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AT THE EARTH'S CORE - 3 Slimes
Rated PG
Copyright 1976 Amicus Productions.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Dr. Perry - Peter Cushing! Bumbling scientist that invented "The Iron Mole," a wondrous tunneling machine capable of moving at seventy-eight feet per minute through solid rock.
  • David - Doug McClure! Brawny younger man and financier of the tunneling invention. If your tribe is ever beset by hypnotic and intelligent pteranodons you should call him.
  • Princess Dia - Caroline Munro! Honestly she does very little besides run around in a prehistoric woman outfit and capture David's heart.
  • Ra - Chief who helps David in convincing the tribes to fight their enslavers. He defeats several enemies in man to pig-man (explain in a minute) combat and is consumed in a wave of molten lava.
  • Hoojah the Sly One - A skinny sly guy. Almost eaten by Barney's ancestor, but lucky him, he dies by being covered in lava.
  • Jubal the Ugly One - A big ugly guy of course. Not donating to the gene pool any more after David spears him.
  • The Majars - Intelligent pteranodons with telepathic and hypnotic powers, their air horn voices command respect. Until Dr. Perry reinvents the bow and arrow that is...
  • The Sagaths - Pig-men and servants to the Majars, these guys speak the ultimate in Pig Latin.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

When the film starts the plot is already on its feet and running, so you had better be ready folks. What appears to be a huge auger is constructed and moved by locomotive to a promising mountain, only then do characters appear to answer some desperate questions. The massive contraption is a revolutionary drilling machine and the function tests are about to be conducted, not by a miner or engineer, but by the inventor and financier.

You should have guessed that something goes wrong, overcome by heat and battered unconscious the explorers are carried deep into our planet. Despite almost hitting the center they never encounter molten rock, it's astounding. I'm quite certain a number of geophysicists are driven into apoplectic seizures by this film, it amuses me.

What they do encounter is a subterranean world populated by all sorts of fantastic beasts and primitive people. Any place with lava flowing freely is hardly paradise (disclaimer: except Hawaii), but when a race of merciless creatures like the Majars rules over it things are much worse. Oppression and avian tyranny are everything the Victorian Man was against, so the two wayward trailblazers struggle to overthrow the Majars' empire.

I decided to do a bit of math concerning David and Dr. Perry's unguided trip through the Earth, since a handy display was kind enough to indicate they traveled almost to the core before heading back up. Nasa's website tells me the planet is 12,756 km in diameter. We can safely assume they traveled at least half that distance (6,378 km) and multiplying by 0.62 gives us 3,954 miles. The machine can tunnel through solid rock at 78 ft per minute, let us say it can travel ten times that fast under ideal conditions. So we get a top speed of about 780 ft per minute, rounding up you will identify this as 9 miles an hour - not bad under steam power. All this is to illustrate that the two men would have been unconscious for almost three weeks to travel such a distance!

Most people would call that a coma.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Some of the worst offenses against humanity were committed by Victorian fashion designers.
  • The center of the Earth is a solid block of ice.
  • Light in underground caverns is provided by lava flowing across the ceiling, held in place by centrifugal force. (Hey, you try explaining it.)
  • Rhinoceroses were made with four legs for a reason.
  • Prehistoric humans did not have surnames, but everyone received a descriptive phrase attachment.
  • Having excitable pig-men around is bad, but it is worse when they have whips and spears.
  • Reeds can be quickly converted into arrows and are capable of killing large animals.
  • Big guys carry big maces.
  • Explorers always pack an extra set of fine clothes for joyous departures.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 7 mins - Your drilling machine is a long tube, of course it can't turn on a dime.
  • 15 mins - I think Polly wants to bite your head off.
  • 30 mins - Molten lava was pouring over the bridge moments ago and now it's cool?
  • 40 mins - That looks like a carnivorous plant.
  • 41 mins - Hey guys, the plant is trying to eat you.
  • 42 mins - David! Ra! Man-eating plant! Oh, now you see it.
  • 57 mins - Conclusive proof that Barney's ancestors were viscous predators.
  • 64 mins - Giant fire toad out of nowhere!
  • 68 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST FOLIAGE!
  • 73 mins - Great battle plan David, you must have been Alexander the Great in a previous life...

