King Dinosaur - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

King Dinosaur Reviews

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July 21, 2017
Spectacularly awful, completely dishonest and hilariously, dumfoundingly idiotic, KING DINOSAUR is worthless garbage, and represents the very worst of the ignorance and simplicity of America in the 1950's. There aren't even any dinosaurs in this horrendous scam of a film; most of this movie is comprised of stock footage.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2017
Move over [i]Godzilla[/i] and [i]King Kong[/i], welcome to the planet Nova where there are lots of giant...umm...iguanas, yeah, take that. Yeah the poster makes this look like a [i]Godzilla[/i] type flick but really it isn't, alas.

OK so you might think the plot to this would be obvious, well it is and it isn't. For some reason a planet moves into close proximity of the Earth, close enough for 1960's humans to reach after some tech building. This is the planet Nova and amazingly it appears to be just like Earth. So a team of astronauts are sent to explore Nova (three blokes and one woman, usual thing). Once they touchdown on Nova they discover that its basically a virtual clone of Earth. There are trees, water, animals, plants, a breathable atmosphere...the works! Its only as they start to explore deeper into the lush wilderness that this new world unleashes its hidden secrets. And by that I mean the planet is home to large reptiles just in case you missed the flippin' poster (ugh!).

The beginning of this film is pretty bad I'll be honest, you like stock footage? well you'll like this then. Honesty the first like...10 minutes of the movie is stock footage whilst having the plot narrated to you. Sure the stock footage is interesting like most old black and white stock footage, but my God its a cheap and tacky move to pull, real Ed Wood type stuff. Eventually once all the corny narration and stock footage has finished we are slung straight into it, we're already on planet Nova as the astronauts are stepping out onto the planet surface.

Planet Nova, the most convenient plot device ever. A planet that, somehow, just moves into our galaxy, just close enough to Earth for reasons unknown. Not only that, this planet is teeming with life, water and a breathable atmosphere, the perfect home for humans. Now when I say teeming with life, I mean the exact same lifeforms you'd find here on Earth such as armadillos, alligators, snakes, various birds, bears, sloths, elk or reindeer etc...Of course no alien planet would be complete without some form of monsters. Planet Nova doesn't let you down as there are...umm...giant alligators, giant armadillos, giant wasps? (I think it was) and a giant mammoth?? Wut??? I should point out that almost all of these creatures are stock footage.

Of course the main beasties on the planet are the giant iguanas that terrorise our human protagonists. Unlike all the other creatures these iguanas are actually not stock footage but in fact real live action footage of iguanas on sets/models. Admittedly the sets/models they bound across are merely rocky terrain set ups, nothing spectacular. The actors are shot on a separate plate with the iguana footage behind them on a rear projection. When this isn't happening we simply get footage of the iguanas doing what iguanas do, interspersed with shots of the humans reacting. This effects method has been used before on many other fantasy movies and while it can be visually effective at times (when the reptiles sit still against a nice background for instance), generally it looks all wrong because the iguanas simply move too fast to be supposed ginormous monsters. They generally look too obvious as small lizards on model sets, no proper illusion of weight.

The big question is why does Planet Nova have all these typically Earth bound creatures? Not to mention Earth-like trees, plants, soil...and prehistoric creatures. Lets not go there OK, just sit back and enjoy the nonsense. Anyway so the astronauts spend most of their time just lounging around and doing whatever. They leave the safety of their ship, go off into the wilderness and set up a camp? Wouldn't it be safer going back to the ship? Whilst at this camp they are attacked by a giant wasp or ant and an alligator, yet they still remain at the camp. Luckily they seem to have everything they need to survive on this alien planet, a rifle, plasters, bandages, a raft, errr...tinned food. Seriously they have a huge spaceship with advanced technology, why the fuck are they living like the Swiss Family Robinson and not using the ship??

So eventually they go off to check out a mysterious island shrouded in cloud. Spoiler alert, this is where all the nasty monsters live, the change in music denotes this in case you're not sure. So the brave male leads the screaming female into the jaws of death and back again, whilst also avoiding that pesky mammoth. But the only way to escape these giant alien iguanas is to blow them to kingdom come. Luckily the astronauts have an atomic bomb for just such an occasion. They set the bomb and run like crazy. Luckily they manage to just get clear of the atomic explosion that wipes out this entire island and every alien lifeform on it. Good job they had that raft to escape in time.

