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THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT - 3 Slimes
Rated PG
Copyright 1975 American International Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 22 April 2008

The Characters:  

  • Bowen Tyler - Doug McClure! Not only is he an expert on submarines, he is also physically tough and willing to get a lot closer to an erupting volcano than I would ever want to be.
  • Lisa Clayton - "Please, oh please, won't some strapping man rescue me?"
  • Mr. Bradley - The practical British captain was easy to like. I was sorry to see him overcome by poisonous fumes and then sinking into the dark depths of the sea (aboard a German U-boat; life is criminally unfair at times).
  • Ahm - Caveman. A Pterodactyl mistakes him for his brother, "Yum."
  • Numerous English & German Crewmen - Dino treats!
  • Captain Schoenvorts - He might be German, but he is a learned man and not totally unreasonable. Sinks with his beloved U-boat.
  • Dietz - He is German and completely unreasonable. Another passenger on the U-boat destined for the River Acheron.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This is a classic "story in a bottle" film. Some old sea dog (a lighthouse keeper, I think) finds a bottle that contains dozens of handwritten pages. Somewhere far away and long ago, the movie's protagonists inscribed their experiences on paper and cast them into the sea. Fortunately, the bottle is carried by the wind and current to a place where someone could read the story and recognize its fantastic nature. Which begs the question: just how many bottles wash ashore somewhere inopportune? Right now, the greatest story in history is probably being carried around by a pygmy tribesman who is more interested in the bottle than the paper inside.

A German U-boat torpedoes a British ship during the dark days of World War I. Only a few members of the crew and passengers manage to escape before it sinks. Mr. Tyler saves Mrs. Clayton (I think that he and Mrs. Clayton are Americans), while Mr. Bradley's lifeboat is filled with sullen crewmembers (interesting that they didn't rescue any women and children when they abandoned ship). While the two lifeboats bob about, the U-boat commander makes a fateful decision: he orders the submarine to surface to recharge the batteries. The German vessel pops up right next to the lifeboats and the angry British climb aboard. Armed with a pistol or two and a number of wooden clubs, Mr. Tyler, Mr. Bradley, and the men intend to take control of the U-boat when the hatches pop open.

Ha! They are going to play "Whack-a-Jerry!" (At the time, was it "Whack-a-Hun?")

Faced with a bunch of indignant Brits with clubs, the Germans quickly surrender their submarine. Never screw with people who are proficient at beating other people over the head with heavy objects. Anyway, with the U-boat under his control, Mr. Tyler turns them toward England. The first attempt to make contact with a U.K. warship results in the submarine taking fire, so they stop attracting the attention of sailors who shoot first and ask questions later; the men set course for New England. Too bad for them that the Germans subtly sabotage the compass. It is not long before they are far off course and near the coast of South America. Then the Germans retake the boat; Captain Schoenvorts promises Mr. Tyler that he will be executed as a pirate.

Well, that's gratitude for you. If I ever go back in time and take control of a German U-boat, the first thing I am going to do is lash the Kapitan to the conning tower and spend a few hours submerged. Actually, I can see most of the German officers and senior enlisted enjoying a firsthand look at the deep.

Luck shines on the English, because Mrs. Clayton frees them from the makeshift brig and they once again take control of the ship. Bowen pulls a good one, too. He torpedoes the German supply ship that Schoenvorts planned to rendezvous with. The result is something that vaguely looks like "Titanic," but with all Germans. "Auch, mein leiben!" **SPLASH**

Completely lost now, the U-boat navigates through a field of icebergs and discovers a mysterious land mass. Captain Von Schoenvorts believes that the continent is a legendary place named Caprona. Beyond the thrill of discovering an unknown continent, the ragtag U-boat crew needs to find a source of fresh water and fuel. So, when they spot the entrance to an underground river, Mr. Tyler makes the fateful decision to guide the submarine upstream, like a giant metal salmon seeking its spawning grounds.

