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“Yeah! We’re alive and we’re safe… and we’re shipwrecked. Two outta three ain’t bad.” Yeah, that’s not a line from the hit Meatloaf song. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they check out some stop motion animation and a lot of walking in Planet of Dinosaurs (1977).
Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 154 – Planet of Dinosaurs (1977)
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A spaceship gets lost and is forced to make an emergency landing on an unknown planet. The planet looks much like Earth, only with no trace of civilization. Soon the crew discovers that there are dinosaurs on the planet and blood-thirsty buggers at that. The crew hopes to be found and rescued, but they have to struggle to survive until then.IMDb
- Director: James K. Shea
- Writers: Ralph Lucas (screenplay); Jim Aupperle (story)
- Visual Effects:
- Jim Aupperle (special visual effects) (as James Aupperle)
- Doug Beswick (chief stop-motion animator) (as Douglas Beswick)
- Stephen Czerkas (special visual effects)
- Jim Danforth (matte artist)
- Selected cast:
- James Whitworth as Jim
- Pamela Bottaro as Nyla
- Louie Lawless as Captain Lee Norsythe
- Harvey Shain as Harvey Baylor
- Charlotte Speer as Charlotte
- Chuck Pennington as Chuck
- Derna Wylde as Derna Lee
- Max Thayer as Mike
- Mary Appleseth as Cindy
- Michael Lee as Charlotte’s Son
Being the lover of stop motion animation that he is, it’s not surprising that Bill picked Planet of Dinosaurs for this episode. For Bill, it’s immediately apparent that most of this film’s low budget is used to fund the stop motion animation. Bill enjoyed the effects and despite all the walking the characters do in Planet of Dinosaurs, he has a certain amount of affection for this film. Chad is a big fan of Doug Beswick’s and Jim Danforth’s work so he loves the stop motion animation in Planet of Dinosaurs. Outside of the dinosaurs, however, he calls it a horrible movie, stating that if you’re going to watch it, you should watch the RiffTrax version. Jeff, too, loves what he calls the amazingly smooth stop motion animation but laments that there is just too much not-dinosaur in the film. Doc went into Planet of the Dinosaurs with low expectations and those low expectations were met. He finds the movie to be charming, in a weird and cheesy sort of way, and even ambitious. In the end, though, Planet of Dinosaurs is just kind of awful.
If you’re a fan of stop motion animation, you should definitely check out Planet of Dinosaurs. At the time of this writing, the movie and RiffTrax: Planet of the Dinosaurs can be streamed from Amazon Prime and a variety of other streaming services.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror two-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be Baron Blood (1972), chosen by Chad. Time for some more Mario Bava!
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