Teenage Caveman Or, A B-Class Movie Containing History
"The old law has served us well for a long time" says the head of the clan to the teenager in Teenage Caveman "and it will take time to change it." The teenage caveman stares suspiciously at the old man. He wishes to cross the forbidden river where gods of fire can kill a man by touch and the earth devours cave people. And he does cross. And he does discover: a baby alligator with a fin pasted on its back fighting with a gila monster magnified 30 times by unknown deities so that they appear as giants to the ignorant little cave people. He does cross. And he does discover an old pilot in a burnt up radiation suit that looks like a shiny black rooster. He does cross And he does discover a book with strange photos of the atomic war that created the Stone Age these cave people have been bombed back into. "The old law is over" the teenage caveman announces, "man will explore the lands beyond the lake of fire. Man will meet up with other men." Then the narrator breaks in to explain that these were our ancestors, and they built themselves up from a radioactive wasteland as had their ancestors before them (clips of giant insects and mutants arising out of the sea) and so on until the history of the world appears before our eyes like a 50s Dagwood sandwich civilizations stacked, one upon another on our daily bread of nuclear war. "How many times, o man, how many times!" The teenage caveman, played by a young Robert Vaughn, walks off into a mushroom cloud the way a cowboy would ride into a sunset. He's heading for a new civilization too. Or rather, a new job in a new time. For teenage caveman will grow up to by a spy in the 60s named Napoleon Solo and, as the star in The Man From Uncle, will fight the cold war in a whole new way.
Copyright © 2005 by Jerome Sala. From Look Slimmer Instantly! Reprinted with permission of Soft Skull Press.