BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Land That Time Forgot (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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  • Film Details

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The Land that Time Forgot - Blu-ray Review

4 stars

The defining moment in Kevin Connor’s The Land That Time Forgot occurs when a Triceratops, after protecting her eggs from a villainously horned Ceratosaurus, is defeated by the real predators: man. Based on a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Connor’s film has always just escaped from being regarded as a cult classic. The film isn’t awful. While it does disappoint, it’s a great concept that plays out nicely, as evident by Kino-Lorber’s new release of the film on blu-ray.

Maybe it’s the use of puppets and strings over Harryhausen’s stop motion effects. Maybe it’s the inclusion of star Doug McClure (who managed to land a role in all of Amicus Productions Burroughs’ adaptations due to his “cowboy” persona). Whatever the reason, the fact remains that The Land That Time Forgot is usually dismissed as a lesser film when compared to titles in its own fantasy/adventure genre. Opening with the event that closes the film, I’ve always found the film far cleverer than its mixed critical reception suggests. By no means is it solid gold. It is; however, a fun romp through a very strange stretch of land that is seemingly controlled by its volcanic activity.

Featuring a strong performance from John McEnery as Captain Von Schoenvorts, Connor’s film is an interesting offshoot of World War I politics. A German U-boat is seized by a few British soldiers and Susan Penhaligon as Lisa Clayton, all of whom have survived the torpedoing of a British merchant ship. The hijacked U-boat finds its way to South Africa and the crew, after agreeing to work together, find themselves soon exploring an uncharted sub-continent called Caprona. It is place where dinosaurs live undisturbed by modern man.

But man quickly pillages and plunders in avoidance of all there is to marvel at around them. Sure, it’s a familiar message but, with its unresolved and unsettling ending, The Land The Time Forgot somehow manages not to bungle its matinee intentions as a fantasy flick. THAT still resonates in this film. What is surprising is just how effective the studio shooting at Shepperton Studios by cinematographer Alan Hume remains. While obvious in some lush jungle scenes, the studio-anchored adventure is a fully realized spectacle that definitely invites repeated viewings … if only to analyze how the filmmakers pulled it all off.

If you ever get the chance to watch The Land That Time Forgot, pay attention to the beginning and the performance of Anthony Ainley as Dietz. While there are a lot of throwaway characters who die by dinosaur, Ainley gets the last laugh and echoes his own commander’s words while stranding some of our heroes in the middle of a volcano. There is a lot to take for granted and a lot to enjoy in Connor’s film. It was the most successful of all of the Amicus Productions but that fact never really helped the company tower over the giant stature of Hammer Films and, after releasing At the Earth’s Core.

With a bit more bite in its story than another dinosaur-helmed movie recently released, The Land That Time Forgot is one Neolithic flick that should never be ignored.

The Land that Time Forgot - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Kevin Connor
Writer:
James Cawthorn
Cast:
Doug McClure, John McEnery, Susan Penhaligon
Genre
: Adventure | Fantasy
Tagline:
Journey to a savage world where time is extinct!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Caprona has damn little respect for guns, Mr. Tyler."
Distributor:
American International Pictures (AIP)
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 13, 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 16, 2015
Synopsis: During World War I, a German U-boat sinks a British ship and takes the survivors on board. After it takes a wrong turn, the submarine takes them to the unknown land of Caprona, where they find dinosaurs and neanderthals.

The Land that Time Forgot - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - June 16, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

It could be argued that the 1080P transfer from Kino-Lorber is far superior to the film itself. Perhaps some would say much better than the film deserves. This is dual-layered with a max'ed bitrate and is easily as good as the film has ever looked on digital. There is a tightness and depth - skin tones and colors look balanced. The only issue is that the high resolution further identifies the modest effects. Contrast is layered with no noise or damage and overall the video is quite solid. The linear DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel does a competent job of exporting the film's verbose effects of 'creature' and 'native' sounds without being too weak.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Kevin Connor and star Doug McClure provide the film’s excellent commentary.

Special Features:

Nothing too great here. Included for this release is the film’s original trailer. There is also a vintage Making of Featurette showing some storyboarding and production details and lastly an original trailer. All in all, there’s nothing much but certainly nothing wrong with what’s included.

  • Vintage Making-Of Featurette (20 min)
  • Photo Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

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