On the other side of the barrier mountains, Caprona is a lush, tropical world. It is also filled with prehistoric monsters that are incredibly dangerous to humans. Plesiosaurs and Mosasaurs lurk in the freshwater sea, while various dinosaurs populate the land. One of the crew becomes a snack, but Mr. Tyler and the others kill a plesiosaur with a fusillade of rifle fire, so meat will not be an issue. Potable water is a different problem (despite the jungle environment, it never rains). The fresh water that the U-boat glides through is teeming with millions of protozoa. Desperate to find suitable drinking water, a party goes ashore and heads inland along the river. More danger lurks in the interior; the party is beset by a group of cavemen that attack from the rear as a pair of Allosaurus charge the expedition from the front. Again, bullets and desperation save the British and German coalition. I like it that the rifles are lethal to the large carnivorous dinosaurs. You need to shoot them a couple of times, but eventually the bullets do cause the predators to fall to the ground, wracked by death spasms.

One of the cavemen is captured during the pitched battle. He befriends Mr. Tyler and tells the fascinated men that his name is "Ahm." Good old Ahm does not have a large vocabulary; in fact, I think that his sum total of words translate into his name, death, the names of three caveman tribes, and fire. It is the fire bit that interests Tyler, Bradley, and Schoenvorts. They follow Ahm to the land of fire, which turns out to be a pool of bubbling crude oil. The national factions put aside their differences and build a stockade around the oil. Then a simple refinery is constructed with spare parts from the U-boat. Usable fuel for the German vessel is soon being produced and poured into metal drums.

What amazing quality of men populated the world back then! These days, I've seen whiners complain when their new iPod runs out of juice because they forgot to charge it. Mr. Tyler and the others shoot their way through dozens of man-eating dinosaurs, build a fort, and then throw together a system to process fuel for their damaged U-boat. Granted, the film is based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel and the writer's heroes were always men of exceptional talents, but, by God, those were men.

In the course of one expedition into the jungle, the men run afoul of an advanced tribe of cavemen who Ahm calls the Sto-lu. The Sto-lu are mean campers! Their weapons are jawbones (horses, I think, though we never see any horses) lashed to large sticks. They either hurl the weapons or use them like a military pick to impale the German and British men. If anyone else thinks that some stinking caveman using a big jawbone to chop at British sailors is likely to offend the sensibilities of a refined Englishman - well, you are correct.

Eventually, another hunting expedition takes a combined party far up the river. They discover that the river's source is a weird spring that is filled with bathing Sto-lu women (that certainly explains all the parasites in the water downstream). The men are unable to return to camp with their knowledge, because a hunting party of Sto-lu ambushes them. Ahm is snatched and carried away by a hungry Pterodactyl during the battle, while Lisa is taken prisoner by the violent cavemen. Bowen is the only one left who is capable of saving the damsel in distress; with the help of a fortuitous volcanic eruption, he successfully rescues the young woman. Back at the stockade, the violent volcanic activity causes the men to panic. They grab the refined fuel and seek shelter on the submarine. Dietz mutinies and takes control of the U-boat. Bowen and Lisa can only watch helplessly as the doomed submarine attempts to escape the inland sea, but sinks in the boiling water, going down with all hands.

The film has one plot arc that is never completely explored. As the setting moves farther and farther North, the life forms become more advanced. That weirdness was largely abandoned after the volcano erupts, but I kept waiting for Bowen and Lisa to discover an Arcology or fusion reactor. Don't laugh, Edgar Rice Burroughs tended to throw weird plot twists like that at his readers.

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The Tomb of Anubis asked everyone to participate in a "Nature runs amok" roundtable in honor of Earth Day. This film has Germans and dinosaurs; that has to count for something. Click on the banner for the supersoaker page.


Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The British version of "Marco! Polo!" is "Ahoy! Ahoy!"
  • First aid for shock is the liberal application of brandy.
  • Never trust the Germans.
  • Submarines are perfectly suited for navigating underground rivers.
  • Irish cuisine includes several recipes for Plesiosaur.
  • "Mauser" is German for "kills dinosaurs."
  • Dumb animals take longer to die.
  • After earning enough experience, a Neanderthal will level up and turn into a Cro-Magnon.
  • There are times when it sucks to be aquatic.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 4 mins - I used to play the same game all the time at the boardwalk arcade!
  • 11 mins - Good gravy, but that must have been painful for the German submariner.
  • 21 mins - You could do something useful, like jabbing a pencil into his jugular.
  • 30 mins - Quite the understatement.
  • 38 mins - Check it out, the dinosaurs love German food.
  • 42 mins - Maybe ingesting water with those protozoa in it will be beneficial. Probably not, but maybe...
  • 52 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE TREE OF SKULLS!
  • 60 mins - Is Mr. Tyler hunting that Styracosaurus? Did they eat all the Plesiosaur already?
  • 69 mins - I think that Ahm might be the first Amish.

