Film Classics, Inc.--Producers Releasing Corporation
Starring: Virginia Grey, Philip Reed, Richard Denning, Barton MacLaine.
Producer: Albert J. Cohen
Director: Jack Bernhard
Story: Robert T. Shannon
In a Singapore bar, Ted says, "I hate bringing you to a
place like this, Carol," for the bar is animalistic alien
territory. And Carol is the prey, we discover, as Captain Tarnowski,
a loud lowlife from whom Ted wants to charter a ship, obviously
wants this "dame." Ted intends a voyage of photographic
discovery, a photo-safari to an island in the South Pacific, but
mentions animals "dead for millions of years." The
response from Tarnowski, who just literally threw two men out
of the side room so they could talk, shows the talent of our
"Oh, I see. You mean the fossil bones of extinct beasts--the
skeletons of the big boys like the giant brontosaurus and the
flesh-eating tyrannosaurus. Museum stuff." Tarnowski has
always been reluctant about a "woman sailing with us . .
. until now." Ted flew over the islands "during the
war": "I saw things, living things, three times the
size of army tanks." The island perhaps is the tip of a
vast continent sinking into the ocean, on which "prehistoric
monsters" still live. Ted shows a photo and says the creature
"waddled like some gigantic hideous sort of lizard."
There are some nasty undertones concerning "Miss Lane's"
funding of Ted's intended expedition.
Additionally, Tarnowski wants Fairbanks,
an ex-Marine officer and now drunkard, to accompany them. Fairbanks
conveniently is at the same bar and Tarnowski sends for him, offering
booze. One theory is that "too much sun scrambled his brains."
But he claims to have seen dinosaurs on an island in the South
Pacific when he and his men crashed there. Tarnowski announces
that they're going "back to find the beasts that chewed up
your pals while they was still alive and kicking. Ha ha ha!"
Fairbanks says, "I'd blow my brains out first before I'd
go back to that island."
But Fairbanks is allowed more drink and is
shanghaied aboard. When he wakes up, he is snarky and swaggeringly
fatalistic. The ship is "nothing but a floating pigpen,"
used to transport wild animals. The crew, because the destination
is "taboo island--the home of monsters," attempts a
mutiny, but fails.
Off the coast of the island, binoculars show
a bronto: "Holy Jasper! It can't be!" We question
Fairbanks' manhood a few more times. Tarnowski brags about guns
and grenades, and Fairbanks decides to accompany the search party
in order to hear the eventual screams of Tarnowski.
On the island they discover tracks. Fairbanks:
"Flesh-eaters . . . they won't come to you, with the exception
of that hairy monster; he'll look us up once he gets the scent."
We see brontos peacefully bathing: "giant
dinosaurs! . . . 75 feet if they're an inch, as high as a two-storey
building. . . . Some of them weighed as much as two tons."
So, lots of male awe expressed in size and numbers. Asked if
we'll need grenades, Tarnowski says, " We could use field
artillery, and still not be sure."
They settle down and Ted insists, "Those
beasts won't come near the camp." Apparently they instinctively
sense our superiority. A servant is sent to fetch water over
the ridge (although why we made camp so far from the water source
. . .). Screams. Ceratosaurs (carnivorous bipeds depicted here
by actors in rubber suits) are wobbling clumsily over the man
in a field. The rest shoot at the dinos repeatedly and futilely.
They decide to shoot the man instead, to save him from a fate
worse than death: uh, death. Of course, he could have gathered
his wits and run away, but we decide to get this embarrassing
scene over with.
At camp, Ted obsessively works on his photos
to the disapproval of Fairbanks since Carol is being ignored.
Ted's view on the death: "It's unfortunate, but it happens.
Men have been killed before in the interest of science."
Tarnowski now insists on capturing an animal vs. the others'
disapproval. Someone in a bad gorilla suit with enormous teeth
hanging out of its ratty head threatens the camp. We assume it's
about to "charge and tear us all to pieces." But it
The next day, presumably, the batch of idiots come to a field remarkably similar to the last one we saw. Fairbanks: "Well, this is one of the barren spots I told you about." A herd of ceratosaurs roam. Carol, in her best Aunt Mary / two-packs-a-day voice: "It's unbelievable!"
Tarnowski: "A whole slew of them . . . looks like a prehistoric graveyard."
Ted: "That's exactly what it is. Those
flesh-eating monsters have been eating each other for centuries.
Survival of the fittest. Seems a pity, doesn't it?" (This,
let me say for the eighty-sixth time, is not "survival
of the fittest.") Tarnowski: "Quiet; start unloading
that ammunition. They've sighted us! They're coming at us!"
While the dinos lumber, Tarnowski kills his
first mate with a knife over some disagreement about running away.
An ammo bombardment turns away the rubber monsters. But Tarnowski
insists, "I ain't leavin' here 'til I get one of them big
We decide Captain Tarnowski has "jungle
fever." Carol decides to go "for a walk" (!!!).
She finds Fairbanks shooting a tree. "Shooting squirrels?
Ha ha ha." (What's so goddamned funny?) No, he's "playing
a game": if he misses a bottle he has to drink it. Fairbanks
is supposed to be world-weary and wise-cracking: he says he's
"good to my parents, kind to animals, love children"
while he shows Carol his gun.
Tarnowski is drunk and preparing a barracade,
a "wall of fire." Are we leaving? Not leaving? Who's
leaving? Okay, who's not leaving? Endless. Tarnowski seems
to be looking for bait among the humans. The native sailors are
all killed in their attempt to steal the boat and get away, one
from a bullet. Meanwhile, the fire-wall goes up, most of the
pictures are gone, and Carol is pissed.
No, there's lots more. Tarnowski has grenades
and is stupidly dismissed by the others because of his "jungle
fever" and drunkenness. While the others try building a
raft, he hides another boat away. He kidnaps Carol, attempts
to rape her, is interrupted by a tyrranosaur, lobs grenades; Carol
faints; the dino collapses. The others search Carol, but Ted
says casually, "Carol'll get away from Tarnowski."
Fairbanks more nobly blames the darkness, uh, coming darkness
for calling off the search.
Tarnowski and Carol talk by a campfire.
Having no choice and stalling, she agrees to run away with him.
He prepares to sleep, to her surprise, but he explains: "I
know you ain't gonna run away with all these hungry monsters roamin'
around loose in the jungle. Heh heh heh heh." When the
Captain is asleep, she steals his gun, but a dinosaur with teeth
longer than its head looms. Fairbanks shows up. Tarnowski tries
to shoot him but is out of bullets. Fairbanks wins a fist-fight.
The ape-brute-thing is approaching when Tarnowski awakes. Fairbanks,
running away with Carol, gets those screams he wanted.
Fairbanks and Carol later watch the ape-goon
battle a tyrranosaur. After bloody tearings, the dino falls off
a cliff. All survivors meet up (except the ape). Suddenly they're
oof the island, looking back. Ted gets blown off. Carol and
Fairbanks turn their butts to us. The End.
I can't confirm the implications of the Movies Unlimited catalogue
description which claims that the safari "turns up more giants
from another age than a two-hour 'Love Boat' special. Step on
it, Audrey, it's a Gavinosaurus!" (?)