Archaic: Beneath the Land Above is a 2010 adventure brickfilm by Milo Price. It follows explorers Erasmus Burkham and Carl Gleaves, who are sent on an important mission to investigate strange electrical phenomena detected on a remote island, and uncover more than they expected.
Two versions of the film exist. The initial release on YouTube had a royalty-free soundtrack from Incompetech.com. A slightly earlier version of the film was later uploaded to Dailymotion, with the originally intended soundtrack of MIDI music sourced from LucasArts adventure games. In this version, some visual effects are unfinished, and it is uploaded in low picture quality.
Erasmus Burkham and his companion Carl Gleaves arrive at the Department of Exploration. Commodore Asquith informs them that they have been selected for an important mission of the utmost secrecy. He explains that the agency has been alerted to unusual electrical phenomena on a specific island in the Pacific Ocean, and tasks the explorers with investigating the phenomena and returning with any valuables they may find. He explains that the institute suspects that caves underneath the island hold deposits of an incredibly powerful energy source, energy crystals, which have previously been only the thing of myth. He requests the return of as many crystals as possible in order for them to be studied, and promises a handsome reward for crystals obtained.
One week later, the explorers are shown to a zeppelin to use, and are told that the previous owners were unable to complete the task. Bradley Dowding, a spelunker also assigned to the task, introduces himself, and Erasmus, Carl, and Dowding board the zeppelin. Weeks go by, and as they close in on the destination, Erasmus expresses to Carl concerns about strange inconsistencies he has noticed about details of the mission. Dowding states that they are almost at the coordinates, but Erasmus and Carl fail to spot an island below. Dowding gestures upwards, and they spot an island floating in the sky. The zeppelin is landed on the floating island, and the trio disembark and head for a cave.
Once in the cave, a large creature approaches the group. Erasmus shoots it, and the trio are surprised to find that it appears to be made of rock. Further in, they find a constructed door, despite expecting no civilization on the island. They knock, and a man speaks through the door, introducing himself as William Shands. Shands establishes that Commodore Asquith sent the trio, and lets them in. He explains that five years ago, he was sent by Asquith to retrieve the energy crystals. He discovered that the rock creatures in the caves are not savages but are in fact intelligent yet primitive creatures, who need the crystals to survive. Shands explains that his partner took the zeppelin back, with the message that the island is already inhabited and that the crystals cannot be extracted in good conscience.
Dowding pulls a gun on Shands. He reveals that Asquith informed him about Shands, and that Erasmus and Carl were kept in the dark so that they would agree to the mission. He threatens to kill Shands if he will not help them remove the crystals and agree to lie that the rock creatures were not present. Shands attempts to appeal to Erasmus and Carl but, to his surprise, they side with Dowding, and also pull guns on Shands.
A few weeks later, the group return to Commodore Asquith, with many crystals in tow. Asquith offers Erasmus and Carl further work, and all they need to know is that it will be profitable before they immediately agree.
- James Blackmon as Erasmus Burkham
- Riley Tibbits as Carl Gleaves
- Gareth Pugh as Commodore Asquith
- Michael Inglis as Bradley Dowding
- James L. Hovis as William Shands
- Milo Price - Writer, Director, Filmer
- "stopmotioncrazy33" - Title suggestion
A second installment of Archaic was written. Price was unable to film at the time, and so decided to release Archaic: Intrigue in the West as a radio drama, in January 2011. It follows Erasmus and Carl being sent on another task by Commodore Asquith, and features the voice actors reprising their roles.
Additionally, Price later released an animated, and this video featured characters from Archaic.