Those who know me, know my love of monster movies is a deep one. They’ll tell you I am howling mad about the Universal Monsters. They’ll say I’m crazy about Jason Voorhees and the Friday the 13th series. But lesser known, and no less deep is my love of dinosaur flicks! There’s just something about big, bad, behemoths that gets my blood pumping. And with Jurassic World now in theaters, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite dino-tastic films with you. So here they are and in no certain order…
KING KONG (1933)
An obvious choice that I figured I’d get out of the way. This girl meets giant gorilla tale is a classic monster movie, that just about every horror/sci-fi nerd has seen. But Willis O’Brien’s stop motion dinosaurs still really deliver, so it warranted a mention. The fight between Kong and the T-Rex is of course an iconic monster battle. Plus, dig that crazy meat eating brontosaurus!
KING KONG (2005)
Most divisive among fans, but still enjoyable in my opinion is splatterpunk filmmaker turned hobbit wrangler, Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake. Though overlong, it’s very respectful of the original film while adding a lot of nice touches of it’s own. Jackson re-imagines Skull Island as Jurassic Park if dreamed up by H.P. Lovecraft, something that is sure to thrill hardcore horror fans.
The Loch Ness Horror (1981)
This hard to find 1981 schlock-fest is a hoot of a plesiosaur adventure. Made by Texas B-movie master Larry Buchanan, the movie is filled with “so bad it’s good” cheese. Highly recommended for those fans looking for a movie to heckle with their friends.
Attack of the Super-Monsters (1978)
A bit of a cheat, since this “film” is actually a compilation movie of a Japanese TV series called “Dinosaur War Izenborg”. But it’s far too bonkers to leave off this list. Super intelligent dinosaurs emerge from the Earth’s core and declare war on the human race. Super-powerful cyborg commandos are created in order battle the rampaging reptiles. The neat thing about “Super-Monsters” is that it combines the “suitmation” style effects of classic Godzilla movies with anime. Totally unique and totally insane, and definitely worth hunting down.
The Last Dinosaur (1977)
An American/Japanese co-production, this TV movie stars Richard Boone as a wealthy big-game hunter. It actually uses some of the same dinosaur suits as Attack of the Super-Monsters. In it, Boone’s Maston Thrust discovers a lost world under the polar ice caps. Naturally, he decides it’s a great idea to hunt down the last remaining T-Rex. Gen-Xers will likely remember this flick airing a lot on TBS during the ’80’s. Very campy, very fun.
The Land that Time Forgot (1975)
Another ‘70’s gem, based on the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp novel, a WWI German u-boat discovered a lost subcontinent they name Caprona, which is course crawling with dinosaurs and cavemen. Slightly less campy than my previous two suggestions, but no less enjoyable. Also good is it’s sequel, The People that Time Forgot.
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)
COWBOYS VS. DINOSAURS!!! This is a wild western reinvention of the King Kong formula. Originally envisioned by Willis O’Brian himself, the concept was taken up by famed stop motion animator Ray Harryhausen. The titular Gwangi is a wonderfully animated Allosaurus, there is also many other prehistoric beasties running around this flick. The standout scene involves Gwangi battling a circus elephant. This is a must see for fans of stop motion animation.
This Roger Corman produced cheapie came out just four weeks before Jurassic Park. What it lacks in that film’s polish, it more than makes up in gore and sheer insanity. Golden Globe winner Diane Ladd plays a mad scientist who is recreating dinosaurs in hopes of repopulating the planet with them. Not content with simply using chicken eggs, Ladd’s character creates a virus which causes women to fatally conceive baby dinosaurs. Yes, this movie has women giving birth to dinosaurs. It doesn’t get crazier than that folks.
So there you have it, a few you have probably heard of, and hopefully a few you haven’t. I urge you to check these out while you’re getting geared up for Jurassic World or just in the mood for some wholesome dinosaur carnage.