Time to kick off a giant monsters week. This one was on Svengoolie last night.
In between smoking cigarettes and looking serious some higher up military types go over findings that in the middle of Antartica there seems to be a warm area of land (?!). So an ice breaking ship travels south via stock footage although this whole movie will see be going south. Around this time characters stand around and we get an exchange between the two leads goes something like this.
Female lead-Must you always be so technical?
Male lead-Some times I can be quite romantic.
To think that someone got paid real money to write that. Eventually they reach the point where an expedition of three dudes and one woman leave in a toy helicopter to go find this hot spot. While in the sky they go past a pterodactyl shaped object to which they shrug their shoulders at because they are too
stupid focused to realized what went by them. They land in front of under painted backdrops a lush tropical jungle scene. They soon run into two things 1-helicopter troubles 2-dinosaurs. Now number two is of the low budget variety of course but still dinosaurs. The group stumble through a foggy set, argue, babble out rotten dialog, fret over not being able to take off and flee from more cheapie, junky dinosaurs. Eventually a plot of some sorts pops up when the group runs into a bearded guy unlike the rest of the cast appears to have had some acting lessons. He was a survivor from a previous expedition, he wants to trade a helicopter part for the woman and he’s bat poop crazy. The male lead says he’s not giving up his main squeeze even if it means bloody death at the teeth of the junkosaurs. The other two guys don’t totally agree with him though. Eventually they get the helicopter fixed and they even save the crazy, beardy guy before getting back the ship. They are saved and roll the credits.
It’s Barney. Run before he makes us sing with him!
It’s amazing what they can with plastic bags and no money, well not that amazing.
The negatives-The effects are not that special, they are cheap even by 1957 standards. The acting is mostly wooden, the dialog can be tedious and the plot is thin in places.
The positives-It has dinosaurs. I like the backdrops overall in a fantasy type way. The film was meant to be in color, but they went over budget early one (it doesn’t show) and they had to go with black and white. This film looks way in black and white than it would have in color. Veteran character actor Henry Brandon shows up as the bearded survivior of the previous expedition and he helps the film by providing some sort of plot twist and his acting is far better than what anyone else was doing in this film.
I have my beard, my boat and my babe so I’m all set.
What a great shadow puppet show.