High adventure and hooty special effects make At the Earth's Core a colorful camp treat. Doug McClure plays David Innes, the brawn to Dr. Abner Perry's brains. The two have developed the Iron Mole, a vehicle that bores thr... more »ough solid rock. A test run goes too well and before you know it they're neck-deep in scantily clad cave women and telepathic lizard-birds. Peter Cushing has a good time playing against his usual type as the absentminded Professor Perry, while McClure sticks to cigar-chomping macho swagger. Older kids will enjoy the colorful sets and fire-breathing animals, while adults will get a kick out of the hilariously outdated gender politics. At the Earth's Core is well worth turning off your brain and taking a look. DVD version includes the original trailer and French and Spanish subtitles. --Ali Davis« less
"I really enjoyed this film when it came out at the theater in 1976, and I have owned the open-mat full screen version on VHS for a while now. When I found out this was being realeased on DVD I was pretty happy & ordered it right away. To my horror, MGM has dropped the ball for a change, and this Midnight Movie release is a total flub!I became suspicious when I first watched the trailer, and right away it was obvious it was a badly matted, with the tops of people's heads clipped off. So I decided to ge out my open-mat full screen VHS and play them at the same time, switching between VCR & DVD player to compare. Here's where the fun begins...The opening credits on the DVD are totally matted, blocking off the top & botom of the picture, and to make matters worse, the edges have been clipped quite a bit as well.On the VHS the credits are near the middle, with a large empty area on the sides... The DVD has the credits zoomed in on, making them 3x as large, and going off the edge of the screen on the left & right.Things gets stranger... Some scenes on the DVD appear to be from a truely 'widesceen' print, but approx. 80-90% of the movie is just matted full screen, blocking off much of the picture, and cutting the tops of people's heads off! It looks like MGM took 2 prints; one a fullscreen (open-mat) print, and mabey a partial print that was widescreen, and spliced them together, then matted the fullscreen parts in an attempt to 'blend' it in. Arrgg!!A few more problems I noticed, are that the color seems wrong on the DVD, way too much red. (yeah, its supposed to be red, but not THAT red.), and that the VHS copy I have exibits very little to no speckles at all on the source print, but the DVD is riddled with speckles, especially noticable during the opening credits. The DVD does however look alot better than the VHS as far as clarity, detail and sharpness goes.I really waited a long time for this to come out on DVD, and I didnt even have very high expectations, considering the B-grade of this flic, but this DVD has turned out to be a huge dissapointment for me. Dispite it's great low price, I have already returned it. Shame on you MGM, this DVD is a mess! Stop trying to be cash in on the trendy 'anamorphic widesceen' craze by selling terrible FAKE widescreen bunk!!!!"
"You Can't Mesmerize Me.....I'm British!"
Chasemouse | 04/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"AT THE EARTH'S CORE (based on a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs) never quite achieves good movie status but you have to give it credit for trying. Thankfully the film is set in motion the minute the credit sequence ends. Cushing and McClure (the latter shamefully getting top billing) are set to do a test run with their "iron mole", a great looking giant drill. Only minutes after their journey begins the two men are knocked out. Shortly after waking the mole has a power failure and the two men find themselves AT THE EARTH'S CORE.
For the uninitiated the Earth's core is full of giant plastic plants, bird beaked monsters, a tribe of human slaves (that speak English), some bizarre pasty faced creatures that serve a strange race of hypnotic pterodactyls. The core is bathed in pink light (which eminates from the magma above). At first the color scheme is quite neat but after awhile it becomes a nauseating experience.
It is of course Cushing and McClure's job to end the pterodactyls reign and free the humans, especially the most attractive human, the scantily clad Caroline Munro.
Munro sports an outfit similar to the ones she wore in The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (One wonders if such races would ever be saved if it weren't for beautiful women with sweaty cleavage). Her character, Dia, is an enslaved queen looking for the right man. McClure steps up to the plate but doesn't follow through with the native's customs and nearly loses Dia. Cushing later informs the dullard to be "forceful." McClure is clearly bothered by taking on such a masculine role at first but he gets into it quickly enough after Dia shows her submissive approval.
