Battle Beneath the Earth

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A Chinese general goes berserk and has a system of tunnels dug all the way from China to USA, under the Pacific Ocean! Wherever there is an important military base, he places atomic bombs.

ACTORS :  Kerwin Mathews, Viviane Ventura, Robert Ayres

YEAR OF RELEASE : 1967

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Battle Beneath the Earth  A Chinese general goes berserk and has a system of tunnels dug all the way from China to USA, under the Pacific Ocean! Wherever there is an important military base, he places atomic bombs. US Navy soldiers go underground to repel the invaders.

A fun piece of 60’s sci-fi action camp

Battle Beneath the Earth  Evil renegade Chinese General Chan Lu (a nicely wicked portrayal by Martin Benson) plans on launching a bunch of nuclear attacks on America from a series of underground tunnels. It’s up to brave, but disgraced military man Commander Jonathan Shaw (the dashing Kerwin Matthews) to stop him before it’s too late. Director Montgomery Tully, working from a silly script by L.Z. Hargreaves, relates the goofy plot at a steady pace and maintains a serious tone throughout. The admirably sincere acting from a game cast qualifies as a major asset: Viviane Ventura as foxy spelunker Tila Young, Robert Ayres as the ramrod Admiral Felix Hillebrand, Peter Arne as paranoid seismologist Arnold Kramer, Al Mulock as the rugged Sergeant Marvin Mulberry, Peter Elliott as Lu’s nefarious scientist assistant Kengh Lee, and Ed Bishop as the stalwart Vince Cassidy. Kenneth Talbot’s vibrant color cinematography and Ken Jones’ urgent, lively, rousing score are both up to speed. The nifty “Batman”-style whiplash cutaways, the clumsily staged action scenes, some gross miscasting (several British actors play the Asian villains!), the endearingly clunky (not so) special effects (the back-screen projection is especially dodgy), and a big’n’bulky slowly trudging yellow tank car that shoots out deadly lasers which are really just bright beams of light all give this picture a certain lovably dippy kitschy charm. A pleasingly campy timekiller.

A Classic Sci-Fi Movie

This movie classic, from the Golden Age of Sci-Fi films, is a movie to remember. USA vs China, with Jules Verne like settings and the requisite nuclear weaponry that goes with any 60’s sci-fi setting.

Definitely worth watching again.

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