Archive for the Dinosaurs Category

Quick Cuts: Special RAY HARRYHAUSEN Edition!

Posted in 1950s Movies, 1960s Horror, 2013, Animated Films, Dinosaurs, Fantasy, Quick Cuts, Science Fiction with tags , , , , on May 17, 2013 by knifefighter

QUICK CUTS:  Ray Harryhausen Favorites
With Michael Arruda, L.L. Soares, and William Carl

MICHAEL ARRUDA:  Welcome to another edition of QUICK CUTS.  Today we remember Ray Harryhausen, who passed away last week at 92.  I think we can all agree that when it comes to stop-motion animation in the movies, Harryhausen was a true artist and visionary.  No one did it better than him.

Earlier in the week, L.L. Soares and I did a formal tribute to Mr. Harryhausen. To honor him today in a special edition of QUICK CUTS, we look back at some of our favorite Ray Harryhausen movies, monsters, and scenes.  Joining us this time is William Carl.  Okay, gentlemen, let’s get started.

What’s your favorite Ray Harryhausen movie and why? 

WILLIAM CARL:  VALLEY OF GWANGI (1969).

Gwangi vs. Elephant in THE VALLEY OF GWANGI  (1969)

Gwangi vs. Elephant in THE VALLEY OF GWANGI (1969)

ARRUDA:  One of my favorites

SOARES: Mine, too.

CARL:  Not only did this movie have cowboys and circuses, but it also had dinosaurs!  This was like a mash-up project created by my pre-pubescent mind at about eight years of age.  The women were beautiful, the men were rugged, and the scenes of the monster rampaging were very well executed.  I still watch it at least once a year, and I still cheer on the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

L.L. SOARES: T. Rex, yeah! Marc Bolan rocked.

CARL: Not the band. The dinosaur in the movie.

ARRUDA:   THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958) is my favorite.  I love the Cyclops, the colorful print, the rousing music score by Bernard Herrmann, Nathan Juran’s brisk direction, and Torin Thatcher’s performance as the evil wizard.  I just like the whole package. And of course Harryhausen’s stop-motion effects are some of his best.

SOARES:  I think my favorite one is 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957). I’ve just always been a fan of the creature from Venus, the Ymir, and not only does this movie revolve around Harryhausen’s creation, but you really care about the stop-motion monster by the end, unlike some of his other creatures.

Cyclops vs. Dragon in THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD

Cyclops vs. Dragon in THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD

ARRUDA:  Next up: What’s your favorite Harryhausen creature and why? 

I have to go with the Ymir from 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH, as well.

CARL:  Nice choice

SOARES: Copy cat!

Ymir vs. Elephant in 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH

Ymir vs. Elephant in 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH! What did Harryhausen have against elephants, anyway?

ARRUDA:  Followed closely by the Cyclops in 7TH VOYAGE and Medusa in CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981). 

SOARES:  What are you doing picking more than one?  This is QUICK CUTS!  Our answers are supposed to be brief.

ARRUDA:  I know.  I just can’t help myself.

But the Ymir is my favorite because it’s a cool monster, an alien from Venus.  We don’t see too many of those, which makes him unique.  I would have loved to have seen him in more movies.  He deserved a better fate!

CARL: I agree with you.  This is a tough choice, but like you guys, I would say the Ymir from 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957).  The expressions Harryhausen managed to create on this beastie’s face made it seem all the more terrible when it is killed.  You can see all the pain and fear in its eyes.  Plus, it was completely unique and not based upon any other existing monster like a dinosaur or a mythical creature.  It was a true original.

SOARES:  As I stated before, the Ymir is my favorite as well.

I also really like the movies Harryhausen worked on that revolve around mythology, especially JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963) and the SINBAD movies. He created some great creatures for these!

ARRUDA:  See, it’s not easy picking just one, is it?

Last question.  What’s your favorite Harryhausen movie scene and why?

SOARES:  The obvious one is the battle between Jason and the skeletons in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. But that might be a little too obvious. I also liked scenes in the Sinbad movies where creatures fought each other, like the Centaur vs. the Griffin in THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973), or the Cyclops vs. the Dragon in THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD.

