Land That Time Forgot, The (Blu-ray) (1974)
Audio Commentary-Brian Trenchard-Smith and director Kevin O’Conner
|Year Of Production||1974|
|Running Time||91:13 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Kevin Connor|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
English Audio Commentary DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In June 1916 Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure), Lisa Clayton (Susan Penhaligon, who did have a connection with Australia when she appeared in Patrick (1978)), Bradley (Keith Barron) and Olson (Declan Mulholland) are the survivors of a freighter that was sunk by the German U-boat commanded by Captain Von Schoenvorts (John McEnery) and Executive Officer Dietz (Anthony Ainley). Through a series of incidents including boarding the U-boat, sabotage and a faulty compass, the survivors and the U-boat crew end up on an uncharted island in the South Atlantic where they encounter prehistoric creatures, dinosaurs and primitive humans as they try to reprovision the U-boat to escape. And, if facing carnivorous creatures, primitive humans and volcanic eruptions is not peril enough, the enmity between the two groups threatens the survival of them all.
Made in 1974 The Land That Time Forgot is an old fashioned adventure that is based upon the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The main draw with this type of adventure is not the actors, who in this case are stock cardboard characters, or the plot but the special effects. In The Land That Time Forgot the dinosaurs are the work of Roger Dicken, who was nominated for an Oscar a few years previously for his work on When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970). Of course, in pre-CGI days the movement of the various prehistoric creatures, whether flighted, aquatic or land bound, were not as fluid or realistic as they would become; in The Land That Time Forgot they are mostly hand puppets that look fine and, in any case, the quaintness of the monsters and the obvious wires add to the charm of watching a 1970s adventure.
The Land That Time Forgot was director Kevin O’Connor’s second feature. He directs without fuss; he followed up with another couple of creature films, At the Earth’s Core (1976) and the sequel to The Land That Time Forgot based on another novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The People That Time Forgot (1977) and he continues to direct with currently 77 credits on the IMDb.
The Land That Time Forgot is a product of the attitudes of the time; the unknown (or the different) is hostile, so shoot first and shoot often, no matter the circumstances! But with a recognisable face in US actor Doug McClure, decent special effects for the time, a submarine, beautiful photography, a beautiful heroine and an erupting volcano, The Land That Time Forgot is an enjoyable way to spend some time.
The Land That Time Forgot is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
The events during the first third of the film take place at sea, sometimes in fog, so the colours are dull and grey and detail soft except inside the U-boat, where detail is strong. Once the party arrive on the island, however, the colours are vivid and lush, with verdant greens, bright blues and yellows. The creatures have decent detail of their scales and teeth except for some back projection scenes. While soft stock footage of volcano lava is used during the eruption, the reds of the flames during the sequences shot for the film are deep. Blacks and shadow detail are very good, skin tones natural, brightness and contrast consistent.
There is prominent grain, especially noticeable in the scenes in the fog, elsewhere small flecks, an occasional smudge or line occur, but nothing distracting.
No subtitles are provided.
The audio is English DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono, the audio commentary is the same. The film was shown theatrically with mono audio.
The dialogue is easy to understand. The effects such as torpedo explosions, gunshots and creature growls are crisp and deep enough, the crashing boulders and the eruption lack depth but are acceptable. The score by Douglas Gamley suited an old fashioned adventure.
There are no lip synchronisation issues even though all of John McEnery’s dialogue was relooped by German actor Anton Diffring.
|Surround Channel Use|
When the Blu-ray loads the feature starts without a menu. Indeed, there is no menu on this disc. However, you can access the audio commentary, which is not mentioned on the Blu-ray cover, by changing the audio stream with the remote.
Film director Brian Trenchard-Smith (BMX Bandits) chats to Kevin O’Conner about his memories of the making of The Land That Time Forgot. It is a sporadic commentary and not the most vibrant but they talk about the locations, cast, the sets, use of models and cardboard cut-outs, filming in the tank at Shepperton, the puppets and rear projection.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region A US release of The Land That Time Forgot includes the same commentary and adds a short vintage “making of” (12:03) and a trailer (2:10). I suppose these make it the preferred version although it hardly seems worthwhile importing.
The Land That Time Forgot ticks all the boxes as a Saturday afternoon feature for all the family. There are prehistoric carnivorous creatures in the air, the sea and on land, colourful sets, primitive hostile tribes, conflict between German and British sailors, an American hero, a pretty heroine and a volcanic eruption. It may be old fashioned, and rated PG, but The Land That Time Forgot is a heap of fun. The DVD release of the film some years back was in the incorrect 1.33:1 aspect ratio and not 16x9 enhanced. If you have that release, and enjoy the film, an update is definitely warranted.
Except for small marks the video looks good, the audio is the original mono. The audio commentary is a welcome extra.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|