There are films which are iconic for good reasons and films which are iconic simply because they had a good poster. One Million Years B.C. falls into the later for the iconic poster of Raquel Welch in a loincloth with some cool looking dinosaurs in the background. However that’s all the film has to offer and it’s simply not enough.
It’s all set in a frankly ludicrous alternative history where men and dinosaurs walked the earth together. However some Christians do stupidly believe this happened but has debunked by scientists for decades. Basically pre-historical man (John Richardson) gets banished from tribe meets foxy pre-historical woman (Raquel Welch) and must fight Dino and man alike to win her affections.
Besides Welch’s “assets” the film really has little to offer the viewer. Special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen did the special effects and for the most part is really slumming it here. The “giant” iguana is easily some of the worst work he ever did in his remarkable career. The Ceratosaurus vs Triceratops fight is a very small highlight but one good Dino fight can’t save this turkey. Harryhausen could do this kind of Dino work in his sleep and his real talent led with his creations of more fantastical creatures in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Clash of the Titans etc.
The film is nearly dialogue free with just the names of the characters and some caveman sounds. Dialogue free or near dialogue free films in the modern age really need great actors or a great director at the helm to pull off this difficult task, All is Lost is a recent example which did it masterfully. The film’s pacing is all over the place and by the first half hour I became bored senseless and the good Dino fight scene hadn’t even happened yet.
The film partially made by Hammer films and it ended up becoming one of their most succesful films. They ended up making four more films of the same ilk to capitalise on the success. It was also a remake of an earlier Hollywood film One Million B.C. which still hasn’t had a DVD release but some footage from it would become stock footage staples through the ’40s and ’50s.
Studiocanal who owns some of the Hammer catalogue has done a new 4K restoration on the film so the Dinosaurs looked even worse than they did when the film first came out. Raquel Welch does a new 12 minute interview and looks great for 76 despite having some “work” done but for plastic surgery it’s “good work”. Her co-stars Martine Beswick supplies a 16 minute interview. To round the disc off it includes a collection of Harryhausen’s stills, storyboards and artwork and another stills gallery which include some of the iconic posters. It comes in a double play edition so a DVD version is also included.