Feature the World Forgot

Edited highlights of the cast list of CREATURES THE WORLD FORGOT, Hammer’s third caveman epic. Just skip over it lightly, it’s not that thrilling in itself.

Julie Ege – Nala
Brian O’Shaughnessy – Mak
Tony Bonner – Toomak
Robin John – Rool
Marcia Fox – The Mute Girl
Rosalie Crutchley – The Old Crone
Don Leonard – The Old Leader
Beverly Blake – The Young Lover
Sue Wilson – Noo
Ken Hare – The Fair Leader
Derek Ward – The Hunter
Fred Swart – The Marauder Leader
Frank Hayden – Zen
Leo Payne – The Old Tribal Artist
Tamsin Millard – Rock Woman in Fight
Christine Hudson – Rock Woman in Fight
Cheryl Stewardson – Rock Girl
Samantha Bates – Rock Girl
Debbie Aubrey-Smith – Rock Girl
Audrey Allen – Rock Mother
Vera P. Crosdale – Old Rock Woman
Mildred Johnston – Old Rock Woman
Lilian M. Nowag – Old Rock Woman
Mark Russell – Rock Man
Dick Swain – Rock Man
Mike Dickman – Rock Man
John Hollis – Masked Attacker

Hammer made ONE MILLION YEARS BC which had excellent Ray Harryhausen dinosaurs and attractive starlets in fur bikinis. Then they made WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH which had excellent Jim Danforth dinosaurs and attractive starlets who took off their fur bikinis. Then they made CREATURES, which had no dinosaurs whatsoever and attractive starlets who hardly seemed to put their fur bikinis on at all.

The “stories” were never very great but they still managed to markedly decline across the informal tits-and-lizards trilogy, to the point where CREATURES THE WORLD FORGOT makes ONE MILLION YEARS BC look like frickin’ Crime and Punishment. Hammer producer (boss’s son) Michael Carreras gave himself the job of writing it, because he was in a position to do so. Even though nobody else would have hired him to write an eye chart. True, he wrote BC also, but that was a remake. Left to his own devices, without a previously constructed narrative, he begins this one with the main characters being born, then sits back for twenty minutes while they grow up and we await the arrival of a plot. Jesus. In the absence of comprehensible dialogue, Michael Carreras, you had one job. Tell us a story.

The film is pretty near unwatchable for grown-ups and unsuitable for children. I can recommend it only to the senile or unborn.

The film isn’t even very useful for students of cinema to analyse as a bad example, because it’s awfulness is so obvious. And the thought experiment “How would I improve this?” can be answered in an infinite number of ways. Anything you do would improve it.

But I have one thought. Change the character names — make them the same as the actor’s names. It can still be in cavemanese, if you like, but make the leading lady a Julie, and her boyfriend a Brian. Hilarity ensues. Think of it! cavepersons called Audrey, Ken, Tamsin and Tony! Truly, when something is a sterile fantasy with no connection to the real, a dose of the mundane will spice it up. And when something is stale, flat and unprofitable social realism, a dash of surrealism is what you need.

“Mike!”

“Ugga ook heek moop, Mildred.”

“Nakk! Vera P. Crosdale acka pikk ungo, Derek.”

“Samantha! Cheryl! Urk anga!”

It would still be pretty low on my list of prehistoric adventures, but it would be better.

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9 Responses to “Feature the World Forgot”

  1. They could also wear hats.

  2. “When Diana Dors Ruled the Earth”

  3. I was thinking the hats could have the names of the character on it, but it might be better if all the hats said “Diana Dors.”

  4. Dorsie would have been SUPERB casting in a Hammer dino romp. She already had the wrecked bleached hair sported by Victoria Vetri in WDRTE. The ultimate earth mother! Pangea personified!

  5. bensondonald Says:

    There was the parody “Caveman!” with Ringo Starr, future Mrs. Starr Barbara Bach, future “Cheers” star Shelly Long, future Dennis Quaid Dennis Quaid, and reliable old Jack Gilford as a blind caveman unwittingly feeling up a stop-motion dino.

    Wildly uneven but not contemptible. Remember odd bits like Ringo rendering his semi-erect friends erect by standing behind them and applying a chiropractic crunch. When he tries it on new arrival Shelly, she petulantly keeps turning to face him. She’s game, but not that game.

  6. I like the dinosaurs. Somebody should have cast some visual comedians. And there’s stuff like Ringo trying to dope Barbara Back so he can have sex with her, a very worrisome Cosbyesque situation we’re apparently meant to find charming and sympathetic

    Ringo’s real-life marriage to BB is the film’s most enduring legacy.

    More here: https://dcairns.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/the-sunday-intertitle-cave-art/

  7. CTWF went into release (“it wasn’t released, it escaped”) in 1971; I was living in Cambridge, UK, at the time, where I saw the movie at the half-empty (half full?) local ABC.

    My interest was chiefly in sexy young Tony Bonner, an Australian beach hunk known chiefly for Skippy, an Aussie kids’ Tv show about a friendly kangaroo, a sort of marsupial Flipper.
    And I also knew Julie Ege (pronounced “Yoolie Egger”) who was witty, intelligent, charming but finally had enough of being trapped in the persona of blonde bombshell and went back to Norway where she worked for the National Theatre of Norway in Oslo until her very premature death, of cancer. She was very philosophical about her T&A career. I guess it paid at least some of her rent. I was at her house having a cuppa one day when Alan Price showed up at the front door – they were close friends, and why shouldn’t they be, but I was a little surprised at the time. O Lucky Man indeed.

    Re Diana Dors, I knew her slightly, too. she was another actress who was In On The Joke, and referred to herself, on our first meeting, as “Madam Tits and Lips”. She was a far, far better actress than anyone gave her credit for.

  8. I guess I saw CTWF much later than the other Hammer fur/skin flicks, otherwise I might have recognised the Skippy star, since that dire show was on all the time when I was a kid, so I watched it.

    I thought I read that Julie Ege went into health care in Norway? I feel really sorry for her now — anyone with a brain having to play the girly roles in Not Now Darling or the Amorous Milkman deserves compassion. Still, to be young, beautiful and reasonably well-paid in London at that time must have had perks.

    Dors was recognised as a powerhouse actor, but the industry only occasionally granted her opportunities, Yield to the Night being the big one. She grabbed it with both hands.

  9. Yes, she did achieve her certification as a registered nurse, but she continued making movies in Norway and worked in the theatre, often in classic roles. She died in her early 60s.

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