The Incredible Petrified World (1957) DVDRip Dual Fra-Eng (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
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The Incredible Petrified World (1957)
Four adventurers descend to the depths of the ocean when the cable on their underwater diving bell snaps. The rest of their expedition, believing them to be lost, abandons hope of finding them. Exiting the diving bell, the party finds themselves in a network of underwater caverns. They encounter a shipwreck survivor. He tells them he has been there for 14 years and that there is no way out. The two men in the exploring party believe him only after a hike to a volcanic vent that supplies the caverns with oxygen. On the surface, Prof. Millard Wyman, the elder scientist who designed the original diving bell, decides to try again to explore the depths of the ocean. He finds out that there is another diving bell in existence that is identical to the one that was lost...
John Carradine ... Prof. Millard Wyman
Robert Clarke ... Craig Randall
Phyllis Coates ... Dale Marshall
Allen Windsor ... Paul Whitmore
Sheila Noonan ... Lauri Talbott
George Skaff ... Dr. J.R. Matheny
Maurice Bernard ... Old Man in the Caverns
Joe Maierhouser ... Jim Wyman
Lloyd Nelson ... Wilson, Sonar Man
Harry Raven ... The Captain
Milt Collion ... Hank
Robert Carroll ... Narrator
Lowell Hopkins ... Reporter
Jack Haffner ... Jimmy, Reporter
"We are now prepared to invade this black wilderness." Well, actually they weren't, since the cable of the diving bell snaps, sending them to a tourist attraction with nice stalactites and stalagmites that I guess is supposed to resemble petrified wood or something. A very long technical explanation about the snapped cable is given later but that comes off like gibberish to me.
The only part worth watching is the genuinely exciting octopus and shark battle at the beginning, but which looks as if it was filmed in a small fish tank which had only a bit of sand poured over the bottom. You might as well turn it off after that part and have a nice nap instead.
The diving bell seems as big as a rocket-ship on the inside, but only about the size of an overinflated beach ball on the outside. This makes for some real laughs, especially when it is hanging and swaying about from the ship's crane and the actors are near it. It doesn't look like even one child could fit inside it, let alone the two men and two women, with a lot of room to spare, and the high ceiling.
Absolutely nothing happens in this movie after they get into the diving bell. They don't even show the implied trip to the volcano area with the lead characters! Instead, we get some sort of senseless and brief argument between the two women and Popeye's grandfather (or so he appears) making bizarre faces, as if he were in a "make the weirdest face and win fantastic prizes" contest. Silly beyond words and certainly belonging in a movie other than this one. At one point, his eyes are popping so far out, they look like they could just fall out of his face.
Later, "Popeye's grandfather" actually moves closer to the cave wall and slowly leans against it so that more rocks can hit him! (You can actually tell that he is trying to get under the path of the larger fake falling rocks! Hilarious!)
The ending made no sense to me, either. I may be wrong, but I got the idea that they weren't really that far under the surface at all. And where was the volcano (which sounded like the amplified recording of a rolling bowling ball and a bit from a storm) relative to the surface? Why wasn't it more of a noticed event from the ship?
The orchestral soundtrack on my DVD copy is really sour, and sounds more like two tomcats having a stand-off.
2/10. A two only because of the octopus and shark battle before the actors come in and ruin everything.
The title of this simply begs for ridicule; especially as it has absolutely nothing to do with the film---other than the puns furnished by other reviewers.
I actually fell asleep twice during this happy horsesh*t and had to go back in case I missed something interesting---I should have stayed asleep as nothing remotely resembling the word "interesting" ever became evident. Now this isn't the worst movie I've even seen. (That honour belongs to Eegah.) But it comes amazingly close.
There were so many technical flaws in this movie, even someone like me noticed em (I try very hard not to pay attention to the technical aspects of a movie so as not to spoil my enjoyment). Maybe it's cause there was no story to occupy me that I was forced to notice other things. How many 1000s of feet were they down with no pressure problems? What kind of diving bell lets divers in and out without any water getting in? (I guess you could pump enough compressed air in to equalise the pressure---but then what would you need the bell for?) How do they pop up to the surface at the end so quickly without nitrogen poisoning (bends)? Also, what kind of volcano produces breathable oxygen? And glowing caves complete with caveman and dumb iguana? **sound of eyes rolling**.
Was there a story somewhere? If so, I've forgotten. Oh yeah. Now I remember: 4 dopes descend in bell, which breaks loose. They tour glowing caves. Caveman tries to go for girl. Volcano (or whatever lame excuse they had for a volcano) intervenes---was there more?---I'm getting sleepy just thinking about this movie.
People don't torture yourselves with this bs---zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Like The Mole People, Unknown World and The Abyss, The Incredible Petrified World (IPW) defies sci-fi conventions by taking place entirely in inner space. Also like Mole People and Unknown World, inner space seems to have been built for human habitation - not only are the cave networks the perfect size for humans to walk upright in, the absurd Cyclotram of the unknown world even has a nicely graded (though bumpy) road to travel along while drilling through solid bedrock.
The only resemblance between this film and The Abyss is the underwater setting. IPW was made with less than a fraction of The Abyss' budget and the most talented actress in the film (Coates) was not paid. The film proceeds with mostly character-actors, and little to no character development.
Four people - a professional diver, two oceanographers and the stereotype female reporter - man the first deep-sea submersible diving bell (ya, this technology was already somewhat obsolete by the 1950s and the Navy was doing far more interesting things but who cares) on its first exploratory mission. Predictably, something goes wrong. But soon enough the crew finds itself in an underwater maze of caverns complete with fish ponds, potable water, a monitor lizard and a vaguely menacing hermit with extremely bad hair.
Putting all the absurdities aside (which is asking a lot), the plot is at least different and does take a few unanticipated turns. The terrestrial portion of the plot - focusing on Carradine as the philanthropic engineer sponsoring all of this - is actually more or less believable and interesting. But any value this plot adds is easily balanced by the laughable goings-on down below - especially the unnecessary and ridiculous hermit subplot.
All in all, I think this film deserves a better rating than it has here on IMDb, but I was seriously reconsidering my rating after I read about Ms. Coates' difficulties resulting from this film.
Recommended for B-sci-fi fans. AAAC (avoid at all costs) for everybody else.
# In an interview, star Robert Clarke said that the film's cinematographer is actually a well-known Hollywood cameraman who used the pseudonym "Victor Fisher" so he wouldn't get in trouble with the union for taking a job on this non-union picture.
# Phyllis Coates accepted the role of Dale Marshall as a favor to director Jerry Warren, who was a former boyfriend; the actress originally cast in the lead couldn't do it and Warren couldn't find anyone else in time. He convinced Coates to do it by telling her that the film would not be shown in California. However, after it was completed, she found out that Warren did indeed release the film in California, and she was told by at least one studio executive (at Columbia) that the film was so inferior and shoddy that the studio would not be hiring her again. On top of that, Warren never paid her.