Screens of the Stone Age: One Million Years B.C.

A dinosaur-pelting tribe meets a pelt-wearing tribe in One Million Years B.C., AKA The Hills Had Eyes

Set Before Christ but not Before Conditioner, this 1966 fantasy adventure sees early humans co-exist not only with dinosaurs but also giant terrapins, tarantulas and teeth-whitening strips. A remake of 1940’s One Million B.C., the Hammer production is mammoth in scale and scaley in execution.

Shot at Elstree and the Canary Islands, it looks 100 times better than 2008’s 10,000 BC and is notable for its absence of dialogue. Jason and the Argonauts director Don Chaffey lets the action do the talking and doesn’t scrimp on the skinks, letting Ray Harryhausen loose on stop-motion creature effects, blown-up footage of lizards and dinosaur fights that would make later iterations of King Kong look primitive.

The dino fun is balanced with a message of human cooperation and the destructive nature of tribalism that’s more relevant now than in one million B.C., since humans didn’t exist then. In an intelligent stroke of design, it also adds the iconic image of Raquel Welch in a fur bikini to an already volcanic piece of filmmaking.

Epic, wild and better than 60% of the Jurassic Park franchise, One Million Years B.C. is an almighty eruption of prehistoric schlock that stands the test of time.

Yabba Dabba Do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.