The Churchill Arts Council’s film series, “Strange Women: Sci-Fi Classics,” is a response to one interpretation of the Mayan Apocalypse of last December.
This interpretation said that the world would not end, but instead would see the rise of the feminine throughout the galaxy.
So, the Arts Council selected four films which play off this idea, often in unintentionally humorous ways. The series will continue tonight with a screening of “One Million Years B.C.” at the Art Center. It is, as the narrator of the film says, “a story of long, long ago when the world was just beginning.
The 1964 film is set in the far distant past and tells the story of a member of the Rock Tribe who is expelled from their cave and takes up with a woman from another tribe.
The movie traces their journey as they set out together to face a harsh prehistoric world filled with dinosaurs and volcanoes. The film was directed by Don Chaffey and stars Raquel Welch—whose poster for the film became a worldwide phenomenon—and John Richardson.
It was Welch’s second major film and because of her costuming in the film—an odd, furry prehistoric bikini that became the ultimate symbol of ‘60s camp—she would go on to become one of the reigning international sex symbols of the 1960s.
If you can forget the scientific inaccuracies, such as the fact that man and dinosaurs did not co-exist, it’s a great fantasy yarn. The special effects in the film — stop motion animation — were created by the legendary king of pre-CGI animation, Ray Harryhausen. Highlights include fighting off a giant turtle, Welch’s abduction by a pterodactyl and a battle between a T-Rex and a stegosaurus.
He was responsible for the special effects in many of the classic films of the era including “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,” “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and the original “Clash of the Titans.”
The film will show at 7 p.m. and tickets — $7 for CAC members and $10 for non-members — will be available in the Center’s Art Bar starting at 6 p.m.
The series will conclude with a screening of another example of 60s’ camp, the 1968 film, “Barbarella,” featuring Jane Fonda on April 5.