Synopsis – Prehistoric man Tumak is banished from his savage tribe and meets pretty Loana, who belongs to a gentler coastal tribe but he must fight caveman Payto to win her favours – One Million Years B.C
Director – Don Chaffey
Released – 1966
For most, One Million Years B.C will be remembered most fondly due to Raquel Welch spending the entire time in a fur bikini, and while I certainly found this to be a charming aspect of the movie, what made this movie such a delight is that it took most of the best parts of the 1940s original, including the action-packed plot, multiple creatures stomping around and rival tribes with a Romeo & Juliet type love story at the centre. While removing all the parts that made the original so uncomfortable, namely forcing real creatures to fight to the death for the sake of cinema.
Director Don Chaffey made excellent use of their locations to create a forbidding, bleak, but also beautiful primordial world (which was actually filmed in Tenerife and Lanzarote), it’s the work of Ray Harryhausen who keeps you glued to the screen with brilliant stop motion dinosaurs, the stand-outs being a battle between a ravenous Allosaurus and Tumak (Richardson) and one brutal encounter between a Triceratops and Ceratosaur. Even the use of lizards and tortoises dressed up like dinosaurs wasn’t too distracting, in fact, it adds a little charm to the production seeing what would have been cutting edge in terms of special effects in 1966.
One Million Years B.C remains a charming creature feature. The dinosaurs, women, and plot are great. The only part some might struggle with is the use of “caveman language” which at times can be hard to understand, but I give the director credit for being creative (Think an early Robert Eggers). I should also give praise to Welch and co-star John Richardson who effectively craft on-screen chemistry despite being limited to mostly hand gestures, grunts and made-up languages. This is the perfect Sunday afternoon movie. Action, love and monsters.