The Incredible Petrified World
When the cable breaks on their diving bell four people find themselves trapped in a hidden underwater world.
The Incredible Petrified World is a 1960 science fiction film directed by Jerry Warren and starring John Carradine and Robert Clarke. The film is about four explorers who travel down into the depths of the sea and get stranded in an underwater cavern. While waiting to be rescued, the group runs across a crazy old sailor named Matheny who’s been living in the cave for years. They find a rotting skeleton of another sailor, whom they learn was murdered by Matheny. The rest of the story deals with their attempts to escape and return to the surface world.
The film was actually completed by Warren in 1957, but remained unreleased until it was distributed in April 1960 on a double feature with Warren’s Teenage Zombies.
Professor Millard Wyman (John Carradine) sends a crew of two men, Paul Whitmore (Allen Windsor) and Craig Randall (Robert Clarke), and two women Lauri Talbott (Sheila Noonan) and Dale Marshall (Phyllis Coates), down to ocean depths never before explored. But, there’s a technical problem during the launch. The diving bell breaks free of the cable connecting them to the surface and loses contact with the surface. The mission is believed lost.
But the crew, having survived their ordeal, don their scuba gear and leave the bell. Instead of reaching the surface, they surface in a cavern. The crew members explore the cave and find a skeleton, then a disheveled old sailor named Matheny (George Skaff) who tells them that he and another sailor suffered a shipwreck fourteen years prior and has been living in these caves ever since. He claims there is no way out and a volcano provides air from the surface.
Meanwhile, up on the surface Prof. Wyman’s younger brother builds another bell and launches it in an attempted rescue mission. However, with the old man in the cave starting to leer lecherously at the women, and the volcano growing more unstable, the second mission may not find them in time. The old man reveals to the women that he murdered the other sailor years ago, increasing their apprehension. Just as he is about to assault one of the girls, the volcano erupts and the old man is crushed under falling rocks. The stranded crew of the diving bell make their way up toward the surface and are rescued.
John Carradine as Dr. Millard Wyman
Robert Clarke as Craig Randall
Allen Windsor as Paul Whitmore
Phyllis Coates as Dale Marshall
George Skaff as Metheny, the crazy old sailor
Lloyd Nelson as Wilson – Sonar man
Sheila Noonan (aka Sheila Carol) as Lauri Talbott
Joe Maierhauser as Jim Wyman – Brother
Harry Raven as Captain
Jack Haffner as Jimmy – Reporter
Jerry Warren (director cameo) man on the plane
Milt Collion as Hank