Land that Time Forgot, The

Tagged: Film

1. Film (1975). Amicus. Directed by Kevin Connor. Written by Michael Moorcock, James Cawthorn, adapted from The Land that Time Forgot (stories September-November 1918 Blue Book; fixup 1924) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Cast includes Doug McClure, John McEnery and Susan Penhaligon. 95 minutes. Colour.

This UK film was the first of three Lost-World Burroughs adaptations produced by Amicus, the others being At the Earth's Core (1976) and The People that Time Forgot (1977). A German U-boat – with a contingent of male Germans, Britons and one American, plus a young woman – discovers Caprona, a long-lost landmass near the South Pole. It is crawling with prehistoric Monsters and cavemen who do their best to destroy the invaders, with little success. The film ends with a volcanic eruption and the marooning of the hero and heroine. The various Dinosaurs are unconvincing. The script by Moorcock and Cawthorn was altered extensively by the producers. [JB]

2. Film (2009; vt Dinosaur Island). The Asylum. Produced by David Michael Latt. Directed by C Thomas Howell. Written by Darren Dalton. Loosely based on The Land That Time Forgot (as above) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Cast includes Anya Benton, Timothy Bottoms, Darren Dalton, C Thomas Howell, Lindsey McKeon and Scott Subiono. 88 minutes. Colour.

Two newlywed couples, Frost Michaels (Howell) and Karen (Benton) plus Lindsey Stevens (Mckeon) and Cole (Dalton), are on a Caribbean cruise. The boat, owned by Captain Burroughs (Bottoms), passes through a strange storm in the Bermuda Triangle; they find themselves near an Island. Everyone except Karen goes ashore, where Burroughs's only crew member is quickly devoured by a pteranodon. They see a signal flare from Karen but, returning, find the ship has vanished completely. Next they stumble on Jude and Conrad; respectively lost since 1945, when Jude vanished with the infamous Flight 19, and 1955 when Conrad's ship disappeared. A Tyrannosaurus rex Dinosaur pursues, but they escape. Jude thinks Karen and Burroughs's boat have probably been captured and taken to the other side of the island by the crew of a similarly lost German submarine, which proves to be the case,.

Jude and Conrad steal Burroughs's boat for themselves during a fight to rescue Karen. After brief hostilities, in which the Tyrannosaurus returns and eats a German sailor, they all agree to work together. Judging from their submarine, the Germans – led by Zander (Subiono) – appear to be from World War One. They find petroleum bubbling to the surface, which the group can refine into fuel for the submarine. A second Tyrannosaur appears but is killed when the makeshift refinery explodes; the submarine is able to leave, though without Frost and Karen, who remain on the island. Whether the U-boat ever returns to civilization, and in what time period, remains unclear. At the conclusion Frost throws a record of the above adventures, sealed in a thermos jug, into the sea.

A very low-budget movie, The Land that Time Forgot seemed intended to capitalize on the Land of the Lost film released that year, and is marginally better. As a Burroughs adaptation it is very poor, greatly inferior to 1 above. [GSt]

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