Massacre in Dinosaur Valley
MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY (1985)
PreCommentary: There are no dinosaurs in this film — just a glimpse of some supposed fossils and a few fossilized footprints. The film has an identity crisis between its Brazilian, Italian, and English components. It has too many aliases for me to bother with here.
Notes: Doral Film LTDA. 89 min.
Kevin Hall: Michael Sopkiw
Eva Ibañez: Suzane Carvalho
Belinda: Susan Hahn
Capt. John Heinz: Milton Morris
Betty Heinz: Marta Anderson
China: Andy Silas
Director: Michele Massimo Tarantini (as Michael E. Lemick)
Screenplay: Dardano Sacchetti & Michael E. Lemick
Summary: A ricketty bus brings Professor Pedro Ibanñez and his daughter Eva to Sao Sabastian near the Amazon. A photographer and two models have taken the last hotel room. Soon arrives Kevin Hall from the Boston Institute of Paleontology on a banana truck with a box of dinosaur bones. We see a cockfight.
A brooding ex-captain ex-husband growls at verbal abuse by his boozing ex-wife. Kevin overhears a pilot mention that the Professor wants a side-trip tomorrow into forbidden native country and he wants to go too. When he throws a guy across the room for mauling a woman, the guy’s two tall brothers beat the hell out of Kevin. But the woman has sex with him.
Kevin enters the Professor’s room and sees Eva naked. He has read all the Professor’s books and wants to take the side-trip into Aquata, or Equara, or something, territory. The natives are headhunters and cannibals, and “the god they venerate is some kind of animal.” So, they crashland and the pilot is dead, as is one of the two models. When the ex-captain of the Green Berets, John, takes command, citing his Nam experience, Eva and Kevin say they’ll stay put, but the Professor dies, so they join the survivors on their trek through the jungle. They were flying off course, so there will be no succesful search for them.
John, his wife Betty, Kevin, Eva, the remaining model Belinda, and the photographer set out. Plagiarizing Romancing the Stone, John chops off the other heel of Belinda’s shoes. When Eva falls in the swamp, Kevin eats off the leeches. They run into skulls on sticks and a snake, and have a near-miss with the natives. Betty emerges with a dozen leeches on her arm, but she needs to shut up and put up with it for a while. John decides the photographer’s camera is slowing them down and smashes it to bits. When Eva gasps at a snake, she is called a “stupid little cow” for making noise. John smokes the leeches off Betty’s arm and eats them. The drums stop but the group authorities decide that the Equara (or whatever) won’t hunt at this hour due to their concern for spirits of the night.
At a watering hole, John glimpses various female breasts. Betty sneers with further hints at his impotence. Wandering through other water, the photographer is attacked by piranhas. To stop the screaming, John stabs him to death. Kevin and John fight, until Kevin sails down the rapids and over a waterfall. He skirts a couple alligators.
Natives get the two girls. Betty follows John but gets caught in quicksand. John makes half-hearted efforts to rescue her until spears and blow-arrows start flying. He runs off screaming at what he perceives as “Gooks” until the natives bring him down and the chief cuts out his heart and eats it. (The actor had to eat raw pig’s heart, we are told.)
Kevin follows the captive women to the native village where children torment them and they are readied for sacrifice. A holy-man wearing a triceratops skull tears the flesh of Belinda, and as he turns to Eva, Kevin heaves a quickly-made bomb in their midst. He shoots a batch of natives and flees with the women. They take a canoe down the river and escape a net-trap. The natives stop pursuing when Kevin shoots the chief.
The three land and Belinda stays with the canoe while Kevin and Eva search for food. The two are about to do the nasty when Kevin notices enormous tracks from a 30-35-ton dinosaur. They encounter some slaves begging for help just before the head of a gem-mining group, China, greets them with a gun and a leer. His men have found Belinda and the three are invited as “guests” until Kevin is knocked out and tied up with the pigs. Other slaves are punished by being confined to a cage without food. China doesn’t like being called a son of a bitch, he explains to Kevin with a kick. A sneering woman makes a deal with Belinda: lesbian sex for help escaping. But when she directs Belinda out of the hut, China shoots Belinda in the back several times. As China rapes Eva, Kevin chafes his wrists with the rope so that the pigs chew his way free.
Kevin calls out China and makes him waste his gunshots. He throws a bag containing a rattlesnake (don’t ask) at China, forcing him to use his last shot, and kills him. Eva remains in a cage for a moment as Kevin releases the slaves. But they are massacred by other guys with guns, who in turn are blown up by Kevin. A helicopter lands and the two survivors hijack it. Kevin gives Eva a pile of emeralds and the two banter about the mile-high club (she’s just been raped) and she nags him about his flying skills. Har har.
One problem (of ten thousand) is that when you’ve carefully whittled down your cast to six people trying to trek through the jungle in a movie with the word “dinosaur” in the title, you don’t, after killing off half of them, suddenly introduce bunches of new characters!