12 Days Of Dino Dicember #17: Dinosaurus! (1960)

Among the many dinosaurs films ailing from the 50 and ownards, Dinosaurus! comes to mind as a classic cheesefest full of b-movies cliches, incredibly outdated values and characters that would fly only in that decade, sometimes for other reasons besides being offensive.

Never mind it being from the ’60s, or the fact that Steve McQueen was intended to play the lead character (after his success as the lead teen in 1958’s The Blob, also produced by Jack Harris, and also directed by Irvin Yeaworth), but opted out to star in The Magnificent Seven, never mind, because this is such a cornucopia of old timey laughable b-movie trash that it was eventually featured on Rifftrax. It was just a match made in cheap dinosaur heaven.

Such a perfect film to lampoon and ridicule that i’m surprised it took them until 2018, and now it’s fully free on their Youtube channel, so you have no excuse now.

But for us, we’re gonna try and review it in his “riff-less” original release, it’s the season of giving after all, so let us partake in some fermented dinosaur cheese of yore.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #16: Raptor Island (2004)

Some tales are indeed worthy of a Princess Bride style framing, as they retold time and time again.

Some are expendable TV movie fodder that will be only remembered as vague snippets of an – often incorrect – IMDB entry by generations of trash seeking cinema nerds, lured in by the dinos.

Those aren’t definitely getting any younger. Or older.

And indeed Raptor Island is one of those, where the “dino cheese” is so thick you could just read a synopsis and rightfully assume this was a TV movie for the Sci Fi Channel, because it involves a team of Navy Seals fighting terrorists somewhere in the South Chinese Sea area, stumbling on a island where a bunch of dinosaurs seem to have survived that global extinction event thingie.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #14: Triassic Attack (2010)

To give us a breather from an apparently endless strain of incredibly stupid scientists who would resurrect Hitler and put his brain in a T-Rex for the lulz… this time no one is cloning anything, or tampering in god’s domain without a rubber octopus on strings.

None of that shit.

Sorry for the screenshots “salvage fest”, but despite IMDB listing it having an italian release date (which is true since it was aired on tv here… i guess once), i couldn’t even find images of the apparent UK release, let alone a UK DVD, it’s not even one of those dino flicks gated off to non-UK Amazon Prime Video users. And apparently none of the major streaming services has it.

I’m not paying extra to import it from the US or get a Japanese copy, sorry, not for Triassic Attack.

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[EXPRESSO] Troll (2022) | AWAKEN, AWAKEN, AWAKEN, AWAKEN

No, they didn’t reboot that specific series, this is simply a new monster movie from Norway about a very Norvegian type of monster: a troll. As in, the ones from the folklore, not the type of kid-friendly version proposed by beloved children book series and cartoon Moomins.

It released at the start of Dicember on Netflix, and it follow the release of the titular monster during construction work to open a new railroad through the Dovrefjell Mountain. The miners light up some explosive to clear the way, but something makes the earth tremble and causes destruction.

Unclear on what exactly happened, the prime minister summons various experts, like geologists, biologist and even paleontologist Nora Tildemann is interrupted during a successful search to look at the footage.

She manages to notices that the video reveals a human-like figure, and further investigation brings her – and the people tasked to help her – to the realization that this is indeed a troll, like the one in the fairytale her father told her, and that they need to find a way to stop it before it reaches Oslo.

At heart, Troll follows pretty much the standard monster movie formula and structure, down to the army being useless, pretty typical but at the same time it’s fairly well executed, the characters are quite likable, there is a lot more humour than one might expect (without ever going full spoof), and while it’s never fully explored, the troll folklore/mythology shown here help freshen up the familiar nature of the story and its execution, while also making you feel sympathy for the giant creature.

It’s nothing original but the effects are good, the pace is faster than anticipated, and overall it’s a very solid, quite entertainng monster movie, i wouldn’t mind to see those planned sequels.

Metal Tornado (2011) [REVIEW] | Gold Joe approved

Let’s talk about the only movie like this that can actually claim it ISNT ripping off Sharkenado. Sure, it was released on DVD in various territories after Sharkenado proved to be an incredibly popular surprise hit, but it released two years prior and wasn’t even made by The Asylum, but from the fairly unknown Capital Productions, which otherwise did a dozen of TV movies about office & school thriller dramas, with Metal Tornado being their only disaster movie.

