Another gem of low budget craziness. Directed by Fred Olen Ray.
According to the DVD Box it's a 'Sci-Fi Epic of Humongous Proportions !' The actual film was shot in 6 days on 1 location using money from Fred Olen Ray himself.
'The Phantom Empire is the story of a group of five adventurers lead by Cort Eastman (Ross Hagen) and his sidekick Eddy Colchilde (Dawn Wildsmith) who’re after a treasure in jewels that are thought to be stored in a cave below the surface of the Earth inhabited by cannibal mutants. Accompanied by Professor Stock (Robert Quarry), Andrew Paris (Jeffrey Combs), and Denae Chambers (Susan Stokey) they soon find they’ve bit off more than they can chew when they’re taken captive by a gang of cave girls lead by an evil Alien Queen (Sybil Danning). The team finds themselves mixed up in a lost world underneath the surface with dangers of all kinds, including dinosaurs and mutants, around every corner.'
The film uses Stop-Motion sequences from a 1978 film called Planet of the Dinosaurs and Forbidden Planet star Robbie the Robot makes an appearance, although he's been given a bit of a make over. Also seen is one of the vehicles from TV's Logans Run.
At 83 minutes in length, just like The Lost Empire which I mentioned the other day, you really shouldn't be expecting the 'Sci-Fi Epic of Humongous Proportions !' that the box promises or you're going to be very disappointed. Sybil Danning who played Saint-Exmin in Battle Beyond the Stars and is soon to be seen in the Rob Zombie section of the Rodriguez/Tarantino movie Grindhouse has a lot of fun hamming it up as the Alien Queen. There does seem to be a connection with Low Budget films = Ample bosomed females, but it's the story that counts in a film like this...honest ! Also seen is low budget stalwart Jeffrey Combs who's previous film to this was the Horror Classic Re-Animator. Combs is always worth watching, he's like Bruce Campbell, he just brings something to a movie even this tacky.
The DVD is said to be a transfer from the original 35mm negative and it features interviews with Fred Olen Ray, Sybil Danning etc... as well as a commentary track by Ray and his Cinematographer Gary Graver.
Again I paid under £5 for this so don't pay over the odds if you decide to take the risk and buy this.