A young man defies tribal laws and searches for answers. The result of his quest yields knowledge of past generations.

Teen Age CavemanEdit

{Robert Vaughn stars as a white 25-year-old teenage caveman with styled hair who seeks to discover what is in the uncharted jungles beyond his tribe's campsite. It is against the Word (and the Word is the Law), but he breaks it anyway. Soon he discovers a strange creature which kills with its touch. Written by Jonah Falcon <>

Nuclear holocaust has destroyed the world as we know it--and now the future of humanity is in the hands of TEENAGE CAVEMAN Prehistoric Lovers Against Primitive Beasts! The future of humanity is in his hands Prehistoric Rebels Against Prehistoric Monsters!The gimmic of this movie,is this is not the first Stone age,but a new one hundreds-maybe thousands of years after a nuclear war.It's kind of Roger Coreman's version of Daybreak 2250 AD. Robert Vaughn said in an interview that he considered this to be the worst film ever made.2 of 2 found this interesting | Share thisThis film was shot under the title "Prehistoric World". American International changed the title to "Teenage Cave Man". Years later, Roger Corman would be quoted as saying, "I never directed a film called "Teenage Cave Man".1 of 1 found this interesting | Share thisThe same "wild" dogs from The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957) appear here.Is this interesting? | Share thisBeach Dickerson, a Corman regular, did quadruple roles...not only is he the fair-haired boy that drowns in quicksand, he is also the stranger riding in from the burning plains, the bear that attacks the hunting party, and even plays a drummer during the funeral for his own character!Is this interesting? | Share thisThe fight between two dinosaurs is the same sequence used for Journey to the Center of the Earth, which was released soon after Teenage Cavemen. A baby alligator was fitted with a fake sail-fin crest on its back and it actually was made to fight a small monitor lizard. They really were biting each other and rolling around.Is this interesting? | Share this


For the 2002 film

, see Teenage Caveman.Template:Infobox filmTeenage Cave Man is a 1958 science fiction film directed by Roger Corman. It was shot as Prehistoric World, but was changed by American International Pictures to its final title (in the UK it was known as Out of the Darkness) and released as a double feature with [[How to Make a Monster (1958 film) |How to Make a Monster]]. Years later in an interview, Corman stated "I never directed a film called Teenage Caveman".[1] Lead actor Robert Vaughn has stated in an interview that he considered it to be the worst film ever made.[1] The film was later featured on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000.


USA. 1958. Director/Producer – Roger Corman, Screenplay – R. Wright Campbell, Photography (b&w) – Floyd Crosby, Music – Albert Glasser, Art Direction – Daniel Haller. Production Company – Malibu. Cast: Robert Vaughn (The Boy), Frank DeKova (The Villain), Leslie Bradley (The Symbol Maker), Sarah Marshall (The Maiden), Robert Shayne (The Keeper of Gifts)

Plot: A prehistoric tribe live in a remote valley. A youth stands up to question their laws, which state that to cross the river and the Burning Plains beyond will bring death. After being threatened with exile, he and three others decides to set forth to discover the truth for themselves. They encounter giant lizards, wild dogs and eventually a man who comes from beyond the Burning Plains and holds the truth about the nature of their world.

Teenage Caveman is one of the early films from legendary B movie director and producer Roger Corman. Corman first began directing with Five Guns West (1955) and Teenage Caveman was about the 19th film he had made in the ensuing three years since then. Roger Corman’s films were ultra-cheap and often shot only in a matter of days. Corman also had an eye for spotting young talent and gave breaks to many names in the industry including Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Francis Ford Coppola and Peter Bogdanovich. During the late 1950s, Corman made a number of entertaining B science-fiction and monster movies, including the likes of Day the World Ended (1955), It Conquered the World (1956), Not of This Earth (1956), Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) and The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), before attaining some critical respectability with The House of Usher (1960) and his series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. Teenage Caveman comes with a perfect exploitation title from the AIP poster factory – they frequently used to devise the title first and then a film to go with it. That said, it is not a title that has much relevance to the film. Or even aptness for that matter – Robert Vaughn looks to be all of about 30 for the supposed teenager he is supposed to be playing (Vaughn was 26 at the time). Of course, what was happening was that Roger Corman and AIP were exploiting the success that came about after Herman Cohen, another producer at AIP, had had when he made I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957). A host of other such teenage titled films were quickly shuffled out – indeed, Corman had just finished making the non-genre Teenage Doll (1957) about girl gangs.

