Planet of the Dinosaurs is a 1978 science fiction film. Set in an unspecified future, the film follows the journey of Captain Lee and his crew after they crash land on an earthlike planet, but millions of years behind in time. Encountering a wide variety of dangerous dinosaurs, the crew decides that its best chance for survival lies on finding higher ground and setting up a defensive perimeter on a higher plateau until their rescuers arrive. They soon encounter a deadly Tyrannosaurus rex and must figure out a way to defeat the creature and survive on the planet.The film was a low budget endeavor with no major stars; actors James Whitworth and Max Thayer have the most film experience amongst the actors. Director James K. Shea instructed most of the budget to be spent on the special effects for the film, which included an array of award-winning stop motion dinosaurs, leaving little money for props or even to pay the main actors. Modern reviews have generally been negative, although there is agreement that the stop motion dinosaurs were the most notable and enjoyable aspect of the film.Was made into a RiffTrax in 2009. Not to be confused with the 1992 Italian documentary of the same name.
This film provides examples of:
- Alien Lunch: "I was just wondering how many other things we're going to have to get used to. Things like eating dinosaurs."
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
- Fanservice: Cindy... who is immediately killed off, to the dismay of the riffers. And then there's Chuck.
- Giant Spider: The movie's most horrifying scene.
- Immune to Bullets: While much importance is placed on the lasers, and how they can kill almost anything, the dinosaurs of this planet just get really annoyed when shot with one.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Harvey. Courtesy of an angry Centrosaurus who was defending her nest (and who was peeved that lasers were being shot at her).
- Only Sane Man: Lee & Jim at different points in the film. Lee, initially, as seeking high ground and shelter would be an smart alternative to fighting alien life forms you know next to nothing about. Once one of those life forms takes a liking to human flesh and begins relentlessly stalking you, however, all bets are off, which is Jim's prerogative in the latter half of the film.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Cindy.
- Seldom-Seen Species: Centrosaurus and Polacanthus appear in the film.
- Shout-Out: One of the dinosaurs that Captain Lee encounters near the end of the film when he is trying to get the T-Rex's attention is based on the Rhedosaurus, the fictional dinosaur from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Ray Harryhausen visited the studio during production and gave his consent for the creature's cameo appearance. This was made fun of in the RiffTrax:Mike Nelson: (as Rhedosaur is getting killed) Tell...Ray Harryhausen....I love him....Kevin Murphy: Oh. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms went out like a punk.
- Stock Dinosaurs: The film features Tyrannosaurus, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, and Ornithomimus.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: Cindy gets chomped by a barely-seen lake monster within ten seconds of diving into the water.
- Too Dumb to Live: Pretty much everyone...
- Tyrannosaurus rex: The villain of the film. He's practically a slasher the way he stalks our heroes.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Chuck.
- Upper-Class Twit: Harvey seems completely oblivious that he's trapped on a primitive alien world and often tries to use his former position as a company president to get the others to do things for him.