CANNON MONTH 2: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1989)

Directed by Rusty Lemorande and Albert Pyun, this is a sequel — of sorts — to Cannon’s Alien from L.A., this film suffered as many late Cannon films did due to lowered budgets*. In fact, the pre-production work and storyboards were wasted as the final film bears little resemblance to the script. Lemorande — the producer of Yentl and Captain EO — originally started as the director and stopped when the film was about halfway completed. He claims that he only made eight minutes of this movie.

Actually, he posted a note on IMDB: “I’m the named director of the film. Only the approximately first 8 minutes of the film were written or directed by me. The remainder of the film is actually the sequel to Alien In LA which was tacked on and renamed Journey to the Center of the Earth in order to fulfill contractual commitments by the production company to foreign distributors. The remainder of the footage I shot (my film) has never been seen by the public (and few others) due to the lack of funds at the time to shoot and insert the many special effects shots required. The storyline of my version/script is entirely different from that in the above-titled film (the released version).”

Two years after the filming stopped, Pyun came on and this became a sequel, but he wasn’t happy with this movie either and doesn’t have his name on many of the re-releases.

Kathy Ireland plays Wanda Saknussemm, is back but the truth is, the footage in this comes from a canceled sequel to Alien from L.A. That may explain why there’s a whole different story with Crystina (Nicola Cowper) being in charge of rock star Billy Foul’s (Jeremy Crutchley) dog and some young kids taking the dog’s basket into a cave to discover a different world, which ends up being Atlantis using the sets from the first movie over again.

Somehow, Pyun made this movie with zero budget and somehow turned out something. I’m not saying that it’s good, but it is something. I wonder how Pyun got Emo Philips to even be in this.

*The budget is so low that George S. Clinton’s music from Avenging Force and American Ninja 2 gets used as the soundtrack.

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