With a title like that, it does seem pointless to go over the plot, but we’ll do it anyway as pro-forma, i mean, it’s not quite trying to cash into the Asylum wheelhouse.

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Horror Shark 3D AKA Blood Shark 3D (2020) [REVIEW] #sharksncrocs

Shark attack movies are an appealing worldwide phenomen, so it’s not surprising even mainland China would eventually invest more and more in these, as they can serve a fairly new domestic cinema industry and are easy to export since the genre is pretty popular everywhere. Shark never get old for audiences, after all.

Obviously this isn’t the first chinese shark movie ever, or even the first one we featured here, but it’s China very first 3D big budget shark attack film. It has received a fairly easy to find DVD release on online marketplaces, but i watched it on Youtube, as it was uploaded in full on YOUKU’s Youtube Channel, with english subs available.

The plot of Horror Shark 3D (also known as Blood Shark 3D) concerns “a swimmer and a marine paradise trainer (trainer for what?) who accidentally fall into a huge conspiracy about blood sharks.”

At least this is the plot synopsis you’ll find around the web, but i’d say it’s badly translated and partially incorrect.

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Lake Placid VS Anaconda (2015) [REVIEW] #sharksncrocs

Has your series completely run of ideas or it’s just not willing to get out of the genre comfort zones, but you still want to continue the franchise? Cross it over with a similar series, versus style.

Oddly enough, this is both the obvious (as it’s in the title) crossover between the Anaconda and Lake Placid franchises, but also the fifth movie in each respective series.

Elaborating on what i said at the end of the review for Lake Placid: The Final Chapter, the two series are quite the good fit for a cheap TV movie crossover, not only for the obvious reptilian killer animals involved, but as they both had a successful film first that was deemed good enough to be shown in theathers, and hence being more easily remembered by audiences.

Btw, the official DVD tagline for the film it’s quite fun and to the point “Crocks on the docks, snakes on the lakes”. Love these.

Shame they set the bar too high, but of course they do.

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Apex Predators AKA Jaws of New York (2021) [REVIEW] #sharksncrocs

Younger readers might think they saw everything, heard about everything, but don’t underestimate how deep the abyss is, since i can still search for and find more shark movies i’ve never even heard the title before, doesn’t matter if its decades or days old, the black depths keep spewing them out.

Cards on the table, what did i expect from the director of Ebola Rex, RoboWoman, Axegrinder 2, 5G Zombies, Angry Asian Murder Hornets (just to name a few)?

I’d say nothing, but that is not true, because a mental void would be quite calming, this isn’t the case here.

Plot? Sharks attack the beaches of Los Angeles, leaving corpses around just in time to ruin the opening of a new resort. Done.

The rest – as in 90% of the movie – is boring ass random padding or clumsy exposition dialogue that often has nothing to do with anything else, and even when an actual plot or narrative start manifesting, it just isn’t worth caring or describing in any detail aside from the shark being a spontaneous mutant, or at least we’re told so, and that’ll have to do since we never see any of this.

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Megalodon Rising (2020) [REVIEW] #sharksncrocs

As we extensively estabilished before, when it comes to shark movies The Asylum doesn’t even bother anymore to wait for a mainstream blockbuster release to mooch off… which i can’t really blame on them as those almost completely went extinct, with almost exclusively low to no budgets shark movies flooding the market every year.

And as usual, this is one of those they just kinda put out with no fanfare, to the point i knew this existed only because i happened to stumble upon its UK DVD release while browsing randomly on Amazon one late night.

I mean, more important stuff happened in 2020, but still, put 5 bucks into marketing!

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Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012) [REVIEW] #sharksncrocs

Some traditions die hard, to the point of never actually properly getting fazed on, and one of the fundamental ones for horror as a whole is titling the next installment of your series as “The Final Chapter”. Heck, even the Saw series did it a couple of years earlier, you can bet Lake Placid was gonna go for that low hanging fruit as well.

Though, one could argue that for many Saw fans that one does still feel more like a final chapter, despite two more films in the series having been released after.

But again, i’m getting off track, we’re talking about the fourth movie in a series of killer crocs, and a sequel to Lake Placid 3, which seems pointless to specify, but considering that these kind of movies will claim “sequelage” regardless of their plots being even vaguely connected, it’s important to specify if they can live to this self-made claim of continuity and crap.

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