“The weak will run away and the strong will try to kill us.”
In 1881 in Algiers Michael Denning (Sean McClory) and Hector Servadac (Cesare Danova) are in the middle of a duel. The duel is interrupted when a comet passing by the Earth creates a strong wind that blows both men away. When the wind stops the two enemies find themselves in a land they have never seen before. They start walking in the direction they believe the town is. By sunset they still have not reached the city but they have seen unusual terrain. Even the stars look different.
At night they are attacked by what appears to be Neanderthals. They believe they can not stay where they are so they move on. The next day they see giant creatures. Snakes, mongoose and reptiles and one big spider puppet. They realize that they are in a land that is pre-historic. Through all of this their thought process changes based on what is happening around them. First they think the city may have been wiped out. Then they think the Earth has shifted on its axis. Then one night while they are looking at the moon they realize that the moon is really the Earth and they are on a comet. For some reason there is a volcano on this comet. It seems that they analyze their situation constantly and change their theory as they go along.
Eventually the duo comes across some cave people. They steal food and furs from them. They see more cave people but they are from a different tribe and avoid them. Next they run into a Mammoth that attacks them. The Mammoth sends Hector over a cliff into a river. The men are now separated from each other. Hector manages to get to shore where he passes out. A blonde cave girl named Deena (Joan Staley)finds him and brings him to her tribe. She claims him as hers.
Michael, on the other hand, saves a hunter from the other tribe. The hunter is the leader of the tribe and they take him in. Of course there is a cute brunette named Nateeta (Danielle De Metz) there and a mutual attraction. Much to the chagrin of a cave guy who wants her too. Brains beats out brawn and Michael gets the girl.
One day while investigating a cave Hector and Deena are separated. Deena is captured by Michael’s tribe. When Michael hears Deena talk he knows that Hector is alive. He plans on returning Deena to Hector. Hector finds out that Deena has been taken and plans on attacking the tribe that took her. Hector and Michael meet up again just as the volcano is erupting.
“Valley of the Dragons” was made in 1961 and was directed by Edward Bernds. The movie uses the old “lizards dressed up as dinosaurs” special effect. It was cheaper than stop motion since most of it came from “One Million BC” done in 1940 with Victor Mature. Not so good for the lizards since they were actually made to fight. Other effects are just regular animals projected on back screen. Apparently lots of stock footage was used not only from “One Million BC” but bits and pieces from “Rodan”, “King Dinosaur” and even “Cat Women on the Moon”. The movie was produced by Al Zimbalist. He had the rights to footage from “One Million BC” so it was perfect for this project. It seems that the puppet spider is also a retread from “World Without End”. Even the set is leftover from the jungle scene in “The Devil at Four O’clock”. It’s amazing how you can coble a movie together and make it look new. And I thought Roger Corman was cheap.
The movie is loosely based on one of Jules Verne’s lesser known stories called “Off on a Comet”. The science is of course pseudo but it is interesting how Hector makes it all seem logical. You can’t take any of it seriously. Even the Earth in the opening credits is spinning backwards. The total budget was somewhere around $125,000. Not sure what they spent it on other than fur pelts and fake body hair. It’s an absolutely silly movie but harmless. Except for the Lizards anyway.