CARL:  Oh, my favorite scene was definitely the scene in VALLEY OF GWANGI, where the cowboys rope and capture the dinosaur.  

Cowboys lasso a dinosaur in THE VALLEY OF GWANGI (1969)

Cowboys lasso a dinosaur in THE VALLEY OF GWANGI (1969)

 ARRUDA:  Yep, this is a very exciting scene.

CARL:  It’s a scene that is still thrilling today in its weird mixture of action, western, horror, and sci-fi elements.  Come on, we have rodeo cowboys roping a huge monster like it was a calf.  Plus, for sheer expertise, this scene is flawless in its animation execution and its combination with the live footage.  Those lassos are animated in half and real in half, but it all flows so seamlessly you really buy into the ridiculous notion that these guys are roping a dino!  I think I need to go watch this again right now.

SOARES:  Sit back down.  We’re not finished yet!

CARL:  But I can hear dino roaring already!

ARRUDA: We’re almost done.

Well, obvious or not, my favorite scene is the sword fight between Jason and his men and the skeletons in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS.  It’s probably the most ambitious scene Harryhausen ever created.  It’s fascinating to watch, and intense to boot.

Second would be—.

SOARES:  Second?  Who said anything about second?

ARRUDA: —  the Medusa scene from CLASH OF THE TITANS. I really don’t like this movie all that much, but this scene is one of Harryhausen’s best.  Eerily lit, with an ultra-creepy Medusa slithering about, it makes me pine for an all-out Harryhausen horror film, of which, sadly, there is none.

And third—-.

SOARES:  Third?  You’re cheating!

ARRUDA:  — is the giant crab scene in MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1961), which is a riveting sequence.

Sorry, I couldn’t limit myself.  There are just too many Harryhausen gems.

SOARES:  Are you through now?

ARRUDA:  Yep, I’m done.  Hey, where did Bill go? 

(William Carl’s seat is empty)

SOARES:  Looks like he left early for his T-Rex date.

ARRUDA:  Hmm. I just thought of another question.  Which Harryhausen creation would you most want to have lunch with?

SOARES:  A better question would be which Harryhausen creation would most want to have you for lunch!

ARRUDA:  True. On that note, let’s grab some food.  I’m hungry.  I’m in the mood for a giant crab salad sandwich.

SOARES:   I’m on a diet.  I’ll just have soup and Krakens.

—END—

© Copyright 2013 by Michael Arruda, L.L. Soares and William D. Carl

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Remote Outpost: IT’S OVA, TERRA NOVA!

Posted in 2011, Dinosaurs, Mark Onspaugh Columns, Remote Outpost, TV Shows, Zombies with tags , , , , on December 13, 2011 by knifefighter

REMOTE OUTPOST written by Mark Onspaugh
“IT’S OVA, TERRA NOVA
(Or Why I Decided to Forsake Living Dinosaurs for the Undead of THE WALKING DEAD)”

Dear TERRA NOVA,

I’ve already packed my stuff (thanks for the raptor egg!) and will be shutting down my home portal to you immediately. It’s not that you were less than congenial or nice to look at. You were just… too safe.

Don’t get me wrong, I love stories about scrappy humans against hostile worlds filled with strange customs and/or vicious beasts. Robert A. Heinlein’s book, “Tunnel in the Sky,” was a childhood favorite, and many of the stories of Robert Sheckley took a satirical look at those tropes.

But you were just too bland, TERRA NOVA. Your city looked like something out of the original Star Trek. You had clean, well-lighted homes, big electrified fences and plenty to eat, good doctors with holo-imagers and lots of smiles, smiles, smiles.

Oh sure, there were vicious beasties and a group of rebels, but they were usually repelled without the loss of someone important. That’s the trouble with TV, isn’t it? You usually don’t want to kill off your core characters, and the audience knows this… So your perils better be really perilous or your characters better be very interesting.

But despite talented actors like Jason O’Mara (the American version of the show LIFE ON MARS, from 2008) and Stephen Lang (AVATAR, 2009), your characters were pretty bland, their problems very Disney-esque: plagues and murders overshadowed by little girls adopting baby dino pets and awkward teens with their awkward first dates or slow dances, while Mom and Dad smile and shake their heads knowingly.

