The Land that Time Forgot (1975)
Director: Kevin Connor
Starring: Doug McClure, John McEnery & Susan Penhaligon
Released by: Kino Lorber Studio Classics
Reviewed by David Steigman
Based on the story written by fantasy author Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land that Time Forgot is the first of four movies that were produced by John Dark, directed by Kevin Connor and starred Doug McClure. Each film’s main theme was traveling to lost continents with others to discover new races of people, dinosaurs and other giant monsters. The other three movies are At the Earth’s Core, The People That Time Forgot and Warlords of Atlantis. Each of the other films, save for Warlords of Atlantis, were offerings from Amicus Productions who had been known for horror anthologies such as Tales from the Crypt, From Beyond the Grave and Dr. Terrors House of Horrors. Beginning with the Amicus/AIP co-production, The Land That Time Forgot, Amicus’ main focus was to have films that included giant prehistoric monsters.
The setting for The Land That Time Forgot takes place during World War I, where a German U boat, commanded by Captain Von Schoenvorts, played by John McEnery torpedoes and sinks a ship. Among the survivors are Doug McClure as Bowen Tyler, scientist Lisa Clayton (played by Susan Penhaligon) and a few British officers. The German U boat goes off course and continues to drift onward for at least several weeks until they land on a lost continent called Caprona. When the submarine emerges from underwater, they are welcomed by a Plesiosaur and other aquatic dinosaurs. Once on land, the cast struggles to survive, trying to avoid being a tasty treat for the dinosaurs including an Allosaurus, Styracosaurus and Pteroldactyl. In what was probably a nod to an earlier dinosaur thriller, One Million Years BC, we get a fierce fight between a Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. As with all films with dinosaurs, there are some cavemen which also cause trouble for the crew until the climax when a volcano erupts, threatening all life on Caprona.
The Land that Time Forgot is co-presented by Kino Lorber Studio Classics and Scorpion Releasing (who produced the extras) and the results are excellent. The film has never looked better on home video. In its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, this is a beautiful 1080p AVC coded release. Colors are vivid with excellent contrast and great details during the daylight scenes. In addition, black levels are spot on while the grain structure is also really strong. The resolution is so good that it actually spoils some of the special effects work! Accompanied with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, the audio quality is excellent with all the dinosaur roars loud and clear. While there is not a ton of extras on the disc, what we do get is really outstanding. This is where quality of the bonus material outshines the quantity. We are treated to an Audio Commentary with Director Kevin Connor, a making of featurette that is over 10 minutes long, plus the original trailer.
The Land that Time Forgot is a great, entertaining fantasy adventure-filled movie that eventually led to a sequel, The People That Time Forgot, also starring the late Doug McClure. A well-known actor who went on to star in a few horror movies, such as Humanoids from the Deep and later on several television shows and sitcoms, McClure would ultimately pass away in 1995 at the age of 59 due to lung cancer.
The dinosaur effects in The Land That Time Forgot consisting of puppets and mockup models are hit or miss with the more realistic creatures being the Triceratops and Styracosaurus. Others such as the Plesiosaur (well the neck of it anyway), the odd shaped wobbly Allosaurs and Pterodactyls on visible wires are less than convincing, but that’s what gives these films their charm.
In The Land That Time Forgot, we get another fun fantasy film from the seventies. While the effects work for the film is just average, it is a commendable effort considering there was no CGI effects during that time. It took a lot of work and craftsmanship to bring forth movies such as this. The Blu-ray is just a fantastic release with few but impressive extras and great audio and video quality to boot, this movie was an instant day one purchase that comes highly recommended!