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The 100




Last Dinosaur, The
(1977)
Reviewed by Ken Begg
Rating: 8 Beans

he Last Dinosaur is a woeful 'update' of that Sci-fi movie perennial: The Lost World/Continent/Plateau/Whatever. Our story revolves around the 'richest man in the world', Masten Thrust (!). Thrust is played by actor Richard Boone, star of the TV shows Have Gun, Will Travel and Hec Ramsey. As you might have gathered from his name, Thrust is a old fashioned man's man, adrift in the modern girly-man world. In fact, aside from the title beast, the phrase 'Last Dinosaur' can thus be applied to him as well. This is the screenplay's idea of 'subtext'. As the film's awful/terrific theme song informs us: "His time has passed/There are no more/He is the Last...Dina-sore!!!"

Thrust's company has discovered your typical volcano-heated Lost World in the Arctic Circle. This was via one of the company's 'Polar Borers', one of those fat-pencil-with-a-drill-attached jobbies so popular in these films. Only one member of the original team survived, and Thrust is now leading an expedition back to study a T-Rex seen by the survivor. Going with Thrust (on the aptly named 'Bore Expedition') are a gentle old scientist, the plucky girl reporter/love interest (soap opera star Joan Van Ark), the survivor/third side of the inevitable love triangle guy, and, finally, Bunta, a seven foot black guy who's the 'greatest tracker in the world.' I guess they'll need all his skills to hunt the ever elusive T-Rex. Two of these characters are doomed to die (if you picked the wise old scientist and the Black sidekick, well, you've seen some of these things before.)

Once in the Lost World, Thrust quickly becomes a little too comfortable with the primitive lifestyle. When the kindly old scientist gets et by the rubbery beastie, Thrust vows revenge. And since the T-Rex has walked off with their escape vehicle, the others help out. In the end, Thrust elects to stay behind and forge a brave new world.

Highlights include the fabulous theme song; the way the gigantic T-Rex manages to keep sneaking up on people; the way the actors keep referring to the dinosaur as 'twenty feet tall', even though the special effects inserts make him anywhere from forty to sixty feet high; the silly 'cave men' sub-plot; the cave girl who steals a purse, I guess because, you know, she's still a chick and everything; the ninja triceratops who explodes out of a hillside to attack the T-Rex; the way the T-Rex's skull bends in when hit with a boulder (don't ask) and then instantly pops back out again (!); the way every woman keeps acting like the bloated, ugly Boone is sexy; and, well, everything. Well worth a look for those who like their giant monsters as cheesy as all get out.






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