Battle Beneath the Earth

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Battle Beneath the Earth
Battle Beneath the Earth OS.jpg
Directed by Montgomery Tully
Written byCharles F. Vetter
Produced by
  • Charles Reynolds
  • Charles F. Vetter
CinematographyKenneth Talbot
Edited bySidney Stone
Music by Ken Jones
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • October 1967 (1967-10)(United Kingdom)
  • 15 May 1968 (1968-05-15)(United States)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£156,307 [1]

Battle Beneath the Earth is a 1967 British sci-fi thriller film starring Kerwin Mathews. It was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film also features character actor Ed Bishop.



Scientist Arnold Kramer believes that rogue elements of the communist Chinese Army headed by fanatic General Chan Lu are using advanced burrowing machines in an effort to conquer the U.S. by placing atomic bombs under major cities. In the opening, Las Vegas police are called for a report that Dr. Kramer is prone in a sidewalk telling people he hears movement underneath.

The bombs are in tunnels dug from China through the Hawaiian islands to the United States. In the expected war 100 million are forecast to die. He is committed to an asylum, but when he is visited by U.S. Navy commander Jonathan Shaw, what he tells him lines up with observations Shaw made himself. Shaw gets him released and produces enough evidence to convince his superiors that the story is on the level, and he is ordered to lead troops underground to defeat the red army and defuse the bombs. [2]

The movie ends with the U.S. Army detonating nuclear bombs in the tunnel in Hawaii. The detonations are reported to have stopped all activity in the tunnels.



The movie was featured on the CBS Late Movie, in late-December 1973. The picture later received a VHS home-video release in the early 1980s.

It was also a staple of afternoon-movie or Saturday-morning Creature Features-type TV programs before the historic sale of the MGM/UA film library. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer originally handled North American theatrical distribution.

The movie was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on 29 July 2008, as a Best Buy exclusive double feature with The Ultimate Warrior . [3]


The film has been described as "deliriously paranoid". [4]


The film features a fast-paced "crime-jazz" / jazz-noir musical score by Ken Jones.

See also

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  1. Chapman, J. (2022). The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985. Edinburgh University Press p 360
  2. Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 138. ISBN   0-8160-1356-X.
  3. Battle Beneath the Earth (DVD), ISBN   978-1-4198-6943-3
  4. Chapman, James (2006) [2002]. Saints & Avengers: British Adventure Series of the 1960s. Popular Television Genres. London: I. B.Tauris. p. 124. ISBN   978-1-86064-754-3. … most notably the deliriously paranoid science-fiction film Battle Beneath the Earth (1967) in which the Chinese attempt to invade America by burrowing under the ocean.