Friday, January 9, 2009

The People That Time Forgot

It's going to be some time before a film version of "At the Mountains of Madness" ever hits the big screen, but if you're in the mood for another disturbing tale of an Antarctic expedition gone horribly wrong you need to pay a visit to Hulu. The site specializes in streaming episodes of television shows and full-length movies, and one of their featured films is "The People That Time Forgot".

It's a mostly-forgettable 70's era adaptation of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs story, but for my purposes it's a goldmine of potential material. I expect I'll be recycling some stills and video from the film in my games, particularly the opening and closing segments featuring a steam-powered barque that can double for the "Arkham".

Amazingly, it also features a Dornier Wal!

Well, kind of.

It looks like the studio had the hull of a Wal handy, but both the model and live-action versions of the amphibious plane used by the adventurers features a bizarre biplane wing configuration. The upper wing and engine are attached to the mounting struts present on the Wal, but the lower pair of wings use the distinctive sponsons of the plane as wing roots.

Beyond it's prop potential there aren't many reasons to recommend the film. It's obvious the production design suffered from serious budget problems. Everything from the late 19th/early 20th century setting of the film looks great (since they could draw on the studio's collection of props, costumes, and sets), but the quality totally tanks once the party crashes into the hidden tropical paradise beyond the Antarctic mountains.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a British Vickers Viking IV, you gumby :P
No relation to the German Wal whatsoever - that was made a decade later. Sheesh!


A Seaplane Anorak.

P.S. Yes, this is a truly dreadful movie that I only watched for the Viking.