24 October 2016



The image of Raquel Welch in the doe-skin bikini in this film is as iconic and instantly recognisable as that of Farrah Fawcett in the red swimsuit or Ursula Andress coming out of the sea in DR. NO in something equally flimsy. These might just be the Top Three images of women in 20th century cinema history, unless you guys can think of any more?

There's Marilyn Monroe in the white dress that billows around her as she stands over the heated grating, Audrey Hepburn with her pearls and chic cigarette holder in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S and of course, Rita Hayworth, clad in little more than a silky robe and slippers, as she does her famous hair-toss in GILDA in answer to the question: 'Are you decent?' Gilda decent? As if...!

I'm not just saying this but I really think that Raquel Welch in her barely-there bit of animal skin might just win out over all the others. She was so beautiful back then, and still is now as far as I know. Was there ever a more gorgeous woman with a better, curvier body?

The only actress I can think of who even came close to equalling her for looks and sheer sexiness is Brigitte Bardot. Sophia Loren was pretty hot too. Do you guys have your own favourites?

This HAMMER film, one of their biggest ever commercial successes, is a re-make of the 1940 film starring Victor Mature, Carole Landis and Lon Chaney Jr. I always liked a nice bit of Victor Mature. So manly and hairy with such a big muscular chest.

Yeah, he was great as the slave Demetrius in THE ROBE with Richard Burton and Jean Simmons and also in the follow-up film, DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS. Sooooo manly. Please don't tell me he was gay like so many of 'em turned out to be...!

ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. tells the story of Tumak, a caveman from the dawn of time who falls out with his own tribe, the savagely primitive and war-like Rock people, and goes off into the wilderness on his own. On his travels, he encounters the much more civilised and peace-loving Shell people, who are as blonde as the Rock people are dark. They're both pretty hairy, though.

Raquel Welch plays Loana, the most beautiful, curvaceous and voluptuous of all the Shell women. Well, of any women anywhere, as we've already established, haha. She takes an instant liking to Tumak, or Tumak Shakur as I call him, for no other reason than that Tumak sounds like Tupac...!

Loana is probably attracted to Tumak Shakur because he's so different to the guys she's used to. No table manners, gets into fights at the drop of an udala (that's caveman-talk for spear!), couldn't care less how many small animals are putting his beard as their official address on the census forms and is the strong, silent type who doesn't feel the need to unburden himself to any woman. The perfect guy, eh...?

Loana latches onto Tumak (the correct procedure, I believe, for the single woman of any era, jurassic or modern) and won't let go. She digs her claws in as tightly as the pterydactyl who gets a hold of her later on. Good on ya, Raquel. That's the way to do it.

The two of them together have to battle ferocious dinosaurs, weather the storm when the Shell people finally meet their neighbours the Rock people and try to survive the attempts of the Earth itself to finish them off. 

The Earth, of course, is still in its infancy and volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and other natural phenomena are occurring all the time as the Earth's surface shifts and shakes to become the world with which we're more familiar today.

Ray Harryhausen's wonderful creatures are, if anything, even more special and memorable than
the sight of Raquel Welch in her itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny brown (not polka-dot!) bikini. The giant iguana fellow, the warthog and the tarantula are real, believe it or not, and it was Mr. Harryhausen's own rather clever idea to use 'em because he felt that it would make the film more believable for people. The giant iguana comes across spectacularly well on-screen. He's so cute, too!

The Allosaurus, the giant turtle (Archelon) and the Pterydactyl are all pure Harryhausen stop-motion animation creations, however. I found the giant turtle to be absolutely adorable and I really wanted those bloody cavemen to leave him alone, the nasty brutes.

The Allosaurus is a truly kick-ass monster and the scene where he's going after the child in the tree while the Shell people look on in horror is quite simply electrifying. Harryhausen, of course, is the master of such creations and will almost certainly never be equalled, never mind bettered.

Even if we develop better technology as time progresses, as we undoubtedly will, Ray Harryhausen's creatures had real heart as well as technical prowess and that, most assuredly, will never be re-created in the same way. Guy was a genius, simple as that, and he loved what he did.

Check out also the cat-fight between Raquel Welch and two-time Bond Girl Martine Beswick. She plays 'Nupondi The Wild One,' Tumak's girlfriend before Loana came on the scene. Funny how guys never try to intervene when half-naked chicks are foxy-boxing...!

Sadly, no furry bikinis came off during the filming of this scene. They all stayed discreetly in place. There were no nip-slips or flashes of taut, toned golden honey-coloured buttock. Boo...!

This absolutely fantastic film (complete with subtitles, even though the dialogue is minimal) is being released on Doubleplay DVD and Blu-Ray courtesy of STUDIOCANAL on the 24th of October, 2016. Just in time for Halloween, in fact.

It's a great excuse to treat yourself to a brilliant old film that comes complete with rather a nice stack of extra features. These include an interview with Raquel Welch in which she reminisces fondly about that bikini and the film that made her an internationally recognised superstar (this one, in other words!), and another one with a seriously blinged-up and glamorous Martine Beswick on what it was like filming on location in the Canary Islands in the middle of bleedin' winter...!

There are some exclusive Ray Harryhausen stills, storyboards and artwork in the extra features too. Just the ticket if you're a fan yourself, married to or living with one or emerged red-faced and screaming from the birth canal of another. Make sure you get your mitts on one. I'm telling you, you can't go wrong. I'd never steer you wrong. You can trust your Auntie Sandra. Before I go, and while I think of it, anyone wanna buy a watch...?


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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