Film (1967). Reynolds-Vetter Productions Ltd. Produced by Charles Reynolds and Charles F Vetter. Directed by Montgomery Tully. Written by Vetter. Cast includes Peter Arne, Martin Benson, Kerwin Mathews and Vivienne Ventura (as Viviane Ventura). 91 minutes. Colour.
Dr Arnold Kramer (Arne) is taken into custody and placed in a mental facility because he is convinced that something is tunneling underground beneath the US, like ants. Then a mine collapse in Oregon reveals a tunnel where none should exist; this development leads US Navy Commander Jonathan Shaw (Mathews) to conclude that his friend Kramer is correct. Kramer is released, and it emerges that Communist China has burrowed beneath the Pacific under the direction of General Lu (Benson in unconvincing make-up), intent on planting nuclear bombs under major US Cities as a prelude to Invasion. The scheme involves small futuristic Machines that carve the tunnels with laser Rays. Assisted by geologist Tila Yung (Ventura), Shaw and his crew pinpoint the enemy base near Hawaii and destroy the invaders with a well-placed hydrogen bomb, whose detonation the US team avoids by fleeing on foot. All ends well.
Plot absurdities make it difficult to take Battle Beneath the Earth seriously, although it was mildly novel in using Communist Chinese Villains rather than the usual Soviets. The outrageous Paranoia, unexpected in a UK production, belongs more to the 1950s than the 1960s. This film was released to the home video market in a double set with The Ultimate Warrior (1975). [GFi]
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