Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Planet of Dinosaurs (1977) Review

Now here's a little gem. "Planet of the Dinosaurs" is probably one of the better b-movies I've seen so far.

Funny thing, it starts off almost exactly like Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985), except, of course, it's in space.

After their ship crash lands on a planet very similar to Earth, some unfortunate astronauts discover they're not alone...

You guessed it. Dinosaurs. And pretty good dinosaurs at that; for a low-budget 70s film, the stop motion effects were surprisingly good. If you've ever tried stop motion, you'll understand why it's impressive.

It's funny how similar Dinosaurs this is to the aforementioned film. The two films even share a berry picking scene (however, the berries are poisonous in The Dino Disco Movie.)

The rest of the plot is kind of obvious. They attempt to survive on the planet until they can be rescued, battling dinosaurs along the way. Sure, the pacing slows down near the middle, but eventually picks back up again. For a b-movie, it seemed relatively concise, with clever dialogue (at least compared to Beast Creatures) that kept it from becoming dull or tedious.

The acting was so-so. Sometimes it was better than others, but overall it was watchable. The same goes for the directing and editing.

One thing that helped this film is that, unlike many other b-movies, it actually contained a few subplots. The characters were even (somewhat) developed, making it easier to care and empathize with them.

Unfortunately it suffered a problem that many films like this face. I've been thinking about b-movies a lot lately, and have come to the conclusion that a big problem is that many of them don't have a clear protagonist.

Sure, we have our "main characters," but even in the group, it's hard to identify who's the main main character. There isn't one in this film. One minute the story leans towards one person, but then it seem like the other person is our lead, and eventually we have no idea who the protagonist is.
Still, it's an interesting film, and definitely worth a look if you can find it anywhere. As of now it's on youtube, but that's definitely subject to change due to those annoying copyright laws.

Is it a good film? Heck no. Fun? Yes, very. And that's all it tries to be.

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