Saturday 8 December 2007

One Million Years BC - Men in furs, women in bras

One Million Years BC was Hammer Film's most expensive production to date. Released in 1966, the adventure fantasy ignored history and pitted cavemen against Ray Harryhausen's stop motion dinosaurs.

Apart from the prospect of being eaten by your lunch and having no form of language other than grunts, Cavemen did manage somehow to invent the fur brassiere and decent haircare products for cavewomen like Raquel Welch.

A sort of follow up was made in 1970 called When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth which had a lower budget, even less dialogue - one word "Akita". On the plus side it starred the curvy Victoria Vetri who in a reflection of a more relaxed censor and an AA certificate showed innocent schoolboys like myself what was underneath the furry bra!

Hammer's third caveman picture, Creatures The World Forgot was released in 1971 and abandoned any pretence of dinosaurs and concentrated on the life of cavemen and how they coped with a grunt based language and providing Norwegian lovely Julie Ege with bras.

Italian-born composer Mario Nascimbene supplied a primitive-sounding score for all three movies featuring as one would expect percussion wordless vocals and Morricone style strings. Although the score for One Million Years is the strongest, I still have a soft spot for When Dinosaurs ruled the Earth specifically the Love Theme and the Boom-Chak Boom-Boom-Boom Boom-Chak percussion for the caveman scenes. Whilst the recording quality is a little abrasive, presumably mastered from the actual movies, the scores are fine examples of Nascimbene's 60's /70's film work.

1 comment:

Uncle Gustav said...

You can hear some of the music from One Million Years BC in a hip hop remix used in Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls (!).

I always loved the One Million Years BC soundtrack...I saw the picture when it first opened in the '60s with my parents, who admired cavewoman Raquel's eyeliner and lip gloss.

Other than the dinosaur/caveman inaccuracy, there was also a giant tarantula in the movie. Rather than use stop motion animation, Harryhausen simply superimposed an enlarged image of a real spider.

Creatures the World Forgot really burned me up when it came out. I sat there waiting for dinosaurs but none came. Still, it wasn't a total loss: the theater gave away posters of Julie Ege reclining in her tattered cave gear. That went right up on my bedroom wall as soon as I got home!