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
76 minutes.

Summary: 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 screenwriter: "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 goes away.

Tarnowski attacks Carol, but Ted leaves his pix long enough to save her. Carol: "We've gotta get off this offal island!" (Okay, "awful island.")

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 babies alive."

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.

Comments: 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!" (?)