Cave art


RELEASED OUT NOW! 1971 | 18 | Blu-ray

Director Don Chaffey

Cast Julie Ege, Brian O’shaughness­y,

Tony Bonner, Rosalie Crutchley

Creatures The Film Forgot is the easy gag: following such monster-loaded Hammer epics as One Million Years BC and When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth, the lack of prehistori­c beasts in a movie whose title explicitly trades on their marquee value feels cheeky to say the least.

But that’s unfair on this Stone Age quest tale, a true outlier in the studio’s output and one that feels, five decades on, courageous­ly experiment­al. Entirely wordless – do paleolithi­c grunts count as dialogue? – it strives for realism in place of pulpy, history-twisting thrills, substituti­ng porcupines, pythons and cave bears for Dynamation behemoths.

If it misses the magic of a Ray Harryhause­n then it benefits from natural wonder: the location work in Africa’s Namib desert is absolutely stunning, a sandblaste­d, boulder-strewn backdrop that sells this hard-edged survival story better than any anachronis­tic dino ever could.

Extras Kim Newman and Sean Hogan supply an enjoyable commentary. Jonathan Rigby presents a genuinely fascinatin­g account of the film’s origins as a free-floating title for which Hammer sought not just a story but a genre (25 minutes). Rachel Knightley profiles Norwegian star Julie Ege (seven minutes). David Huckvale unpicks the score by prolific Italian composer Mario Nascimbene (26 minutes).

There’s also a chance to see director Don Chaffey’s trio of Children’s Film Foundation shorts from 1953: Skid Kids (49 minutes), A Good Pull Up (18 minutes) and Watch Out! (18 minutes). Plus: image gallery; trailer; an 80-page booklet. Nick Setchfield

Julie Ege turned down the lead female role (ultimately played by Martine Beswick) in Hammer’s Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde.

 ?? ?? The chap on the right doesn’t have the foggiest.
The chap on the right doesn’t have the foggiest.

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