Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
A terrific British fantasy film
on 22 June 2011
!!!WARNING. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!
World War I.The survivors of a torpedoed British Merchant ship launch a daring raid on a German U-Boat, taking over command following a vicious hand-to-hand fight. Following various attempts at revolution and counter revolution on board the cramped boat, the German and British survivors form an uneasy truce when they discover the lost world of Caprona, a place of prehistoric beasts, tribes of primitive humans and also a place where evolution has been thrown out of the window as creatures from different time periods live side by side. There is also the very real threat of a volcano close to eruption. Can the fragile truce between the men hold out long enough for them to escape from the land that time forgot?
Much is made of the poor quality special effects in this film. In fact, many critical reviews use this as a reason to lambast the film as a whole. This is entirely unfair as 'The Land That Time Forgot', an adaptation of an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, is a lot more than just a Boys Own adventure.
Okay, the dinosaurs on display may look like they have come out of a cereal packet, but I find the rather primitive models just add to the charm of the film. This is especially the case with the two Tyrannosaur's who resemble Waldorf and Statler from the Muppet Show as they wobble and gurn in front of the astounded humans.
However, whilst the dinosaur puppets could be considered a failure, the world of Caprona is designed and imagined very successfully. The various human tribes are also well realised.
Of the actors, John Mcenery, despite being dubbed by German actor Anton Diffring, is very likeable as measured Captain Von Schoenvorts, while a pre-Doctor Who Anthony Ainley also does well as the treacherous Dietz. Doug Mclure is well, Doug Mclure, perfectly adequate as the rugged leading man Bowen Tyler, though Susan Penhaligon is rather bland as the sole female survivor. The rest of the cast is made up by a whos-who of 70's British character actors.
The interesting script by British fantasy author Michael Moorcock throws many fascinating concepts into the mix, but in the end it's Bowen Tyler's fists that do the talking, as the survivors desperately try to leave Caprona before the volcano spews its deadly contents onto the fragile earth.
The success of The Land That Time Forgot led to a sequel, The People That Time Forgot, and a brief but lucrative foray into the fantasy genre by Amicus films. I love every minute of the film, wobbly dinosaurs and all, as it was a childhood favourite of mine, and I feel it holds up extremely well nearly forty years after it was made.
As for the dvd, it has a decent picture and sound quality, the main extra being a rather grainy 'making of' featurette. 5 out of 5.