While Teenage Caveman is an exploitation movie, it has an inventive script. Screenwriter R. Wright Campbell structures it as a classic conceptual breakthrough story. He uses the familiar theme of championing a breakthrough of knowledge over superstition and tradition. In the unique twist ending, when the lead character makes the discovery about the world, the film manages to ingeniously turn the audience’s expectations on their head. In so doing, the film turns from what one originally perceives to be a routine One Million B.C. (1940)-styled prehistoric drama into a post-holocaust film. It is a unique and ingenious twist. Indeed, the same twist ending appears to have been mimicked by both Planet of the Apes (1968) and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village (2004).

Unfortunately, the film’s ideas remain far superior to Roger Corman’s execution of them. It is an A-budget idea trapped in the guise of a Z-budget film. The film has been made extremely cheaply. Lizards are substituted for dinosaurs; there are some shoddy monster and bear suits; and the holocaust is depicted by monster footage from other AIP movies, including Day the World Ended and The She-Creature (1956). When the cavemen are attacked by a horde of dogs, you can see the extras grabbing onto the dogs that seem to be trying to flee. Roger Corman’s direction is extremely routine – the film has been shot quickly and the camera indifferently placed for the most part.

In 2001, the title of the film was borrowed for one of the Creature Features package of cable movies, all new films that recycled old AIP titles. Teenage Caveman was borrowed to become the worthwhile Teenage Caveman (2001), which proved to be the best of the Creature Features series. Although Teenage Caveman 2001 uses a post-holocaust setting, it is not a remake and is otherwise unrelated to this film.

Roger Corman’s other genre films as director are:– Day the World Ended (1955), It Conquered the World (1956), Not Of This Earth (1956), War of the Satellites (1956), Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Journey to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957), The Undead (1957), A Bucket of Blood (1959), The Wasp Woman (1959), The House of Usher/The Fall of the House of Usher (1960), Last Woman on Earth (1960), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961), Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Premature Burial (1962), Tales of Terror (1962), Tower of London (1962), The Haunted Palace (1963), The Raven (1963), The Terror (1963), X – The Man with X-Ray Eyes (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), The Tomb of Ligeia (1964), The Trip (1967), Gas; or It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It (1970) and Frankenstein Unbound (1990). Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) is a documentary about Corman’s career.

== ---- Plot ==

The story revolves around a tribe of primitives in a barren wasteland who struggle to survive, despite a lush environment just on the other side of a nearby river; they refuse to cross the river because of an ancient tale which warns of a god lurking on the other side, who brings death with a touch. A young man of the tribe decides to challenge the law, eventually leading the tribe to follow him across the river and confront the "god": a horribly burnt humanlike giant. Despite the young man's attempts to make peace, the tribe stones the giant to death. In a surprising and interesting denouement via voice-over by the giant after his death, the truth is revealed: the hideous figure is actually the last survivor of an ancient nuclear holocaust. Surviving due to his radiation suit, he wandered across the land as humanity slowly rebuilt itself, his terrible appearance causing everyone to fear and shun him. The final message of the movie is this: would humanity repeat its mistake?

It is a message,that comes the thought perhaps a civilkization like ours existed before the stone age and destroyed itself.The Hyborean Age of Robert E.Howard sort of says similar,without the concept of nuclear war,not much though about in the I920's and I930's.Daybreak 2250 A.D. sort of states similar idea of mankind being tossed toward the primative.Jack Kirby in the first issue of Kamandi speculated such the editorial of that DC Comic Book in the I970's.   The film was originally known asLand of Prehistoric Women.[2]

Showing all 11 plot keywords caveman Is this relevant? cave woman Is this relevant? bare chested male Is this relevant? irish wolfhound Is this relevant? great dane Is this relevant? end of civilization Is this relevant? mushroom cloud Is this relevant? post apocalypse Is this relevant? past is future Is this relevant? post nuclear war Is this relevant? surprise ending Is this relevant?

