1976, Movies

At the Earth’s Core (1976, Kevin Connor)

This is one of those “hollow earth” films. And it stars the one and only Doug McClure, one of inspirations for Troy McClure. If you ever want to watch one of the great man’s performances, I guess you could do worse than this very stupid film about a land in the middle of the earth, based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

So an old British man and a younger (but hardly young, as he’s like 41) American man accidentally dig into the earth on a test run of the British man’s machine. Somehow they find a place with a sky (which they explain away as “magma 20 miles up”) and plants and people who speak English. It makes no sense.

It’s mostly what you would expect: bad sets, monsters which are just men in suits, and way too much rear projection. I’ve seen enough of these movies at this point that it really didn’t seem particularly awful in comparison to many other films I’ve seen. Sure, the production values are pretty terrible, but they still managed to reach a level of “bad” as opposed to “awful.” And there were a couple of, like, actually good actors in this movie. Which is weird.

I’ve also seen a few “hollow earth” films at this point. And this one is hardly among the worst. I’m not trying to tell you for a moment that it’s good. It’s a bad movie. But most “hollow earth” films are bad. (Is there a good one?) Some of them just have better production values. This one doesn’t have good production values. But it wasn’t extremely boring, compared to some movies. (Like the terrible Christmas movie I just watched.)

So, um, it’s a fun bad movie, compared to some. (You can’t overstate how important it is for a bad movie to be a little bit fun.)


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