- Based on the novels The People That Time Forgot and Out of Time’s Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs
- Directed by Kevin Connor
- August 27, 1977
A rescue expedition looking for Bowen Tyler lands on Caprona, the same fantastic prehistoric land where dinosaurs and barbarian tribes exist side by side.
The People That Time Forgot is a sequel to The Land That Time Forgot. Patrick Wayne’s Major Ben McBride takes over the young American adventurer part that was previously held by Doug McClure’s Bowen Tyler. The Tyler character was much more intelligent and thoughtful than McBride. McBride is more like “This is fun!” Tyler and McBride are supposed to be close friends, but they come off more just as two people that if they met would not dislike each other. Work friends who would not get together beyond the office.
This film also includes Sara Douglas as Charly, a photographer whose family-owned newspaper pays for the rescue trip sent out to look for Tyler. As you may recall the last film began with a gentleman fishing from the water a canister containing the tale. She is all spunky mid-70s female. Not window-dressing but not a significant participant in events either.
Sabbala (Milton Reid), the villain of this film, is some kind of warlord among the Nargas whose soldiers dress like samurai and who has captured Tyler for…reasons. I’m not exactly sure what Bowen Tyler could’ve done for this guy. He had no technology left over from the U-boat and unless these people had a way to get to the mainland he couldn’t even act as any kind of guide to help them get to do anything.
Sabbala was evil for the sake of being evil. His evil had no purpose. What was his endgame? What was the goal in what he did? If it was to feed the volcano, then what made any of the characters special enough to care about? The Nargas had been feeding the locals to the volcano god for eons.
There is the implication by the cavegirl Ajor (Dana Gillespie) that the volcano was alive and Tyler called it the heart of the island and also implied it was alive. But it amounted to nothing. The characters adventured around a little bit and when the volcano started erupting like in the last film they just scrambled away.
And what was the point of Ajor? Aside from looking good in the cave clothes, she served no purpose. I would have dumped the character completely. She did nothing to enhance or advance the narrative.
None of the characters really change during the course of this film. As they show up is pretty much how they end of the story. They do not change at all or are even really phased by what happened. This has all the impact on their lives of putting on socks.
The People That Time Forgot is more of an adventure film than it is anything else. It has a lot in common with the adventure serials that once filled movie theaters. It just throws plot element after plot element at you but in the end nothing really amounts to anything. You enjoy yourself but it’s not anything substantive.
The dinosaurs in the last film were a distinct and very noticeable presence along with other prehistoric elements. Here we get a stegosaur and a pterodactyl but aside from an occasional distance shot we don’t get much else. The other creatures we get appear to be fictional creations.
The People That Time Forgot lacks the fantasy vibe or the unusual feel of the last film. We previously had some unusual mysteries teased but those are completely missing here. Nothing about the evolution of the life as they travel up the river or the juxtaposition of multiple eras of life.
There is a great deal of junk but not a lot of meat. It is entertaining but ultimately empty. If I did not know this was a sequel nor know of the existence of The Land That Time Forgot I would think this was its own film. It feels that poorly connected to what came before. It is fun but so much less than what came before.
The People That Time Forgot is an entertaining adventure film. It is something that you will enjoy but you’re likely to forget about it once you’re finished watching. The first film was satisfying enough so there’s nothing to be gained by watching this. I think you can skip this one.