So effectively, the humans have landed on this alien world, explored it, discovered a shittonne of life...and then blown half of it to pieces with an atomic bomb. All in a days work for the human race huh. One has to ask what the point of exploration was if they were just gonna nuke everything at the first sign of danger. We don't find out what happens after this of course. No clue how the blast affects the planet later on, if the humans go back to wipe out more alien life so they can colonise it, or maybe they just use it as a vast hunting ground for sport. I think this movie is kinda depressing really, it shows how destructive humans are and exposes all our bad traits (for the time, but have we gotten any better?). There is little to praise really, the effects are pretty sparse, nothing special at all. The acting is poor, [b]WAY[/b] too much stock footage, like the most ever! No effort for the alien planet visually, they literally went out and filmed in the countryside somewhere and plot is ludicrous. The only decent thing about this movie is the wicked title.
Super Reviewer
½ August 19, 2015
The dinosaurs are actually just (obviously) lizards.
½ September 14, 2014
Its comforting to know what all it takes to land on a planet and take of our helmets is just run a few tests.
January 25, 2013
It's a movie filled with stock footage. Think "The Starfighters" but with a little more plot, a lot less in-air refueling, and Joe the kinkajou. It's a short movie at 1 hour in length---which earned this film an extra half-star (from 0.5 to 1.0). God forbid if such a train wreck lasted 90 minutes.
½ November 6, 2012
King Dinosaur is, by and large, one of the worst films I have ever seen in my life. It's another in a long line of films about people being marooned in unknown territory and being attacked by creatures of some sort. In this instance, it's about a group of scientists who take a rocketship to another planet and discover "dinosaurs" on it. The thing is though that these are giant bees, gila monsters and crocodiles, so nothing spectacular like stop motion animation or anything. It has many jump cuts, blank frames, horrible acting and an absolutely boring pace, not to mention a cliche'd and sub-standard story. It's just altogether not good, but at least it was featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, so there is that.
½ August 14, 2012
Awful B-movie that uses a ton of stocky footage and once again shows lizards as dinosaurs. The characters are pretty dull and the acting isn't much better, the story is pretty typical for this time of film and there are so many flaws. It makes a pretty fun MST3K episode however.
½ July 14, 2012
Dinosaur? It's just a lizard!
April 28, 2012
Producer Robert Lippert plus director Bert I. Gordon together make a truly cheap sci-fi film, where the effects are cheap, the acting is bad, the science is implausible, and yet the make-up and hair seem to be perfectly set. Don't believe the title, you will not see any dinosaurs in this film. You will see a planet of creatures that look like lizards and other reptiles zoomed in close. Oh but it's so silly you'll laugh especially at the misogyny towards the ladies in the film. Hey, it's 1955! What else to expect?
Keiko A. --Samurai--
Super Reviewer
November 26, 2010
Crap is truly the only thing that will sum this review up. There is nothing good about this movie NOTHING.

So a new planet called Nova is moving into the solar system and our governments decide to take a look. On this planet there is nothing but some dinosaurs and Most of all KING DINOSAUR.

Everything about the movie is bad Acting, Story, Special effects, Music, Settings, ETC. The only good part is some entertaining lizard fights but that's it. Most of the dinosaur footage is just stock from another film.

Don't see this movie only do if you are a die hard fan of all this stuff.

Keiko's score 9-100
½ January 8, 2010
Bad, lame and boring. Even the MS3K version takes a few extra redbulls. Do not watch alone. You may lose all sanity and will to live. In case of singular exposure please watch favorite sci-fi flick with in 2 hours to avoid prolonged Bertigordon Tendonitious.
½ October 31, 2009
here is a simple b-grade 1950s sci fi movie formula 1. use a bunch of stock fottage 2. hire crap actors and 3. use animals that are so common but enlarge them to sacr movie audiance or more to the truth make them laght so hard. In King Dinosaur all of this b grade charm is found plus calling an iguana a t rex and having a random pet lemer with two love struck couple to keep the bullshit plot ticking over. the sad thng about this film is that it acutaly has animals harm ie grabbing the lemar by its tail and holding it upside down plus kill a baby allagator in combat with a iguana. the only thing i found intersting about this film is that it had decent cinemaphotography and it was shot with in three days impressive but the entire film is just one big steaming atomic turd of a movie 3/ 10
September 27, 2009
Strom Thurmond's moniker?
December 15, 2008
Quite impressive, innovative use of optical effects for a low-budget 1955 trash film. And the most hilariously poor science of any science fiction film. Yes, even dumber than ARMAGEDDON.
½ December 6, 2008
This terrible film, hastily assembled from nature photography, stock-footage and four actors running around a national park, gets an extra star for some great unintentional humor and laughter-inducing special effects (especially when they attempt to pass off an iguana, a baby alligator and a gila monster as dinosaurs). However the charm of the film dies when the animals are forced by the filmmakers to attack each other. Waste of time, watch it in its Mystery Science Theater 3000 incarnation instead.
½ March 9, 2008
Dinosaurs lizard style...
½ February 28, 2008
ok so you know how at the end of movies when they say "no animals were harmed during the filming of this movie" well this movie definitely couldn't say that. They had a giant iguana and a crocodile or something tearing each other apart. I hate animal freaks but this movie went too far for me even.
½ February 8, 2008
A simple film with an important message: NUKE ALL DINOSAURS!
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