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Film / The Last Dinosaur

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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 (Richard Boone) 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 Productions (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:

  • Animal Jingoism: Taken to extremes. A Triceratops apparently waited in the lair of the Tyrannosaurus so that it would have the opportunity to ambush it when it came back.
    • Either that or the Tyrannosaurus had previously buried it alive with the intention of eating it fresh later on, meaning the Triceratops was making a last desperate attempt at escape.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: There are a lot of inaccuracies you can point out, most egregious being the rubber-suit wonder , which looks like a Uintatherium of all things, 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.
  • 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.)
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Bunta is the second and last person to die.
  • Closed Circle: The Lost World is deep underneath the Arctic ice to start with, and then the Tyrannosaurus steals the drilling machine and takes it to its lair, and then to the horror of the rest of the expedition Masten reveals that he ordered that no rescue teams were to be sent.
  • Cool Plane: Masten Thrust's private jet is a full-blown jumbo with an internal trophy room, with customary animal heads on the walls and its own fireplace (although where does the smoke go?).
  • Determinator: Masten Thrust. The man absolutely refuses to leave the lost world until he's killed the damn dinosaur, even when his grand attempt at the climax with a catapult doesn't works. As a result, the other survivors leave him behind by his own request.
  • Detrimental Determination: Masten Thrust's Ahab-like obsession to kill the Tyrannosaurus is painted as wrong and useless, with his absolute best effort at taking the dinosaur down after losing his firearms being just shrugged off. The film ends with a potential Bolivian Army Ending with Thrust deciding to stay and carry on the fight… somehow.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The Last Dinosaur refers to not just the Tyrannosaurus, but also Masten Thrust, the last Great White Hunter. Lampshaded when he acknowledges this himself.
  • Dude, He's Like, in a Coma!: Hazel attempts to force herself on Masten when he's sleeping; for all his sex crazyness, he's horrified and repulsed by her when he wakes up.
  • Dumb Dinos: The T. rex consistently attacks the humans and inanimate objects rather than going after its natural prey. The only reason the Triceratops ends up on the menu in this film is that the latter was, for some reason, hiding out in the tyrannosaur's lair instead of staying well away as any sensible herbivore would do.
  • Elephant Graveyard: The Tyrannosaur's Super Villain Lair is a valley boneyard of all the things it's killed and eaten.
  • Forging Scene: When Masten Thrust makes a crossbow to deal with the cavemen hounding the group.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Dr. Kawamoto's last view? The Tyrannosaurus's huge foot coming down upon him.
  • Great White Hunter: Masten Thrust, complete with a black tracker to carry his rifle for him.
  • History with Celebrity: Masten's scrapbook shows him hunting with Ernest Hemingway.
  • I Choose to Stay: Masten Thrust, at the end, decides to stay on the Lost World while the rest of the expedition leaves on the reclaimed drill.
  • It's Personal: Despite having given his word that he would only study and not harm the T. rex, it soon becomes obvious that Manston wants to hunt and kill it for decimating his earlier expedition. After it kills Kawamoto, he states his intention outright.
  • 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 its Double-Meaning Title.
  • Living Dinosaurs: Somehow dinosaur life was preserved in the oasis in the Arctic.
  • Made of Iron: The T. Rex gets hit in the head by a catapult-launched boulder and just shrugs it off.
  • Moby Schtick: Masten Thrust's obsession with getting that T. Rex is shown as dumb from the get-go, and looks borderline suicidal when he still wants to hunt the damn thing even if the best he can devise with the extremely limited resources he has on hand is literally shrugged off by the beast. His decision to stay in the Lost World at the end is not unsubtly implied to be a Bolivian Army Ending in the making.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The T. rex may very well be the last of its species (no others are shown), but there clearly are other dinosaurs in the Lost World.
  • 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.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Well, the effects were Japanese-made, and what are they most famous for?
  • Recycled In Space: Moby-Dick - WITH DINOSAURS.
  • 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, with that only being because Hazel found it and gave it to him). The fact that he's both a lifelong hunter and a firearms collector makes this all the more implausible.
  • Send in the Search Team: Defied, much to the horror of the rest of the expedition: Masten gave explicit orders that if the expedition didn't contacted the surface world in two days' time, no rescue attempt was to be made to avoid any more potential massacres. The team is only able to get back by managing to recover the drilling machine three months after the T. Rex steals it.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Tyrannosaurus is a gigantic freaking dinosaur, and yet in several scenes (including two kills) it's able to walk right up to where the humans are without being detected. Rexy aka Roberta must have learned everything she knows from this guy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Hazel, the cavegirl, never speaks either.
  • Your Size May Vary: Despite the Tyrannosaurus being explicitly stated to be 20 feet tall, its size is never consistent and it frequently appears to be much larger.