BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
And another caveman classic is upon us.
Writer/director Val Guest’s When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth gets the Warner Archive Collection treatment for its blu-ray debut. Essentially, all that means is that the film gets an HD transfer because the big boys still don’t know how to treat their B-movies when they issue them for audiences to enjoy at home.
This Hammer Films production from 1970 is, thankfully, the international version of the movie and that means more bosoms and butts and campy blood for those of you keeping track. And, yes, more of Victoria Vetri is a good, good, very good thing.
Guest’s screenplay is a simple one. The film opens on the day that Sanna (Vetri) is to be sacrificed to the sun. A natural disaster causes her to fall into the sea instead. After surviving a sudden cyclone, she is rescued by caveman Tara (Robin Hawdon) who brings him to his home.
You should know falling in love is so easy even a caveman can do it. All it takes is one look at each other and the swooning begins.
Unfortunately, Tara already has a dark-haired lady of his own and she becomes insanely jealous of the new buxom blonde that has Tara’s attention upon their arrival. Trouble brews, extends to the tribe, the two girls fight in the sea and all of this leads to humiliation when Sanna’s sun-worshipping tribe finds her.
Suddenly, we are back where we began and Sanna needs rescuing all over again. Leave it to the natural world of giant fiddler crabs and protective dinosaurs to hear her call. Referenced by Spielberg in Jurassic Park, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth was insanely popular at the time of its original release, thanks to the engaging stop-motion effects created by Jim Danforth, David W. Allen and Roger Dickens.
Complete with brachiosauruses, pterodactyls, a charging (and possibly suicidal) triceratops, and a baby stegosaurus, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth also explains how the moon was created.
But let’s not get a head of ourselves. The stop motion creature effects are nicely done, but there are other visual delights along the way to civilization’s dawn to take note of. From model Magda Konopka to Imogen Hassall, the women filling out these mastodon bikinis are incredible beauties. They are fierce, too. Vetri is only the cherry on top of this prehistoric sundae.
Don’t get eclipsed and miss out on this release. Considering this is the third in Hammer's "Cave Girl" flicks, there will be others released soon…
MPAA Rating: not rated.
Runtime: 96 mins
Director: Val Guest
Writer: Val Guest
Cast: Victoria Vetri, Robin Hawdon, Patrick Allen
Genre: Fantasy | Adventure
Tagline: From the creators of "One Million Years B.C." their most gigantic spectacle...
Memorable Movie Quote: "Nikro"
Theatrical Distributor: United Artists
Release Date: November 16, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: October 11, 2016
Synopsis: Carrie White, a shy, friendless 17 year-old girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.
Home Video Distributor: Warner Archive Collection
Available on Blu-ray - February 28, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region 1/A
Warner Archive Collection presents When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth on 1080p with a transfer that is crisp and colorful. This is a dual-layered treatment with a highly charged bitrate and, hands down, is easily as good as the film has ever looked. There is a tightness and depth - skin tones and colors look balanced – and those hoping for a closer look at Welch swimming in a lake will appreciate the transfer’s attention to detail. The only real issue is that the high resolution further isolates opticals that already dated the release. Contrast is layered with no noise or damage and overall the video is quite solid. The linear 2.0 DTS-HD MA sound mix does a competent job of exporting the film's sound and score without being weak.