== ----

PreCommentary: The following summary contains bracketed asides from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment of the film (#315, with short films "Aquatic Wizards" and "Catching Trouble").

Notes: American International. 65 minutes. The Boy: Robert Vaughn (later on The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) supposedly in his film debut The Maiden: Darah Marshall The Symbol Maker: Leslie Bradley The Villain: Frank De Kova, later on F-Troop Tribe Members: Charles Thompson, Joseph Hamilton, Marshall Bradford, June Jocelyn, Jonathan Haze, Robert Shayne, Beach Dickerson.

Produced and Directed: Roger Corman Executive Producers: James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff Screenplay: R. Wright Campbell Music: Albert Glasser

Summary: Genesis 1 paraphrasing accompanies nebulous black-and-white cosmic creation. [Joel: "Fantasia before they colorized it."] "And then came man!"

After the credits, the scene opens with cavemen carting a slain deer. [Joel: "Another Pleasant Valley Sunday."] During the hunt, though, "boy" broke the forbidden law and went beyond the river. His father, the "Symbol Maker," speaks to him, but "boy" sees rich hunting ground beyond the river, and we see some brontos in a lake. Cavedad warns of the "thing that gives death with its touch." [Crow: "Caveman Without a Cause."]

Caveteen questions the "keepers of the gifts of the gods": one tends a small fire, another spins a wheel, the third builds and breaks. On a hunt [Tom: "Oh look, it's a bathroom rug crawling towards us."], a bear wounds the Symbol Maker [and he is taken to an "intensive care cave]. Evil Frank De Kova tries to get caveboy fired up about transgressing the law heroically, and then double-checks to make sure that this means Death!

Teenage caveman tries to rally his peers, but only three join him into the forbidden territory, where they see stock footage from One Million B.C. (1940)--particularly the lizard battle. When one of the four is sucked into a pool of water, the two other enlistees return home. Teenage caveman kills a squirrel with a rock and sees some more stock footage including the armadillo from One Million B.C. A strange creature appears [Joel: "Something goofy this way comes."] and the boy runs away and smack into a tree, knocking himself out.

Back home, wounded dad finds out about the transgression and takes off after him. Meanwhile, caveboy has awoken and invents the bow. He kills a deer, but wild domestic dogs atttack. Dad arrives in time to kill a dog.

Home again, "the son of the Symbol Maker must die!" Frank and caveboy fight, and the old chief determines that as punishment, no one "is to give voice" to caveteen--that is, no one can speak to him, which is fine with him because he invented the pan pipes while out and about. A girl naked in the water gives him voice, nevertheless. Then a horseman appears, is declared evil by Frank since they've never seen a person on an animal and besides he comes from "beyond the burning plain," so they stone him to death despite caveteen's reasonings. The dying man's last word is "Peace" before he is speared by Frank.

Caveteen's coming of age ceremony now takes place [although, as Tom Servo says, he's 37]. The symbols of the gods are revealed: a metal ball. More tension between teen and Frank follows, and cavegirl proposes domesticity and a "sleeping place."

[Crow: "This is why the dinosaurs died off--you bored 'em to death!"] Restless teencaveboy37 takes off again, followed by dad and a hunting party led by Frank. When caveteen encounters the goofy monster thing again [which Tom aptly calls an "anteater pinata"], all others catch up, as do those attacking dogs. In the chaos, Frank climbs a tree and throws a rock down on the monster while caveteen declares it is "no evil thing." Teen shoots Frank finally with an arrow. Soon, we are assured, there will be new laws.

