Dinosaur Valley Girls
DINOSAUR VALLEY GIRLS (1996)
Notes: E.I.Independent Cinema and Frontline Entertainment Inc. 94 minutes.
[Many ambivalent thanks to Deborah R. Painterfor supplying me with this godawful film.]
Tony Markham: Jeff Rector
Hea-Thor: Denise Ames
Dr. Benjamin Michaels: William Marshall (Blacula,The King of Cartoons on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse)
Daphne Adrian: Griffen Drew
Ur-So: Ed Fury
Ro-Kell: Karen Black
Sensei: Harrison Ray
Audrey Benedict: Elizabeth Landau
Mak-Muff: Bo Roberts
Written and Directed: Donald F. Glut (authorof The Empire Strikes Back)
Producer: Kevin M. Glover
Associate Producer: Melodee M. Spevack
Executive Producer: Daniel J. Mullen
Music: Thomas Morse.
Summary: Shakespeare’s”O brave new world” lines are intoned over smoky creditsinterspersed with live salamander and clay dino clips. Tony Markham,a martial arts movie star addicted to cigarettes, is oppressedby women, especially his girlfriend Daphne, wanting small partsin his Feet of Fury films and by dreams and visions ofa cavewoman calling to him. Sensei, his trainer, asks, “Wereyou one of those kids that [sic] dreamed about being a paleontologistwhen he grew up?” “I didn’t even see Jurassic Park ’tilit came out on video.” Tony is advised to face his problems[?].
Audrey Benedict, a Hollywood correspondenton television, wants to interview Tony, and they illogically goto a dinosaur museum where Tony experiences deja vu and knowsintuitively that an allosaur had a lightning bolt design on itshead. The curator, Dr. Michaels, and his assistant, Karen Forrester,show him pictures drawn on rock slabs from less than a millionyears ago, and Michaels theorizes about a dinosaur valley wherecreatures of different times and places converged. Given a magictalisman, Tony says, “I wish I could be with her,” andis transported to a land of clay pterodons and dinosaurs.
Several cavemen are carrying their kill backto their cave and the leader Big-Mak dislikes Tony after eatinghis cigarette. An allosaur scares off the cavemen, but Big-Makretrieves Tony’s amulet. Tony trips into the woman of his dreamsin time to see the allosaur undo her top and knock her unconscious.Tony takes her behind rocks, tries to use his cell-phone, andlearns her name is Hea-Thor. She says “For sure” occasionally.
While the male tribe’s leader worships a crudepicture of Ro-Kell and other cavemen mill about in their cave,Tony meets the female tribe which because of the male brutalityhas splintered off into a “prehistoric sorority house,”comprised of Tam-Mee, Bar-Bee, Deb-Bee, Bam-Bee, and so forth.The song “Wild Thing” accompanies this scene. Initiallythe leader, Ro-Kell, is hostile, but Hea-Thor indicates her attractionto Tony.
The cavewomen serve Tony food, but he asks,”Where’s the beef?” and hopes they dance like in themovies. As they begin to “boogie,” Hea-Thor takes Tonyinto her room and is taught “kiss.” A dinosaur yawnyou one of those kids that [sic] dreamed abouseems to be the commentary on the ensuing sex.
Tony’s smoking disgusts Hea-Thor and the women,and he shaves with a rock. We go into a video: “JurassicPunk” — a tribute to the allosaur, featuring dancing cavewomen.
Tony tries to teach the women combat, but whenthe cavemen attack and carry off the women, he constructs bombsout of oil. He and Hea-Thor arrive as the women are successfullyfending off the men, but Ro-Kell and Ur-So serve as the modelof love and lust for all then except Big-Mak who is still hostile.
An allosaur attack gives Tony the opportunityto quote the most famous and tired of action movie clichés.He uses bombs and the allosaur finally runs off, but Big-Mak attacksTony. Grabbing the amulet from the caveman’s necklace, Tony wisheshimself back to the present, where the museum friends are seeinghis image in one of the slab drawings. He appears, asks for matchesand artillery, gets the former, and uses his last wish (the firstwe’ve heard of a talisman limitation) to return.
Finishing the fight, he earns the respect ofBig-Mak. Back in modern times, Tony has disappeared and Daphnehas landed the lead in the next martial arts movie. And in DinosaurValley, we see a happy love cave, hear that “O brave newworld” bit again, and hear a roar.
Commentary:I may be wrong in thinking that this concept could have worked.”Ro-Kell” initially sounds like “Raquel,”so that a caveman worships a stick picture of her is a nice in-joke.But the “Val” notion consists of nothing more than thecavewoman names and the occasional arbitrary “for sure.”
Otherwise, attempted humor or irony goes nofurther than pointless and tired quotations from action moviesand advertisements, and a “Yorick” reference made bya caveman with a skull in his hand. As for the characters, therearen’t any. The “dinosaurs” appear mostly as transitionclips. The allosaur is colorful but cartoony.
Did Tony kick the smoking habit? Was I supposedto register his world-weariness to which cave-living is a soothingescape? Am I supposed to want this too? Was I supposed to be charmed,a la Caveman with Ringo? These films are rotting my brain– I can’t even tell anymore.