12 Days Of Dino Dicember #7: Valley Of The Dragons (1961)

Stock footage. The quintessence of cheap filmaking since its very beginning, the saviour of many low budget productions for decades, constantly growing over time and often very fuckin free, etc.

It’s and always will be a constant for visual media, but there are case when you can take it too far, like the infamous Gamera Super Monster, the final Showa era Gamera film, composed almost entirely of stock footage from previous movies in the series. Sometimes you can indeed go even cheaper, but shouldn’t, unless you wanna risk destroying any goodwill, fanbase or prospects.

Though this isn’t the case, with Valley Of The Dragons we have instead the story of trying to adapt the Jules Verne novel Off Of A Comet/Career Of A Comet, which was actually not published in US territories at the time, due to it being very anti-semitic.

A very loose adaptation mostly made to chase the success of previous film adaptations of Verne’ stories…. and because producer Donald Zimbalist wanted to have it heavily based around the stock footage from One Billion BC, as he owned the rights to that.

In its own way, this is also pure cinema at heart.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #6: Dinosaur Hotel (2021)

It’s kinda sad when i get to review a dinosaur movie that came out this year and immediatly do a double-take as soon as i get a glance of the premise.

Didn’t i review this as Jurassic Games? Why must i lament the need for a more varied kind of trash?

I’m not even talking in terms of flimsy budgets, there’s no creativity to most of this modern trash, i mean, with this title you could do a spoof of Wes Anderson movies and have stop-motion wool dinosaurs in valet outfits or something, do i really have to write the scripts for you?

Also, by total absurd coincidence, it predates Squid Game, as Dinosaur Hotel was released on streaming sites in June 2021, and even its DVD release predates the worlwide September 2021 debut of the hit Netflix series. It would be easy to assume this was made to capitalize on Squid game’s popularity (especially when we’ll get to the premise), but that simply isn’t the case, it’s just another dinosaur film capitalizing on the modern interest in “battle royale/death games” media.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #5: Claw (2021)

From Gerald Rascionato, mostly know as the director of Open Water 3: Cage Dive, this is the other dinosaur movie he made in 2021 that we mentioned in the review of Triassic Hunt, simply titled Claw.

The premise is fairly simple, with two friends forced to spend the night in a ghost town (after getting a flat tire), where they find themselves hunted by a prehistoric predator.

Almost immediatly i got Raptor Ranch vibes, since we also have a scientist creating dinosaurs via a ramshackle laboratory in a middle-of-nowhere town (here Southern California instead of the usual rural town of backwoods stereotypes), the dinosaur pen, the dinosaur outsmarting his creator, etc.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #4: Attack Of The Super Monsters (1982)

It really IS Christmas time, because today we’re doing a movie that’s both dinosaurs and vintage tokusatsu cheesiness from the 80s. How can you go wrong? You simply can’t.

Add drill spaceship to the mix and you really can’t go wrong.

Though it’s worth pointing out this is actually an edited down TV series (i suppose it’s just the first 4 episodes of the series mashed together, as it was a common practice at the time), Dinosaur War Aizenborg, itself quite the interesting piece of media, as it’s an hybrid anime and live action show, with sentai style rubber suit and stop motion puppets action for the dinosaurs and giant monsters, but animation for the humans and most regular animals, played over live-action miniature sets.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #3: Jurassic Expedition (2018)

I don’t know what it was with late 2010s and the small resurgence of “dinosaurs in space” movies, but yes, that off handed comment i made when reviewing Jurassic Galaxy wasn’t for naught, that movie had a “buddy” of sorts, released a year later as… Alien Expedition?

It’s amazing how that was actually the original title, which was quickly changed in most releases because dinosaurs bring all the boys to the yard, after all. “Jurassic” is a palatable adjective, it is.

Seriously, how the hell do you make a low budget sci-fi movie about dinosaur planets and NOT put a dinosaur relevant word in the title? You want people to eventually watch your movie, right?

Even more amazing is that the two movies also share the “dual brothers directors”… just pulling your leg, it’s a guy that just happens to be named Wallace Brothers, and only having made a single film before this one, David And Goliath from 2016, never heard of it before myself.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #2: King Dinosaur (1955)

Ah yes, time to slip back into the comfy territory of “featured on MST3K” old 50 movies about dinosaurs, and of course when talking about MST3K featured flicks, Bert I. Gordon (or Mister BIG, as he was nicknamed by good ol’ Forrest J. Ackerman) is bound to be involved somewhat.

This is actually his first directed movie, followed 2 years later by Beginning Of The End, aka the one about giant locusts and “mantises in pantises”.

Sorry, getting back on track. Yeah, King Dinosaur marks Mister BIG’ first feature length work, after some television commercials, and let’s just say that its first step it’s already a good indication of him being incredibly cheap and fast in making a movie. And i mean both, as the movie was shot in a week, and was indeed cheap, since it has only 4 actors and it uses stock footage, not only for the scene of the mammoth’s attack it’s lifted from 1940’s One Million BC, but the army and the atom bomb explosions are just military stock footage, and there’s no cheaper than free.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #1: Triassic Hunt (2021)

This one it’s a bit odd, as you would guess it being a mockbuster of Jurassic World 3 Dominion… or at least it was probably gonna be that, but that movie – along many others – was postponed time and time again due to complications caused by the pandemic, so The Asylum for once had the mockbuster ready to leech off a movie that wasn’t out yet, and released it anyway this last January.

I mean, nothing stops them from making dinosaur movies that are not mockbusters, but in the end it’s mostly a matter of labels, since this one as well isn’t exactly copying directly a more popular movie, just ripping off Carnosaur even more than Corman and Buechler did, to continue the circle of trash cannibalizing older trash.

Long live the new trash, etc etc.

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What is Christmas without an Ice Cream Bunny?

Think watching The Star Wars Holiday Special each year it’s not the hipster “christmas tradition” it was before? If so, i will propose something that’s also not new, as it has a cult following, but very very smaller in comparison, since it doesn’t have the Star Wars branding.

Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny.

If this didn’t trigger a PTSD-like reaction, i’m here to share my cursed knowledge upon you, because in a way this fits the Christmas period, and its deranged insanity.

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