The movie was about adventures or a scientist that built a machine which had tank tracks and a drill. They ended up in a forgotten, prehistoric land. They had a hunter with them that chose to stay at the end of the movie.

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    Hi, welcome to the site. In roughly which year did you watch this, and when do you think it might've been made? Also, can you tell us anything more about the characters? You used the word "they," but you didn't say who "they" were, other than the scientist. And was the hunter part of the group originally, or was that someone they met in the prehistoric land? Dec 14, 2022 at 13:13

3 Answers 3


I'm betting that this movie is "The Last Dinosaur", from 1977. The film was produced in collaboration by Rankin/Bass and Tsuburaya Productions. It was intended for theatrical release in America, but ended up premiering on television. The drill machine (which had no tracks in this film) is an exploration machine for an oil company. The machine's first crew discovers a hidden Arctic valley filled with prehistoric animals, one of which (a Tyrannosaurus Rex) eats the first crew, and the hunter (Richard Boone) goes along on the next trip to hunt the world's biggest game. The hunter stays in the valley at the end. The title, "The Last Dinosaur", refers to both the T-Rex and the hunter. The movie has a great theme song, sung lounge-style by Nancy Wilson. The dinosaurs are portrayed in suitmation. enter image description here

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    I hope OP comes back, because this is definitely it. I watched this on its first broadcast, and if you asked me to describe it I would have said pretty much exactly what OP did. I remember specifically the hunter choosing to stay at the end because it's implied he felt he "belonged" there more than on the surface.
    – tbrookside
    Dec 14, 2022 at 19:23
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    Currently available at the Internet Archive: archive.org/details/TheLastDinosaur_201701 Dec 15, 2022 at 18:25
  • I watched the original broadcast as well, and I still have a copy on VHS. Dec 15, 2022 at 21:22
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    suitmation .... if this is what I think it is, and I think it is, then I think it's hilarious that it has a name... Dec 16, 2022 at 12:51
  • I should explain, for anyone unfamiliar with old Japanese monster movies, that 'suitmation' involves an actor in a big, rubber monster suit. Dec 16, 2022 at 14:10

This sounds like the 1993 version of Journey to the Center of the Earth. Although it takes its name from the Jules Verne novel, the plot is rather different, in particular the explorers travel in a burrowing machine, which indeed has tank tracks and a drill.

Drilling machine from "Journey to the Center of the Earth"

From the wikipedia summary:

A team of explorers sets on a voyage to the Earth's core, following an earlier attempt years before. Their ship, Avenger, enters the lava chamber of an active volcano and uses an energy ray called a "sonic blaster" to blast through the flow. They enter in a subterranean world over 100 kilometers below the Earth's surface. The place is filled with many strange creatures. As they explore deeper into the caverns they encounter a yeti which the crew named Dallas that serves as their guide. Meanwhile, an unknown malevolent entity is attempting to recover the missing pieces of an Atlantean artifact known as the "book of knowledge" one of which a crew member of the Avenger brought with him, that will supposedly give massive powers to whoever possesses it.

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    You can tell it's from the 90s because the thing looks like a Space Shuttle for no good reason. Starring Tim Russ and... Sam Raimi?!
    – Schwern
    Dec 14, 2022 at 23:23
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    @Schwern Looking like the space shuttle is a good reason in and of itself.
    – DKNguyen
    Dec 15, 2022 at 0:33
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    @Schwern The tiles were to make it heat resistant, so that it could pass through magma. Scientific realism! Dec 15, 2022 at 9:38

Another possibility is "At the Earth's Core" (1976) which also features a drilling machine and cave-people - memorably including Caroline Munro.

enter image description here

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    I was sure this was the one the OP was asking about. BUT, only 2 people go down, (A Victorian scientist who built it, and his young American backer who financed it) and they both return to the surface. So I suspect its not the correct one.
    – NJohnny
    Dec 14, 2022 at 22:50
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    @NJohnny thanks! I saw it when it came out, but couldn't remember plot details, and some quick searches for the plot didn't turn up much. I kind of want to see it again now. Dec 14, 2022 at 23:38
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    I came here to suggest this, but the hunter angle doesn’t fit - Doug McClure isn’t a hunter and, as NJohnny says, neither of them stay. Still one of my favourites though many aspects of it haven’t aged well. Dec 15, 2022 at 7:23

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