Women of the Prehistoric Planet

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Women of the Prehistoric Planet
Women of the Prehistoric Planet.jpg
One-sheet for Women of the Prehistoric Planet
Directed byArthur C. Pierce
Produced byGeorge Edwards
Written byArthur C. Pierce
StarringWendell Corey
Keith Larsen
John Agar
Paul Gilbert
Merry Anders
Stuart Margolin
Todd Lasswell
Irene Tsu
Music byGordon Zahler
CinematographyArchie R. Dalzell
Edited byGeorge White
Distributed byRealart Pictures
Release date
  • April 15, 1966 (1966-04-15)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

Women of the Prehistoric Planet is a 1966 American science fiction/action film directed by Arthur C. Pierce and starring John Agar.


A spacefaring crew from an advanced civilization is preparing to return home after an extended voyage. The crew includes "humans" (represented in the film by Caucasian actors and actresses) and "Centaurians" (represented in the film by Asian actors and actresses). The Centaurians have been rescued from their home planet after a catastrophic event, not explained in the movie, has devastated their planet. They are being brought back with the spacefaring explorers with an expectation that they will be assimilated into their new parent culture. One of the ships in the fleet is hijacked by a few of its Centaurian passengers and crash-lands on a prehistoric planet in the "Solaris" system. Countermanding orders, the rest of the fleet returns to search for survivors after the crash. In the film's "twist," by the time that the rescuers (traveling at fast sublight speeds) are able to return to the planet, they are encountering the descendants of the original crash survivors - explained in a simplified version of time dilation. Linda, a Centaurian from the rescue ship, falls in love with Tang after he saves her from drowning. After fighting with the planet's indigenous species (including giant iguanas meant to represent dinosaurs), Tang and Linda are marooned on the prehistoric planet - and the latter is revealed to be the captain's own daughter. In the film's coda, this savage and primitive planet is revealed to be Earth.



Race relations are the film's overarching theme, although its approach to the subject has been typically criticized in retrospect.

"... a blatant social commentary on race relations (from a mid-60s point of view). Even though the screenplay tries to preach fairness, some of the subtle signals send contradictory messages. The crew members of the Cosmos are portrayed as superior. The Centaurians as inferior. The crew are clearly all-white. They dress in tidy white uniforms with snappy cravats. They are in control, follow orders, and are concerned for others. The Centaurians are "rustic," (and all played by asians) Their outfits are sleeveless. Their men are hotheads and trouble makers. (their women are nice, though). Even the "progressive" notion of Tang being the mixed-race son of a "white" and a Centaurian, is undermined by his apparent comfort at being a cave man. Subtle signal: "They" are savages at heart.[1]

"The real subject matter of the film is race relations, with the "Centaurians" all being played by Asian actors and the "Humans" all played by whites and the message is that different races can and should get along. This is a noble sentiment of course, but the movie around it is both incredibly clunky, unintentionally condescending and has an incredibly lazy twist at the end." [2]


Leonard Maltin gave the film one and a half stars.[3] The film has an 18% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes web site.[4] Other reviewers have assessed the film as a "bomb" and described it as "Typical bad sci-fi ... with horrid special effects."[5]

Home media[edit]

The MST3K version of the film (episode #104), accompanied by a short introduction by actress Irene Tsu (Linda), was released by Rhino Home Video as part of the 'Collection, Volume 9' box set (now out of print). Englewood Entertainment released a videotape version, and later DVD version, of the original, uninterrupted movie.


Women of the Prehistoric Planet's provocative film poster features the tagline "It's a battle of the sexes as savage planet women attack female space invaders" and depicts a blonde and a brunette in a catfight. However, there are no "planet women" in the movie, as the only female Centurian (Irene Tsu) does not originate from the prehistoric planet. Nor does the film contain any scenes of women fighting each other.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Women of the Prehistoric Planet". Classic SciFi Movies. November 14, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  2. ^ Kalvaitis, Kestutis. "Women of the Prehistoric Planet". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  3. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2009). Leonard Maltin's 2010 Movie Guide. New York City: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0451227645.
  4. ^ "Women of the Prehistoric Planet" Retrieved on November 3, 2012
  5. ^ Video Sourcebook: A Guide to Programs Currently Available on Video. Farmington, Michigan: Cengage Learning. 2007. p. 3272. ISBN 978-1414400990.

External links[edit]