Monday, January 28, 2008

The People that Time Forgot: Part 1

The film opens with a view of a very nineteenth century looking ship, considering it’s supposed to be 1918. The ship is supposed to be a Royal Naval one which makes all the sails even odder. Perhaps it’s a special Antarctic survey vessel.

Anyway, on the bridge is a collection of largely British character actors being photographed by Sarah Douglas with a Princess Leia hairdo. Patrick (son of John) Wayne plays Ben McBride a friend of Tyler (Doug McLure) who was lost on the island of Caprona in earlier The Land That Time Forgot. That film was a surprise hit, hence this less well thought of, sequel. McBride has organised this expedition, having found Tyler’s message in a thermos, and it is being funded by Lady Charlotte Cunningham’s (Douglas) father, a newspaper magnate. Son of John (Johnson?) doesn’t want a woman on the trip, of course, and this leads to much not very witty repartee between the two leads (with one exception, see below).

Nice ship, shame about the mountains

Eventually the ship gets ice bound as it reaches Caprona which is quite a bad matte painting which is a shame as the ship model is not bad. Four of our adventurers, Son of John, Lady Charlotte, a bumbling British scientist, Norfolk (played by classic character actor Thorley Walters who in a fifty-five year career was usually cast as a major in the army) and Hogan an American from McBride’s fighter unit in the Great War, set off in an amphibian plane. Hogan is played by Shane Rimmer. Yes, it is Scott Tracy from Thunderbirds. Rimmer made a very good career by playing Americans in lots of British films (although he is actually a Canadian from Toronto). This must be one of his bigger roles.

Nice plane!

After a flight over snowy mountains (a mixture of real ones and models) they barely crest a rise and suddenly there is Caprona.

Equally suddenly there is a pterodactyl. It’s not actually a pteranodon, either, which is surprising for this sort of film.

It's behind you!

The rather rubber pterodactyl attacks the plane whilst Scott Tracey ineffectually blasts at it with his nose mounted machine gun. He was a much better shot in Thunderbirds!

In fact, it is the stupid flying reptile sticking it’s beak in the pusher propeller that does for it rather than the marksmanship of the adventurers.

Ark! Ark!

It squawks pathetically and drops like..well, like a rubber pterodactyl, actually.

Not surprisingly, the plane crash lands and skids across a model landscape before coming to a halt in a barren valley somewhere in Spain. Actually, the locations in the film are far better than the earlier The Land that Time Forgot and convincingly give the idea of a lost continent. Scott, sorry Hogan, is forced to get to work on the plane whilst Lady Charlotte climbs a hill (in a very nice, tight pair of jodhpurs) so she can take a photograph of the plane. She spots some moving spikes and persuades Son of John to pose with them in the background.

All our budget went on flying you over from America

Poor SoJ is surprised to discover that the spikes belong to a rather lumpy Stegosaurus. The dinosaurs aren’t up to much in the film, sadly, and there is no attempt at a realistic skin texture which you would have got if they could have afforded Harryhausen. They use the Stegosaurus to drag the plane out of wherever it was stuck but stupidly hadn’t worked out how to stop the dinosaur running off with the plane. Yes, they hadn’t realised that if you couldn’t get the dino to stop you would need to untie it or be ready with an axe. Sof J has to make a heroic dash with a knife.

Eventually, they leave Scott to fix the plane whilst they trek off to find Tyler. After some typical walking shots we hear a dinosaur followed by a scream.

Dana Gillespie goes for cavegirl immortality

An impossibly busty cavegirl appears pursued by two lumpy dinosaurs which our hero eventually scares off.

Somehow I think they may not be on location in this shot.

The cavegirl speaks English and has a Bowie knife so they soon work out that she was a friend of Tyler. A very close friend of Tyler. And why not?

Ajor, the cavegirl (played by Dana Gillespie, more of whom another day) isn’t wearing a fur bikini but rather a short mini dress. With no front, and slits up the side. But who cares? She looks tremendous in it. Sarah Douglas delivers her line to Son of John “a genuine cavegirl; suit you perfectly!” beautifully and she is one of the best things in the film.

