12 Days Of Dino Dicember #10: Legends Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds/Legends Of The Dinosaurs (1977)

We previously spotlighted the delights of live action tokutatsu monster and superhero anime hybrid with the Dinosaur War Izenborg 4 episodes-to-compilation film “Attack Of The Super Monsters” by Tsuburaya Productions, so let’s talk about an even more obscure kaiju film, this time by Toei, with Legends Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds, also known as Legend Of The Dinosaurs.

Interestingly, this was a japanese kaiju movie spurred by the international success of Spielberg’s Jaws (release in 1976 in Japan) and a coincidental resurgence of reports of Nessie in Loch Ness, so Toho settled to make it about a geologist who start investing strange reports of fossilized eggs and odd events surrounding the Saiko Lake (one of the Five Fuji Lakes) community, including a headless horse carcass and mysterious disappearances of people in the lake area.

Eventually Takashi puts the clues together and surmises it must be a Plesiosaur doing this, which turns out to be true, as it attacks the lakeside attendants during an event (hi, Jaws parallel), but in japanese monster movie tradition, the creature it’s bound to fight with another monster, a “Rhamphorhynchus” (basically a type of pterosaur like the pteranodon), emerging from a hidden cave in the Aokigahara region (aka the tragically famous “Sea Of Trees”, subject of a very crap Gus Van Sant movie to make things even worse), as accidentally discovered by a young girl.

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The Spooktacular Eight # 5: Land Of The Minotaur/The Devil’s Men (1976)

While Greek mythology is arguably the most overrepresented in media (followed closely by Norse mythology as one of the many “free idea buckets”), you don’t exactly think of horror when you think of Greek cinema, as the many monsters from that mythos often are more used in videogames.

But of course, there are exceptions, odd relics that surface when you start digging hard and long enough, and Land Of Minoutar does have the allure of starring Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance, which is enough to have it featured here.

Even if this isn’t the first time the two beloved actors worked together, as The Flesh And The Fiends is from 1960.

And because this is a very obscure film, it has alternate titles, like just “Minotaur” and “The Devil’s Men”, the latter being used for its UK release, and my copy as well.

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[EXPRESSO] Creators – The Past (2019) | Star Odissey Barbarian Italian Gods Of Space Magick

You might be wondering what the hell is this.

I did too, until i remembered the name from 2019’s edition of the Lucca Comic & Games convention in Italy, but i never “investigated” and i….completely forgot about it.

Then again, they didn’t market it AT ALL, despite being an italian production with William Shatner and Gérard Depardieu, alongside a cast mostly made by americans, italian actors at their first role and italian musician Angelo Minoli.

The year is 2012, and an extraordinary planetary aligment is about to happen. The eight members of the Galactic Council (each governing their own planet as a “Creator”) meet to discuss of the coming events, but following an incident they lose an essential artifact, and task a human girl to retrieve it before the planets disalign.

This is the basic gist… the movie itself it’s INSANE, it really lives up to the “colossal” monicker, as they basically threw together 3-4 movies. And – as you would expect – it gets confusing, as the sub-plots splinter into smaller sub-plots, each of the Creators has their hidden agenda, and the movie just keep throwing things at the viewer, like Jesus Christ, aliens abductions, conspiracies, sword and sorcery bits with scorpion-men, the very specifically italian “battle of the oranges”, etc.

And YES, all these things are connected together. The drawback is that with that many subplots and a runtime under 2 hours, some are abruptly resolved in seconds. Often because the movie just makes up new bullshit rules to do so. It’s anything but boring or stale, it’s visually intriguing, there is definitely dedication and ambition here, alongside a lot of money for an italian production of this type.

It tries to set-up sequels.

… I really wouldn’t mind, at all, but i “feel” they ain’t gonna happen.