The Doug McClure Fantasy Adventure Triple Bill (1975 - 1978)

3 film, 3 disc triple bill of low budget British fantasy films starring Doug McClure. Canal Club UK R2 boxset.

The Background

By 1974, British horror was in a decline - the exploitation era was in, and with lax censorship laws, Italian film companies were bringing out films sexier and gorier than had ever been seen before. The gothic horrors that Hammer and Amicus had lived on for over a decade were now completely outdated, despite Hammer's desperate attempts to update the formula. The Beast Must Die (1974) was to be the last horror film for Amicus founders Subotsky and Rosenberg, and along with producer John Dark, they looked to the family markets for their future. They had previously had sucess with a duet of Doctor Who films in the mid-1960s, and aiming for the same adventurous tones they looked to the works of popular American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs.

After some casting problems, American television star Doug McClure was chosen for the hero of the first film - The Land that Time Forgot (1975) - the funding was entirely provided by Samual Z. Arkoff of AIP and in light of the film's sucess, he quickly ordered a second. Before production could begin, Milton Subotsky finally left the company after a long running series of disputes over the way it should be run. At the Earth's Core (1976) again starred Doug McClure and he was joined by Amicus' most loyal star Peter Cushing, in what is an unquestionably entertaining, if daft film. Continuing to make money, AIP commissioned a third film and Edgar Rice Burroughs' sequel book The People that Time Forgot (1977) [Blog Review] was chosen with Doug McClure now joined by Patrick Wayne. By the time that filming was complete, Max Rosenberg had elected to leave the company and Amicus were no more. However, John Dark, and Kevin Connor, who had directed all the films to this point, saw no need to finish production on the profitable series and working independently, brought Doug McClure back again for the very well written Warlords of Atlantis (1978) and finally wrapping up the series with Arabian Adventure (1979) starring Christopher Lee, with a cameo from Peter Cushing.

The Films - links to individual film reviews where available.

In Brief:

Anyone famous in it? Alongside Doug McClure, the American star of all three films in the collection, look out for Hammer Horror legend Peter Cushing in At the Earth's Core.
Who is it for?
Recommended to fantasy film fans, and certainly of interest to fans of Amicus, Doug McClure and Peter Cushing.

The DVDs

Visuals All films are in Original Aspect Ratios and Anamorphically Enhanced. 
The picture qualities are generally good and well encoded digitally.
Audio All films are presented with their original English mono tracks which sound fine.
Subtitles None.
ExtrasAtlantis and Earth's Core include trailers, while Land includes a contemporary documentary about the filming, with some behind the scenes footage. All three include brief biographies and photo galleries.
Packing Contained in three standard amaray cases in a cardboard slipcase.
AvailabilityAll three are available as identical single disc releases.
Region Region 2 - PAL
Other regions? Land and Earth's Core are both available on similar discs in Germany, and from the USA as part of the Midnight Movies collection, both as single disc versions, or in double-bill packs with the sequel People that Time Forgot and Vincent Price/AIP fantasy film War Gods of the Deep (a.k.a The City Under the Sea). Warlords of Atlantis is not available elsewhere.
Cuts? All films are believed to be fully uncut. The prints are English.


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All text in this review written by Timothy Young - December 2006.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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