Quotes: 

  • Mr. Tyler: "You tell your men that we're in control and, if you don't, you'll find you and your crew where you found us: in the water."
  • Capt. Schoenvorts: "It's the same in the microscopic world: creatures at every stage of evolutionary development - the same with the men, the same with the animals - millions of years of evolution embraced on this island."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note landforgot1.wav Mr. Bradley: "It's a U-boat. Must be the one that sunk us. Let's take cover until he submerges."
Mr. Tyler: "No, wait, if we get aboard we can surprise them as they come through the hatch."
Mr. Bradley: "We wouldn't stand a chance!"
Mr. Tyler: "It's the only chance we have! I know these boats like the back of my hand. Now, we've got about two minutes before that hatch opens."
Green Music Note landforgot2.wav Mrs. Clayton: "I'm a biologist, Captain. I study the structure of living things, their motivations, and their behavior, but I don't understand you. How can anyone who is so interested in life follow a profession which is devoted to destruction and killing?"
Capt. Schoenvorts: "The study of nature, Mrs. Clayton, has taught me that life is founded upon killing and destruction."
Green Music Note landforgot3.wav Pterodactyls: "Gggggrrraaaaaaahhhhh!"
Mrs. Clayton: "They look like Pterodactyls, but they can't be. They've been extinct for millions of years."
Green Music Note landforgot4.wav Mr. Tyler: "With the sinking of the submarine, all our hopes of getting away from Caprona have disappeared. We are alone, spurned by even the highest, the Ga-lu. So we have to go on in the way of Caprona, until we find peace."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Cliplandforgot1.mpg - 2.9m
"Big crocodile," indeed.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3
Re: The Land that Time Forgot
Reply #9. Posted on April 23, 2008, 12:44:33 PM by Dr. Whom
So these people can build an oil refinery from scratch, yet can't make a water processing plant for desinfection. There were odd gaps in the training curriculum for sailors in those days.
Re: The Land that Time Forgot
Reply #10. Posted on April 23, 2008, 05:19:45 PM by John
Actually, the group is British and German, with Doug McClure's character as the only (male) American.  I have always liked many of Burroughs' heroes.  They are competent and resourceful, and often completely unafraid of death.  John Carter of Barsoom might be my favorite, but I think this movie did a good job of carrying that quality to the characters on the screen.

Yeah but when it comes to getting things done. I'll put my money on the Germans. I swear I've never met a larger bunch of humorless, work driven, disciplined, people in my life.
Re: The Land that Time Forgot
Reply #11. Posted on April 23, 2008, 07:15:24 PM by SynapticBoomstick
This was one of the first movies that I ever saw and seeing it up here brought back a lot of Saturday memories with my uncles. Great movie  Thumbup
Re: The Land that Time Forgot
Reply #12. Posted on April 23, 2008, 09:31:36 PM by Ken Begg
Sometimes a film sticks with you because of one image.  I was lucky enough to see this in a theater when I was a kid (along with People That Time Forgot), and fell in love of that one shot of the ice covered U-Boat.  The rest of the movie is fun, but it's a rare film that fells you, even momentarily, with its beauty.
Re: The Land that Time Forgot
Reply #13. Posted on April 25, 2008, 10:52:59 PM by Kooshmeister
Mauser? I could've sworn it was a Luger Bradley used on the Allosaurus. But then again, I'm no gun expert.

Either way, I love this movie, alongside Warlords of Atlantis. Although I think a lot of the reviewers who've tackled it in the past are a little hard on the German characters. Really, the only bad one in the lot is that jerk Dietz. He even shoots Von Schoenvorts! But I guess it's a "one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel" kind of thing.

Actually, the group is British and German, with Doug McClure's character as the only (male) American.

He's the only American, period. Everyone else is either British or German. Twirling
Re: The Land that Time Forgot
Reply #14. Posted on April 26, 2008, 07:14:59 AM by Andrew
So these people can build an oil refinery from scratch, yet can't make a water processing plant for desinfection. There were odd gaps in the training curriculum for sailors in those days.

