11 October 2015

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth Part III: Dino-cartoons

So having just moved out to a remote part of the country it took a while to get reconnected albeit barely. Suffice to say it put a real stop on anything creative for a time... so finishing off this series of columns was important. Oddly enough flipping channels I came across Denver the Last Dinosaur which I haven't seen in years... reminded me I still had work to do. Without further ado, Part III

So Denver was found by and befriended by this group of kids at the La Brea tarpits and they have adventures like many of the cartoons of the day did.
The one episode that stands out in my mind is when the warring brothers who worked a pizza shack and the other a taco joint finally resolved their differences with a Taco Pizza. Something I need to try sometime

Dinosaucers were a bunch of anthropomorphic dinosaurs,who fought against the evil Tyrannos.
The evil Tyrannos squaring off against the Dinosaucers
I remember loving it when they would morph into their actual dinosaur selves for a brief period usually to duke it out or open a door or something pivotal to the episode. It was weird to me how they tried to divide both teams so equally... a tyrannosaurus rex vs an allosaurus , a triceratops vs a styracosaurus a brachiosaurus vs an apatosaurus etc etc. But it seemed to work!

Dinoriders. What can I say about an ultimate childhood favorite, I mean what else can be said about this:

It's an armored goddamn T-Rex shooting lasers.
Or this epic battle scene
Full on dinocombat. The good Valorians do battle against the evil Rulons who use their evil Brain Boxes to control the dinosaurs to do their bidding. Meanwhile the gentle Valorians simply communicate with their dinosaurian allies using telepathy. The figures were worth it as a kid and I had quite the collection. The pteradactyl trap, the deinonychus (again pre-raptor days) for both Valorian and Rulon. The triceratops, stegasaurus and t-rex fought regularly on my bedroom floor against the might of the apataosaurus and monstrous brontosaurus.
Those were better days
Speaking of! Here's a whole damn season... look at the pencil animation in that intro though! Holy shit!

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth Part II: The Classics

"You mean dinosaurs eat people? Oh hell"
A younger more innocent Me
Jurassic World just broke $500 million this weekend at the box office, I still haven't seen it yet. But in the meantime, I have seen these classics. As I stated when I first started this series off, I love dinosaurs. Maybe not as much as I used to but don't think I won't be in line at some point to throw some hard-earned money at Jurassic World, give me time. Hell I only saw Mad Max: Fury Road the other week. If anyone by now was not aware, I'm perpetually 5 minutes late to anything cool even if it is on my radar.

So before continuing onto any more different week themes I have 3 more entries in this series: Classics, cartoons and games.
Yet I still wanted to see
this as a kid
First and foremost I won't be covering some other classics here under the pretense they fall into an entirely separate series about All Monsters Attack (named after Oru kaijû daishingeki, or Godzilla's Revenge if you prefer): so in no particular order Gorgo, Reptilicus, Godzilla, Giant Behemoth, Beast from 20,000 Fathoms... they all technically are dinosaurs, or rather mutations of them usually from radioactivity but hey it's my show so with out any further ado, let's go digging up some dinosaur bones.

First up Legend of Dinosaurs and Monster Birds (Kyôryû kaichô no densetsu) by Toei films. Released in 1977 it tries desperately to be like Jaws in a Japanese lake at first. A woman is rescued from a forest near Mt. Fuji ranting about dinosaurs and eggs. At Lake Saiko, lake goers begin disappear, livestock is found devoured (and in a tree!), and Fuji is giving warnings of a possible eruption. One scientist believes it's a dinosaur but no one believes him (go figure). That is until some kids trying to pull a prank wind up being lunch much to the chagrin of their buddy.
Jaws didn't have the quite same bite to it after this,
this movie having predated it in my cinematic timeline

While everyone's looking for the pleisosaur, a rhamphorhynchus emerges scaring the flying holy bejeezus out of the lakeside community. The pleisosaur and and rhamphorhynchus duke it out in true prehistoric kaiju fashion. Mt. Fuji erupts and everyone perishes in a fiery volcanic inferno. What's hilarious is how graphic the movie actually is and how it was marketed in the Just For Kids lineup of Japanese import movies paired alongside the Gamera movies.

Not only that but the dubbing in certain sequences was the stuff of many an American joke about how bad it could be. I thought this was the case with the American version of this scene... but no... this is the Japanese version... the dog... just... the dog...

Literal meaning to the term Necking

But anyhow moving right along... next up we go back to 1960 with Dinosaurus!

God I love the posters of this era

This one is kinda short simple and right to the point: a T-Rex, a Brontosaurus and in an anachronistic caveman are found frozen in the Caribbean but soon defrost and run amok. As a kid this movie made my day, I could've given a crap about the human element, just give me more monsters. The same applied to the aforementioned Legend of Dinosaurs or any monster movie: less human talk and more monster action. I will add one thing though, the finale of the film does seem to have planted the seed for the Man vs Monster using a Machine where the T-Rex gets handled by a digger.
It was at this point Rex finally understood that No Means No

Caveman meets gun-fu
Steam shovel fu
Dinosaurs in civilization run amok!
4 stars Roll it

Dinosaurus (1960) - Feature by FilmGorillas

And now for another close personal favorite of mine, Planet of the Dinosaurs. I remember picking it out a the local video store purely for the cover alone, the T-Rex looked epic enough to get my sick day's attention after going to the doctor. Just makes me long for the days of perusing the local mom and pop video store for whatever had the coolest looking cover in the sci fi section... horror would still be a few years off at this point. This rough gem from the 70's stuck out in my mind for the cool dinosaurs, lame acting, a decent body count and a notable opening scene. Since just after crashing on this new planet, a woman strips to her underwear to get gear from the sinking ship then gets promptly eaten all in the first 5 minutes.

After crashing on this strange planet and losing one crew member, from there things go from bad to worse as supplies and weapons are lost and behind each new corner lurks a deadly carnivore, or a deadly spider in one instance! There's this one greedy asshole in the movie named Harvey who get's impaled and falls off a cliff. The T-Rex wrecks (get it) havoc on the remaining crew and it's up to them to make a stand to survive. It's high 70's schlock at it's finest with lots of human on dinosaur action.
                                                                 3.5 stars, roll it

Planet of Dinosaurs - 1978 Full Movie by TheCryptoCrew

04 October 2015

I Live, I Die, I Live Again

I don't know what it is about the end of the warm season but things have an odd way of giving up the ghost around this time of year like the leaves do. Ah well there's always hoodies, horror movies and homecooking for nights like these.
In Mad Max Fury Road, the Warboys motto is:
I Live, I Die, I Live Again
Fitting for a man who seemingly spends enough time haunted by his own ghosts and demons like Rockatansky himself to feel dead at times. But sparing any gory details the point is, I'm still here, still kicking and riding the road to Valhalla all shiny and chrome.
Now emotional Mad Max'ing aside this still stands out as one of my favorite movies of the year. If you haven't picked this up yet, what the hell are you waiting for?
But onto bigger and better things...

Ah yes, October. My FAVORITE time of year. I've flubbed writing during this month in years past but not going to this year. I've got some dusty skeletons I need to add a few layers of flesh onto before presenting them to you all for enjoyment. Until then don't forget your War paint