Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Korg 70,000 BC: "The Moving Rock"

In “The Moving Rock,” Korg (Jim Malinda) and his family abandon their home cave because of poor hunting, and search the land beyond their own.

Unexpectedly, the group comes across an ocean. The Neanderthals have never seen anything like it and feel “as if they have suddenly come to the end of the Earth.”

Unfortunately, Mara (Naomi Pollock) gets her foot caught between rocks in the surf.  If Korg and the others cannot free her, she will die as the tide comes in…

“The Moving Rock” is a visually appealing episode of Korg 70,000 BC. Some episodes of the Hanna Barbera series look like they are filmed in comfy, green Southern California, and other episodes stake ground in overly familiar territory such as Vasquez Rocks.  

But this episode takes the family Korg to a new location, a legitimately prehistoric-looking shore line. It’s a fun and different, and a good change of pace.

Although Korg 70,000 BC has some real issues with continuity (especially in upcoming episodes…), here there’s even a call-back to the first episode, “Trapped.”  There, as you may recall, the family learned how to use a stick as leverage, while moving rocks from a cave-in.  Here, Korg remembers that event, and uses a lever to free Mara from peril. 

The continuing through line of the series, uniquely, does seem to concern the idea that when humans (or Neanderthals) possess no real knowledge or understanding of the world, they turn to religion and fearsome images of “angry” Gods to explain things. Here, Mara worries that she has somehow offended the Spirit of the Water, and that the ocean is a living thing.  As I've noted before, believing in an angry Deity not only explains why bad things happen, it allows one to put one's self at the center of the universe.  Oh, this must be my fault...

The episode’s final touch sees the Korg family learning that salt (from the salt water) can make meat more palatable, but the real story here is the visualization of the action.  The authentic locations (and good, picturesque long shots), go a long way towards making this episode a memorable one.

Next week: “The Beach People.”

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