Women of the Prehistoric Planet is a relatively enjoyable, cheesy sci-fi movie from the 1960’s. Low budget, bad special effects. With an interesting story. But there actually aren’t any women on the prehistoric planet.
Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966) starring Wendell Corey, John Agar, Robert Ito, Linda Tsu
There’s an interesting story in Women of the Prehistoric Planet — somewhere. The off-camera backstory deals with a battle between Humans and Centaurians. There’s clearly unresolved hostility between the two groups.
The Centaurians’ planet was devastated by a catastrophic event. They are brought back with spacefaring explorers, to be assimilated into their culture. However, one of the ships in the fleet is hijacked by a few of its Centaurian passengers. It crash-lands on a prehistoric planet in the “Solaris” system. Leading to an unauthorized rescue mission.
Because of faster-than-light travel, although only 3 months have passed on the rescue ship, 18 years have passed on the planet where they crashed. And the rescue squad runs into
- A lizard that’s supposed to be a dinosaur.
- A giant spider that looks like a plush toy.
- A snake that attacks Linda.
- Hostile cavemen attack Tang and Linda.
Finding love, rescue, and the finale
Linda is the member of the crew that, against orders, goes exploring and gets lost. Tang is the handsome Centauri/human hybrid that rescues, befriends, and falls in love with Linda.
The good news is, the rescue squad, plus the Admiral, rescue Linda from the attacking cavemen. Unfortunately, they mistake Tang for one of the hostiles, and shoot him. Thankfully, it’s only a flesh wound. But the young lovers are separated — temporarily. Erupting volcanos force the ship to leave. And Linda’s left again, to be reunited with Tang. On the prehistoric planet the explorers name … Earth.
For the record, there are no women of the prehistoric planet. Not until Linda arrives, at least.
The Centauri are all Asians, and the “humans” are all Caucasian. And, the humans treat the Centauri like second-class citizens. Although the “twist” ending is that the prehistoric planet is our own Earth, so everyone’s descended from Tang & Linda.
Cast of characters
- Wendell Corey (Holiday Affair) … Admiral David King. Violating orders, he takes the fleet to rescue the lost ship. It’s hinted heavily that he’s Linda’s father. Which he confirms at the end. A very wooden performance.
- Keith Larsen (Night of the Witches) … Commander Scott. Leading the rescue squad.
- John Agar (Revenge of the Creature, The Mole People) … Dr. Farrell. Ship’s doctor, part of the rescue squad.
- Paul Gilbert (So This is Paris) … Lt. Red Bradley. Comedy relief who’s not very funny. Also on the rescue squad.
- Merry Anders (The Time Travelers) … Lt. Karen Lamont. The Admiral’s sounding board.
- Irene Tsu (How to Stuff a Wild Bikini) … Linda. The Admiral’s daughter. Her mother was a Centaurian. She’s sneaked off the ship prematurely, and gets lost on the planet. She’s found by:
- Robert Ito (Rollerball, Quincy) … Tang. The only living survivor. Technically, the offspring of the only two survivors. So he’s also a human/Centauri hybrid. He rescues Linda from a snake, and takes her back to his cave. They quickly fall in love.
- Stuart Margolin (Futureworld) … Chief. Rescue squad. Killed by a giant spider, that looks like a plush toy.
- Todd Lasswell … Lt. Charles Anderson – Tang’s Father. Human survivor of the crash. He died five years before the rescue ship arrived.
- Nobuko Miyamoto … Zenda – Tang’s Mother. Centauri survivor of the crash. She also died five years before the rescue ship arrived.
- Kam Tong (Have Gun Will Travel) … Jung
- Ron Stokes … Sgt. Allen
- Adam Roarke (Frogs) … Harris
- Paul Hampton (Babylon 5) … Wilson
- Ronald Lyon … Sgt. Nevins (as Ron Lyon)
- Sally Frei (Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine) … Sally
- Suzie Kaye (West Side Story) … Ensign Stevens. She dances with Red, and gets in trouble for violating regulations. No shipboard romances.
- Hans Wedemeyer … Jang
- Glenn Langan (The Amazing Colossal Man) … Capt. Ross
- Anthony Lee … Navigation Officer
- Joyce Carol … Centaurian Girl on Ship
- Jamie McRae … Sgt. Long