An engagingly ramshackle adventure that gradually takes on a burden of messages as Reynolds and Carmel latch on to Susan Clark's archaeological expedition, which has permission to explore the New Guinea interior. The pair are secretly prospecting for phosphorus (highly profitable since the advent of colour TV), but instead find a tribe of ape-like, intelligent creatures (played by diminutive University of Djakarta students in gingery, hairy suits) who may be 'the missing link'. Dropouts one and all, they certainly believe in flower-power, which turns Reynolds all radical when the Establishment - in the shape of the archaeological expedition's financial backer - proposes to breed them like animals for cheap labour. Cue for a rousingly melodramatic courtroom finale, engineered in desperation by Reynolds, in which the definition of 'humanity' comes under hot debate from all sides (Black Panthers, apartheid apologists, et al). Naïve, uncertain in tone, but despite all faults, an appealing curiosity.
Cast and crew
Roger C Carmel