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|Index||27 reviews in total|
OK, never mind that this film seems to be 30 minutes of actual movie
time, padded with another 33 minutes of stock footage (some of it
swiped from 'One Million BC') process shots and traveling mattes. Never
mind the 'emotional scientists', especially the blond housewife who
goes to pieces so often she should have come pre-assembled like a box
of Legos. Never mind the brain-dead science on display, where Planet
Nova appears to be exactly like Wisconsin, except for the lemurs, giant
bees, rubber alligators, and a lake with an island full of dinosaurs.
Never mind that at one point, the blond lady says, "Maybe we don't need
to keep watch. Joe (the lemur) seems to be pretty good at shouting
I can get past all that, in the name of 50's sci-fi conventions and low budgets.
But 5-6 minutes from the end, after one couple has rescued the other from the cave where they were trapped, and the two 'dinosaurs' are wrestling with each other, the blond towheaded guy says, and I am pretty sure I got this right: "I brought the Atomic Bomb. I think this would be a good time to use it!"
So not only do the scientists nuke the island and kill everything on it for no good reason (the friggin dinosaurs never leave the island, and the party could have simply rowed away from the island and never seen the dinos again)...they set the timer for 30 MINUTES and trust they can get across the island ON FOOT past all the other dangerous wildlife, get into their rubber rafts, paddle them across the lake to the other shore and find shelter. In THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES!?!?
I realize this is just an excuse to try to inject some suspense into the ending, but for crying out loud! That timer clearly could have been for several hours, and the scientists could have STROLLED back, instead of running in a panic for their lives. (There is a hilarious shot in the rubber raft as they near shore where the towhead appears to be repeatedly shoving the blond lady back down on her face for no coherent reason.)
I feel bad for the four actors in this silly exercise in White Manifest Destiny. A couple of them went on the do a lot more work, but working on this thing must have seemed like a death-knell to their careers at the time. And if there was any justice, Bert Gordon wouldn't have had a career after this movie either.
1 star added to the deserved 'awful' rating for sheer goofiness, and also for the naiveté and optimism that permeates the film.
I find most early black-and-white space exploration movies kind of
and funny. I like the optimism that was prevalent at the time, the belief
that by 1980 space exploration technology would have advanced to the point
of being mundane. But of all the space movies shown on Mystery Science
Theater 3000, (a list that includes "12 to the Moon", "The Phantom Planet",
and "Fire Maidens of Outer Space") none p***ed me off except the Bert I.
Gordon stinker "King Dinosaur".
In this stupid, stupid movie, four scientists (2 guys and 2 gals, for necking purposes) are sent up to the newly discovered planet Nova. Nova is populated by lots of animals, some normal (like the cute monkey Joe), some giant (like the titular King Dinosaur). The "scientists" wander around like mundane tourists, gawking at one crappy special effect after another. Eventually the King becomes a threat to them (he's a dinosaur, for Christ's sake!), so they drop a nuclear bomb on the planet and take off. "We brought civilization to planet Nova," one chucklehead says. I would've added a scene where they discover all too late that instead of traveling to another planet they are actually in Earth's past, and by dropping the atom bomb on the innocent dinosaurs they obliterated Earth's future and, consequently, their own despicable lives.
What's wrong with this movie? Where to start? Ignoring the less than flattering depiction of women and the carefree way they toss around Joe (sometimes swinging him by his tail), there's the gruesome dino fights, in which real lizards are forced to maim each other while suffering the indignity of having silly fins glued to their backs. But worst of all are the self-obsessed characters and the jingoistic tone of the film. This movie is so wrong that one hopes it's a tongue-in-cheek parody, but I'm convinced the filmmakers were sincere (I'm betting the blame rests on producer Robert Lippert's shoulders, since so many of the same chauvinistic, fascist themes are in his awful "Jungle Goddess", another MST3K experiment).
Yes, it really is THAT bad. Armadillos and stock footage standing
in as dinosaurs, V2 launch films run in reverse to depict a landing,
nuking the new planet to save it... well, I could go on.
Godon's later films, expecially the "Amazing Colossal" movies, provide great guilty pleasures. King Dinosaur, however, can't even provide that. And I had to watch it five times to be certain. It's interesting mainly for what it said about the movie-going public of 1954.
COULD BE ON THE 100 WORST LIST.
