By any measure, the l0w-budget sci-fi adventure Planet of Dinosaurs is embarrassingly bad. The acting is atrocious, the special effects are cheap, and the story is silly. That said, the movie’s kitsch factor is high, the ladies in the cast give generously of their cleavage, and it’s hard not to smile at some of the ludicrous dialogue (“We can’t risk lives trying to tame dinosaurs!”). In other words, Planet of Dinosaurs is worth a few minutes of hate-watching for diehard fans of bad fantasy cinema, although only the hardiest souls will be able to tolerate all 84 craptastic minutes. With barely any set-up, the movie begins when a spaceship from Earth experiences a malfunction while traveling through a distant galaxy. Several crew members escape in a shuttlecraft and land on a nearby planet, which has an atmosphere and terrain like those found on Earth. Alas, the unfortunate travelers soon discover their new home is overrun with hungry dinosaurs, which director James K. Shea and his collaborators depict through the use of old-fashioned stop-motion animation. (Adding variety to the stop-motion antics, the castaways also encounter a spider the size of a housecat.) The exceedingly weak story features the characters going through the usual Robinson Crusoe routine of building shelters and mastering their environment, all the while evading giant reptiles. Amid various tragedies—a man impaled by a dinosaur’s horn, a woman chomped by an underwater beastie—the people somehow find time for making romance and, in one bizarre scene, making wine. It’s all quite stupid, and the ultra-’70s look (think facial hair, halter tops, and striped unitards) doesn’t help matters any more than the tacky electronic flourishes of the musical score.
Planet of Dinosaurs: LAME