I know, I know, this is a family show, and you’re on a network and must shy away from content that is too gory or profane or sexy.

But you should have been more SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960) and less FATHER KNOWS BEST (1954-1960).

Remember Ray Bradbury’s classic tale “A Sound of Thunder”?  It became a terrible movie in 2005, remember? In Bradbury‘s story, wannabe hunters go back to the past and kill T-Rexes, but only ones that were fated to die, anyway. The hunters and their guides walk along an elevated path, and the big rule is NEVER STEP OFF THE PATH, because the (premature) death of a single organism could alter the future (our present) irreparably. Guy in the story (SPOILER!) steps on a butterfly and puts a dictator in power…

TERRA NOVA, your not people are not only stepping off the path, they’ve ripped it up and are killing everything in sight… not to mention creating a whole human civilization some 65 million years before the first humans will exist… Yet the timeline seems unaffected… How? Are your descendants going to compete with those proto-humans, thereby preventing their rise to dominance? Won’t you, in effect, undo the human race, and the time portal, and yourselves?

What the hell, TERRA NOVA?

Ummmm… maybe it’s a pocket reality? A little girl’s dream? Oz with dinosaurs?

You seemed to hint that you would examine some of these questions, but you’re very slow in getting to it… Unlike LOST, your mysteries and your characters just aren’t compelling.

Wouldn’t it have been interesting if some things started to alter around your people because the timeline was being affected, and their reality became slippery and uncertain?

How cool would it have been if there was some microorganism in the primordial past that attacked synthetic materials – if your people suddenly found their homes and vehicles and holo-imagers and sonic toothbrushes crumbling to dust? If they had to build forts like early settlers, and tan hides for clothes and invent weapons with natural materials, all the time fending off the beasties and the rebels?

Or how about a saboteur who believes we have no business in the past?

Even LOST IN SPACE (the 60’s adventures of the “Space Family Robinson”) had Dr. Smith, and he was funny (unlike anyone in your group.)

You don’t offer anything like this, TERRA NOVA, and I don’t have the time or patience to wait until you finally bring out your big box of surprises. I have a feeling its contents will be bland and smiley and safe, like a stegosaurus who becomes a grumbling but harmless family pet.

But if I’m wrong (as I was about ENTERPRISE, 2001-2005), we’ll meet again on DVD… but I doubt it.

Sincerely,

Mark Onspaugh
from The Remote Outpost

# #

Everything wrong about TERRA NOVA is right in THE WALKING DEAD.

The series, based on the brilliant graphic novels of Robert Kirkman (art by Tony Moore, then Charlie Adlard) and shepherded to TV by director Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, 1994, THE GREEN MILE, 1999, THE MIST, 2007). (A number of the actors in DEAD have appeared in films Darabont directed, but I have yet to see any regular or guest star strike a false note.)

Also crucial is the participation of makeup genius Greg Nicotero, who individually and collectively with KNB Effects Group has been involved with a myriad of cool horror and special makeup effects since the 80’s, from Evil Dead 2 (1987) to DEADWOOD (2004-2006) to THE PACIFIC (2010) and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2012).

The series begins with Sheriff Rick Grimes waking from a coma in a hospital. He’s thirsty, confused… No one comes to his aid. He finally gets out of bed and shambles down the halls in his gown and bandages… the hospital is empty, litter and signs of struggle everywhere he looks. He finds a set of double doors that are chained up, and a spray painted message reads DON’T OPEN – DEAD INSIDE. Then one of the doors is forced open just enough for a pale, grasping hand to reach through… The opening is subtle but chilling, and we know we are in for a hell of a ride.

Rick is played by Andrew Lincoln, a Brit who starred in the BBC supernatural series AFTERLIFE (2005-2006) and was in LOVE ACTUALLY (2003). Lincoln is perfect as Rick, an idealistic and moral soul who is cast into a world that is literally Hell on Earth.

Rick soon learns that the his county (perhaps the world) is overrun with the living dead. If that first zombie (a pale hand) led you to believe the makeup was going to be “on the cheap,” have no fear—one of the next zombies Rick meets up with is half a zombie, trailing its intestines as it crawls slowly across a field. Once Rick discovers this unfortunate is still alive, he kills it out of mercy rather than fear. Rick is our moral compass in this world gone mad, and he finds his ethics and his values completely at odds in a place where both the dead and the living have turned dangerous, even monstrous.

