12 Days Of Dino Dicember #24: The Last Dinosaur (1977)

What, no japanese rubber monstersaurus this time? Of course no, you silly billys.

I left this one for last, because it’s not just a japanese giant monster movie.

It’s a Japanese AND American coproduction, and it’s actually just one of the many movies to come out of the Rankin Bass and Tsuburaya Productions collaboration, including The Ivory Ape and The Bermuda Depths, just to cite the adventure/monster movie stuff or adiacent ones.

But this time you might already had an inkling of familiarity with the giant t-rex body suit shown in the poster, especially if you were already familiar with another piece of Tsuburaya Productions’ prolific output, as boy it does look like the evil t-rex mastermind from Attack Of The Super Monsters, and hence from the anime-live action series Dinosaur War Izenborg.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #22: Tyranno’s Claw (1994)

Time for something very obscure and very fun, with some history behind it, too, because when i think old monster movies from Korea, my mind goes immediatly to good old Pulgasari/Bulgasari.

And guess what, i’m gonna give myself a pat on the back, and you might too, since in 1994 the director of D-War: Dragon Wars and Yonggary (the 1999 movie, itself a remake of 1967’s Yongary, Monster From The Deep), Shim Hyung-rae, caught wind of the international dinosaur-mania, so he concocted one of the most peculiar and strange kaiju films ever committed to celluloid, Tyranno’s Claw, far from the obvious Jurassic Park mockbuster the year of release might suggest.

Even though there IS a “goat scene” …. this is something else indeed.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember # 19: Jurassic Thunder (2019)

Oh, boy, THIS one.

I was gonna include it in the original Dino December, but i eventually relented.

Not because it looked like crap, like really atomic level of trash, just a smidge above the realm of stuff like Weasels Rip My Flesh, quite the opposite, i’m even more intrigued by the fact it looks and most likely is utter bungum, as i keep gazing into the abyss (Mondo Zappa style) until the abyss itself gets bored or produces some new unholy artifact for my collection. Which it often does, actually.

I eventually didn’t bother as i was so irritated and angry at it, and i did want to review it, not use the movie as a verbal punching ball. So i let some time pass, and combined with the fact i don’t want to pity people in general, i’d say it’s time to review Jurassic Thunder in proper and earnest and whathaveyou.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #18: Cowgirls Vs Pterodactyls (2021)

In the spirit of exploiting terms like “gender equality” and “inclusive”, i had to follow up my review of Cowboys VS Dinosaurs with this one, because everyone (aside from nazis, fascists, and their “variants”) is welcome to make its own bad movie about dinosaurs, with effects that really stretch the modern goodwill towards crap movies to excuse stuff that’s embarassing even by film student standards.

So cowgirls can fight the other – and honestly more represented in cinema – group of specific dinosaurs, because we’ll pretend we can’t afford to create any other dinosaur that isn’t a pterodactyl.

I do like pterodactyls (and Aerodactyls), so whatever, what plot brings these two factions to fight for the fate of the land without having to kidnap emperors?

A stolen husband. Yep. One day a teacher’s husband is pteronapped, so she enlist the helps of a prostitute and a gunslinger (a rpg class not represented in the title, for shame) to save his ass.

One thing i was hoping for is them trying to do this as “period piece”… and they do!

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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 #15: Terror Birds (2016)

‘m cheating a bit with this one, since it’s about an extinct clade of carnivorous flightless birds from the cenozoic period, going by the scientific name of Phorusrhacidae, vulgarly called “terror birds”. So, dino birds, pretty much.

If anything, i don’t regret fitting this one in a proper Dino December… because the plot reminds me of Raptor Ranch, as yet again we have scientists cloning extinct animals in fuckin Texas ranches of all places.

Then again, what do i know, maybe there the demand for dino beef is high. Yeah, this time isn’t about raptors and company, but about these prehistoric apex bird predators, and the usual group of teenagers (with her ex-boyfriend who she’s gonna hook up later, because dumb b-movie script) that stumble upon the “dino ranch”.

This time there is a reason for it, because the father of one of the girls, Maddy, went missing during one of his usual birdwatching excursions.

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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.

The Spooktacular Eight Return & starting a Dead Island Retrospective

Yeah i know this is the older logo and art.

Since that thing i improvised last October did okay… let’s try to make it a yearly tradition, why not?

8 selected horror reviews sparkled through the whole month, in a pick-n-mix fashion!

Also, starting from October onwards, each month i will have a full lenght, in-depth review for each installment of the Dead Island franchise, with the retrospective culminating on the release of Dead Island 2 in February 2023.

Yeah, since this time we actually have real gameplay footage, Deep Silver isn’t waiting for a topical release date anymore for its zombie game, and wants this out before the unthinkable happens and they’re forced to restart the project from scratch for the 4th time or something.

Or before Goat Simulator takes further piss of that old E3 trailer with Pigeon John’s The Bomb playing to the sprinting dead.

The ONLY game i won’t be reviewing it’s the smarthphone spin-off Dead Island Survivors, because aside an old EXPRESSO review made in italian years ago (which i’m not unearthing or reusing in any way), i don’t have much written thoughts on it, as i didn’t play it that much when it released, and the game shut down in July 2020, so…

It wasn’t bad either, it was a top down action rpg with tower defense elements, free-to-play with all the shingle that it entails, but it was basically akin to Orcs Must Die, so it’s kind of a shame i can’t revisit it anymore.

That’s free-to-play smartphone games for you.