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      The Mole People

      1956 1h 18m Sci-Fi List
      43% Tomatometer 7 Reviews 25% Audience Score 500+ Ratings Scientists (John Agar, Hugh Beaumont) find a lost underground city of pale people and mutant slaves. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (7) Critics Reviews
      David Bax Battleship Pretension The estate of H.G. Wells could sue for how thoroughly The Mole People rips off The Time Machine's vision of Elois and Morlocks. Mar 13, 2019 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy The Mole People is nowhere as distinguished as the likes of such studio stablemates as The Incredible Shrinking Man and Tarantula, but it still qualifies as undemanding entertainment. Rated: 2.5/4 Mar 2, 2019 Full Review Felix Vasquez Jr. Cinema Crazed Appreciated as a bit of cheap science fiction, "The Mole People" fulfills the appetite... Feb 12, 2019 Full Review Steve Crum Give me a Universal horror flick from the '50s any time, and include John Agar. Rated: 3/5 Mar 8, 2008 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Aug 12, 2005 Full Review Ken Hanke Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) Not very good last gasp Universal horror film Rated: 2/5 Aug 21, 2002 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (70) audience reviews
      CodyZamboni Movie is cheap, silly, and sometimes amusing in its awfulness. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 07/28/23 Full Review georgan g This flick was so bad it was good! The mole people's costume made me laugh out loud. If you enjoy outlandishly bad movies, you'll get a kick out of this. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A hollow earth movie that posits an underground civilization created by Sumerian descendants who worship Ishtar. Never mind that Sumerians and Ishtar have no connection and the true symbol of Ishtar is an eight-pointed star, not to mention that all of the gods in this movie are really Egyptian. But hey -- it does have the great flood symbolizing the journey to the underworld and was probably influenced somewhat by the Shaver Mysteries that dominated Amazing Stories from 1945 to 1948 (see Beyond Lemuria and Encounters with the Unknown for more film evidence of the Shavers, the hole to hell and Lemuria itself). I absolutely love that this movie starts with an introduction from University of Southern California English professor Dr. Frank Baxter, who explains the premise of the film and how it may have some basis in reality. How many movies take the time to discusses the hollow earth theories of John Symmes -- whose Hollow Earth theory taught that our world is mae up of five concentric spheres, with the outer earth and its atmosphere as the largest -- and Cyrus Teed -- a physician and alchemist who became a self-proclaimed messiah, taking on the name Koresh and proposing a new set of scientific and religious ideas he called Koreshanity, which taught that our planet and sky exist inside the surface of a larger sphere. Archaeologists Dr. Roger Bentley (John Agar) and Dr. Jud Bellamin (Hugh Beaumont, Beaver's dad) have found the hollow earth and meet the Sumerian albinos and their mutant mole man slaves*, who all eat mushrooms because why not? Whenever they start having too many people, they stop overcrowding by sacrificing women to the Eye of Ishtar. But everyone -- other than a girl named Adad -- is so sensitive to light that the fact that the scientists have a flashlight must mean that they are gods. Oh yeah -- Ellnu, the High Priest, is played by Alan Napier, who would soon enough be Batman's faithful butler Alfred. This was Virgil Vogel's first film, which he would follow up with The Kettles on Old MacDonald's Farm and Invasion of the Animal People before a career mostly spent in television. For some reason, Adad is unceremoniously crushed before the end of the movie, just when she gets near the surface and nearly escapes. Supposedly, Universal thought that Bentley's romance with Adad would promote interracial relationships. Never mind that John Agar and Cynthia Patrick were both white. They reshot the new ending where she gets smashed and that was that. *Footage of these big eyed guys was used in The Wild World of Batwoman. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member I really didn't care for the introduction by the English professor who obviously wasn't the most photogenic person; it was simply a mess. Aside from that, the actual movie is an intriguing, creative sci-fi masterpiece by Jack Arnold. The set for the movie may be fake and cheap, but it's just part of the fun to see this imaginative underground world. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/19/23 Full Review Audience Member Only the cinematic era of the 50's could come up with a movie like this, a movie about actual mole humanoids (or humanoid moles). As I've said before, within this decade they pretty much used every kind of insect and animal they could think of to besiege humanity. The movie starts off in a unique way by having a science and history lesson. And by that I mean an actual Californian professor (Dr. Frank Baxter) talks and explains to the viewer about various old theories of a hollow Earth and how this movie is a fictional representation of those theories. Although I enjoyed this amusing little snippet from a stereotypical looking 1950's professor in his stereotypical 1950's looking study, it all seemed rather bizarre to me. What was the need for this? Did the audience back then really need confirmation that the movie was fantasy?? Did they need to have a professor talking about ancient hollow Earth theories? [i]'Primitive man, going into caves, reaching back and back and down and down, wondered what lay beyond. Then in terror he fled out!'