Dinosaurus!

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DINOSAURUS !—-lightning strikes re-animate a Brontosaurus, a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a caveman, to the horror of the cast on their location in St.Croix, The U.S. Virgin Islands. No-one thought it odd that these prehistoric guests had been in a frozen area underwater prior to unearthing and the fatal strike from heaven? Yes, it’s the Caribbean and there is a ‘frozen area’ conveniently at hand.

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Okay, it’s awful, but as five year old kid in 1960, fresh off The Lost World and deep into the wonder passage known as the Dinosaur Phase seeing the posters, the ads in comic books and blurbs on TV made this look like the Second Coming.

When I finally caught it as teenager I experienced the by-then familiar feeling of what used to be called “a bummer.” Culprits: the story, dialogue, acting and staging.

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Further distance toward enlightenment gained, looking anew from the Have It Figured Out Now Stage reveals realism in abundance as the thawed caveman is a fairly nice guy and we find that a bulldozer (from Tonka?) is the best thing to use to fight a T-Rex.  The mix of stop-motion effects and puppets is a nostalgic chuckle, and the movie does boast a notable veteran hand behind the camera, Stanley Cortez, whose credits include brilliant work on The Magnificent Amberson’s and The Night Of The Hunter.

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Directed by the immortal Irvin Yeaworth, who had already added to the twin histories of art & commerce with The Blob and 4-D Man. His monster triumphs should not erase his first gift to the public battle for morality, The Flaming Teen Age, which he also wrote & produced.

This 1960 camp-semi-classic stars Ward Ramsey, Kristina Hanson and Gregg Martell as the good-natured Neanderthal. 85 minutes of thrills and education.

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