King Dinosaur (1955)

This one-week effort was Bert I. Gordon’s first movie, made with borrowed equipment and the cast of four all working on deferred salaries. The rest of the footage is all stock, including a mammoth taken from One Million B.C.

It takes place five years in the future, which would be sixty years in our past.

Zoologist Dr. Richard Gordon, geologist Dr. Nora Pierce, medical specialist Dr. Ralph Martin, and chemist Dr. Patrica Bennett are on a space voyage to the planet Nova in the hopes of opening a new colony. It’s filled with animals that are way bigger than they should be — remember that Burt I. Gordon directed this one — including King Dinosaur, which is really an iguana. So the scientists do what any good researcher should: they nuke the planet and leave.

Marvin Miller, who narrates this film, was the voice of Robby The Robot in Forbidden Planet.

The funny thing about this movie is that Ray Harryhausen and Ray Bradbury wanted to provide the dinosaur effects, so they brought in some footage. Gordon watched it, didn’t acknowledge them and just walked out. Harryhausen and Bradbury were obviously upset, but a few years later, at the premiere, Bradbury allegedly approached Gordon and said, “Remember me? Ray Bradbury. It won’t make a dime!”

If you wonder, “Have I heard this music before?” then you’ve probably seen Ed Wood’s The Violent Years. Actually, you should just watch that movie. It’s way better than this.

You can watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of this movie on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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