“I’d say Caprona was a volcanic crater.”

Off the coast of England a message in a bottle tells the story. In 1916 during WWI a German U-boat captained by Captain von Schoenvorts (John McEnery) sinks a British merchant ship. Among the meager survivors are Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure) and Lisa Clayton (Susan Penhaligon). The U-boat surfaces to charge their batteries. Tyler and the few surviving British officers attack the Germans on deck and take over the U-boat. Tyler takes command of the submarine. His plan is to sail to a safe sea port. One of the German officers, Dietz (Anthony Ainley) breaks loose and smashes the radio.

The ship is then sabotaged and goes off course. Low on fuel and supplies they end up somewhere in the South Atlantic. They find an uncharted sub-continent the captain calls Caprona. Looking for a place to land they find an underground river and follow it. They come out on a tropical land area with lush vegetation and dinosaurs. Primitive men live side by side with extinct creatures. They find oil that they can refine and use as fuel for the submarine which gives them hope for escape.

“The Land That Time Forgot” was released in 1974 and is based on a story by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The movie is an adventure/fantasy. The names of the three tribes in the movie are the Bo-Lu, the Sto-Lu, and the Ga-lu. The book is the first of Burroughs’ Caspak trilogy followed by “The People that Time Forgot” and “Out of Time’s Abyss”. Only two of which have been made into movies.

OK so the dinosaurs aren’t the best. Apparently they couldn’t find someone who knew stop motion so all the dinosaurs are puppets. That’s fine but these guys can’t really walk. That would be OK for seeing some in the distance but if a dinosaur is charging it should be able to move its feet. A few marionettes would have helped. Only the pterodactyls get to really move. It’s kind of sad to see a T-Rex just stand there and then when they die they just fall over like tree trunks.

As for the science... you’re kidding right? The Sto-Lu women lay eggs in a pool that travel down stream. Then each native migrates northward to achieve the next change in the evolutionary stage. Makes about as much sense as spontaneous regeneration.

According to the movie, and from my understand the original book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Italian explorer Caproni, (who is actually fictional) followed Captain James Cook, and discovered an island near Antarctica that he named Caprona in 1721. That would have been a nice trick since in real life Cook wasn’t even born until 1728. Yes, this is a fantasy movie all right. Very much camp and silly but a lot of fun anyway. Even the tree trunk dinosaurs.