I guess I should get started with the first movie here, and what makes for a better debut than Planet of Dinosaurs?
It’s a low budget film, which should be obvious from the scenery:
Not really a bad looking alien planet, for something that appears to have been filmed a few miles outside of Los Angeles.
The story’s about a crew traveling through space, when they’re forced to land on an unfamiliar planet. A planet of dinosaurs.
There’s not really more to say about the plot than that. It lets you know what you’re getting. The majority of the movie is simply about the crew trying to survive, with the captain Lee thinking they need to focus on being rescued, while the engineer Jim believes it’s more important to tame the land. The audience will probably think it’s going to add a lot of conflict over the course of the movie. But not really.
The special effects were pretty great, at least for a movie both on a tight budget and forty years old. They use plenty of stop motion, something fans of Ray Harryhausen will enjoy. In fact, there’s even a dinosaur whose appearance is an homage to the Harryhausen movie 20,000 Fathoms.
Is it a masterpiece? No, probably not. But for what it is, an enjoyable adventure with space explorers and prehistoric creatures killing each other, it’s definitely worth a watch.
Also, Jim is a badass.