Returning home, Rick finds his wife and young son gone, and goes in search of them. He learns through trial and error what kills a zombie, and has some hair-raising close calls. The zombies here are the Romero shambling, lurching type, capable of speed when motivated. They don’t run but they are persistent and strong, and their appearance (as well as their smell) can be overwhelming to even the toughest survivor.

Rick finds his wife and son with a ragtag group of survivors being led by Shane (Jon Bernthal: EASTWICK, 2009-2010), his former deputy. Shane left Rick in the hospital, figuring he was as good as dead. He even told Rick’s wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies : PRISON BREAK, 2005-2009) that Rick was dead. This gave Shane the opportunity to step in as surrogate husband and father, something he has secretly desired for some time.

Now Rick is back, and Lori holds Shane in contempt for lying to her. Shane, for his part, feels he is the better leader, that he is brutal enough to make the hard choices Rick will not. Shane’s envy and resentment toward his best friend are now taking their toll, and we have already seen one instance where Shane sacrificed someone else so he would survive.

The characters here are wonderfully realized by the writing, acting and directing. When Lori confesses to Rick that she had slept with Shane, he takes it in stride, acknowledging that she thought he was dead. Whether or not Rick becomes jealous of Shane in later episodes, it was refreshing to see this scene play out without Rick beating the crap out of Shane (or vice versa).

Among the survivors in Rick’s group are Glenn (Steven Yeun), the group’s daredevil and “wheel man”; T-Dog (IronE Singleton), a somber and troubled African American; Dale Horvath (Jeffrey DeMunn, from THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE and THE MIST), the cranky and eminent sage and RV driver; Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride: AMERICAN GOTHIC, 1995 and THE MIST) an abused wife and mother; Andrea (Laurie Holden: THE MIST, FANTASTIC FOUR, 2005), a former attorney who will become the group’s best sharpshooter (if they follow the graphic novels); and Daryl and Merle Dixon, a pair of redneck brothers, played by Norman Reedus (BOONDOCK SAINTS, 1999, PANDORUM, 2009 and the as-yet-unreleased NIGHT OF THE TEMPLAR 2011) and Michael Rooker (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, 1986,  THE 6TH DAY, 2000, and SLITHER, 2006).

Both Daryl and Merle are good hunters, and their knives and proficiency with bow and arrows allow them to dispatch zombies in almost complete silence (gunfire and loud noises alert all zombies in the area that there is food to be had). Trouble is, they’re racist assholes, especially older brother Merle. Rick ends up handcuffing Merle to a rooftop when Merle beats T-Dog. He gives T-Dog the handcuff key to punish Merle. When zombies come a-callin’ T-Dog fumbles the key and it goes down a drain. They have a hacksaw, but there is no time to saw through the cuff and T-Dog cannot bring himself to cut off Merle’s hand. The scene where Merle is struggling to free himself as the undead are breaking through chained doors was a bravura performance for Rooker. When Rick and Daryl later come back for Merle, all they find is Merle’s hand and wrist, still hanging in the cuff.

With his older, bullying brother out of the picture, Daryl finds himself increasingly drawn to join the small community, especially when Carol’s young daughter Sophia goes missing.

The series continually gives its characters room to grow and develop, and there are conflicts that have nothing to do with living in a zombie apocalypse, but are exacerbated by it. Moments of humor are often set off by moments of white-knuckle suspense. In the episode “Guts” (where Merle gets handcuffed to the roof), Rick and Glenn must get to a box truck so that the survivors can get away. Trouble is, there are dozens of “Walkers” (the show’s name for zombies) between them and the vehicle. They cover their clothing in the literal guts and remains of a captured zombie, then must lurch and shamble through the crowd. It is one of the most agonizing moments your old pal at the Remote Outpost has ever seen – and there are a lot of those on THE WALKING DEAD. In addition, characters you might think would survive don’t, and this adds to the tension. Hell, even a pastoral and lovely farm has its own deadly secrets.

The other great thing is that the series does not slavishly follow the graphic novels. However, with creator Kirkman as one of the execs, the series hews true to the high quality of the comic.

