Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Valley of Gwangi (1969)

An American western fantasy directed by Jim O'Connolly, starring Richard Carlson and Laurence Naismith with special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
A rodeo performer woman has found a prehistoric miniature horse that interests local cowboys and an archaeologist. Together with the help of a Mexican boy, they seek out the valley where the horse came from. There they find dinosaurs and bring back a tyrannosaurus rex. When they try to display him, disaster strikes.
This was hokey. When I found it, I was like "cowboys and dinosaurs? YES!", but it didn't meet my high expectations. The special effects were not up to par with Harryhausen's standards. When the T-rex slides down the hill, he is all stiff like they just slid the model down a model hill. The fire at the end was super-bogus too. It was very clear that the dinosaur, fire and cathedral were all separate shots. The plot spent too much time on cowboy/cowgirl drama and not enough time in the prehistoric valley. Also, who the fuck ever heard of gypsies in the old west? I liked seeing the stop motion dinosaurs, but everything else was crappy. I rate this tolerable.

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