Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

The Land That Time Forgot

One of the greatest genres of all cinema, the “Lost World” movie, took a hit in the 1970s. Ray Harryhausen, the creature effects genius behind The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and One Million Years B.C., made his last prehistoric-monster movie in 1969 — The Valley of Gwangi. And the wonders of CGI hadn’t yet revitalized the genre. The 1970s, thus, became the lost decade for “Lost Worlds” on the silver screen, with one notable exception.

That exception: A series of four films by the team of director Kevin Connor, producer John Dark and star Doug McClure based on the Caprona novels by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. The first, and arguably the best of the series, was The Land That Time Forgot (1975), today’s Trillion ($) Movie. Here, an American adventurer played by McClure, along with a German U-Boat crew and some British stowaways, rediscover the long-lost island of Caprona in the south seas near Antarctica. Despite its location, Caprona is a balmy tropical paradise, kept warm by hot springs, burning tar pits and belching volcanoes. Miraculously, ferocious dinosaurs still roam the grounds as well as bands of troglodytes.

It takes a half-hour before our heroes reach Caprona, and the creatures there might look a bit cheesy, but the action remains good, clean fun, bolstered by a solid script from British sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. Enjoy, and stop back next Friday for another Trillion ($) Movie.

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