A lot of people think King Dinosaur was the first movie from Bert I
Gordon. It isn't. This is the second (the first was Serpent Island in
A new planet, Nova, is discovered in the solar system and an expedition consisting of two scientist couples is sent to it. When they get there, they discover a planet similar to earth and inhabited by unfriendly creatures. They are attacked by giant insects, giant snakes and alligators.
These creatures are the least of their worries though. They decide to explore an island they discover across a lake and when they get there, they discover a land unchanged since prehistoric times. Roaming this land are giant lizards, woolly mammoths and a giant armadillo. Some of these creatures are stock footage from One Million BC. After being attacked by these creatures and the King Dinosaur of the title (a giant lizard pretending to be a T-Rex) they decide to blow the island up with an atomic bomb and blast off back to Earth.
Despite bad reviews and the low budget, I rather enjoyed this movie.
Rating 3 and a half stars out of 5.
I liked this move when I first saw it.
(I was seven in 1955.)
As I recall, an asteroid had passed near the earth and made some stir in the news before this movie appeared. I suspected that was the inspiration of the plot.
(OK so THIS plot was NOT inspired in any way, shape or form. Waddaya gonna do, sue a seven year old kid?)
To a seven year old, an iguana propped up on its hind legs did a passable impersonation of a tyrannosaurus.
When I saw the movie again on MST3K, well, . . . . hey, I was seven and it was cool to me in the 1950s.
Wonderfully cheesy sci-fi film about a group of space explorers that get trapped on a planet called nova, where they are attacked by various monsters and alien creatures. Enjyably cheesy low-budget opus is full of bad effects (lizards dressed in frills, elephants that have rugs on them to make them look like mammoths, cheap-looking giant ants, etc.) and the film is full of terrible acting and a rotten script, as well as a plot that's been done to death. Despite all these uneven flaws and gapping continuity, this film manages to be an entertaining little dino-fest that sci-fi fans will enjoy. Worth renting on DVD.
First of all, let me clear up a frequently sighted misconception: only
brief scenes were taken from the 1940's "One Million, B.C.". The scene
a wooly mammoth trying to shake off the fake fur and another bit with a
Komodo dragon sticking it's tongue out for the camera. THAT'S IT! All of
the iguana scenes were filmed especially for "KING DINOSAUR".
This is an unbelievable time capsule of a movie. It has all of the popular science fiction elements: Space travel, dinosaurs, and atomic bombs. Filmed during a weekend at Bronson's Canyon in Hollywood, this bit of cinematic tripe should give hope to any aspiring film maker. The fact that it was produced and actually released in theaters is an amazement.
It only has a cast of four people (the other glimpses of humans are from military stock footage). The dialogue is ridiculous. The acting is poor. The handling of animals is cruel. The entire plot doesn't have a single thread of reality in it. If you view a particular scene with the salamander you'll see a human hand holding onto the reptile's tail. If you view the scene where the iguana is first encountered, you'll see the actress get her head shoved into a rock and wince in very real pain. You'll find dozens of contrived scenes and numerous examples of impossibilities that are shrugged off by the scientific quartet.
I love this movie! This film ranks up there with the Marx Brothers "Duck Soup" as one I could view repeatedly and not get bored. There is just something about it. It's the equivalent of a ten car pile-up on the freeway. You are dumbfounded by the carnage. You want to look away, but you can't. You see so much in such a brief time.
This is a perfect example of the "So bad it's good" movie genre. You'll catch small errors in continuity and fact through repeated viewings. Completely silly from start to finish without intending to be. The final line is bloated with irony. Did the lead actor mean for the line to be interpreted sarcastically or with pride? You be the judge!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Note: Anyone who is sensitive and dislikes the idea of watching
reptiles rip each other apart should NOT watch this film. PETA members
in particular are warned!
This is a sad excuse for a film, but it is so bad that bad movie buffs might enjoy watching it just to laugh at how bad a bad movie can be. Did I mention it was bad?! The most obvious problem with the film is that the film makers took a ton of stock footage of practically EVERYTHING and strung them together in a "brilliant" attempt to pad the film and stretch it out to just over an hour while doing little actual filming. At the beginning of the movie, tons of stock footage of jet planes, V-2 rockets and military stuff fills the screen. Later, on the "other planet", we are treated to even more stock shots--most of which are nature clips that are sloppily integrated and rather irrelevant. It's made worse when the actors(?) all react rather poorly to these wonderful delights! Uggghh! I don't think I've seen another film (other than documentaries) that used so much stock footage.
