Notes: Universal International. Produced by Fairway Productions (who also did The Blob). 85 minutes.
Bart Thompson: Ward Ramsey
Betty Piper: Kristina Hanson
Chuck: Paul Lukather
Neanderthal: Gregg Martell
Julio: Alan Roberts
Mike Hacker: Fred Engelberg
Dumpy: Wayne C. Tredway
O’Leary: James Logan
Chica: Luci Blain
Jasper: Jack Younger
Mousey: Howard Dayton
Produced: Jack H. Harris
Directed: Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr.
Screenplay: Dan E. Weisburd and Jean Yeaworth
Special Effects: Tim Baar, Wah Chang, Gene Warren
Music: Ronald Stein
Summary: Inan effort to enlarge the harbor of a Caribbean island, Bart Thompsonand his American construction team (especially the rather heavysetman known as Dumpy) sets off underwater explosions which seemto open up a subterranean river. Betty rows along, nearly gettingblown up, and then dives for her lost picnic basket. Bart follows,rescuing Betty when she faints underwater at the sight of a largefrozen dinosaur head.
After some hostility between Bart and the localisland manager, Mike Hacker, the construction team uses a craneto haul ashore two frozen carcasses, a tyrannosaur and a brontosaur,”perfectly preserved,” which keep getting mentionedas “a million years old.” Irish stereotype Mr. O’Learyis put in drunken charge of watching these from his hut duringa rainstorm while Betty and Bart visit the one restaurant on theisland. Hacker discovers a frozen Neanderthal which washed ashore,and stashes the body in the bushes, hoping to make money off Americanscientists.
At the restaurant, Julio, the young ward ofHacker and obnoxious pain-in-the-ass in his own right, unforgivablyinterrupts drinks: “Oh, these are my monsters I got for mycereal box tops. I thought I’d bring them over to show you. This one’s the brontosaurus. He’s a vegetarian. He wouldn’thurt you unless you got in his way and he stepped on you. Butthis one’s the mean one. The tyrannosaurus. He’s got a biggerbrain and a bigger appetite. He eats meat, and he likes to eatbrontosaurus, even better than people.” Hacker finds Julioslacking off and smashes these toys underfoot. Meanwhile, lightningsplinters and hits both dinosaurs (quel Frankenstein!). Theirmouths smoke. O’Leary drinks and sees the revived Neanderthal. Eventually the reanimated tyrannosaur eats O’Leary.
The exploding hut brings the rest to whereonly tracks remain. The phones are knocked out by the stormaand Bart realizes that they should get the islanders to a ruinedfortress to avoid the “big hungry flesh-eating dinosaur.” A couple islanders are crushed in a van (not the “crowdedbus” mentioned on the video box which is “crushed likean eggshell!”). The Neanderthal at the window of a housescares away a woman, enters the house, and is puzzled by a hamradio, wax fruit, books, a flush toilet, and other items. Hesnatches an ax.
Julio meets the brontosaur, nervously saying,”Remember, you’re the friendly vegetarian like it says onthe box.” He tells the bronto to run away when the tyrannosaurapproaches. He then enter’s Betty’s house, meets the Neanderthal,and helps the two of them to food. Hacker intrudes on Julio’sattempt to teach silverware use, and the Neanderthal throws apie in Hacker’s face. The two escape and end up riding the bronto. Betty sees this, runs after Julio, and is picked up by the tyrannosauruntil the Neanderthal axes its foot and catches Betty when shedrops. In some lair, the Neanderthal signals to Betty that sheshould cook his rabbit carcass on a stick. She says, “Ihope you don’t have anything else on your mind.” When Juliothrows rocks at the tyrannosaur, the Neanderthal rescues him andreturns to the cave.
The T-rex fights the bronto and bites its neck,but heads after the human(oid)s in the cave. Bart and Dumpy trythrowing Molotov cocktails, but these don’t work. “Maybeif I could pop one right into his mouth. . . .” This worksbetter, while the bronto sinks in quicksand. Hacker arrives andshoots the Neanderthal in the arm, causing a cave-in. The Neanderthalholds up a beam so that the others can get out, and he and Hackerare killed under rocks. Bart offers Julio a half-assed explanationthat the Neanderthal didn’t want to live in this strange time.
The islanders mosey to the fortress, but theoil-filled moat will allow only a few minutes of protection ifthe tyrannosaur attacks. So when it does, Bart runs to a derrickand battles the animal with the shovel mechanism. “Dumpy,if you’ve ever prayed, do it now.” A good smack knocks thedinosaur off a cliff into the ocean. And we end with thoughtsof waking up in the future–the 21st century–which Julio willdo someday (without being frozen, unfortunately).
Commentary: The film was made in Scandinavia, but that’s no excuse.
In addition to the torch-in-mouth syndrome again, most bizarreis Julio’s speech: “Oh, these are my monsters I got for mycereal box tops. I thought I’d bring them over to show you. This one’s the brontosaurus. He’s a vegetarian. He wouldn’thurt you unless you got in his way and he stepped on you. Butthis one’s the mean one. The tyrannosaurus. He’s got a biggerbrain and a bigger appetite. He eats meat, and he likes to eatbrontosaurus, even better than people.”
The last syntactical ambiguity (even betterthan eating people? even better than people like eating brontosaurus?)obscures the stranger assertion that humans are an option on dinomenus. But the entire speech also seems to imply its own offensiveevolutionary hierarchy: the bigger the brain (read intelligence,although this is bunk), the more meat-based the diet, and themore aggressive. I’ll only buy the last two as connected.