Review Date: 6/7/15
Cast: John Agar, Hugh Beaumont, introduction by Dr. Frank Baxter
The film curiously begins with Dr. Frank Baxter (from those lovable Bell Science films) giving a five minute speech on ancient myths and theories about what exists under the Earth's surface, and the possibilities of habitable realms. While this lends an air of credibility to the film, what follows is completely ridiculous. After an earthquake in Asia uncovers some mysterious artifacts, Dr. Roger Bentley (John Agar) leads a group of archeologists up a dangerous mountain in search of a lost Sumerian civilization. An accident leaves them trapped underground and in the custody of an ancient tribe that worships Ishtar. These people have enslaved a group of hideous "mole people" who are forced into hard labor, and the appearance of the strangers from the upper world primes the creatures to revolt. Dr. Bentley and one of his colleagues eventually manage to escape with the aid of a beautiful servant girl, but the surface world proves too much for her to handle.
It starts off promising and has a delightful opening credits sequence. Documentary footage of dangerous mountaineering and avalanches adds excitement and realism, but the film completely falls apart as soon as the ancient Sumerians show up. From then on, it becomes a tedious exercise of modern American superiority over weak-minded primitive cultures, with the usual declarations of freedom and independence. A disappointing effort that stumbles on its own good intentions.