standing under them while they were doing it. If you think seagulls are bad, you definitely don't want to be under one of these things when they're flyin' around.
13. I wonder if the wardrobe guy was allowed to take his seeing eye dog into the wig shop with him when he was buying the hair for this movie.

14. Speaking of no luck... David and Ra are going back to try and rescue the slaves and destroy the Meyhas. They don't make it very far before they're captured by the Segoth again. Some days it just don't pay to get out of bed.

15. David is given a spear and made to fight this big slow hippopotamus lookin' dinosaur thingy while Ra is chained to a rock. At one point when the hippo beast pushes David back into the crowd of slaves, you see this one woman behind him start smiling and almost laughing as she catches him when he falls back. I guess she finds the threat of being eaten by a giant prehistoric hippopotamus with massive teeth amusing. I mean, it is amusing, but at least she could have stayed in character long enough to finish the scene.
16. After the fight, Ra breaks his chains and then uses them to strangle a Meyhas that is flying down to grab David. Now that's one strong dude!
17. David and Doc escape the caves and in no time, they come across Dia and Hoojah! What luck! Unfortunately they're attacked by a big fire breathing dinosaur toad. Doc comes to the rescue though, killing it with several arrows to the face and throat! Woohoo!!! Nice shootin' Tex! Um, wait a second though. Somethin' just ain't right here. Now, I don't mean to kill the celebratory mood or anything, but where the hell did he find the bow and arrows? Did I miss something?
18. Ok now this is getting ridiculous. They're walking through the jungle and they come across Jubal and Hoojah! Jubal has a badly messed up eye. It looks like the eye of that dude in Cannibal: The Musical, except that Jubal's eye wasn't squirting puss at everyone.
19. So David kills Jubal and now all of a sudden Gak and Ra come piling out of the woodwork right into the clearing where Doc, David, and Dia are standing. Where the hell did they come from???
20. When Segoths die by falling into molten lava, they make a lot of sparks.
21. Ra takes a knife in the back but keeps on goin'! Now that's one tough dude!
22. One of the black tribes' guys who just flashes on the screen for a second as he's shooting a Meyhas with an arrow, looks just like Samuel L. Jackson.
23. I didn't know Meyhas exploded when they die!?!?
24. David just happens to find his watch that the Segoth stole, just as the whole place is exploding and falling apart around them. What luck!
25. Ok, I know there's like lava all over the place and everything, but why is everything exploding? Lava isn't explosive. At least I don't think it is. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
26. David wants to take Dia back with him at the end. She says she can't go because she would be lost in his world. So David leaves her behind!!!! Dude!!! What, are you blind or somethin'????? Where are you ever going to score a girl that looks like that in the above-ground world? I'll tell you something. If I was there, I'd just beat the ever living crap out of him for even considering doing something that stupid. Oh man she's beautiful. *Sigh*
27. So they're getting ready to leave, and I realize something. How the hell did they get the Mole, which had no power and was only sticking part way out of the ground, fully the rest of the way out of the ground and up on an angled frame so that it could dig back down into the earth? I mean this thing literally had to weigh at least 20 tons. Not to mention the fact that it had no power. I mean, if the good Dr. could fix the stupid thing and restore it's power, then why the heck did they get stranded there in the first place?
28. As the movie ends, the "Mole" comes drilling up through the front lawn of the White House. I don't know about back then, but if they did that today, they'd be vaporized in about a half a second by all the secret service guys with rocket launchers. Apparently back then, the taxes were lower, so all they could afford was two guards hangin' out by the front gate who turn around and run away whenever they see something weird...because that's exactly what happened.



Best Quote

"You cannot mesmerize me. I'm British!"

 

- Doc being defiant to the Meyhas. - (Reviewer's Note: About a half second after he said this, he was mesmerized. Gotta admire his spunk though.)



 

Video Clip
When prompted, enter bmovie for the username and central for the password.

At the Earth's Core
For a guy named Abner, he sure can shoot a bow!  And you gotta love that, "What the hell was that???" look David gives him at the end of the clip too.



The Conclusion

At the Earth's Core is one of those movies you remember watching on Saturday afternoon TV when you were a kid. It's fun, it's stupid, it has dumb looking monsters with bad costumes, it's plot is weak, and weird things happen for no apparent reason and without any warning. It's everything a kid could possibly want in a Saturday afternoon flick.

This is one of those movies that make you glad you grew up during the 70's. For those of us who did, this is more of a nostalgia trip than it would be for say, someone who was born in the 80's or 90's who would watch this film and probably just think it's dumb and cheap looking. Those of us who grew up in the 70's and watched shows like "Land of the Lost" will have a far greater appreciation for this type of film.

Peter Cushing was great in his role as Dr. Perry. It must have been a bizarre character to play, because there were so many aspects to it. His was a very complex character and he pulled it off well. David, who was played by Doug McClure, well, I mean, dude...it's Doug McClure. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch any movie Doug McClure is in and you'll see the light. Dougie was born to act in these kinds of films. He lends just the right amount of cheese to the role while still being the tough guy. He ain't always the sharpest pencil in the box, but he somehow always seems to manage to survive and get the job done.

A lot of things didn't make sense in this film, as is evidenced by the large number of items in the "What The Hell???" section, but it just didn't matter. They could have had the Monkees pop out of a cave wall and start singing "I'm A Believer" and it wouldn't have hurt this film one little bit. It's just fun to watch. It's got a lot of action, cheesy monsters, hot chicks, and Doug McClure. What more could you possibly ask for? Oh, and by the way, the "Mole" is one really cool piece of hardware. I think you'll like it.

B-Movie Central's Rating: 5 Bees!

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