Sadly, Frank Darabont was fired by AMC, and the mid-season finale was the last episode he had a hand in. How the series will fare in his absence will be seen in February when it resumes.

(By the way, I won’t spoil how the second season’s mid-season finale ended, but I will say this: if you saw it and didn’t weep or at least tear up, then you may be dead already.)

Again, it may just be me, but I’d rather bite my nails watching zombies than nod off watching happy hijinks in the Cretaceous.

# #

SUPPLEMENTAL TRANSMISSION:  DEAD SET (2008) is a five-episode zombie mini-series from Britain that I highly recommend. During filming of the reality show BIG BROTHER, a zombie apocalypse strands both the housemates and the crew in a TV station. The series has lots of gore, some outrageous humor and a final shot that is simply heartbreaking. Well worth checking out.

REMOTE OUTPOST… out.

© Copyright 2011 by Mark Onspaugh

In The Spooklight: REPTILICUS!

Posted in 2010, Campy Movies, Dinosaurs, Giant Monsters, In the Spooklight, Michael Arruda Reviews with tags , , , on November 5, 2010 by knifefighter

Just saw MONSTERS this week, and we’ve got SKYLINE coming up soon, so I’ve got giant monsters on the mind.  This column first appeared in the HWA NEWSLETTER in November 2008, on the silly Danish film REPTILICUS from 1962.

—Michael Arruda, 11/4/10


IN THE SPOOKLIGHT: REPTILICUS (1962)
By Michael Arruda

It’s so bad it’s good.

There aren’t a lot of genres where this statement is true.  Horror films are one of them.

Sometimes the brain can recognize everything wrong with a movie, but the heart is somehow won over.

REPTILICUS (1962), that rarity of rarities, a giant monster movie not from Japan but from— Denmark?— for example, is a god-awful movie, weak every which way you slice it, but somehow, when all is said and done, and you’ve finished watching it, the flick is, dare I say it, charming?

Let’s examine this strange phenomenon.

For starters, REPTILICUS sports your standard giant monster movie plot.  The frozen tail of a giant prehistoric beast is unearthed and then accidentally thawed out by scientists.  The biological term regeneration is pressed to its limits as the entire creature regenerates from just its tail.  It then escapes from the laboratory and goes on a rampage, terrorizing Denmark.

The special effects are ridiculously poor.  The “fire” spit out by the giant reptile is obviously scratched into the film a la someone’s backyard film project.  And the monster itself is about as real looking as something you’d find in the discount toy aisle at Wal Mart.

Yet, somehow, this all works to the movie’s advantage.  The look of the title creature, Reptilicus, is unique.  Hey, I have to give credit where credit is due.  You just don’t see too many movie monsters looking like Reptilicus, and I suppose the look of the creature is part of the movie’s charm.

Reptilicus looks less like a dinosaur and more like a dragon—albeit a dragon with just a long neck and no body.  Where is the creature’s body?  It’s hardly ever seen, as most shots simply show the neck and head moving from behind buildings.  The monster is obviously a puppet, and looks like something created by the late Jim Henson’s evil twin.

And when we do see the body, it rolls along the ground like a giant wind-up toy.

And then there’s that wild sound that Reptilicus makes, like a car in serious need of transmission fluid.  The creature also sports wings, and rumor has it that in some prints it even flies!

The dialogue and the acting are so bad you’ll be laughing out loud.

In all seriousness, the movie does include a terrific stunt, as panicked bicyclists plunge from a drawbridge into the sea while fleeing from the rampaging puppet monster.  Supposedly, real bicyclists were paid to ride off the bridge into the water.

The movie also has a great over-the-top dramatic music score.

So, why is a movie like this worth the time of any serious horror writer?  The obvious reason is that it never hurts to see what NOT to do.  But I think a better reason is sometimes, you just have to let loose and have fun and watch something so bad it’s good.

What’s interesting here, is that REPTILICUS is a movie that obviously doesn’t work the way it was intended.  Director Sidney Pink didn’t set out to make a bad movie.  Still, REPTILICUS is a bad movie—a bad movie that works, just not in the way it was intended to work.  It works because in spite of it blatant flaws, it’s entertaining.