When they discuss the water situation I am not certain if it is so much ability or time (to create the distilling system).  I assumed the reason they needed to find a source of potable water in a hurry was their supply was low.  It only comes up when they first arrive in Caprona.  Later, once they've built the stockade, supplies are never mentioned.

This was one of the first movies that I ever saw and seeing it up here brought back a lot of Saturday memories with my uncles. Great movie  Thumbup

I think a lot of us saw this on television years ago.  It was a staple on Channel 29's "Creature Double Feature" Saturdays back when I was a kid (late 70's, early 80's).


Mauser? I could've sworn it was a Luger Bradley used on the Allosaurus. But then again, I'm no gun expert.

Either way, I love this movie, alongside Warlords of Atlantis. Although I think a lot of the reviewers who've tackled it in the past are a little hard on the German characters. Really, the only bad one in the lot is that jerk Dietz. He even shoots Von Schoenvorts! But I guess it's a "one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel" kind of thing.

There are a couple of times that the party fires on dinosaurs, but I would assume some of the German rifles were meant to be Mausers.  I did not try to examine them closely.  Dietz seems like the only completely antagonistic human character.  He's quite the evil and excitable German.  I did not comment otherwise on the Germans, besides the Captain and XO.

Actually, the group is British and German, with Doug McClure's character as the only (male) American.

He's the only American, period. Everyone else is either British or German. Twirling

My only question was Lisa's nationality.  I am not certain if it was ever established.

Re: The Land that Time Forgot
Reply #15. Posted on April 27, 2008, 01:47:37 AM by John
I know the stopping power of rifles in WWI and to a large extent WWII. Were some seriously high stopping power weapons. In WWI the rifle round was designed to start to spin like a saw blade once it entered the body. A typical Browing Automatic Rifle stills works better today 80 years after it was made. Than many modern rifles.
So does the M-14 with it's loner range, it's 7.62 round, and reliability in a dirty enviroment. Now they are being brought back into use since they are what is needed in Iraq. I could see them killing dinosaurs with them in certain cases. Now as far as distilling goes. Many people back then had a lot more practical skills than we do today. Many farmers knew how to distill wood alcohal. To run their tractors back in the day. Things like that. To distill wood alcohal you need to boil a certain amount of plant matter to a certain about of water (I for get how much off hand) boiled for 24 hours. I'm sure if they worked in a U-boat that it would not be impossible for them to know how to distill petro. The thing is though. As an aside. In WWI it was the German practice to give the ship a chance to surrender.
The crew was allowed to take all they wanted into the life boats. The ship sunk. And the Germans would tell the other side where to find the men in the life boats. A different world back then to be sure.   Lookingup 
Re: The Land that Time Forgot
Reply #16. Posted on April 30, 2008, 08:34:06 PM by Kooshmeister
There are a couple of times that the party fires on dinosaurs, but I would assume some of the German rifles were meant to be Mausers.  I did not try to examine them closely.

Well since it's a Luger pistol that is last to be fired into the Allosaurus by Bradley before it collapses, it appears as if (their primitive nervous systems nothwithstanding) it fires the fatal shot, so that's what I thought you meant.

My only question was Lisa's nationality.  I am not certain if it was ever established.

She's British. When she and Von Schoenvorts are discussing biology at one point she mentions, "German metaphysics," and he replies, "British Imperialism." Anyway I thought her accent would've been a dead giveaway. Twirling

EDIT: Speaking of Lisa and Von Schoenvorts, in the book, they know one another because they were engaged to be married (!). And also Von Schoenvorts is a real dick in the book, too, so much so that eventually one of the German crew members bayonets him because he whipped the guy in an earlier scene for accidentally hitting him.

The novel is extremely un-PC about the Germans, but I guess that's a product of when it was written. In the book, there are a lot more survivors of the sinking but the U-bout crew goes around machine-gunning them (!!!). Also in the book, Bradley and his guys are not crew of the ship that the sub sinks but rather the crew of a fishing boat that happens by and picks up Bowen and Lisa, then they board the U-boat (I forget how and why the fishing ship is sunk; I think it rams into the sub and sinks).
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