A movie with no distinguishable dialogue can work, well silent movies did, but a movie where other than a couple of names the dialogue consists of grunts and shrieks, well that just doesn't work. And that is the case of "One Million Years B.C." a factually incorrect adventure movie about prehistoric man and the dangerous world he lived in full of dinosaurs and savages. But that dialogue full of grunts and groans is just one of the problems which affect it because for the first 30 minutes "One Million Years B.C." is both dull and cheesy, to the point that it is also laughable. Thankfully it does get better, just about the first time we meet Raquel Welch in her loin cloth bikini and from then on with some surprisingly impressive stop motion dinosaur action it gets entertaining. But it doesn't stop it from being laughable and sadly more dull than entertaining.
Back in prehistoric times, caveman Tumak (John Richardson) finds himself banished from the tribe of savages presided over by his father Akhoba (Robert Brown - Campbell's Kingdom). Forced to walk the baron land Tumak meets danger and almost dies before he is discover by a gentler tribe who live by the sea. Taking him in and nursing him back to health Tumak finds himself also being thrown out of their tribe along with the attractive Loana (Raquel Welch - Legally Blonde) who chooses to go with him. With dinosaurs and volcanic eruptions they must learn to fend for themselves in the sweltering heat.
For about the first 30 minutes of "One Million Years B.C." I honestly wondered where it was going. There was this trippy intro where a narrator tells us about how life was hard for early man and then there is almost a biblical style storyline as we have a group of savage cave men and a rivalry between their leader Akhoba and his two sons Sakana and Tumak. No word of a lie but between some over acting, the stupid storyline, trippy intro and grunt filled dialogue I was bordering on turning off "One Million Years B.C." as it was dull and utter nonsense. And to be honest it got little better when you have Tumak leaving the savages home and wandering the land, meeting danger like a giant iguana, I mean a dinosaur.
But then surprisingly "One Million Years B.C." actually starts getting good and ironically it is at the point where we meet Loana or that should be Raquel Welch in her loin cloth bikini. Now I am not saying that watching Raquel Welch in a loin cloth bikini made the movie good, although it helped, but it is at this point that a storyline starts to develop or at least one which is semi interesting. What we basically get is Tumak learning skills from Loana's tribe, falling for Loana and then returning to battle his father's tribe. Actually it's not much of a storyline but following half an hour of Tumak walking the desert at least it brings with it some action as dinosaurs start attacking prehistoric man.
Now by today's standards the special effects on show in "One Million Years B.C." are ropey, the super imposed Iguana is simply laughable. But then you have the stop motion action of dinosaurs attacking not just prehistoric man but also each other and it is strangely effective. Yes the movement is jerky and the dinosaurs look fake but you mysteriously find yourself captivated by the creativity of the animation team and to watch a flying dinosaur head off with Loana in its claws is actually impressive. Thank god for all the action because without it "One Million Years B.C." would have ended up a dire movie.
As for the acting, well this is wrong for me to say it but Raquel Welch gives the most memorable performance and it is purely down to being super sexy in that loin cloth bikini. Her actual acting isn't actually up to much but she just has to stand there and she grabs your attention. And that means that John Richardson as Tumak is pretty forgettable as is Robert Brown as Akhoba and Percy Herbert as Sakana. I have to wonder what all these actors thought of appearing in a movie which didn't have any distinguishable dialogue and whether they struggled not to crack up at all the grunts and groans they deliver whilst trying to look serious. And to be honest the fact that there is no real dialogue is an issue because it means that the likes of John Richardson and Percy Herbert are forced to over act to try and deliver the emotion of a scene.
What this all boils down to is that if it wasn't for Raquel Welch in a loin cloth bikini and the impressive stop motion action "One Million Years B.C." would have been a completely terrible movie. It doesn't have much of a storyline and with dialogue which is just grunts and groans the actors are forced to over act but get beyond the dull first half hour and it surprisingly becomes entertaining for all things visual.