he Land that Time Forgot starts during World War 1 on June 3rd 1916 when a German U-Boat sinks a British passenger ship, a small group of survivors from the ship headed up by Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure, who was apparently a replacement for Stuart Whitman) & Captain Bradley (Keith Barron) storm the U-Boat when it surfaces & manage to capture it. The radio is damaged beyond repair & the compass has been sabotaged so they effectively travel blind, the British & Germans strike an uneasy truce & decide to work together. However they are running low on fresh water, food & fuel so when they reach the mythical land of Caprona they must stop to try & find supplies. Unfortunately for them it appears time has stood still on Caprona & they are confronted by various man-eating dinosaurs & primitive tribes of cavemen. Can they find a suitable fuel source for the boat? Will they survive attacks from the local wildlife & indigenous population? Can the Germans behave themselves for once & keep their word? Watch it to find out…
This British American co-production was directed by Kevin Connor & was the first of four ‘lost world’ type films made by Connor, the direct sequel to this The People that Time Forgot (1977) plus the two similar themed films At the Earth’s Core (1976) & Warlords of Atlantis (1978). I must admit I like them all with Warlords of Atlantis probably being my overall favourite. The script by James Cawthorn & Michael Moorcrock is based on the novel of the same name by Edgar Rice Burroughs & certainly moves along at a fair pace, it’s never boring or dull, it’s entertaining & good fun if you like these type’s of films. It starts out like a war film & it takes a good 30 odd minutes before it gets to Caprona, having said that the scenes on the boat are pretty good, tense & well done. It is a bit on the predictable side although the ending surprised me a bit as it’s not a particularly happy one. The Land that Time Forgot is good, clean, fun monster filled entertainment, what more do you want?
Director Connor does a good job & the film has a nice feel to it, I don’t think he knew how to shoot special effect scenes though. The monsters look pretty bad especially if they have to interact with an actor, just check the Pterodactyl out as it just glides through the air like a paper plane & doesn’t flap it’s wings once! Having said that I thought they looked alright for the most part & the filmmakers probably did the best they could on a low budget, at least they tried & you can’t blame them for that.
Techncially the film is very good, some of the dodgy special effects excluded. The Spanish Canary Islands locations look nice, the cinematography is good, the production design is OK & as a whole it’s generally well made. The acting is alright, Susan Penhaligon is the obligatory female love interest & she’s cute enough I suppose.
The Land that Time Forgot is a good solid monster film that I think makes for great undemanding entertainment & that’s what films are all about right? If you like the other similar films by Connor then you’ll definitely like this but if you didn’t then I’d stay away & watch something else instead.