Planet of Dinosaurs (1977)

Spread the weird

RATING– ✮✮✮✮½

DIRECTOR– James K. Shea

REVIEWPlanet of Dinosaurs is about a crew from a crippled spaceship crashes on a foreign world.

(Original stuff, huh??!)

The crew, led by the extraordinarily timid Captain Lee, consists of a shirtless bodybuilder, a native American stripper, a couple of scientists, and four outrageously hairy mustachioed beefcakes.

Well, let me tell you this group just can’t catch any breaks… Not only does their spacecraft almost blow-up with them in it, but when it crashes, there’s a ravenous local alien population they have to deal with.

And I might add, deal with very poorly…

About every 15 minutes, one of these sadsacks gets eaten by a claymation dinosaur! Unfortunately, the two most enjoyable actors get gobbled up halfway through the movie, Harvey Baylor as Harvey Shain & Derna Wylde as his, uh-hum, secretary Derna Lee (I know… creative character naming).

Plus, as a subtext, corporate employee structure and employee rights is explored, although I’m not sure why they chose a “lost-on-an-alien-planet-with-monsters-film” as a vehicle for such a discussion.

As befitting a 70’s flick, there’s lots of beards, hairy chests, feathered hair, nylon spandex, and panty-lines going on. I was surprised to find only one dude loses his shirt… although I wasn’t so surprised to find out it was the man with the largest pecs this side of Lou Ferrigno.

One scene not to be missed: the crew finds poisonous berries, makes them into homebrew, imbibes a little too much of said brew, and ends up singing ‘Auld Land Syne’… presumably, because there are no royalties to pay out for that song.

But listen, all of it is plain ol’ good Dino-Survival fun. Planet of Dinosaurs is exactly what you might think it is… a disco-era Jurassic Park. And that makes it a silly, amusing, and easy-to-enjoy throwback to a simpler era in film.

Gary had a pretty good idea about who had stolen all his pubic hair.