Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dinosaur Movies: Part 5

Dinosaurus (1960) presents us with yet another instance of dinosaurs being awakened from suspended animation, this time by a freak bolt of lightning. It's amazing how often that sort of thing happens.

This time, the setting is a small Caribbean island. The dinosaurs are a brontosaurus and a tyrannosaurus. There's a also a caveman who wakes up along with them, who encounters some hilarious culture shock when he tries to deal with things like mirrors and flush toilets.

The stop motion isn't anywhere near Ray Harryhausen-quality, but it still has the charm that seems to be an inherent part of the art form. The best scene is at the climax, in which the T-Rex does battle with a large contruction crane at the edge of a cliff.

But the human characters are also handled well. Most notably, the little kid who befriends the caveman and the bronto is likeable. All too often, "cute" kids in movies come across as annoying, but little Julio does okay for himself.

Also, the villain is appropriately vile and the hero acts intelligently. But it's the dinosaurs that make or break such movies. And any movie where you get to see a dinosaur fight some construction equipment is always worth your time.

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