When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth


(out of 5)

Definitely worth watching for the kitsch factor if not the visual effects, which were groundbreaking at the time but are now still appealing; that said, it’s quite a chore to sit through.  Prehistoric movies made around this time are a jokey experience, generally an excuse to show as much flesh as possible without getting arrested for indecency, but featuring a false sense of scientific interest that is nowhere near the accepted wisdom let alone research of the time.  In this example, the story is of modern-looking humans with shaggy beards and hair who sacrifice blond women to the sun (that’s how we know they’re primitive) to protect themselves from the dinosaurs who surround them, until one girl runs away and finds an adventure in other parts of the Canary Islands where it was all filmed.  We get to see wondrous shots (that deservedly earned the film an Oscar nomination) of real characters interacting with stop-motion animation figures, enough to make you relax your brain and just enjoy this version of the past when humans actually co-exited with dinosaurs.  Making it difficult to endure, however, is that the dialogue is all written in a fake prehistoric language that is not put over effectively by the wooden performances and dull, uncharismatic actors. , now most famous for her one scene in Rosemary’s Baby (under the name Angela Dorian), appears as protagonist.

Hammer Films

United Kingdom, 1970

Directed by

Screenplay by Val Guest, treatment by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1970


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