REPTILICUS is not a movie you’d want to study, but as a student of the horror genre, it is one you’d want to see, at least once.  This way you’ll understand why GODZILLA and KING KONG are part of our popular culture, while REPTILICUS is just a maniacal dragon puppet with wings.

—END—

© Copyright 2008 by Michael Arruda

In the Spooklight: THE LAND UNKNOWN

Posted in Campy Movies, Dinosaurs, In the Spooklight, Low Budget Movies, Science Fiction with tags , , , , on July 14, 2010 by knifefighter

This column, on the 1957 dinosaur movie THE LAND UNKNOWN, first appeared in the HWA NEWSLETTER in July 2007.  I chose this one today because I was reminded of this movie when I saw PREDATORS over the weekend.  There’s a character in THE LAND UNKNOWN who’s a lot like the Laurence Fishburne character in PREDATORS, a half-crazed survivor from a previous expedition, who gives the main characters a real hard time.  Sadly, I don’t mention him in the review.  I guess he was just too much of a pain!

—Michael Arruda (7/14/10)

——-

IN THE SPOOKLIGHT: THE LAND UNKNOWN (1957)
by Michael Arruda

Dinosaurs have been with us in the movies since the silent era.

Go back to 1925, and you have the remarkable version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s THE LOST WORLD.  Continue to the original KING KONG (1933), through the Ray Harryhausen years with such films as THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953), to JURASSIC PARK (1993) and its sequels, all the way up to present day, where we come full circle with Peter Jackson’s KING KONG (2005).  Dinosaurs have both fascinated and terrified us.  We’re always happy to see them— at least, in the movies.

Today’s film, THE LAND UNKNOWN (1957) is— what’s that?  Never heard of it?  I’m not surprised.  See, THE LAND UNKNOWN is— well, rather unknown.

Released by Universal Pictures and produced by William Alland, the same man who produced the CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON movies for Universal in the 1950s, THE LAND UNKNOWN tells the story of four crew members on a naval expedition to explore Antarctica.  When their helicopter crashes into a mysterious valley hidden from the skies by a strange, dense fog, they find themselves trapped in a prehistoric world full of dinosaurs.

Jock Mahoney plays Commander Harold Roberts, the leader of the expedition.  Mahoney, a former stunt man who would go on to play Tarzan in the movies, is actually quite good, and you don’t find yourself thinking he’s a former stunt man turned actor.

He does his own stunts in the film, which is really cool, because it helps the action flow very smoothly.  Absent are the traditional cuts to the stunt man.  Nope, he just leaps here and dives there, and the camera keeps rolling.  It really adds authenticity to the film.  The best of these sequences is when Mahoney dives from the helicopter into a river.

The rest of the acting is also very good, including Shawn Smith as the lone female presence in the movie.

But of course you don’t watch a dinosaur movie for the acting- you watch it for the dinosaurs.

To create the illusion of giant prehistoric creatures, the special effects team of Fred Knoth, Orien Ernest and Jack Kevan used a combination of real lizards, “man in suit” monsters and mechanical models.

The least effective method of portraying dinosaurs in the movies is the old trick of using real lizards. With the help of trick photography and thunderous sound effects, these real-life reptiles are made to look humongous.  This method was probably best used in JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (1959).  In most other genre films, this particular effect comes off as cheap and fake.  Luckily, it’s used sparingly in THE LAND UNKNOWN.

While models were used to portray a sea monster and a pterodactyl, for the film’s main monster, the T-Rex, it was time for the old “man in suit” routine, and nobody seems to do this as well as the folks who give life to Godzilla and friends.  Sadly, the T-Rex here is quite laughable, looking like a prehistoric couch potato after a weekend of sucking down beer.  He’s slow, lumbering and oh that pot belly!

THE LAND UNKNOWN was directed by Virgil Vogel, while Laszlo Gorog wrote the screenplay, based on a story by Charles Palmer.  Joseph Gershenson wrote the music score, and it’s OK, though nowhere near as good as his now classic score for CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.

THE LAND UNKNOWN is fun and entertaining, as long as you can look past the average special effects.  And, no, it won’t give you any nightmares, unless, of course, you suffer from a fear of prehistoric couch potatoes.

—END—

© Copyright 2007 by Michael Arruda