Quotes: 

  • David: "Well if we're not on Earth doc then where the hell are we?"
    Dr. Perry: "From my observations dear friend I can positively state that we are under it."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note earthcore1.wav Reporter: "Ah, that is what you call it, the 'Iron Mole.'"
David: "That's what I call it, Dr. Perry here calls it a high calibration digging machine."
Dr. Perry: "It'll bore through solid rock at a rate of seventy-eight feet per minute!"
Green Music Note earthcore2.wav David: "I escaped from the Majars' city."
Ra: "No one can escape from the Majars' city."
Green Music Note earthcore3.wav Majars doing their air horn telepathy thing.
Green Music Note earthcore4.wav Dr. Perry: "You cannot mesmerize me, I'm British!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

ImageImageImage
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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipearthcore1.mpg - 2.9m
Fire toad out of nowhere!

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3
At the Earth's Core
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by WitchKing
   As others have pointed out, this does have the feel of an old Flash Gordon serial.  I'm sure Edgar Rice Burroughs would cringe, but it is enjoyable in a low-rent way.  You'll certainly never see anything like this today.  The monsters are dopey but plentiful, the sets are impressively otherworldly, and I liked the weird synthesized score.  All the denizens of Pellucidar look like docile flower children.  "The Land That Time Forgot" is probably the best of the Amicus Lost World series (though I have a fondness for "Warlords of Atlantis"), but this has its endearing merits.  And if there are subterranean princesses, they damn well should look just like the incredible Caroline Munro.
At the Earth's Core
Reply #10. Posted on November 22, 2004, 05:03:06 AM by secef parc
I actually thought that for 1976 the creatures looked great. Sure, the mahars were unconvincing, as was the bird-lizard creature we first encounter, but the other creatures (The thing that looks like a cross between a dragon and a hippo that Muclure fights in the ring, the fire-breating toad, the rhino-men, killer plants and so on)looked cool.
At the Earth's Core
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
Movies like this prove that as long as you have a sense of fun, crap-ass special effects do not matter. I would watch this movie and "Land/People That Time Forgot" anyday over any of the three "Jurassic Park" flicks.
At the Earth's Core
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Devon
Each one of these films was excellent in itz own way.  I think that The Land That Time Forgot & At the Earths' Core were the best, but there were sequences in The People that Time Forgot that were incredible.  The creature effects in People, were the absolute worse in the series, but the volcanic chase was the highlight.  That was AWESOME!  Warlords of Atlantis was also very good and in some instances find this film superior to the three others.  However, this one was not produced by AMICUS (American International Pictures).  I would highly recommend each film for a lazy Saturday afternoon.  Remember, these films are matinee style movies and they play out exactly as that.  Clearly just plain old fashioned fun.
At the Earth's Core
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Zach
Just watched this piece of crap a couple of days ago on , I think, Showtime.  Figures it would be here.  Isn't Peter Cushing one of the admirals on the Death Star?  Anyway, of all the languages spoken at the center of the earth it's good to know that it's english.  The one and only part worthy of a good laugh is the flame-throwing toad that falls to it's death and explodes like an Iraqui oil field.  What the hell does that thing run on?  Bad movie. Bad music. Doug McClure? No thanks.
At the Earth's Core
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by snuffleupagus
This movie is a lot of fun. The dinosaurs are not very convincing, but I thought that the "iron mole" was well done, and the sets were also very nice. The electronic score is cheesy, but that just adds to the fun. Caroline Muroe is awesome. Peter Cushing is awesome. Doug McClure doesn't do it for me, though. Cushing should have been the main hero. At any rate, this is a movie you should see at least once.
At the Earth's Core
Reply #15. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Water Buffalo
This movie was pretty much average from what I've come to expect, having seen a few of the above mentioned titles before this.  I have to say the music in the opening scenes of the iron workings was really cool and would make a fantastic addition to my soundtrack collection on cd!

"You cannot mesmerise me, Im British!"

Had me almost rolling on the floor laughing, you try saying that to a 7ft tall ramphorhynchus that feeds on people and knows what you are thinking!  I almost expected a load of British soldiers in WW1 gear running in with rifles and pulling seige artillery behind them.....

Decent movie if you like monsters annd a bit of a plot, otherwise maybe not top quality viewing!
At the Earth's Core
Reply #16. Posted on October 14, 2006, 08:01:07 AM by MARLON THE MONSTER
I loved this movie bad effects and all the scene with the  firetoad was funny as hell.And CAROLINE MONROE is the   most beautiful cave woman in film history.I liked this movie better then the new KING KONG.Im serious.  
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