This sci-fi thriller follows a Victorian-era expedition headed by American explorer David Innes (Doug McClure) and fidgety British scientist Dr Abner Perry (Peter Cushing) beneath the earth’s surface, where prehistoric beasts and warriors await.
Burrowing through the Earth with a giant boring device – nicknamed “The Iron Mole” – something goes wrong and the machine takes a downward turn, tunnelling out of control at a ferocious speed.
Finally, they emerge in the subterranean kingdom of Pellucidar at the Earth’s core, where humans are kept as slaves and they encounter huge unidentified monsters, man-eating plants and loathsome fungi.
They are captured by the Sagoths, a tribe of half-human creatures and are put to work among primitive human slaves where they meet the beautiful Dia (Caroline Munro).
Ruling over the Sagoths are the Mahars, giant lizard-like female birds who have found means to reproduce without recourse to the male species.
This childish and chintzy co-production of UK-based Amicus Productions and US-based American International Pictures – adapted from an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel – would be an even bigger patience-tester if not for sultry heroine Munro and the truly awful man-in-rubber-suit special effects, which will inspire hoots of laughter rather than the intended sense of wonder.
Dr Abner Perry