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When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth Reviews

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Phil H

Super Reviewer

August 14, 2013
The third film by Hammer revolving around cavemen and women and occasionally dinosaurs. Before this was the first and most well known film with Harryhausen effects...'One Million Years BC', then came the sordid sounding 'Slave Girls'.

I'm not overly sure why they made this film as its pretty much the same spiel as their first and best film 'One Million Years'. The plot is almost the same really, there is one tribe of caveblokes that are a bit sacrifice happy with their blondes and one tribe that are a bit more normal and haven't seen blonde haired women much it seems (yep blondes are a rare breed in these films). A sexy big breasted blonde escapes the nasty tribe and is found by the good tribe, there she falls in love with a cavebloke which upsets his other cavegirlfriend. The blonde is hounded and chased off but pursued by the nice cavebloke who loves her. All the while the bad cave tribe are also looking for the escaped blonde for some reason, all this leads to much death at the hands of dino's and a big tidal finale...for some reason.

That is the plot but like the other films in this series its kinda tricky to follow it as everyone speaks in genuine caveman grunts. Yep its that approach again which Hammer really seemed to like back then, lots of scantily clad women with big breasts and a nonsensical dialog of grunts. Well actually the primitive language is suppose to be made up of genuine ancient dialect's of Phoenician, Latin, and Sanskrit sources, so I guess its quite clever really. Problem is all we ever seem to hear is 'akita' 'yo kita' and 'neecro', I swear if I hear one more damn caveman/women say 'akita' I will flip!!.

For me this film is all about the dinosaurs, the plot is too similar, the acting is terrible and the dialog is annoying, only the big breasted cavewomen make it worth while. But the stop motion dinosaurs are awesomely done and actually look really good. The first thing I noticed was the movement on these models, its really really detailed and displays even the smallest skin movements. Sure they are a bit jerky when walking in full motion but their eyes and head movements are great, best example is the unknown dino that befriends 'Sanna' the blonde cavewoman.

There are some other nice creatures too including some quite evil looking giant crabs, a nice sea monster moment, a bulky Chasmosaurus and a man eating plant hehe. Unfortunately they do spoil things by using dino footage from 'One Million', even worse they use crappy footage of two real reptiles with stuck on fins/scales fighting, no no no no.

The films title is pretty cool, gets you interested and the idea is reasonable but they made 'One Million' four years prior so what was the point?. I just get the feeling they wanted to remake the Welch flick but with better dino effects. I'm not even sure which is better really, 'One Million' is more iconic of course but this has better model work and that's without Harryhausen!.

Really I can only recommend this for the excellent dino stop motion models, if you are a Harryhausen/dinosaur/giant creature fan then you will enjoy parts of this film. The rest is complete dross and highly boring, there I said it.
March 29, 2011
Humans and dinosaurs obviously never shared the planet, but, when they share the screen, it's a thing of beauty.
Francisco  G.
Francisco G.

Super Reviewer

May 31, 2013
Wow, what a corny cheesy movie!

This is such a silly concept to start with that it could've been slightly more fun if it didn't take itself seriously at all. Tribesmen offer blondes (yes, hair color racism right there) to the sun, since there's some sort of curse on it. It's all very vague because everyone talks on a cave men language that sound like babies talking to one another. Not sold yet? How about cheesy stop motion dinossaurs, cave men romance and skimpy leather bikins? Come on...

It's a nice one to watch with your friends, to play a game of "did I spot a nipple right there". Seriously, those furkinis couldn't be any tighter if they tried to.
April 13, 2013
"Akita! Akita!"

Umm... I think it means "Leg it, there's a superimposed lizard on the loose".

Hammer Films invented another prehistoric language (26 words, count 'em!) for this sort-of follow up to the very successful 'One Million Years B.C.' (1966). Attractive stars and pretty useful dinosaur effects for the time (by Jim Danforth, not by Ray Harryhausen as I once thought) ensure that while it doesn't top the earlier movie, it's not a bad blast from the very distant past.

While admittedly no Raquel Welch, ex-Playmate Victoria Vetri gives the toothy bling sporting, leather bikini-clad cave babe thing a good go. She can 'tame any man' according to the trailer, and that's probably bang on. A scene where the blonde, already moistened heroine is just about 'eaten' in a wet swamp by a rubbery carnivorous plant had an effect on me for quite a few years.

Elsewhere, there's giant crabs (isn't there always?), pesky Pterodactyls and the expected, extensive shots of fur-clad, heavily bearded men poking big lizards ineffectively with spears. For the slightly more perverted viewer, there's jurassic-era bondage, catfights and lots of silly knees-bent, running around from the scantily clad cast. As far as distracting dino-frolics go, you could choose worse.

I once met the legendary Ray Harryhausen at a lecture and made the dopey and inexcusable faux-pas of name-checking this movie. "Ah, but that wasn't me, dear boy." He politely informed me.

What a gent.
November 26, 2012
Tame production from Hammer, recognisable for the skimpy outfits on the good looking actresses, all of whom have very well preserved hair cuts for the period depicted. There's no recognisable dialogue in this movie, but as its full of myths about history instead of any historical relevance it matters little, it is here just to be enjoyed as a work of fantasy fiction.
Mike L.
July 30, 2012
dinosaurs and women in fur bikinis, what glorious fun. The dinosaurs are mainly stop-motion and there is no dialogue, they use some made up language but it still is enjoyable campy fun.
The story, as usual revolves around a girl in distress, gets rescued, gets in fight with other girl, gets chased, becomes a dinosaur baby, and eventually gets together with the guy who rescued her.
Done in typical Hammer style and efficiency it strives to be nothing more than it is, a B-movie.
June 10, 2012
This film actually reminds me of One Million Years B.C., which was released four years before this one. In fact, the characters look similar, the dinosaur effects are similar, and the overall premise is similar. It might not be that surprising considering both those films were made by the same people, but I can't let this film pass, because it's too similar to One Million Years B.C.
March 11, 2012
Ridiculous story with a decent amount of dinosaurs and many boring parts. The animation isn't too bad though and it has some nice parts but not the best story.
December 6, 2009
while "One Million Years B.C." was boneheaded, it was also exotic and fun. And while this movie is boneheaded and, to a certain extent, exotic, it's not very fun. The stop-motion effects for the dinosaurs are arguably some of the smoothest ever created, but with the deplorable acting, the overuse of the caveman word "akita", and just a ridiculously phony atmosphere, this is just a nail being hit by Hammer into the bad movie coffin.
April 7, 2007
March 31, 2007
old school garbage...but enjoyable
July 23, 2005
I am surprised that this was actually nominated for an Oscar. It's not a good film by any means, it's too campy, the production is rather amateur, the special effects are not so special. The acting is awful.
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