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Unknown World PosterFrom the video box: With the threat of nuclear annihilation by the major world powers, a group of scientists build a fantastic burrowing machine to journey to the center of the Earth in search of a safe haven from the deadly radiation that would make life on the surface impossible. At Earth’s core they find a spectacular cavern system that can support human life, but giant volcanic eruptions, weird subterranean lightning storms and other perils threaten the expedition. Can they hope to survive? (1951, b&w)

Mark says: Just thinking about this movie makes me yawn.

Unknown World is basically Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth minus any excitement. Even special effects by producers Jack Rabin and Irving Block (Kronos, Cat-Women of the Moon) can’t make this an interesting flick. Though the burrowing machine (“Cyclotram”) seems to promise some thrills, it ultimately fails to pay off.

Victor Kilian (Dr. Cyclops) plays gloom and doom scientist Dr. Morley. Morley is so distressed by the world’s state of affairs, that he decides to burrow to the center of the Earth for sanctuary. Talk about running from your problems.

Bruce Kellogg is Wright Thompson, a millionaire who finances the expedition on the condition that he’s allowed to tag along. It doesn’t take much to figure out that Thompson and “ardent feminist” Dr. Joan Lindsey (Marilyn Nash) will hook up by the end of the film. For the purpose of dramatic tension, most of the crew hate Thompson and his money. In reality, no one on the expedition is very likable.

Other cast members include Otto Waldis (Attack of the 50 Ft Woman) as Dr. Max A. Bauer, Jim Bannon (Phantom from Space) as Andy Ostergaard, Dick Cogan (Radar Men from the Moon) as Dr. George Coleman, and George Baxter (The Flying Saucer) as the Carlisle Foundation Chairman.

This film is strictly for hardcore B-movie enthusiasts. I can’t imagine it holding interest for anyone else.

Directed by Terry O. Morse (Godzilla, King of the Monsters).

Scene to watch for: You know, I’ve racked my brains and I can’t think of one really interesting scene. I suppose Dr. Lindsey’s outburst at the Carlisle Foundation Chairman might be worth a giggle.

Line to listen for: “The whole world is out of order!”

Mark’s Rating: ! ! out of 5.



One Comment

  1. I like it a bit more than you did, Mark. Yes, its a slow mover, but the cave scenes aren’t half bad, the music very apt, and the girl is very feminine and “logical”. I also like the “peacenik” arguments (perhaps because I’m such an anarchist!)…I added a little “extra” ending. When they finally surface and say something like “Its our world again”, (yuch!), I insert a nuclear bomb wiping out the whole mess! I also did this with the ending of S.O.S. Pacific (if you ever saw it)


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