[/i] Is this proper English, Mr. English professor? Who wrote this?? Its terrible geez! Any way the plot is what you might expect. Some archaeologists are digging around somewhere in Asia and discover ancient relics that are apparently Sumerian. One thing leads to another and before you know it they're up a mountain discovering a temple, then the ground opens up and some bloke falls down into a deep cave. Well I guess you know what comes next, down the hole they go and piff paff poof! They end up discovering a lost Sumerian civilisation beneath the Earth. These people are of course way behind the times worshiping ancient gods. They are albino, can be killed by sunlight, oh and they also enslave a race of mole people to harvest fungi which they eat. So first off let me just point out the casting of Alan Napier here as Elinu the High Priest. Yes that Alan Napier of the campy classic 1966 [i]Batman[/i] series with Adam West. The rest of the cast are pretty much your standard affair truth be told. There is nothing special about any of them. A couple stout white blokes, a sexy blonde bit of totty for them to rescue...and of course fall in love with. All the native actors are of course white and generally terrible at acting in a charming kind of way. But then you have Alan Napier, clearly a class act, clearly on another level in terms of talent and experience. The man gives this movie credibility it does not deserve. Whilst the rest of the crew are merely meh, Napier's campness is fecking marvelous! When a native girl starts her ritual dance before, what I presume to be virgins, are sacrificed to the light; the girl flirts her way over to Napier's High Priest. She starts to seductively jiggle before him which results in the most brilliant look of disgust, disapproval and exasperation from Napier's priest. Effects wise its what you have come to expect from these movies. The first opening shot of the lost Sumerian city is a nice matte painting back-projected against some live action of the actors. Again bog standard fair but it looks relatively acceptable, some nice depth. All the caves are generally very basic looking whilst the very clean and in good condition temple areas (they are supposedly 5000 years old) are clearly sets that look more like a theatrical stage productions (although large). As with many of these black and white movies the lack of colour helps sell the effect because it hides the joins so to speak. All the natives are wearing rather hokey medieval/Arabian looking outfits that look more like Halloween costumes. But surprisingly the mole humanoids (or humanoid moles) actually look pretty good. It does appear that maybe the budget was maybe spend on getting the mole masks looking as terrifying as possible...and it was worth it! Obviously they are just men in suits with big rubber claws and rubber masks but they do work. I must also point out how effective it was seeing these mole people rise from the earth like the undead (hmmm). Its a simple effect for sure but very eerie and again it works wonders here, I'm sure the audience would have been scared shitless seeing this. But like I said, other than the mole people its all a bit average really, stereotypical ancient tribal stuff. Everyone is albino so they're simply painted white from head to toe. The characters generally don't seem fazed by anything such as finding mole people, finding a Sumerian civilisation and vice versa them finding modern humans. The heroes take it all in their stride whilst the natives just wanna sacrifice everyone to their God. Final mention to the native dancing girl for the most obviously made-up native dance ever; plus the actress looks to be Asian as in possibly Chinese or Southeast Asian, whoops! Lets also just overlook how they managed to get so much metal and precious stones down there, surely the mole people could only mine so much in that region. Oh and how they made their clothes, why they sacrifice young women and not die out, how they only live on mushrooms, and how this civilisation never ventured back to the surface in 5000 years! I suppose I should also mention that the mole people are actually not required in this movie despite being awesome. They have no real point to the plot other than to scare the audience, plus we never find out what they are or how they came to be. You could of quite easily just had a movie about the explorers in this subterranean world. So the movies title is a bit cheeky. I'm also unsure as to how exactly the Sumerians managed to keep the mole folk in slavery for so long with only whips and swords. The mole people aren't allergic to light so that gave them an advantage. But I think one of the most surprising aspects in this movie (other than the excellent looking mole monsters) is the fact they used a real ancient civilisation. I'm sure I wouldn't be alone in expecting them to just make up some ridiculous sounding ancient race like 'Zynapians' or something (I Googled that word and its definitely not an ancient race). But on the other hand that means they would have had to get the Sumerian culture visually correct, did they? I don't know not being up on my Sumerian culture, but kudos for going there I guess. I suppose we should all just be thankful they didn't resort to using ancient Greek or Roman costumes. This movie is good fun in the usual schlocky way; its certainly engaging with its natives, moles and crazy Fu Manchu priest. Just don't expect anything to be explained much, it all just happens because. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Exactly what you would expect. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Mole People

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Scientists (John Agar, Hugh Beaumont) find a lost underground city of pale people and mutant slaves.
      Virgil Vogel
      Original Language
      Release Date (DVD)
      May 13, 2008
      1h 18m