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King Dinosaur
IMDB Rating: 1.9/10 from 895 votes
Release: 17 June 1955 (USA) /

King Dinosaur

Genre: Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi, Science Fiction
Director: Bert I. Gordon,
Stars: , , , ,
Synopsis: A new planet moves into our solar system and four scientists (two couples) are sent to explore Planet Nova. In between romantic interludes, the cast faces an iguana masquerading as a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Written by Scott Blacksher

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Critic Reviews


OK, never mind that this film seems to be 30 minutes of actual movie time, padded with another 33 minutes of stock footage (some of it swiped from 'One Million BC') process shots and traveling mattes. Never mind the 'emotional scientists', especially the blond housewife who goes to pieces so often she should have come pre-assembled like a box of Legos. Never mind the brain-dead science on display, where Planet Nova appears to be exactly like Wisconsin, except for the lemurs, giant bees, rubber alligators, and a lake with an island full of dinosaurs. Never mind that at one point, the blond lady says, "Maybe we don't need to keep watch. Joe (the lemur) seems to be pretty good at shouting alarms!"

I can get past all that, in the name of 50's sci-fi conventions and low budgets.

But 5-6 minutes from the end, after one couple has rescued the other from the cave where they were trapped, and the two 'dinosaurs' are wrestling with each other, the blond towheaded guy says, and I am pretty sure I got this right: "I brought the Atomic Bomb. I think this would be a good time to use it!"

So not only do the scientists nuke the island and kill everything on it for no good reason (the friggin dinosaurs never leave the island, and the party could have simply rowed away from the island and never seen the dinos again)...they set the timer for 30 MINUTES and trust they can get across the island ON FOOT past all the other dangerous wildlife, get into their rubber rafts, paddle them across the lake to the other shore and find shelter. In THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES!?!?

I realize this is just an excuse to try to inject some suspense into the ending, but for crying out loud! That timer clearly could have been for several hours, and the scientists could have STROLLED back, instead of running in a panic for their lives. (There is a hilarious shot in the rubber raft as they near shore where the towhead appears to be repeatedly shoving the blond lady back down on her face for no coherent reason.)

I feel bad for the four actors in this silly exercise in White Manifest Destiny. A couple of them went on the do a lot more work, but working on this thing must have seemed like a death-knell to their careers at the time. And if there was any justice, Bert Gordon wouldn't have had a career after this movie either.

1 star added to the deserved 'awful' rating for sheer goofiness, and also for the naiveté and optimism that permeates the film.

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