The People that Time Forgot (1977) mini-review

People that Time Forgot

The People that Time Forgot (1977) was the direct sequel to the late Amicus adventure film The Land that Time Forgot (1975) and based on the book of the same name by American author Edgar Rice Burroughs.

It tells of an expedition, lead by Major Ben McBride (Patrick Wayne), thats set out to track down Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure) who was left trapped on the lost island at the end of the first film, and had put his journal and a description into a canister and thrown it into the sea. A group set out in a plane to fly over the island to look for signs of Tyler, but they are attacked by a flying creature, and forced to ditch. Three of the group head off and meet a native woman who was taught by Tyler, and tells them that he has been captured by the island’s most advanced tribe…..

The People that Time Forgot is far more exciting and enjoyable than the first film, with some a gripping storyline – unfortunately the pacing does seem very off in places, so we get some very long human vs. dinosaur sequences that really drag the film out, while some of the key plot points are hurried over. Burrough’s notions of metamorphosis and evolution that were briefly described in the first film, are simply overlooked here. Filmed on location in the Canary Islands, the film does look very good, and the advanced tribe with their pseudo-feudal-Japanese costumes are very sinister as is their mountain lair, although the soundtrack is rather sparse, certainly not as effective as the strange Mike Vickers score for At the Earth’s Core (1976).

There is an interesting mix of cast present. Patrick Wayne (who looks a lot like a young Terence Hill!) is well cast as the hero, while frequent Hammer star Thorley Walters plays well as the eccentric scientist (although they cannot recreate the superb double-bill of McClure and Cushing in Earth’s Core). Doug McClure himself gets little more than an extended cameo, but is obviously putting in some good effort. A duo of pretty girls, the very attractive Sarah Douglas and the amazingly scantily clad Dana Gillespie, look good in their roles, while the rest of the cast put on good shows – look out for several bit part Star Wars (1977) actors, and the big man, David Prowse in a small role.

An entertaining, if rather simple script, some good looking, if rather poorly paced direction and a generally solid cast make this an above average family friendly adventure film that comes recommended (although watch The Land that Time Forgot (1975) first to make more sense of it all).

The film is available on good looking DVDs in the UK/Europe and the USA from MGM. IMDB. DVD Rewind. Look out for a full DVD review later this year.

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