Posts tagged "Javier Solís"

Aventura al Centro de la Tierra (Review)

Aventura al Centro de la Tierra

aka Adventure at the Center of the Earth
Aventuras al centro de la tierra Adventure at the Center of the Earth
1965
Written by José María Fernández Unsáin (as J.M. Fernandez U.)
Directed by Alfredo B. Crevenna

Hug time!

The mysterious center of the planet Earth has been a tantalizing source of speculative fiction for decades, until a bunch of eggheads determined it’s all magma and rocks. But screw those eggheads, because we’re still about journeying to mysterious underground civilizations. The concept is so universal that even Mexico has an entry, which not only brings to mind the many dryly boring 1950s adventure romps, but even uses stock footage from some of them. Aventura al Centro de la Tierra (Adventure at the Center of the Earth) even has its own boring old professor guys who are twenty years and twenty pounds to late to be trekking around to parts unknown. Luckily they bring guns and all sorts of modern violence on this quest, because it’s full of monsters.

Aventuras al centro de la tierra Adventure at the Center of the Earth

Hey, I’m a lizard with crap glued to my head! And you think you have a bad job…


First, let’s give Aventura al Centro de la Tierra a giant “FUCK YOU!” for the terrible real animal cruelty in one scene. A pit of snakes have a bucket of gasoline thrown on them and are set alight. I’m no big snake fan, but I’m definitely not a big fan of killing animals for a dumb film about a bat creature that wants to score with a hot babe. They also include that classic clip of the crocodile with a fin on its back battling the gila monster that’s in like four or five other films. BOOOOOOOOO!! to that as well. They even sort of reference it with iguanas with horns and crap glued to them that can be seen in the cave.

The real reason to watch Aventura al Centro de la Tierra isn’t all the terrible stuff I’ve been mentioning, but the creature costumes. There is a rather well constructed manbat creature, complete with giant wings and sort of human intelligence and lusts. Despite going on a murder spree, he realizes Kitty de Hoyos is far too attractive to just rip her neck open, and takes her back to his lair to try to woo with bat guts and live rats. The ManBat was joined by a Cyclops, who is also responsible for some of the bodycount in the film, but he’s gunned down rather spectacularly (efforts to drug him end with an impaled Cyclops!)

On the way, the film borrows from classic horror films. Underwater sequences bring to mind similar underwater scenes in Creature of the Black Lagoon. The entire going to the center of the Earth thing is borrowed from so many pulp novels, Jules Verne being the most famous. The ManBat acts like many monsters with crushes by trying to impress the lady he kidnaps (and carries in the required monster carried a lady pose!) Alfredo B. Crevenna would go on to direct Gigantes Planetarios, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, and Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos

Aventuras al centro de la tierra Adventure at the Center of the Earth

Ladies and blacks, get out!


Professor Díaz (José Elías Moreno) – Lead professor guy who drags everyone into the caves and speaks all grand pronouncements while doing nothing except shooting and destroying everything he finds. Science!
Hilda Ramírez (Kitty de Hoyos) – An assistant professor who gets brought on the expidetion despite being left at camp almost all the time thanks to Professor Díaz. Likes to take pictures of the dark, which comes in handy when the pictures show eyes watching her. Is kidnapped by ManBat.
Dr. Peña (Carlos Cortés as Carlos Cortez) – A doctor brought along in case people are hurt. Becomes the love interest of Hilda despite being the least developed of the main characters.
Jaime Rocha (David Reynoso), Dr. Laura Ponce (Columba Domínguez), and Dr. Manuel Ruiz (Javier Solís) – Jaime Rocha is a big game hunter brought in to shoot whatever monster is rumored to be killing people in the cave. Dr. Laura Ponce is a geologist needed because caves are made of rocks. Dr. Ruiz is a writer who gets added to the group because they needed another guy with an advanced degree. Dr. Ruiz and Dr. Ponce like each other, but Ponce becomes greedy upon finding diamonds, while Ruiz wants to inform the government. Rocha overhears and kills Ruiz to cash in on the wealth, but Ponce says she’s going to inform the government anyway in deference to her late friend. Unfortunately both she and Rocha get killed by the ManBat before anyone knows what is going on, resolving this plot conflict with blood and bodies.
The Black Servant of Dr. Peña (???) – Because we need a cook in the center of the Earth! He never gets a name despite being a major character! Also there are cave guides brought along for monster fodder, all of which gets names. But not this guy! We salute you, Black Servant of Dr. Peña. Yes, he dies.
Cyclops (???) – Cyclops attacks the party randomly. They shoot it with a drug bullet, but the cyclops lands on a stalagmite as it falls and is somehow impaled like 3 feet through the chest. Cyclopses must have a low calcium diet that makes their chest bones basically jelly or something. This is why you should have proper nutrition, people! This cyclops costume has a tail, and I am unsure if it is the same costume from La Nave de los Monstruos and Santo el Enmascarado de Plata y Blue Demon Contra los Monstruos
ManBat (???) – I have to call him ManBat because the only alternative is BatMan. Falls in love with Hilda and stalks her all through the movie. Has an expressive makeup face in closeups, but is obviously a mask in long shots. Is intelligent and tough, but not immune to being shot with many many bullets.

Aventuras al centro de la tierra Adventure at the Center of the Earth

Someone saw the missing King Kong spider pit sequence!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 21, 2014 at 8:11 am

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