Sunday, 20 September 2015

Creatures the world forgot (1½ Stars)

This is one of the few Hammer films from the 1960's and 1970's that I hadn't seen before today. I was warned away from it by people who told me it was bad. Even though the price was very low I hesitated a long time before buying it. Finally I changed my mind after seeing the following publicity photo from the film, Julie Ege standing topless with a spear. Any film with actresses like this can't be all that bad, can it?

Yes it can. The photo is false advertising. Julie doesn't appear topless in the film. Occasionally her top slips to the side, revealing a brief glimpse of bare breast, but not enough to offer the slightest titillation. This meant that I had to judge the film on its story and acting alone.

So what's it about? In prehistoric times two tribes meet one another, one with dark hair, the other with blond hair. They make peace by intermarriage. The leader of the Darkies marries the daughter of the Blondies' leader. She has twin sons, one of whom is dark haired, the other blond. When they grow up the leader prefers his blond son, because he's the better hunter. Both boys fall in love with Julie Ege -- who can blame them? -- and they take turns in knocking her unconscious and carrying her away. Eventually they fight to the death and the blond boy wins.

The film has no dialogue. There's only grunting from beginning to end. There were no doctors in those days. Whenever anyone was injured while hunting the others battered him to death with a rock, presumably because they didn't respect anyone who was weak. Hammer's other prehistoric films at least had dinosaurs for the men to fight with; this film just has cavemen fighting among themselves all day long. I felt myself hating them so much that I wished a volcano would erupt and kill them all.

This is Hammer's worst film. I almost gave it 1 star, but I added an extra half star because Julie Ege has a cute face.

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