October 17, 2008
After looking through the feedback from last week’s post on dinosaur movies, The Valley of Gwangi seems to have a fan base, and it’s easy to see why. It’s got plot: a cowboy seeks fame and fortune by capturing a dinosaur living in the Forbidden Valley and putting in it a Mexican circus.
It’s got James Franciscus, at roughly the midpoint in a career that reached all the way from “Naked City” to “Secret Weapons” (aka “Sexpionage”). And it’s got dinosaurs by the monumental Ray Harryhausen, who has reportedly acknowledged that he sometimes confused Allosaurus with Tyrannosaurus, but hey — they’re both carnivores, so what of it?
Commenter Kanti Sharma astutely notes that the movies on the original list are comic or “non-serious.” But that’s not entirely the case. I may be mistaken, but the Bulgarian entry (“Madam Dinosaur”) seems to be sincere, in a fairy-tale kind of way. Which would put it in a different league from, say, “Caveman” and “Dinosaur Valley Girls” (shout-outs to commenters Michael Stearns and Sean Craven, respectively). Or my new favorite dinosaur title, “Cadillacs and Dinosaurs,” a television series from 1993. Anyone seen it?
And can anyone tell me why dinosaurs tempt the camp gene in movie makers like no other life form? How come we never see movies like “A Nymphoid Barbarian in Mutant Sushi Hell?,” or “The Valley of the Rabid Poodles?”
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