Film / The Last Dinosaur
1977 action-adventure film in which a drilling expedition unexpectedly finds a Lost World
deep below the North Pole
. Big game hunter and oil tycoon Masten Thrust is determined to hunt his last and ultimate predator, a Tyrannosaurus rex
that killed nearly the entire first explorer group. Ultimately the team becomes trapped in the lost world and must try to survive against the T. Rex and vicious cavemen. This film was a co-production between Rankin/Bass (best known for the stop-motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
special) and Tsuburaya Productions (best known for Ultraman and its countless spin-offs).
You ding-dong! This is a list of tropes associated with this film:
- Artistic License – Paleontology: There are a lot of inaccuracies you can point out, most egregious being the Uintatherium (a prehistoric rhino-like mammal) that attacks the group shortly after their arrival, which Chuck identifies as a "ceratopsian" (the group of horned dinosaurs that Triceratops belonged to). This is especially hilarious considering earlier in the film Chuck claimed to have taken a year of vertebrate paleontology.
- Awesome McCool Name: Masten Thrust: possibly the most ridiculously masculine name ever coined by a screenwriter.
- Bad Vibrations: Played straight when the party confronts the dino face to face, averted when it's time for shock value. (It takes Francesca and Hazel completely by surprise at the riverbank; Hazel only sees it when she spots its reflection in a pan of water.)
- Double Meaning Title: The Last Dinosaur refers to not just the Tyrannosaurus, but also Masten Thrust. Lampshaded when he acknowledges this himself.
- Dumb Dinos: The T. rex consistently attacks the humans and inanimate objects rather than its natural prey.
- Elephants' Graveyard: The Tyrannosaur's Super Villain Lair is a valley boneyard of all the things it's killed and eaten.
- Great White Hunter: Masten Thrust, complete with a black tracker to carry his rifle for him.
- Five-Man Band
- The Hero: Thrust, even though he's much more of an anti-hero.
- The Lancer: Banks the photographer.
- The Big Guy: Bunta the Masai tracker.
- The Smart Guy: Dr. Kawamoto a, well, scientist. Wade is also a geologist and knows most about the dinosaurs but is...
- The Chick: Wade, who honestly is the whiniest of the group.
- Large Ham: Richard Boone is an absolute delight as he chews up the scenery. Reportedly he was heavily drinking while filming and even drunk during some scenes.
- Last of His Kind: The Tyrannosaurus is assumed and said to be this, and Thrust also declares himself as such, giving the film it's Double Meaning Title.
- Moral Dissonance: Frankie is a liberated and independent woman and manages to get herself included in the expedition because women are as capable as men. No argument there, but somehow she ends up being assigned the cooking and housekeeping chores when they're stranded in the lost world. Made a little more obnoxious when they "adopt" Hazel, a cavewoman, whom Frankie then saddles with the domestic duties, including washing and brushing Frankie's hair. note
- People in Rubber Suits: Well, the effects were Japanese-made, and what are they most famous for?
- Reliably Unreliable Guns: Big game hunter Masten Thrust throws away his hunting rifle after it jams while trying to shoot a Tyrannosaur that's about to attack them. Not only does he make no effort to clear the jam, but he never even tries to get the rifle back later (he has the perfect opportunity to pick it back up later, but instead only takes the scope to put on his new crossbow). The fact that he's both a lifelong hunter and a firearms collector makes this all the more implausible.
- Recycled In Space: Moby-Dick - WITH DINOSAURS.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Chuck, who is nominally a geologist, exhibits expertise in zoology, paleontology and botany. Likewise Kawamoto is both a machinist/engineer, geologist and botanist.
- Stock Dinosaurs: A Tyrannosaurus is the main star, also with an appearance by a Triceratops, complete with a showdown between the two. Pteranodons also make several appearances.
- The Voiceless: Bunta. Though Thrust says he is "very articulate if you happen to speak his language", he is never heard saying a thing in any language.
- Translation By Volume: Watch Frankie try to teach Hazel the intricacies of hair care. She shows Hazel a hair brush, very loudly and deliberately sounding out every syllable, and tries to get Hazel to help wash her hair by handing Hazel a pan and pointing at her own head, again loudly and deliberately repeating herself. Hazel just looks at Francesca, obviously confused at Frankie's inability to communicate like a normal person.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: Paleontologists have called them the crown of creation...the king of the super tyrant lizards!
- Unintentional Period Piece: Hmm, judging by the clothes and especially the music, it's a good guess this was made in the 1970's.