It’s 1881. And Michael Denning (USA) and Hector Servadac (not USA, but still kinda cool Frenchman) were doing what any two guys arguing over a girl would normally be doing: facing off in a duel with pistols.
Just as they’re about to glock block each other, a passing comet overhead whips up a ferocious storm so blast-y, it sucks the at-odds gentlemen 1,000,000 miles into space and 1,000,000 BACK IN TIME! Face-slapping astonishment here; I had no idea meteors had those kinds of super powers.
The men end up in a jungle as real estate and property taxes hadn’t been invented yet. It’s here they encounter two warring tribes of cavemen and cave women, a fiesty volcano with the worst temperament, and giant, mouth open, fighting lizards feasting on said cave people. Can you say f’d in the cave-hole?
Using the framework of Off on a Comet, an 1877 Jules Verne novel (that’s probably French for “book”), Valley of the Dragons (1961) certainly lives up to its name. They do this by sweetening the plot with stock footage from Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) and Rodan (1956), whose cameos are relegated to some prairie dog pop-ups and a few fly-bys.
Not forgetting their discord, both men decide to resolve their face-shooting dispute AFTER they figure out what the heck is going on, how to get back to their own time, and more importantly, how to divide up the two hottest of the cave chicks not as yet eaten by the “dragons.”
One clan gets trapped in a cave with a slobbering giant lizard right outside the door-less opening. Using spears and rocks, the cave people, led by French Hector, poke the beast like it was sleeping in late. But it isn’t until his science thoughts kick in that he figures out how to make gun powder from the colored dirt everyone’s bleeding on.
You can guess where this is headed and how this ends for the dragon. But the most exciting part is when the volcano blows and all involved at the foot of said Mt. Explode gets the herd thinned by earth-cracked crevices and tsunamis of pyroclastic flow.
Initiating a chest-patting peace accord between the surviving tribes, Mike and Hec calculate the comet will return in seven years, thereby whisking them back to their plentiful world of nickel candy bars and .34¢ a gallon gasoline. More than enough time to teach the cave girls in the ways of future love.
Closing statement: Rodan did not eat any of the cave people. He could’ve, but just didn’t. It’d be totally not cool if you went around telling everybody he did. Don’t be a dick, ’k?