At the Earth's Core (1976)

Sci-Fi, Adventure, Fantasy
Doug McClure, Peter Cushing, Caroline Munro, Cy Grant
A Victorian era scientist and his assistant take a test run in their Iron Mole drilling machine and end up in a strange underground labyrinth ruled by a species of giant telepathic bird and full of prehistoric monsters and cavemen.
  • 01 Jul 1976 Released:
  • 20 Nov 2001 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs (novel), Milton Subotsky (scr Writer:
  • Kevin Connor Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Rubber-monster-tastic!!10/10
Shame on you if you give this film a low rating. How can you not like a film that has Doug McClure, Peter Cushing, silly rubber monsters, fights, (and for the guys, that woman that was the baddie's henchwoman in The Spy Who Loved Me and one of the seventies Sinbad films, not wearing very much of whom my mother said "She wasn't picked for the colour of her eyes"), lava, silly wigs and a daft Victorian drilling machine very much like the one used in the old Thunderbirds series? Whoever watched this film and slagged it off was watching it for the wrong reasons. It may be crap, but is definitely good crap. They don't make 'em like they used to, sigh......
One of the BEST Old School Monster Movies8/10
CONTEXT is everything when one goes to rate a movie. When rating this movie one has to consider the time in which it was made. We didn't really know WHAT the inside of the EARTH was in those days so you can't rag on the movie too much for the plot (based on a much older book). For the era, this was top notch special effects and the production quality was great. I watched this movie in a masterfully restored HD master. For the time the makeup and effects almost make the guys in the rubber suits look plausible as a monster-thing. This is pure movie cheese complete with bad rubber suits, models, and creepy costumes. AWESOME. PS Doug McClure ROCKS!
Sure, it's cheap but it's FUN!7/10
The main criticism of AT THE EARTH'S CORE is that it's cheap, the special effects are bad and so on and so forth. Yes, some of the special effects are painfully bad but what a lot of folks overlook about it is that it's actually quite fun, which is very important in my book.

In comparison, just look at the latest STAR WARS films: they have the latest, greatest special effects created by the latest technological advances which are capable in creating stunning visual effects as far reaching as the human imagination can imagine and yet, with all the razzle dazzle, those films were as exciting as a funeral. As Yoda would say, Fun they're not! In other words, who cares if the FX aren't the greatest when the spirit of the film is fast-paced, humorous and clearly set on the side of action. I love everything about AT THE EARTH'S CORE: the contrast between stodgy Victorian England VS the wild other-worldly, colorful setting of Pellucidar, the cast of characters, the concept of a lost underground world, the telepathic Pterodactyls, the human slaves rebelling, Jubal the ugly one (lol!), the inspired teaming of Peter Cushing (who's great!) and Doug McClure, the excellent music (it's really good), cinematography by the amazing Alan Hume and last but not least, Caroline Munro. She's effing sexy in this movie. One of the sexiest B-movie babes ever captured on screen.

Seriously, anyone who doesn't like this movie doesn't know what fun is. Gimme AT THE EARTH'S CORE over any turgid STAR WARS prequels any time! At least it has Caroline Munro, which no CGI fx can ever recreate.
Before Luke Skywalker, there was Doug McClure...8/10
His John Dark-Kevin Connor fantasy adventures were a mainstay of Summer holiday movies in the days before Star Wars: they weren't masterpieces, they didn't boast state-of-the-art special effects, but they were exactly what an audience of kids wanted from a film back in the mid 70s.

At the Earth's Core catches just the right tone for the appropriately named Burroughs' pulp adventure about Victorian inventor Peter Cushing and the inevitable Doug McClure ending up in the underground world of Pelucidar and battling its evil telepathic fighting dinosaurs. This time the puppets from he Land That Time Forgot are gone in favour of men in monster suits, which is a lot more fun if you're willing to suspend your disbelief, and if you're not there's always Caroline Munro's cleavage to look at. Aside from what may well be Peter Cushing's worst performance, an irritating but dottier rehash of his movie Dr Who ("You can't mesmerise me, I'm British!"), it's easily the best of the John Dark-Kevin Connor-Doug McClure fantasy adventures, surprisingly well directed and boasting an atmospheric use of colour. Never especially good at exterior scenes, Alan Hume's photography gains immensely from the control a studio set gives him (the film was shot entirely on soundstages) to paint a luridly vivid world worthy of a pulp novel cover. Not high art but definitely great Saturday matinee fun.
You cannot mesmerize me... I'm rubber5/10

Make no mistake, this is a very silly movie. Peter Cushing knew it; he gives one of his most over-the-top, ham it up performances.

Generally speaking, this movie has awful production values. Flying rubber pterodactyl creatures ruling the underworld. Piggish humanoid servants of said pterodactyls. A vapid, vacant-eyed Caroline Munro. An oh-so-macho leading man who, when you really look at him, doesn't look all that tough.

Still, At the Earth's Core has a charming innocence about it that gives it a bit of appeal. Best viewed by 10 year old boys on rainy Saturday afternoons, it's all in good fun.