Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

100 Million BC



Notes: The Global Asylum

Frank Reno: Michael Gross
Erik: Christopher Atkins
Commander Dorn: Greg Evigan
Ruth: Marie Westbrook

Written: Paul Bales
Produced: David Michael Latt
Directed: Louie Myman

Summary: In tribute to the great dinosaur movies of the past, we begin with rock-climbing. (And later there will be … walking around.) A pair of spelunkers in Argentina discover a cave on whose wall was painted a dinosaur. They also see a dinosaur skull. Next, U.S. Navy SEALs including search-and-rescue specialists are invited by Commander Dorn to join a time-travel expedition, explained by Frank, or “Doc” (?), as a couple of bungled attempts back in 1949 involving relativity and wormholes, at first called the Philadelphia Experiment. His brother, among others, was transported to 70 million years ago.

Frank revs up the blue fog machine, and a large team transport to a Jurassic stream. One guy was fused with a tree, unfortunately. They soon spot whatever they would be calling a “brontosaur,” but Frank knows it won’t harm them. A plant spits in the face of a soldier; the others laugh until he reveals that his face is burning off. He jumps in a lake and others follow him, but a water-monster attacks before a few get to safety. The team leader, who habitually refers derogatorily to the others as “ladies,” takes the lead when one of the soldiers is too scared to proceed. He sees nothing but is immediately grabbed by a velociraptor. Raptors pick off another guy, and the rest freak out and flee. Four cave-people rescue them by driving off the dinosaurs, but not before one slashes a soldier on the chest. These aren’t cave-people but the remainder of the lost team from 1949, who estimate that they’ve been here about six years only. Frank is reunited with his brother Erik. The others are Ruth, Betty, and Bud. The wounded guy insists that they leave him behind; his gun is no good, and he is eaten. Another soldier shrieks about this, stupidly revealing the location of the rest of them, so the dinosaur chases them into a cave.

Frank tells Bud his wife Viv passed away from cancer three years ago. Bud paints a spaceship on the cave wall to mess around with future discoverers. The next day we all must get to the transporter back at the stream. A pterodactyl attacks and carries away one guy, though gunfire makes the flying dino drop the guy where another ground dinosaur gets him. The pterodactyl returns but is shot by Erik with a bow and arrow. At the transporter, someone must stay behind to close the time-hole or whatever. Frank insists he’s had his life and he’ll stay, but a dinosaur approaches. Two soldiers and the four 1949 people are the only ones left, transported back to the current time. But then a tyrannosaur materializes, and in a Jurassic Park samplng, the two soldiers hide among metal desks and cabinets. One is picked off anyway. The tyrannosaur begins its rampage through L.A., smashing a car, chasing the remaining soldier, Dorn, and the four survivors as they drive in reverse. These people get to a helicopter and try to convince a police helicopter to search for the dinosaur, but heat sensors don’t work, of course. Concern about the city inhabitants yields the surviving soldier’s remark: “Civilians? You mean snacks.” The dinosaur is able to jump and destroy the police helicopter.

The four 1949 people leap several stories from the helicopter to the pavement. They strategically decide to split up. (?) Some garbage collectors are eaten; Ruth is temporarily trapped in an alley. Bud knows this city and suggests they get the creature in the 3rd Street tunnel. Erik’s sometimes invisible quiver is back, and they try to lure the dinosaur to the tunnel by running, at which they are inexplicably successful. They meet up with (I think) a younger Frank (?) — something about being sent to 1950 and teaching use of the rainbow device, etc. No time for logic here: we’ve gotta stop that thing before the pending rush hour! (Except it’s clearly 2:00 in the morning and would have to be for the city filming.) Erik lures the dinosaur into another chase back to the tunnel where Frank or Doc (if he’s another person) heaves the time machine into the dinosaur’s mouth! See?

Doc opens a portal to 1950. Bud enthusiastically agrees to go: he’ll get to watch his wife die of cancer. Ruth will go with young Doc. Erik and, I guess, Betty will stay behind to close the portal. The two trot back through the tunnel, though I can’t say why since they have nowhere to go and no means with which to support themselves and they shouldn’t really know how anything works in the modern world. How far will archery get them?

Commentary: Frank must be called “Doc” because of the Back to the Future contortions, unless I was unable to understand if those are two different characters. Otherwise, even though they bring the right kind of creature back, L.A. is without character. This film is Timeline with dinosaurs instead of medievalism.