Tyler and Lisa (Susan Penhaligon in the first film) lived with the Ga-lu, Ajor’s stone age tribe and taught them useful things like agriculture, science and how to make low cut dresses. But then a more advanced tribe (there was all that nonsense about evolution at different rates in the first film), the Naga, captured them four months previously and will sacrifice them to their volcano god. They realise that they must set off to rescue Tyler.

Meanwhile. Scott Tracy is happily blasting pterodactyls out of the sky whilst he repairs the plane.

As the others trek over the spectacular scenery Lady Charlotte has to show that she is really a girl underneath, and not a tough old feminist, when she screams like a girl just because a tarantula lands on her. Fair enough, I say.

Suddenly there are two cavemen from Ajor’s tribe running towards them, pursued by a nasty looking bunch of bad guys. What next? Part two soon.

Cavegirl Art 5: Girl with spear

This is by an artist called LR Roca who was certainly active in the sixties, illustrating for Vampirella magazine, which also featured soem very good cavegirl cover illustrations by Frank Frazetta. I haven't been able to find anything about him (I assume it's a him!) and he doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry. This is a shame as I would have liked to find some other examples of his art as this is a pretty good cavegirl piece.

She has a very good bottom and is definitely wearing a fur bikini. He's done the texture of the fur really well and the only problem I have with it is is that the fur on her bikini bottom looks like it's been stuck onto a normal bikini rather than being more natural. That is a good, hefty-looking stone age spear but again, it probably needs a longer shaft. The creature doesn't look like a dinosaur, more like a Burroughs-type alien lizard so she may be a hollow-earth girl rather than a cave girl. I like this one, though so..

Cavegirl rating 7/10

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cavegirl fancy dress 3

Here are a few more cavegirl fancy dress costumes. I am amazed by how many of these there are and how many more I find every month! There are now so many they are getting their own separate section! The one above is one we've seen before but this is the front view. The classic teeth necklace helps as does the fact that I like the girl!

This one looks quite cheap and nasty and the boots are really horrible. Ugg (so to speak)!

Not sure I like this one much either. The black material doesn't even try to look authentic.

So it's the girl clutching the bone out of this lot, then. A cavegirl with a firm grip is definitely an asset.

Womens' shoe fetish started with Cavegirls

Nice shoes!

People first started wearing proper shoes 40,000 years ago according to a recent discovery in China. Two years ago an American scientist, Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St Louis, showed that the effect of wearing footwear could be demonstrated by looking at the bone density of toes. People who habitually go barefoot have thicker bones in their lesser toes (those other than the big toe) than people who wear shoes. It's not an evolutionary thing, it's a response by the body to external stresses; people who don't wear shoes need a stronger grip from their toes.

Now Northern cavegirls would have been bunging something around their feet since 500,000 years ago but their sun-kissed cousins wouldn't have bothered. Any actual shoes from the period have long since disaapeared; the oldest being a pair of Californian shoes which are 9,000 years old; probably some cave surfing babe's.

Paul Mellars, professor of prehistory and human evolution at Cambridge, says that shoes weren't the only advances at this time. "From 35,000 years ago onward, you see the first art, the first stone tools, and the first personal decorations and jewellery. There is a strong hint that people were doing more complicated things with ...skins, with special stone tools for cleaning and awls for piercing." In other words the ideal time to start making FUR BIKINIS!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cavegirl Art 4: Fur Boots

She may not be 100% cavegirl, as her earings look a bit technologically advanced, but this drawing by Larry Elmore is a little less California Girl than many of his fantasy women. She has nicely tousled hair, a not too ridiculous bust and, of course, very good cavegirl boots.

Cavegirl rating: 6/10

Cavegirl: Helena Christensen

My wife thinks that this picture should go on the site as although Helena isn't wearing a fur bikini she seems to be wearing something made of some sort of tropical vegatation. I think that this gives enough of a prehistoric effect and there should be some beach cavegirls, anyway. By the sea is a good place for caves so it would have been a good place for cavegirls!

