Nupondi (Martine Beswick) was the brown haired sexy cave girl of the Rock Tribe in the 1966 film, "One Million Years B.C.
Nupondi is the lover of the main character, Tumak (John Richardson), who gets kicked out of the tribe for fighting with his father Akhoba (Robert Brown), the tribal leader. In his absence she is forced to attach herself to Tumok's brother Sakana (Percy Herbert) who has claimed her as his own. Her new lover has killed his father to claim the title of new leader of the tribe.In a very sexy scene, Nupondi comes alive during a torrential rainstorm. As the thunder erupts outside the cave, she begins to perform a seemingly ritualistic trance like dance as the rest of the tribe encourages her with the drumming sounds of sticks and stones. It was a very angry dance as she gyrated her way around the cave. Nupondi stomped her way into the hearts of all boys and men watching this flick,
and I'm sure developed a loathing from the female onlookers. Unfortunately, many never saw this footage as roughly nine minutes were cut from the American print of this dance sequence and the later fight between the tribes. It appears in the UK version, which is the version
I remember seeing as a boy. Whether it was due to time restraints or the sensors got ahold of this and decided the dance was a little risqué, I don't know. At the end of the dance, the presumed dead father returns to the entrance of the cave, and the tribe is in shock.
Meanwhile Tumak has been rescued by the Shell Tribe and taken in by Loana (Raquel Welch). He is later banished by this tribe as well, and he and Loana set off to find another life. The outcasts after under constant attacks from dinosaurs, and they wander back into the Rock Tribe territory. When they arrive at the cave entrance, you can see the jealousy of Nupondi ripping across her face.
Loana appears to look at the Boar Tusk Trophy that Nupondi has clenched in her hand. This was the tusk that Tumak had killed earlier in the movie, and Nupondi cherished this as a memory.
Loana attempted to gently take the trophy from Nupondi's hands, but the dark haired hottie refused to release it. An exciting catfight begins between the blonde newbie and the brunette sex kitten ensue. Nupondi pushes Loana to the ground, grabs some kind of animal horn and tries to stab Loana. Everyone in the cave watches, some with gleeful expressions.
Loana eventually pushes Nupondi to the ground, where she gets the upper hand. Loana is pushed by the tribe members on top of the helpless Nupondi and uses a horn to pin her helplessly underneath.
Loana refuses to strike the killing blow, despite the encouragement of the other members of the tribe who give her a rock to do the deed. Tumak stops the senseless killing and helps Loana up. Loana is looked at as a novelty act with her strange blonde hair, and is accepted into the tribe, while Nupondi is outcasted from her popular spot.
The Rock Tribe takes to swimming in a lake, which is probably the first time for these neanderthals, having been inspired by Loana's example. Loana is attacked by a Pteranodon. In the confusion, Loana is snatched into the air by the creature. Nupondi is responsible for her being singled out due to her jealousy. Loana is later dropped bleeding into the sea when a second pterosaur intervenes. You can see a gentle smile come across Nupondi as she senses that this blonde intruder has been taken care of and she can go back to being Tumak's girl. Tumak initially believes her dead, but little does he know that she has survived the ordeal.
Loana and Tumak are reunited just as war breaks out between their tribes. The Rock Tribe, who is jealous of the Shell Tribe, attacks without warning. We get a glimpse of Nupondi spearing a Shell Tribe man who gets a little fresh. In the midst of the savage hand-to-hand battle, a volcano suddenly erupts.
The entire area is overcome by earthquakes,
volcanic activity and landslides that overwhelm both tribes.
The tribes flee, and our last glimpse of Nupondi is her losing her balance and falling on her butt. The ground opens up and swallows her without a trace, and just as quickly closes up removing any doubt from the men population watching this flick that she might somehow be rescued. As the film ends, Tumak, Loana, and the surviving members of both tribes emerge from cover to find them
selves in a ruined, near-Lunar landscape. They all set off, now united, to find a new home. It is saddening to know that Nupondi's life came to an end here, without the chance to carry on her DNA. Life may have been a much nicer place, at least to look at, had she been allowed to populate it.
Nupondi was overshadowed in the media by Raquel Welch's character, but in many people's eyes, she was many times sexier in that she was animalistic, cunning, sly, sleek, and she went after what she wanted.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Nupondi's character is similar to Ayak, played by Imogen Hassall in the 1970 film, "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth".
- Martine Beswick later portrayed the amazon Queen Kari in the 1967 film, "Prehistoric Women".
- Martine Beswick appeared in the 1965 movie "Thunderball", as James Bond's contact in the Bahamas, Paula Caplan. In this movie, she was kidnapped by Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi), and later committed suicide by taking cyanide so she couldn't reveal anything to the SPECTRE agents.
- Martine Beswick appeared as Sister Hyde in the 1971 horror film, "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde".
- Martine Beswick appeared as the Queen of Evil in the 1974 horror film, "Seizure!".
- Martine Beswick appeared as the mob boss Lana in the 1987 episode "The Color of Hammer" for the TV series "Sledge Hammer!".