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Home Blog Features Films of Forgotten Caves
Films of Forgotten Caves Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 26 March 2011 13:06

If Werner Herzog hasn't been there, it ain't a cave.

It's hard not to think that after gazing in wonder at Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Werner's 3D tour of South France's Chauvet caves. It's a completely unique experience. Even more unique than Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (and yes, lizards feature in both).

But as amazing as Germans, 32,000 year old porn and "scientists" playing the flute are, there are other places you can go to get your cavern-based kicks.

Speaking of which, here are some of cinema's best caves...




The Cave of Wonders (Aladdin)



A lovely holiday destination, this. It's packed full of jewels, it's in a prime desert location, and it can support both a peasant and his pet monkey. But the best feature is undoubtedly the magic carpet, which can fly fast enough to out-run lava. A great bit of CGI and a stunning little sequence, Aladdin's Cave of Wonders even speaks: "Infidels! You have touched the forbidden treasure!"

Sadly, it's only available on YouTube in Spanish - although "La Fuga de Caverna" does sound even more awesome.



The Cave of Caerbannog (Holy Grail)


Beasts with Sharp Pointy Teeth get nothing but the best in life. Which is why The Cave of Caerbannog (said in a Scottish accent, naturally) is such a top-notch hole in the ground. Home to the Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh, it's a showcase for Terry Gilliam's wonderful animation, as well as an excuse to wheel out cinema's greatest killer of all time. "What, behind the rabbit?" "It IS the rabbit!"



The Batcave (Various)



Situated under the South-East Wing of Wayne Manor, there's no beating Brucie's Batcave. It's got TV, DVD, space for a super-computer and a handy back passage if you need to slip someone in at short notice. But while Adam West slid down a pole to enter his bachelor pad, movie Batman was always more concerned with his giant walk-in wardrobe and wide range of Batnipples. That of course changed when Christian Bale took over. These days, The Batcave now plays home to Michael Caine, a waterfall, and a giant frickin' tank.



Shelob's Lair (The Return of the King)


"Aah, it's sticky! What is it?" "You'll see... Oh yes, you'll see..." In a hole in the ground, a Hobbit is trapped. Cornered by spider's webs and narrow corridors criss-crossing through the mountains, things look bleak for The Lord of the Rings when we enter Shelob's Lair. Will Gollum get the ring? Will Frodo get out alive? Who's Sam going to carry next? As Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth for The Hobbit, Shelob's Lair is a great reminder of how to bring Tolkein's world to life. 



The Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors (Raiders of the Lost Ark)


Unlike all the others, this cave opens a film - and not just any film. We're talking Raiders of the Lost Ark. The set piece is the perfect piece of exposition, introducing Indy and his awesome hat. Proof that Harrison Ford with a whip can outwit any ancient booby trap ever invented, it's a highly philosophical piece of cinema, symbolic of the eternal struggle of man versus rock. Or something.



The Dagobah Cave (The Empire Strikes Back)



"That place… is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go." "What's in there?" "Only what you take with you." What else is there to say about Yoda's mythical little cave in which Luke Skywalker chops his own face off. OR DOES HE? Either way, I'd rather camp out in Yoda's hole than spend time in that smelly swamp hut next door. Classy stuff.



Nick Cave (The Proposition)



Finally, an honourable mention must go to the greatest Cave of all: Nick, the cave that took human form and started a band called The Bad Seeds. Nick Cave then provided music for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, before writing the screenplay for The Proposition. Directed by fellow Australian John Hillcoat, it's a wonderfully violent Western that stars Guy Pearce and Ray Winstone. Double phwoar.



Still need a cave fix? Cave of Forgotten Dreams is blowing people's minds in UK cinemas right now. 



  • aladdin
  • bad lieutenant
  • batcave
  • batman begins
  • cave of forgotten dreams
  • cave of wonders
  • guy pearce
  • indiana jones
  • john hillcoat
  • killer rabbit