Hammer Films is best known for its velvet-tinged gothic horror movies, but few know that it was the studio behind One Million Years B.C., the movie that launched a million posters! Don Chaffey’s 1996 movie is most famous for that Raquel Welch poster, but it also contains some cracking Ray Harryhausen animation. This totally historically inaccurate adventure (and remake of the 1940 film One Million B.C). sees cavemen versus dinosaurs as John Richardson and Raquel Welch get romantic in prehistoric times.
The ‘young-ins’ will likely bemoan the fact that it isn’t Jurassic World and they won’t fully understand the genius behind Ray Harryhausen’s sublime stop-motion work. This may not be the legendary effects maestro’s best work (that would be Jason and the Argonauts), but it’s still tremendous to look at, and who cares if things aren’t accurate on an historical or biological level? There’s a sense of adventure on display here that could only be made in a simpler time. The plot is played straight – even though there’s an inherent campness to proceedings. Welch and Richardson don’t have a lot to say but they look good running around in very little as the Canary Islands offers up some impressive prehistoric vistas.
Your enjoyment of One Million Years B.C. will depend on your disposition. If you’re a CGI fiend then you’ll be disappointed by the special effects – but if you really enjoy Ray Harryhausen’s effects that time forgot then you’ll be amazed by what is on offer here. One Million Years B.C. is old fashioned in a lot of ways, but it’s still great entertainment – decades after it first hit screens.