Saturday, June 19, 2010
Okay, so we’ve got two spaceships on their way home from Centauri (where “home” is I have no idea). On one rocket, the Centaurian crewmembers rebel against the others, causing it to crash on a nearby planet in the “Solarias System.” The other ship in the “fleet” turns around to look for survivors, but gets there 20 years later because of some time paradox/dilation thingy. After some initial exploration, a Centauri woman from the rescue ship stumbles across the son of some of the survivors of the crash.
Oh yeah, and the “Prehistoric Planet” that all this takes place on? Big surprise, it’s Earth. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.
Admiral David King: Wendell Corey is the stone-faced admiral of the fleet, a humorless, serious man who is sympathetic to the Centaurians (who were apparently on the losing side of some galactic war and are all now forced to wear purple as punishment).
Commander Scott: Keith Larsen is the square-jawed second in command. He doesn’t like Centaurians and that’s about all the characterization he gets.
Lt. Red Bradley: Paul Gilbert plays the ship’s engineer and comic relief character, and if there’s a memorable character, this is it. Cocky and quick with a stupid quip, he never really shuts up, though he is responsible for the most memorable line of dialogue in the whole movie. HI-KEEBA!
Linda: Irene Tsu (who’s done a lot of TV acting) is, basically our main character. An attractive young Centauri woman who’s seen as a kind of surrogate daughter by Admiral King. Anyway, once she finds Tang, she starts to fall in love with him and tries to bring him back to the ship to show the crew how Centaurians and whatever-the-white-guys-are can get along.
Tang: Robert Ito (who’s doing a hell of a lot of voice over work) is the heroic son of a Centauri woman and whatever-the-white-guys-are race, which is awfully progressive for 1966 when you think about it. Yes, he runs around in a little tunic and his parents are frozen in a block of…something for no good reason, but he’s actually very competent at surviving alone against the savage residents of the planet (humanoid and otherwise). He’s even built himself a little crossbow. All of this makes him the defacto badass of the movie, even though his name’s a powdered breakfast drink.
Directed by Arthur C. Pierce, the effects are largely awful and the pace of the film is languid at best. We’re talking Rocketships on obvious strings here.
Arthur C. Pierce again, and while the plot is pretty bland and predictable, I will give him credit for at least trying to make some commentary on race-relations. There’s not a whole lot of American movies from the 60s that feature a large chunk of the cast played by Asians in three dimensional roles. For as much as the movie stinks, Linda & Tang are the most sympathetic characters and the issue of racism comes up a few times, mostly in portraying the “Centaurians” as second class citizens after being on the losing side of a costly war. Now, if that makes you think of the Japanese and the immediate aftermath of WWII, well, that’s probably the filmmakers intent.
But trying alone does not save a script, and the movie is boring, the dialogue bad and the twist at the end is silly.
No idea who did the score for the movie, since there’s nobody listed on IMDB for it. Not that it matters, really, the music isn’t very good either.
Women of the Prehistoric Planet is pretty bad. As a science fiction film, its just plain boring. As a clumsy pseudo-commentary on race relations, it stands out as a mild curiosity, but that’s about it.
Go figure, I can't find a trailer for the film, but here's really all you need to know about the film...