Journey to the Center of the Earth
Directed byRusty Lemorande
Albert Pyun (uncredited)
Written byDebra Ricci
Regina Davis
Kitty Chalmers
Rusty Lemorande
Based onJourney to the Center of the Earth
1864 novel
by Jules Verne
Produced byYoram Globus
Menahem Golan
StarringEmo Philips
Paul Carafotes
Jaclyn Bernstein
Janet Du Plessis
Nicola Cowper
Kathy Ireland
CinematographyTom Fraser
David Watkin
Edited byVictor Livingston
Rozanne Zingale
Music byStephane Lee
Tim Stonewall
Distributed byThe Cannon Group
Release date
  • June 9, 1989 (1989-06-09)
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited States

Journey to the Center of the Earth is a 1989 fantasy film. It was a nominal sequel to the 1988 film Alien from L.A., both of which are (very) loosely based on the 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.

Plot summary

Newly hired nanny Crystina arrives in Hawaii to discover that her charge is the dog of Nimrod, a rock star. Two brothers accidentally take the dog's basket to a local cave with their sister. The group of young people get lost in a cavern while exploring a volcano. The volcano explodes and while fleeing they discover the lost city of Atlantis, at the center of the Earth. Atlantis is inhabited, and view the arrival of the group along with a separate visitor from the surface, Wanda Saknussemm, as an invasion. This leads the Atlanteans to prepare to invade the surface.[2] The children, nanny and Saknussemm must stop the invasion and escape to the surface.



The film marked the directorial debut of Rusty Lemorande and began shooting in June 1986 over the course of 40 days in Newport Beach, California with various underground scenes constructed within a vacant hangar at Long Beach Naval Shipyard.[3]

After screening Lemorande's rough cut, producers Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan were dissatisfied with the results particularly with the lack of a beginning which had been shot with Christmas decorations but had to be scrapped when the film abandoned its intended Holiday 1986 release date.[4] Lemorande had hoped the screening would convince Globus and Golan to allocate additional resources to finish the film, but instead they hired Albert Pyun to complete the film.[4] Pyun accepted the job saying he would finish the film for free if they allowed him to film Alien from L.A. for under $1 million which was a repurposed version of Pyun's own take on Journey to the Center of the Earth, which they agreed.[4]


Moria noted that the film was a hodgepodge and a mess. What seems to have been an attempt to do a teen age version of the Verne book ends up with little to do with the book other than the underground setting. Creature Feature gave the movie 1 out of 5 stars, calling the film a mess and something that only vaguely resembles a feature film.[5] Common Sense Media stated that the film's "plot is absurd and at times hard to follow, the acting is bad, and the film overall looks very low-budget" but that it was appropriate for most children.[6]


  1. ^ '"Jounrey to the Center of the Earth (1989)". Retrieved 2023-07-17.
  2. ^ "Journey to the Center of the Earth (1988)". October 21, 2007.
  3. ^ Biodrowski, Steve (January 1987). "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Cinefantastique. Fourth Castle Micromedia. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c Biodrowski, Steve (July 1988). "Cannon Shelves its other". Cinefantastique. Fourth Castle Micromedia. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  5. ^ Stanley, J. (2000) Creature Feature: 3rd edition
  6. ^ "Journey to the Center of the Earth (1989) - Movie Review". September 14, 2009.