Made in CinemaScope and shot by the great Stanley Cortez, B movie Dinosaurus! is intended to be a horror genre piece but, while much of its fun is of the laughing-at rather than laughing-with kind, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is all the better for that.
Ward Ramsey and Paul Lukather are dredging a new harbour in a Caribbean island when they find a Brontosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus Rex at the bottom of the bay. “Two huge ugly dinosaurs, perfectly preserved at the bottom of the channel, frozen solid”, observes Ramsey with understandable satisfaction. Later villainous “island manager” Fred Engelburg discovers a mud-covered frozen Neanderthal man. The scaly saurians, revived from their frozen state by lightning, are spotted by Ramsey’s girlfriend Kristina Hanson, who raises the alarm.
Engeleberg’s ill-treated young foster son Alan Roberts, who has run away, befriends the brontosaurus and conveniently defrosted Neanderthal man Gregg Martell and they escape from the pursuing Engelberg by hitching a ride on the Brontosaurus’s neck. The Tyrannosaurus Rex attacks the vegetarian Brontosaurus; until Hanson arrives on the scene, whereupon the Tyrannosaurus carries her off. She is rescued by Martell, who takes her to the safety of a cave where, to fend off his advances, she cooks for him and sings him a lullaby.
Engelberg finds them and becomes troublesome just as the roof of the cave starts to crumble. Martell nobly gives his life to save Hanson and Roberts by holding up the cave roof and Ramsey, who has driven off the Tyrannosaurus with well-aimed petrol bombs, rescues them. Engelberg dies ignobly, the Brontosaurus expires in quicksand, and Ramsey sees to it that the Tyrannosaurus perishes by pushing it over a cliff with a steam shovel, leaving him and Hanson free to marry and to adopt Roberts.
USA / 1960
Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr
Writers: Dan E Weisburd, Jean Yeaworth
Cast: Ward Ramsey, Gregg Martell, Fred Engelburg, Alan Roberts, Kristina Hanson, Paul Lukather, Luci Blain, Wayne C Treadway