The Last Dinosaur (1977)

the last dinosaur 1977

Richard Boone yells his way through this Japanese-American movie which also features some awful acting from Joan Van Ark and even worse acting from Steven Keats. The T-Rex isn’t bad. The opening theme is sung by Nancy Wilson. The title refers not just to the T-Rex but to Boone’s character, big game hunter Masten Thrust.

Masten Thrust is the richest man in the world. If it walks, runs or flies it ends up stuffed and put in his game room. His company drills for oil under the polar ice cap. One of his five manned capsules, known as polar-borers went too far down. Chuck Wade (Steven Keats) stayed in the capsule while the other four went exploring. He got to watch a T-Rex have them for lunch.

Masten says he’s going back to study the animal. Accompanying him will be Chuck, Scientist Dr.Kawamoto, the world’s best tracker Bunta (Luther Rackley) and photographer Frankie Banks (Joan Van Ark). (Rackley is 6’10” but they try and make him look at least eight feet tall).

They head back under the cap to a tropical area under a volcano. It’s not long before a dinosaur shows up and Frankie starts snapping pictures. Masten has to shove her out of the way before she gets run over.

Dr.Kawamoto stays in camp and the other four go exploring. T-Rex shows up. Masten promised Kawamoto he wouldn’t kill it but when an eighty ton animal is looking funny at you there’s not much choice. Too bad his gun jammed. Bunta puts a spear into him. Having had enough of humans for one day, T-Rex turns around and takes off.

T-Rex goes to the camp, kills Kawamoto and trashes the place. Liking shiny things the animal takes the polar-borer back home. While trying to bury it another dinosaur shows up. Having seen many movies of this type the two decide to do battle. T-Rex gets the duke.

Seeing the wrecked camp and the even more wrecked Kawamoto, Masten vows to put paid to T-Rex. The group moves into a cave. Now some cavemen show up. This gives  a bunch of extras a chance to act stupid and yell dumb things. Masten made a crossbow and puts an arrow into one of the cavemen. Having some smarts they head back to the woods.

Hanging around is a cave girl from somewhere. She buddies up with Frankie. Chuck, the master of wit, says she could be the first ladies maid and names her Hazel. Frankie and Hazel are by the water doing girl stuff when T-Rex shows up. Hazel runs off. Doesn’t matter since T likes blondes and chases Frankie back to the cave. T can’t get in and she can’t get out. Masten devises a plan to get T to go away. He even yells dinosaur insults at it. It works.

Matsen is even more determined to bring T down and everyone builds a catapult. Now it’s time to wait for T to get in range. Chuck takes a two mile hike and finds the borer. Frankie goes back with him and he starts fooling around with the controls.

Frankie heads back to Matsen and Bunta to convince them to leave. Too late for Bunta. He’s T’s dinner. She and Matsen fire the catapult. They bean T with a huge rock. He falls. He’s back up before the count of ten. He makes wood chips out of the catapult.

Chuck comes back and says they have to leave now. No kidding. What’s a big game hunter to do?

This was a B movie in Japan but ended up a TV movie in America. I still maintain there is no such thing as a TV “movie.” They’re just long TV shows. It doesn’t help that T-Rex is obviously a guy in a suit.

Joan Van Ark had a lot better luck as Valene Ewing in “Knot’s Landing” (1979-93) and as Gloria Abbott in “The Young And The Restless” (2004-05).

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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