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Posts tagged “At the Earth’s Core

Doug McClure

Douglas Osborne “Doug” McClure (May 11, 1935 – February 5, 1995) was an American actor whose career in film and television extended from the 1950s to the 1990s. Born in Glendale, California, he is best known for his appearances as Trampas in the NBC Western series The Virginian and the 70’s sci-fi adventure films, The Land That Time Forgot and Warlords of Atlantis.

McClure’s acting career included minor roles in The Enemy Below, South Pacific, The Unforgiven, and Because They’re Young, before landing the part of Trampas on The Virginian – a part that would make him famous. He also starred in three other series: as Frank “Flip” Flippen on NBC’s western, Overland Trail (1960), as Jed Sills on the CBS Detective series Checkmate (1960–1962), and finally in the sci-fi/detective series Search (1972-73) in which he rotated the lead with Hugh O’Brian and Anthony Franciosa as a high-tech PROBE agent.

In 1967, he played the Errol Flynn role in a re-make of Against All Flags titled The King’s Pirate. He also played the lead in two World War II adventures, The Longest Hundred Miles and The Birdmen.

In 1975, McClure starred in The Land That Time Forgot, the film is a fantasy/adventure film based upon the 1924 novel of the same name by Edgar Rice Burroughs, with a screenplay written by Michael Moorcock. Produced by Britain’s Amicus Productions, the movie tells the story of the survivors of a sinking British merchant ship who are taken on board a German U-Boat that has torpedoed their ship. Along with a few surviving British officers, Bowen Tyler convinces the other men to take over the surfacing submarine, this being their only chance for survival. After confronting the Germans on the deck, a fight ensues and they seize the German U-boat. Off course and running out of fuel in the South Atlantic, the U-boat and its crew happen across an uncharted sub-continent called Caprona, a fantastical land of lush vegetation where dinosaurs still roam, co-existing with primitive man. There are also reserves of oil which, if the Germans and British can work together, can be refined and enable their escape from the island.

Amicus was to make two more Burroughs adaptations, At the Earths Core (1976), with McClure, Peter Cushing, and Caroline Munro; and The People That Time Forgot (1977), a direct sequel to The Land That Time Forgot starring Patrick Wayne,Sarah Douglas and McClure in a cameo appearance.

In 1978, McClure made Warlords of Atlantis, a British science fiction/fantasy film. McClure plays Greg Collinson whose ship is chartered for a diving expedition, however the y are secretly searching for proof of the existence of the lost city of Atlantis. First, they are attacked by a reptilian sea monster, which comes through the bottom of the diving bell, before they  discover a statue made of solid gold.There’s a mutiny on board the ship as everyone wants the gold. Then a gigantic octopus, sent by the inhabitants of Atlantis, attacks the ship. Our heroes end up in Atlantis where they encounter an array of mythical creatures. I loved these movies when I was a kid and have been tempted to revisit them on DVD, however I’ve resisted as I don’t want my childhood memories ruined…

He also made Humanoids from the Deep (1980) updating of many similarly plotted genre offerings from the 1950s, with the addition of lots of graphic violence and nudity. Thanks to good word of mouth among teenage boys, the film was a modest financial success for New World Pictures, and it continues to be a cult  favourite today.

In 1994, McClure was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 7065 Hollywood Blvd. It was unveiled in what was his final public appearance. On February 5, 1995, McClure died from lung cancer in Sherman Oaks, California. He was 59.

Caroline Munro

Caroline Munro (born 16 January 1949) is an English actress and model known for her many appearances in horror, science fiction and action films of the 1970s and 1980s.

According to Munro, her career took off in 1966 when her mother and photographer friend entered some headshots of her to Britain’s The Evening News “Face of the Year” contest. This led to modelling chores, her first job being for Vogue magazine at the age of 17. She moved to London to pursue top modelling jobs and became a major cover girl for fashion and TV advertisements while there. 1969 proved to be a good year for Munro, because it was then that she began a lucrative 10 year relationship with Lamb’s Navy Rum. Her image was plastered all over the country, and this would eventually lead to her next big break.

1971 saw her appear alongside Vincent Price in ‘The Abominable Dr. Phibes’, playing the deceased Mrs. Victoria Regina Phibes. She would reprise the role in the sequel, ‘Dr. Phibes Rises Again’ in 1972. Her first film for Hammer proved to be something of a turning point in her career. It was during the making of ‘Dracula AD 1972’ that she decided from this film onward she was a full-fledged actress. Up until then, she had always considered herself to be a model who did some acting on the side. Munro completed her contract for Hammer with ‘Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter’ in 1974.

Munro has the distinction of being the only actor ever signed to a long-term contract by Hammer Films. She would later turn down the lead female roles in Hammer’s ‘Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde’, ‘Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell’, and the unmade ‘Vampirella’ because they required nudity.

Director Brian Clemens later helped her get the role of Margiana, the slave girl in ‘The Golden Voyage of Sinbad’ (1974). Other appearances during this time included ‘I Don’t Want to be Born’ (1975) with Joan Collins, and ‘At the Earth’s Core’ (1976) with Peter Cushing and Doug McClure. She appeared also as Tammy, a nursing employee of a sinister health farm, in “The Angels of Death” (1977).

In 1977, Munro turned down the opportunity to play villainess Ursa in ‘Superman’ in favor of what would become her most celebrated film appearance, the ill-fated helicopter pilot Naomi in the Bond film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, who seductively winks at Bond while trying to gun him down from her helicopter. In her role as Naomi, she holds the distinction of being the first woman ever undeniably killed by James Bond.

Munro continued to work in numerous British and European horror and science fiction films throughout the 1970s and 1980s, most notably ‘Starcrash’ (1979) with David Hasselhoff and Christopher Plummer.

Munro’s career continued to thrive in slasher and Eurotrash productions. Her first film shot on American soil was the William Lustig production ‘Maniac’ (1980). This was soon followed by the “multi-award winning, shot during the Cannes Film Festival” shocker ‘The Last Horror Film’ (1982) (directed by David Winters), in which she was reunited with her Maniac co-star Joe Spinell. She also had a cameo role in the cult classic slasher ‘Don’t Open ‘Til Christmas’ as a singer (1984), ‘Slaughter High’ (1986), ‘Howl of the Devil’ (1987), and Jess Franco’s ‘Faceless’ (1988). She reteamed with Starcrash director, Luigi Cozzi, for ‘Il Gatto nero’ in 1989. This would be Caroline’s last major film appearance.