Ok. I am back on track again and while I don’t believe there will be any more backtracking in the future, I can not make that claim for certain as it depends on when some movies get released. Anyways, on to today’s movie. Today I am watching another movie from the Sci-Fi Classics set, so I am prepared to be disappointed, and it looks like that disappointment might be founded. Reading some of the reviews and stories about this movie make it seem like it is one of the worst movies ever made. Now that actually makes me want to see it. So let’s get right into today’s movie, The Incredible Petrified World.
The plot: Professor Millard Wyman is heading up an expedition in the Caribbean to test his newly designed diving bell. The four man crew (Paul Whitmore, Craig Randall, Lauri Talbot, and reporter Dale Marshall) are set to descend further below the surface than any expedition has ever gone. However, when the bell reaches 1700 feet, something happens and the connecting cable winds up snapping, separating the diving bell from the ship on the surface. Professor Wyman heads back to the main land, wondering how he could have prevented what happened to the lost mission. Meanwhile, the four divers are still alive but they figure they will probably die soon since they are no longer connected to the ship. However, they notice light coming from outside the bell window and figure that they must somehow have floated close to the surface so they put on their scuba gear and swim out of the bell. They end up surfacing inside a cave so Craig and Paul make a trip back to the bell for some supplies and the four make camp and prepare to explore and hopefully find a way out. Back on the surface, the sonar technician notices the movement of the people but is unable to convince the ship’s captain that it was nothing more than the bodies floating to the surface. Back in the cave, the explores make their way through the cave, coming across a giant lizard and a human skeleton before finally catching sight of a man watching them. They speak to the man, who tells them that he has been there for 14 years and that there is no way out. When the crew questions him about the air, the old man tells them that the air is provided by a volcano, which he says he will show them. Back on the surface, Professor Wyman’s brother has developed a second bell but the launch is cancelled. However, when Professor Wyman shows some modifications that he made based on the failures from the first bell, the second launch is given the go ahead. The second bell drops to where the first bell went missing and the crew notice the first bell and spots Craig and Paul, who were diving for more supplies. When Paul runs out of air, Craig carries him to the second bell, where the crew help revive him. Back at the cave, the old man talks to Dale about liking her and killing the others so that just the two of them remain. As Dale tries to get away from him, the volcano begins to erupt, burying the old man underneath a pile of rocks while Lauri is able to pull Dale to safety. The girls head back to where they entered the cave and meet up with Craig, who gives them some scuba tanks and leads them to the second diving bell before the cave is flooded with lava and they head back to the surface and safety.
Ok. This was about what I expected. The acting was decent at best with nobody really standing out. The plot was ok but the writing was pretty bad. The dialogue seemed forced and some plot elements, such as Dale’s anger and resentment towards men due to her fiance’s leaving her, just seemed unnecessary. The truly bad parts of this were the filming aspects. The music score sounded strained at the beginning of the movie, there was a lot of bad camera and film editing, and the occasional white spots, streaks, and lines could be seen through out the movie. A better job of writing, filming and editing could have helped this movie. So if you really, REALLY, love old black and white sci-fi films, then you may want to watch this, but it is definitely not for everyone.
Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5