Anyway, I've always liked Helena so I don't need much of an excuse to put her in. Helena herself would probably get an 8/10 but she isn't wearing a fur bikini hence:

Cavegirl rating: 7/10

Friday, January 11, 2008

Birthday Cavegirls!

Rather bemused by the interest in Cavegirls in Fur Bikinis my wife and daughter gave me this amazing 3D birthday card yesterday. It must have taken days to put together. They do seem to have captured the essence of the genre despite never having seen One Million Years BC or, indeed, any other Cavegirl film!

All the girls are named after some of my favourite babes:

First we have Rachel. She is the cavegirl hunter and has a scary collection of spears and a crocodile she captured becuase it made off with the girls' boiled egg (according to my daughter). She is actually a Rachel Stevens doll. I think we agree that Rachel Stevens would make a very fine cavegirl!

Next we have Alesha. I think she is the cave medicine woman and the snake is her familiar. Alesha sounds like a good cavegirl name. This one doesn't really resemble Alesha Dixon at all but, again, Alesha would make an excellent cavegirl. She'd be very good at tribal dancing!

I think that the snake makes her look more like this picture of Rachel Weisz.

Finally we have Flavia. In a wig. She is the cave cook and has baked me a stone age cake, which looks exactly like..a stone! Top Latin American dance Queen, Flavia Cacace, would also look good in a fur bikini due to her awesome tummy!

So thank you, for all the effort put into this very special card! It's a classic!

Cavegirl Art 3: Triceratops

Triceratops has always been my favourite dinosaur from when I was a little boy. There used to be a set of dinosaur kits by a firm called Pyro and I had them all, but the Triceratops was always my favourite. So the thought of putting a cavegirl together with one has natural appeal.

This picture is by Spanish comic-strip artist Enrique Badia Romero, who illustrated Modesty Blaise for years and also Axa which ran in The Sun from 1978 until 1986. Romero is a top artist but the scale isn't quite right here. Triceratops had one of the largest skulls of any land animal: it could grow up to seven feet long. Triceratops was about thirty feet long but this one looks about ten feet. A baby would have had shorter horns.

Her spear, whilst having a nice stone age looking tip seems a bit short. It looks like it should extend underneath her leg. She isn't wearing fur but I like the teeth around her waist and ankle.

Triceratops (Three-horned face) is one of the Ceratopsidae and lived in what is now North America. Fossils have been found in Colarado, Montana South Dakota, Wyoming, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The first fossil was discovered in 1887 and was originally thought to be from a Pliocene bison as only the top two horns were unearthed. It wasn't until a more complete skull was discovered the following year that it was realised that it was a horned dinosaur and named as Triceratops by Othniel Charles Marsh.

Marsh. "Now what can I call a dinosaur with three horns on it's face?"

Nice pelvis

A complete Skeleton has never been found but here is, rather lovely, American Paleontologist Jenni Nolan excavating a Triceratops pelvic bone in Montana.

Here is Ray Harryhausen's Triceratops in One Million Years BC. A recent BBC documentary purported to prove that a Triceratops could not charge and skewer a Tyrannosaurus (although this is a Ceratosaurus, of course) as it's shorter nose horn wouldn't penetrate a dinosaur's skin and, indeed, the front of the skull, in their simulation, broke.

However, in a world where dinosaurs and cavegirls co-exist Triceratops happily skewers meat-eating predators all the time.

Cavegirl Rating: 6/10

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

10,000 BC

It's quite a long time since we have had a prehistoric film come out but now here comes 10,000 BC which is released on March 14th.
Written and Directed by Roland Emmerich (Stargate, Independence Day) it tells the story of a mammoth hunter whose girlfriend (Camilla Belle) is kidnapped and he leads a band of hunters to get her back. At this point it goes into Stargate territory with pyramids and advanced civilisations so it's not a "historical" pre-historic film like, say, Quest for Fire or Clan of the Cave Bear.

It's Quest for Fire meets Stargate meets The Mummy Returns!

Domesticated Mammoths!

