AIP was certain that making the connection to Corman’s previous Poe films was the way to go, so at the last second, and in the final frame of the film, they had Price read a couple lines from the poem.
The action may indeed be bad, but there’s a lot of it. Like Melissa Moore and Cat Sassoon, all this movie wants to do is entertain you. And like its stars, the results are pretty feeble even if the effort is enthusiastic.
Neon disco windchime nude dancing, and so many David Carradine buffalo shots per minute that to merely gaze upon them is enough to drive sane men mad.
It’s really one of Hammer’s most impressive, quirkiest efforts. Regardless of how bad things were for Hammer in the 70s, the movies that came out of it were usually very good and very interesting.
But then, Fanck goes and does something like the shot of Johannes outside, smoking a cigarette while sitting on an old wooden fence with the whole of the Alps spreading out behind him, and it pulls you right back in. Silent films trade in images, by necessity, and Fanck manages on many occasions to capture scenes of iconic beauty.
I wouldn’t claim The Mighty Gorga is an enjoyable viewing experience, but I found it fascinating never the less, for the same reasons I’m fascinated with films like Death Curse of Tartu or whatever weird stuff Doris Wishman was cranking out at the time.
In retrospect The Land that Time Forgot would have been a poetic place for Amicus to end — with volcano erupting, boat sinking, and its stars facing a seemingly hopeless situation. Instead, they decided to show us the aftermath of the collapse, and give us Milton Reid in a skimpier outfit than Sarah Douglas.
If the world was just and kind, then the sentence, ‘It’s a movie where Vincent Price stars as a madman who rules over an underwater society of fishmen prone to kidnapping scantily clad beautiful women,’ would indicate the existence of probably one of the greatest films ever made.
Aside from plenty of fun dinosaur and caveman adventure, The Land that Time Forgot offers up really one of the most downbeat and apocalyptic endings of any movie aimed at kids.
The Pirates of Blood River is still a solid adventure tale, with plenty of action, a dependable cast, and a look that fools you into thinking this is a much higher budget film than it actually is. It’s nice to see these old Hammer swashbucklers getting some attention.
Realizing that I was witnessing something completely weird, I threw a tape into my VCR and recorded about 70% of the film. It became one of the most cherished gifts I ever gave my stoner buddy Ken. But I can’t even play the ‘dude, I was so wasted’ card, because I was stone cold sober at the time
Granted, stories about murderous frog men lurking in the center of a hedge maze may seem like a strange bedtime story, but I was a strange kid, and anyway, children’s bedtime stories used to be all full of cannibalism and witches and trolls who steal the fingernails of naughty little boys and girls who don’t eat their stinky boiled kale.