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.