The humans manage to destroy their evil rulers and eventually Cushing and McClure return to Earth's surface (one of the film's intentionally funnier moments).
Cushing is most endearing as a wacky British scientist. He adds a level of touching humor and professionalism not usually found in such a picture. McClure is a fine enough actor but he annoyed me to no end. I am not familiar with his career so I am quite surprised to see such unappealing person as the star of this film.
The truth is the special effects are the star of the picture. Being a fan of non-CGI effects it is always a pleasure to see a film like this. That said, some of the effects are laughably bad. A particular standout is when a bird beaked dinosaur eats a man. The man is clearly a stuffed dummy. Surprisingly the camera lingers on the hysterical carnage for some time.The DVD is part of MGM's impressive budget priced Midnight Movies series. The enhanced widescreen picture is excellent. The source print is clean and vibrant (almost too much so). The film's keyboard soundtrack sounds very John Carpenterish. The mono sound is strong. The DVD also includes a theatrical trailer which is in fine shape."
Burroughs still spinning in his grave
D. Lathrap | San Diego, CA United States | 12/08/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Despite all the bad Tarzan films that have been made over the years, "At the Earth's Core" is unquestionably the worst adaptation of an Edgar Rice Burroughs' book ever made. I gave this turkey one star because that's the fewest I could give it, If there was a negative star I would use it. The producers of this film took a science fiction adventure classic and made it into pure schlock. From the cheesy sets and costumes, to the rediculous special effects, this movie is bad. Doug McClure is way too old and way too fat to play Burroughs' hero David Innes. Burroughs' inner world of Pellucidar, with its mountains, jungles, seas, and tiny central sun has been reduced to a series of day-glo caverns where rubber suited refugees from a Maurice Sendak book romp. The Mahars, Burroughs' super intelligent race of pterosaurs look like scaly Muppets in this dog, and their apish servants the Sagoths have become pig faced things that grunt like electronic feedback. Do not buy this film! Buy the book which was just re-released this year in an excellent trade paperback edition with the original illstrations by J. Allen St. John."
A fun movie from the '70s with McClure battling more silly m
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 04/27/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In the late 1970s Doug McClure made a career out of movies like this. Starting with THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT in 1975 he managed to come out with one such movie a year until WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS in 1978 (curiously titled on the Amazon catalog as WARLORDS OF THE DEEP). And this effort is the second in the "series" (the sequel to LAND, THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT was a 1977 release). Essentially they follow much the same formula, in essence a group of people from a past era discover an unexplored realm, mingle with an undiscovered people and battle some of the cheesiest monsters ever committed to celluloid. In this effort McClure plays David Innes, an American who agrees to back a Victorian scientist (played wonderfully by horror veteran Peter Cushing) in his experiment to bore into the side of a mountain in Wales. Sounds simple enough, except they misjudge the power of their contraption (the Iron Mole) and end up at the center of the Earth among a group of people enslaved by giant birds. The mere physics aside this is a pure popcorn B-movie, but it is a lot of fun too. I'm a sucker for center of the earth movies, whether that be the classic James Mason version of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH to the 2003 thriller THE CORE. So, perhaps it should be no small surprise that I have a fondness for this movie. Of course there's also the power of nostalgia. I never saw this movie in the theater (though I did catch WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS there), but I saw it when it arrived on television. I must have been about 10 years old. In other words - I was too young to care about the physics that tell us that the center of the earth is pure molten, swirling lava. And too young to care that the giant birds were clearly just people in giant costumes, but not too young to notice that Caroline Munro was incredibly attractive. It's not surprising that the next year she would be appearing as a femme fatale in the James Bond movie THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Yes, Munro is a real attraction for this movie, but I also enjoyed the performances of Cushing and McClure in what is 90 minutes of 1970s camp. Overall it's worth a spin and the DVD includes the original theatrical trailer."
davezilla | Mesa, AZ United States | 07/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I was a kid, Doug Maclure movies were a Sunday afternoon tradition. Giant rubber dinosaurs and paper mache monsters. Awesome!!! Still as much fun to watch today as they were 20 years ago."