Prehistoric Women (1950)

Prehistoric_Women_1950Savage! Primitive! Deadly!

Women from an all female tribe kidnap some men for ‘procreational’ purposes.

Filmed in dirty ‘cinecolour’, this tale of prehistory is a curio indeed. The dialogue is rendered in simple grunts and a sober narrator over-explains the action on screen as if it were some kind of serious documentary. Is it actually supposed to be a comedy? I have no idea.

What we get is prime 1950s beefcake fooling around with nubile young starlets in skimpy costumes on Ray ‘Crash’ Corrigan’s ranch in California. The only real surprises are that Corrigan doesn’t turn up in his ape suit (as he often did in films like this) and there is no dinosaur stock footage from ‘One Billion B.C.’ (1940).

The girls are certainly pleasant to look at (great hair and makeup for cave girls!) but their apparently ‘savage’ dancing might better be described as vaguely horny, although it is livelier than the ‘marriage ceremonial’ that features later on. Our main guy is Engor. He invents fire, the sunday roast and is chased by a speeded up elephant. He also gets the hots for Tigri (Laurette Luez), leader of the women. But their happiness is threatened by a 9 foot tall giant and something that I think is supposed to be a pterodactyl. I object to the bird, not just on the basis of total historical inaccuracy, but because it looks like a spastic flying chicken.

Dentistry and hairdressing were more advanced than was previously thought...

Dentistry and hairdressing were more advanced than was previously thought…

The resolution to all this is not as sexist as it could have been given when the film was made. The women do see the error of their ways but it does look as if these cave guys will treat them with respect, although probably all the gals have really got to look forward to is cooking, washing animal skins and sweeping out the treehouse. Star Luez actually married writer-director Greg C.Tallas (or Gregg G if you prefer) but their union lasted only 2 months. Perhaps she was just too hard to tame!

So, the final question. Is this a film a sly, knowing comedy about the battle of the sexes or is it a piece of dreadful, ham-fisted crappola? Ladies and gentlemen, I just don’t know.


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