The film is about an expedition to a new planet that just appears out of the blue and drifts into an orbit near the Earth. How convenient, huh?! The four best and brightest(???????) that the USA had to offer would seem to indicate that people in the 1950s were all idiots, as again and again they do stupid things that anyone with a brain or training would not do. First, they explore so far from their ship that they get lost. Second, at night when one of them is supposed to be keeping watch, he and his hot babe go out in the darkness and he nearly gets torn to pieces by one of hundreds of animals that look EXACTLY like those on Earth. Third, every time anything bad happens, the blonde lady begins screaming or crying hysterically--even though she's supposed to be a respected scientist. Fourth, although they are to briefly survey the planet and return to Earth, they go way out of their way--many miles and into dangerous situations that they should have avoided. And, speaking of dangerous situations, the dinosaurs from the title are such scary monsters as iguanas and baby alligators that are filmed up close fighting. Oooh, scary stuff, huh?! To make things worse, the film makers actually toss the iguana onto the gator and just let them fight for real!! That poor iguana!! Even though in the film it supposedly wins this fight with the gator, you can clearly see the gator tearing into the iguana's flesh. There are also fur-covered elephants and giant armadillos (yikes).
Although most of the planet seems awfully nice (except for the island filled with monstrous reptiles), the team's response to these discoveries is to nuke the island! Yes, I said nuke it!! I think the film makers chose to do this because, frankly, they had footage of a nuclear explosion (even though there was a hair stuck on the lens) and couldn't resist using it--even if it made no sense!! And the ending credits appear over top the mushroom cloud as the film then fades! Overall, a truly awful film--and one that even Ed Wood would have probably disliked! By the way, I could be wrong, but I think the 'pet' they discovered on the planet was a kinkajou.
"King Dinosaur" takes place on a new planet that has entered our solar system. Four astronauts are sent from Earth to explore it. The plot is about what happens to them during this exploration. The science that the kids saw while watching this movie must make science teachers cringe. Everything about this new planet is laughable and the explorers are a joke. It's just like being in the woods on Earth. The monsters are ordinary earth animals and insects. Some are enlarged, some have fins or other things put on them to change their appearance and some are just the way they look on Earth. Throw in some stock footage and you have "King Dinosaur". The astronauts are more on a camping trip than investigating a new planet. The two men are macho and the two women scream a lot. The so called special effects were bad in 1955 and are just laughable today. The main attraction to this movie is the humor you can find in it. The only entertainment value I found with this film was seeing how naive the characters were and how badly done the dinosaurs were. Oddly enough, it is bad enough to make it worth watching. It's good for laughs and to see what was around in the 50s. I wouldn't count on much more.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Scientists discover a new planet and decide to send an exploratory
rocket with four scientists (two men and two women how convenient)
aboard. The planet closely resembles Earth with its breathable
atmosphere, lush vegetation, and plethora of wildlife. The place seems
simply ideal that is, until they visit an island in the middle of a
nearby lake. The island's inhabitants aren't as cute and cuddly as the
lemur they've adopted and named Joe. The island is home to dinosaurs!
Can our band of intrepid scientists escape the island before they
become a snack?
One of the things I enjoy about 1950s sci-fi is that regardless of how bad or ridiculous a movie might be, these movies usually have a certain naive charm about them. That's not the case here. King Dinosaur has nothing that could remotely be called "charm". It's an abysmal mess. Even by Bert I. Gordon's standards it's a wretched movie (and if you're unfamiliar with Gordon's other works, those are some pretty low standards). The plot is pathetic. The acting is plain out pitiful. The depiction of the "scientists" and "science" is ludicrous. The special effects are a laugh-out-loud joke. The staged lizard/iguana/alligator fights are reprehensible. At least half the movie is composed of stock footage. And the movie is such a technical mess that I'm surprised this bunch of bozos was even able to get it on film. I'm racking my brain, but I've got absolutely nothing positive to say.
But the most ridiculous moment in King Dinosaur (and one of the most ridiculous moments in movie history) comes about 5 minutes before the movie's end. Before the four "scientists" leave the island, one of them says, "I brought the atom bomb. I think it's a good time to use it." Huh? What did he just say? You mean he's been carrying an atomic weapon around like a loaf of bread? Carrying around food, water, or . . . oh I don't know . . . scientific equipment might make sense, but an atom bomb? I could even see carrying some sort of small hand-held weapon for self defense, but a nuclear warhead? It's got to be one of the most ridiculous moments ever put on film.
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