Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

THE MOLE PEOPLE


THE MOLE PEOPLE (1956). Director: Virgil Vogel.

Explorers and scientists Roger Bentley (John Agar), Jud Bellamin (Hugh Beaumont from Leave it to Beaver) and Etienne LaFarge (Nestor Paiva) wind up in giant caverns which hold the lost civilization of Sumeria. At first they are considered gods by the high priest (Alan Napier of Batman fame), who worships Ishtar, but eventually he realizes the truth and there's trouble. The Sumerians use ugly-looking mole creatures [see photo] as their brutalized slaves, who can dig through the layers of the cavern and who eventually rebel. This is Saturday matinee fare hokum, but it's also entertaining, with atmospheric underground sequences and fine matte paintings. There's no evil queen, but a few babes, including Cynthia Patrick as the sympathetic Adad. Dr. Frank Baxter introduces the movie and is a bore. Agar isn't bad, Paiva is better, and Napier is just swell. Effective musical score [cobbled together from different sources] as well.

Verdict: More fun that you might expect. ***.

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