September 1st, 2011: At the Earth’s Core (1976)

Cast and Crew: Milton Subotsky (Screenwriter/Producer); Alan Hume (Cinematographer); Caroline Munro

What It’s About: Dr. Abner Perry (Peter Cushing) and his American backer, David Innes (Doug McClure), take a test run in Perry’s Iron Mole, an Earth boring machine that takes the pair to a mysterious world located deep within the Earth.  Can Perry and Innes survive long enough to find a way out?

Why Watch it Today?: Author Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago today in 1875.  Burroughs most well-known creation (to movie audiences) is probably Tarzan, but he wrote other series, including the adventures of John Carter on Mars (soon to be a major motion picture!) and the Pellucidar series, from which today’s film was derived.  After a surprise hit with The Land that Time Forgot, British film studio Amicus, known for making horror films even more cheaply than rival Hammer Studios, began pumping out matinée adventure films based on Burroughs’ work to capitalize on that success.  At the Earth’s Core was their first follow-up.  Perhaps realizing that the lower budget and even more cut-rate effects wouldn’t quite support the relatively serious tone of their first effort, returning director Kevin Connor and his cast take a much campier, tongue-in-cheek approach, with laugh out lines such as “You cannot mesmerize me! I’m British!”

Where to Get It: Netflix or Amazon, iTunes

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