Terminal Café

The Land that Time Forgot

A German submarine is hijacked by a group of survivors of the last torpedo victim of the said sub. They become lost, and find themselves near what they think to be a lost island. Penetrating the inhospitable borders of the island, they discover inside an lush area containing what looks to be a prehistoric land - with dinosaurs (and cavemen, to boot!).

The Land that Time Forgot

I had more power than most on that picture because ERB Inc. insisted (for some reason) that I was the only person who could do the script according to Burroughs. Jim and I broke it down and I wrote it -- making the German more sensitive (and the spokesperson for the ideas) -- and the only serious changes were the ridiculous ending (done without consultation specifically after I'd said I wouldn't do volcanoes etc. etc. -- I had a far more lyrical ending, which would have worked far better simply in commercial terms -- but they had to use the Grimpen Mire somewhere, I suppose (did you know it's oatmeal, that stuff)). The effects were cheap (that stiff pterodactyl) but we managed to get a bit of atmosphere here and there and pretty much managed to keep the idea. The reason I agreed to do it was because there was a good idea in it. However, John Dark the horrible little Australian producer who behaved like a cartoon typical Hollywood cigar-chewing midget from some paraody of the 30s (Doug McClure's description -- not a great actor, but a very nice guy -- his laconic, expressionless response to the little idiot -- who'd told me that Mai Zetterling (a good friend) just wouldn't take advice after he'd tried to help her... The guy playing the German thought himself superior to the movie altogether and Anton Diffrin had to do dub him over, he was so off-hand. I also took the job on because I'd left it to others to do FP and they'd made such a mess of it I thought I'd better learn how to do it myself. It was a less dumb movie than what came out, but less disappointing to me than Ballard's When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth! I don't have a copy of it. Surprising numbers of adults tell me that it's their kids' favourite film, so I must have done something right...

Most of the dinos were glove-puppets. I have nothing against glove-puppets or blokes in dino suits -- often more convincing. But I've never been put off by bad special effects -- I sat next to a grumbling John Wyndham during the screening of Day of the Triffids and I was still terrified out of mind. Also War of the Worlds. I never notice the wires. That's probably why I haven't seen a single Elm Street, Friday 13th, or any of the other famous ones, including S. King's.

Personal Correspondence


Runtime: USA:90
Country: UK
Language: English
Color: Color
Sound Mix: Mono
Certification: USA:PG / Sweden:15

Credits taken from the Internet Film Database