Thursday, March 4, 2010
THE INCREDIBLE PETRIFIED WORLD
THE INCREDIBLE PETRIFIED WORLD (1957). Director: Jerry Warren.
A group descends in a new-type diving bell which breaks loose from its cable at 1700 feet. Escaping from the bell, the four people inside somehow make their way into an underground cavern [the logistics of this are never made clear, and it is never explained why they didn't make their way to the surface.] Inside these immense caverns [actually the Colossal Cave in Tucson, Arizona], which are illuminated by phosphorescence in the walls, the group discover an old man who claims to have been trapped there for fourteen years! Although this is a very cheap movie, it does manage to work up a disquieting sense of claustrophobia and despair, and the acting -- especially from Phyllis Coates of The Adventures of Superman TV fame, again playing a reporter -- adds to its veracity. Robert Clarke from The Man from Planet X and John Carradine are also in the cast. The battling monsters in the ads are in reality represented by a quick cut of a lizard that is not only not in the same frame as the actors but doesn't really seem to be in the same movie!
Verdict: Not for people who hate cheap movies, but this has atmosphere to spare. ***.