I tried, I mean I really tried, but I couldn’t help it. There I was, working my way through my movies, and doing my best to not buy a bunch more. But then I find out that The Asylum was having a warehouse sale on a lot of their movies. Folks, that was the equivalent of chumming for sharks for me. So of course I went on the site and wound up buying a bunch of movies that I had been wanting to buy, many of them of the “mockbuster” variety, then waited rather impatiently for the movies to arrive (Amazon has definitely spoiled me on that front). Today’s movie, 100 Million BC, is kind of on the fence as to being one of those type of movies.
The plot: Two archaeologists are rappelling down a cliff face searching for caves when one of the explorer’s harness breaks. She falls but manages to land at a cave entrance a short way down. As her companion joins her, they find the skeletal remains of a T-rex seemingly fused into the mountain, as well as something else that remains unseen. In Los Angeles, a Navy SEAL team arrives at a Naval research center for assignment. During the mission briefing, Dr. Frank Reno tells the team about a top secret project he worked on during WWII, which some people have dubbed The Philadelphia Experiment but Frank calls Project Rainbow. In their attempt to use electromagnetic waves to cloak their ships, they actually caused their test ship to move backwards in time. Suspending more tests until after the war, Dr. Reno was transferred to the facility in Los Angeles and in 1949, he believed he had perfected the device and sent a 19 man team, including his brother Erik, back in time to what he believed was 70 million years into the past. Unfortunately, the device malfunctioned and they had no way of bringing the team back, and there was no proof that the team had survived until cave paintings were discovered that indicated at least some of the team had survived. Frank shows the team the “rainbow machine” and explains the mechanics and mission, and says that he will be going with them so he can be sure to open a portal on the other side to send them home. The SEAL team agrees to go on the mission and the next morning, Frank joins the SEAL team and head into the wormhole to rescue the missing men. Travelling back in time to what will one day become Argentina, the SEAL team experiences it’s first casualty when they discover that one of their team had materialized into a tree. Making their way to higher ground, Frank spots the mountain that the cave paintings were found in and the team begins heading for it. Passing by a stream, one of the SEALs is blinded by a strange plant and as he stumbles in pain into the river, he is eaten by an aquatic creature. Continuing towards the mountain, The Lt. in charge and another SEAL are killed by a pair of raptors and a third member is wounded. Suddenly, three of the survivors from the first team show up and kill one of the raptors while Frank is saved by the fourth member, who he recognizes as Ruth. Reuniting with the main group, Frank is glad to see that his brother Erik had survived, as well as Betty and Bud but is saddened to learn that they are the only ones, and they have been living there for 6 years. Urgently needing to get the wounded man back to their time, they all head back to the entry point but when they catch the attention of a large T-Rex which Erik and his friends call “Big Red”, the injured man sacrifices himself to buy the others time to get away. While resting in the cave for the night, Frank speaks with his old friends, letting Bud know about his family, as well as trying to assuage his own guilt for what happened. The next day they start heading for the entry portal but one of the SEALs is attacked by a pteranodon and killed when it drops him. When the group finally reaches the entry point, Frank activates the beacon but as the surviving SEAL team go through, Erik realizes that the only way for it to close is if someone stays behind. Frank says he knew what he was doing, and was trying to make up for stealing 60 years from his brother and everyone else’s life. Reluctantly, Erik and the others head through the portal, with Ruth being the last as Frank kisses her on the forehead. Once she is safely though, Frank begins shutting down the portal but Big Red suddenly appears and charges towards him. Back in the present, the group is celebrating being back home when the portal suddenly flares up and Big Red appears in the warehouse, killing one of the scientists as well as one of the surviving SEAL team. As Big Red breaks free from the building and begins rampaging across Los Angeles, Erik, Bud, Betty, and Ruth join Lt. Commander Ellis Dorn and Stubbs, the only surviving SEAL member, and try tracking Big Red from the sky. They are joined by the LAPD but Big Red leaps up and knocks their helicopter from the sky. Erik, Betty, Bud, and Ruth leap down from the helicopter and track Big Red on foot and after they find him, the decide to try and trap him in a nearby tunnel The lead him towards the tunnel but Big Red doesn’t enter and goes around it. When Erik and the others decide to catch up to him on the other side, Big Red almost eats them but an APC suddenly appears and soldiers begin firing at Big Red. When the dinosaur leaves, the APC goes to follow and one of the soldiers stays behind, revealing himself to be a young Frank Reno. Frank explains that the older version of himself was badly wounded and had tried to travel back and stop the experiment from happening but he missed and wound up in 1950. He told his youngerself everything that happened and how to fix the Rainbow Device before he died, allowing Frank to show up and save his friends. Planning on sending Big Red back through the postal to his own time, they try to get the dinosaur’s attention and when it keeps going, Erik chases after it and manages to lure it back to the tunnel, where Frank throws the beacon into Big Red’s mouth and uses his device to send Big Red back into the past. He then opens a portal back to 1950, and Bud and Ruth decide to head back with him but Erik and Betty, knowing someone has to stay behind to close the portal, stay behind and face the future together.
I liked a lot of things about this movie, and there were some things I did not like. The acting was ok for the most part but there were some times where it was just bad. The story was interesting, building on the whole urban legend of the Philadelphia Experiment. The movie is sometimes marketed as a mockbuster of 10,000 BC, since they were released the same year and involved the past but honestly, I can’t really call it that. The special effects were definitely bad but that is half the fun with these type of movies. The thing that bothered me the most was the camera editing, primarily in the later part of the film Where Big Rex was in Los Angeles. There were a lot of scenes where the helicopter was supposedly flying around observing the action but you only see various city views and no action. It’s an interesting movie to watch, but I will admit that there are better ones out there.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5