At the Earth's Core


I only watched this one because of Peter Cushing. Let's get that out of the way. At the Earth's Core shows a side of Cushing that I haven't seen much of. He plays the daffy, jocular Dr. Abner Perry. Dr. Perry joins David Innes (Doug McClure in a typical white bread role) for a swift excursion to the center of the earth in an enormous drill rocket. When they get to where they were going, they find neon underbrush, prehistoric creatures, hordes of silly-looking soldiers, and a sexy Caroline Munro ready to greet/enslave them. You can predict what happens from there on.

Cushing is fun to watch. This role is a testament to his versatility as an actor. I've always preferred him to Christopher Lee, but that's just me. McClure is very McClure-y. I'm not sure how to rate his performance since he wasn't required to show emotions. There is one scene where he is supposed to look sad, and his face simply doesn't move. That's Doug McClure. Moving on...the monsters are rad. They resemble dinosaurs, but it appears as though some elderly woman tried to shellack them. Hmm, how else can I describe them? They looked like they were varnished with viscid plywood albumen. Yeah, that oughta do it. The sets are impressive in a bargain-counter kind of way. I can never get enough of tacky color schemes.

The film starts off with a bang and slows down considerably in the second and third acts. I admit it; I fast-forwarded through the last three minutes. I'm only human! Still, At the Earth's Core serves its purpose. It's a nice movie to watch on a sleepy Saturday. Well, I'm off to build a time machine so that I can bang the living daylights out of a young, moist Caroline Munro. Wish me luck!

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