movie film review | chris tookey

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

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  When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
4.33 /10
Victoria Vetri , Robin Hawdon , Patrick Allen
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Directed by: Val Guest
Written by: Val Guest from a treatment by J.G.Ballard

Released: 1970
Genre: SO BAD
Origin: GB
Colour: C
Length: 100

Beautiful cavewoman (Victoria Vetri) is ostracised for being blonde.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Enjoyably terrible movie which, perhaps fortunately, contains only 27 words of dialogue, all of them incomprehensible. A sequel to One Million Years BC , this stars Playboy's 1968 Playmate of the Year, Angela Dorian, here wisely masquerading under a false name. Sample line... "N yde krasta m'kan neecro redak".


One of those simple sci-fi prehistoric films which do no harm. Normally, they're taken either dead seriously or as send-ups. This one quite deftly combines the two angles... There are a lot of very nubile, scantily-clad dames.


The plot is rather more complicated than seems altogether wise, especially as it is far from easy to tell the many male characters apart. However, as spectacle the film is wholly successful... Action packed hokum lavishly supplied with super monsters, lovely girls and brawny bewhiskered men.

(Marjorie Bilbow, Today's Cinema)

As a piece of technology it's bad - the print quality, the matching and the process work are all shoddy, even for what one assumes was an extremely frugal budget. And as entertainment, it's not much either. But when a movie is this bad it's somehow rather comforting.

(Hollywood Reporter)

Absorbing, in a simple-minded way, but it does go on, so that after a while, one begins paying a lot of attention to certain tertiary details - like the fact that Miss Vetri has very nice breasts, and that they're constantly in danger of falling out of her scanty costume, or that dinosaurs when they die, all seem to sound like jets taxiing to a stop. The details are not much, but then one has to settle for what there is.

(Craig Fisher, Hollywood Reporter)

My reaction upon viewing the film was mixed; elation for its being the finest film of its type to date; and disappointment for its being still quite worthless... [It] is the first of its sub-genre to achieve the look and feel of the epic... the film's unique achievement, however, is in the manner in which the effects scenes are used... A minor triumph in its own very narrow field.

(Frederick S. Clarke, Cinefantastique)

Dotty but perversely endearing variation on the theme of the good old days with a very variable line in prehistoric monsters.

(Alan Frank, long after release)


Despite pretensions to... 'science-fact', this is very much the old mixture as before, with the girls running round in fetching little bikini creations, and everybody enunciating the 'prehistoric' language in impeccable drama school manner. Monsters, cyclones and tidal waves are all tolerably well done, but remain totally artificial and unexciting.

(Monthly Film Bulletin)

This is life at the 'dawn of history' comic book style. Sun worshipping tribes decked out in Club Mediterranee gear react with dismay and violence to the first appearance of the moon... The inane story, heavily padded with ponderous ritual, barely holds the attention.

(Margaret Tarrat, Films & Filming, Jan '71)

I'm very proud that my first screen credit was for what is, without doubt, the worst film ever made.

(J.G.Ballard, long after release)

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