The thing turns out to have been a man inside a suit of some kind. Caveteen looks through 20th-century photos labelled "The Atomic Era," and we hear the dead man's narration: that he "and a party of 23 others" survived "when the bombs went off" and global atomic war broke out. Mutations brought about the dinosaurs (more stock footage), and so taboos were established. Their unnaturally prolonged lives occasionally brought them in contact with the new race of cavepeople. The radiation gradually wore away. Perhaps man will try again. "Will any survive . . . or will it be The End?"

Commentary: So once again, post-apocalyptic = prehistoric. Hmph. A good idea, presumably, but Crow was right and this is deadly dull fare.

==Production==== Edit

One of the coolest of crap films from the 1950s is Teenage Caveman (1958) which chronicles the spiritual life of a young cave man of a prehistoric tribe.TEENAGE CAVEMAN 1958 U.S. film. Robert Vaughan as a confused teenage caveman who wants to rock! Ugha Ugha. Prehistoric rebels and monsters. Stone age rebellion! Robert Vaughn, Leslie E. Bradley, Frank de Kova, Marshall Bradford, Robert Shayne, Charles Beach Dickerson, June Jocelyn, Charles P. Thompson, Jonathan Haze.

Teenage Caveman

He questions the laws & faith of his people, & symbolized teen rebellion as the source of all advancement in human society. What a great idea for a film aimed teenagers crowded into big old Chevys in drive-in theaters of the late 1950s!

In the land forbidden, dinosaurs roam. Our hero (Robert Vaughn) wants to hunt in that forbidden place, though he risks his people's Law, to be sacrificed to the God Who Kills With A Touch if he trespasses beyond the river. In the course of his rebelliousness he invents the pan-pipes, & the bow & arrow, the first one being a pretty ridiculous thing that nevertheless kills big animals.

Teenage Caveman

The ritually honored Fire & Wheel, each with an overseeing priest, is simultaneously comedic & kind of awesome. And our questioning hero's father is the priest of the Symbols for Cave Paintings. The cave-teen keeps asking for deeper meaning to all these things, in a society whose conservative elders cannot tolerate such curiosity.

In the the forbidden zone, we're treated to a battle between a tegu lizard fighting with a baby caimen with a big sail-fin glued to its back; stock footage of a "prehistoric" boa constrictor, armadillo, & mighty grey squirrel; hysterically hokey dinosaurs with big heads that don't match the bodies; a wrestling match with a mangy bear suit; & a pack of deadly Great Danes & other domestic fobbed off as wild terrors, the same pack seen in The Saga of the Viking Women (1957).

Teenage Caveman

And of the course the God That Brings Death with a Single Touch, the goofy costume for the God is actually very artful as cheapo hairy bug-eyed monster suits go. And this monster will provide the "twist" ending which you might see coming from a mile away but even so I liked it as truly significant storytelling for its decade.

The combination of cartoony plot & serious tone is marvelous in its absurdity. The pokerfaced comedy was no accident, from the director who gave us our first classic comedy-horrors in such as A Bucket of Blood (1959), Little Shop of Horrors (1960), & The Raven (1963) with the funniest "dressing up" scene ever filmed. Yet somehow Teenage Caveman has frequently been mistaken as "accidentally" funny, when Corman clearly knew exactly what he was doing, even if its star didn't.

Though Robert Vaughn is on record identifying this as the worst film he was ever in, & it was mercilessly chided for Mystery Science Fiction Theater 3000, fact is this is an enjoyable example of '50s camp worthy of seeing without the puppet commentary.It is far better than the remake done years later. For another reptilian giant, continue to: Gamera Invincible (1966)

copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl

Land of Prehistoric Women.[3]

==See also== 

  • Survival film, about the film genre, with a list of related films 

Notes Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Trivia for Teenage Cave Man at the Internet Movie Database
  2. MOVIELAND EVENTS: 'Machine Gun Kelly' New Crime Thriller Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 19 Dec 1957: B15.
  3. MOVIELAND EVENTS: 'Machine Gun Kelly' New Crime ThrillerLos Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 19 Dec 1957: B15.

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.