Now, I enjoyed Stargate, rubbish though it was so this is either going to be an entertaining romp or a total disaster. Let's hope it's a big hit and generates a whole range of prehistoric films.

Miss Belle is our candidate for cavegirl in fur bikini but I suspect that she will be wearing something more conventional. She is not exactly busty but she does have a nice pout.
When did you last wash your face?

Real cavegirls are grubby

Now, are you sure this film is really going to win me an Oscar?

It's amazing what a Wonderbra can do

Never mind the mammoths and sabre tooths look great.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Land That Time Forgot

This is a cavegirl film with hardly any cavegirls in but leads to the sequel The People that Time Forgot which is more visually interesting (although not such a good film) as we will see.

In the UK in the early seventies, Amicus Films had noted the success of Hammer Films in moving away from pure horror films to the likes of One Million Years BC (1966), When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970) and Creatures the World Forgot (1971). They decided to bring one of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, The Land that Time Forgot to the screen.

The novel was written in 1918 and set during World War 1 (or, of course, The Great War as it was then known!). The novel and the film are reasonably close to each other with the script being adapted by lifelong ERB fan, British Science Fiction author, Michael Moorcock and James Cawthorn, better known as an illustrator and reputedly the first man to ever do illustrations to scenes from The Lord of the Rings, back in 1962.

James Cawthorn's Against the Deeping Wall. Not a million miles from Peter Jackson's version of the scene.

Both the novel and the film open with a a man finding a thermos in the sea containing an account of the main part of the story. The author Tyler (played by the matchless Doug McLure in the film) is on board a ship torpedoed by a U-Boat in 1916.

"This film could have been a lot dirtier. Did you see When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth?"

He and a girl, Lisa Clayton (Susan Penhaligon), and some of the British crew are picked up by the U-Boat that sank them. They capture the submarine but then are overpowered before taking control once more. But the cunning Germans have sabotaged the compass and they end up at the lost island of Caprona. They enter a long tunnel and come out into a river full of prehistoric creatures (cue attack by rather rubbery plesiosaur).

Couldn't afford Harryhausen.

They discover oil and start to refine it to re-fuel the submarine. They also encounter more puppet dinosaurs (the film's $750,00 budget couldn't stretch to stop-motion) and different evolutionary levels of cavemen. There is some unlikely sub-plot about evolution becoming more developed as they go up the river culminating in them finding a giant upturned pudding out of which the river of life is pouring.

This is the only cavegirl bit because using the top of the pudding like a giant jacuzzi are a number of topless cave babes. You really can't see anything as they are too distant and are only on for a few seconds but I remember being quite excited about this when I saw it when I was younger. There are several more scenes in the village with a number of other girls wearing, if not fur bikinis, then fur mini dresses and crop tops. I couldn't get any pictures or screen captures, sadly, but it is the sequel we are really interested in, anyway.

Eventually there is a big volcanic eruption (there always is in these kinds of films) and Trampas (I mean Tyler) and Lisa tramp (sorry!) off across the Island where we see him throwing his thermos into the sea, desperate to be rescued (as the submarine sank - isn't that what they are supposed to do?- leaving them stranded).

So very little cavegirl content and Susan Penhaligon reamins scandalously overdressed for the whole film. It makes you realise that Amicus hadn't really worked out the Hammer recipe yet. I would have definetely inserted a gratuitous bathing in the river scene.

See, she was quite happy to do bathing scenes!

Actually, despite rather ropey special effects (but better than At the Earth's Core which followed) it is a pretty good film, with a better script than usual (as you would expect, given the writer) that can still pass an enjoyable hour and a half even now.
One disappointment is the location. Caprona is realised as a mixture of studio bound jungle, very dodgy matte paintings and a bit of location filming in what looks like Burnham Beeches with a few palms strewn about.

So ropey dinosaurs, cheap locations and very short on cavegirls, but they are there and the sequel The People that Time Forgot makes up for it!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Cavegirl: Raquel Welch part 2

I have found some more nice pictures of Raquel Welch from One Million Years BC. Some of these are shot on location whilst others are obviously studio publicity shots. They are all pretty good though!