THE LAST DINOSAUR (1977)
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The Rankin/Bass people, along with Japan’s Tsuburaya Productions, co-produced this cheesy, fun, 70s flick about billionaire big game hunter Maston Thrust (Richard Boone), who’s oil drilling team discovers a lost world filled with dinosaurs, including a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex, in a volcano basin at the North Pole. What then ensues is 106 minutes of campy fun as Thrust and his team enter the prehistoric oasis by way of a ‘polar borer’ and encounter dinosaurs played by men in rubber suits on miniature sets and cave people played by Japanese extras, as the ego-maniacal hunter tries more and more ludicrous ways to bring down the prehistoric predator at any cost. This is one trophy that is not going up on the mantle easily…if at all.
Richard Boone acts as if he played the entire part drunk or hung-over as Maston Thrust…which sounds more like a porn name than a character in a kid’s movie…and extra kudos go to co-star Joan Van Ark’s reporter for wearing mom jeans and a felt sunhat on a hunting expedition to a lost world. If that’s not enough, the “Last Dinosaur” lounge style theme song (sung by Jazz singer, Nancy Wilson) should have you in tears…of laughter.
Fun, fun fun as this entertainingly cheesy flick is co-directed with dead seriousness by Alexander Grasshoff and Shusei Kotani and acted with the same seriousness…sort of…by it’s cast. A rubber monster blast.
Available from Warner Brothers Archive Collection in a bare bones, but nice looking uncut print, as the American version was truncated from 106 minutes to 92 minutes for TV airing.
MONSTERZERO NJ EXTRA TRIVIA: Watch closely in this clip and you can see a member of the film crew in a blue shirt ducking out of the way after pushing a boulder that is supposedly being pulled by the T-Rex.
3 rubber critters.
Here’s another fun scene…