Monster of the Day #93

30 years after King Kong, Irwin Allen schools Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen in how it’s done.  You’ve been served, bitches!

  • Ericb

    I doubt the wire holding him up was very comfortable.

  • Oh, the wire was entirely comfortable. The lizard…not so much.

  • TongoRad

    I guess you could add Jack Pierce to that list also. How long do you figure the lizard was in the makeup chair? At least with reptiles you only have to do it once- use super glue, and the horns stay on until it sheds its skin ;)

  • Ericb

    He may have saved some money using a real lizard instead of a dinosaur model or a guy in a rubber suit but I have to say toothless dinosaurs aren’t very frightening.

  • Ericb

    If Allen had had a saber toothed smilodon in the movie would he have glued fangs onto a house cat?

  • Gamera

    Well at least Allen did use a wire (animal cruelity aside) unlike was it King Dinosaur where one of the actors sees a four-legged lizard/’gator and promptly identifies it as a T-rex. I think even someone who knows almost nothing about dinosaurs would know a T-rex walked on it’s hind legs.

    Eric- I wouldn’t doubt it a bit- ‘hey it’s a cat right- give it some fangs and make it look really big!’

  • The Rev.

    I don’t recall this particular lizard filling in for T-rex. He comes out of a smoking pit.

    Not that that would necessarily stop them from calling it a T-rex, I suppose…

    I am amazed this shot doesn’t show the wire. It shows up very clearly in the movie during pretty much its entire appearance.

    And I’ll gladly take the wire over the Komodo dragon/alligator fight from earlier in the movie.

  • BeckoningChasm

    Oh, the pain…the pain…

  • Gamera

    Reverend- sorry didn’t mean to imply the monitor lizard filling in for a T-rex was this movie. I think that movie was ‘King Dinosaur’ though I’m far from certain. All the lizard/’gator as dinosaur films blur together for me. I’m afraid I have no idea what movie this clip if from.

  • I love all slurpasaurs unconditioanlly. As kid, I reemmber being pretty angry in King Dinosaur when it had their idiotic iguana fighting an alligator. of course the alligator whupped major ass on the poor iguana who mostly was trying to get away, but since the iguana was the titular creature, it had to win, which was done by fiat. All at once the gator was flat on its back while the iguana rise triumphantly above it (clearly favoring one leg). Man I was yelling at the TV set.

  • The Rev.

    gamera: Yeah, King Dinosaur, that’s the one with the iguana that’s supposed to be a T-rex.

    I have a feeling there’s similar ridiculous naming in this version of The Lost World. In fact, I just remembered: at the very end, they get off the plateau with an egg, that hatches out what is very obviously a gecko with horns stuck on, and I’m pretty sure they call it a baby T-rex. Oh MAN. I think this guy above is just “the cave monster” or something, and only called that in the trailer.

    Sandy: That was pretty ridiculous; enough so that it stood out even as I was cringing at the whole fight. “I hate this, I hate this, that poor iguana’s being killed for real…wait, what!? Iguanasaurs Rex won, just like that!? What the–oh god don’t let that alligator be dying for real.”

  • Rock Baker

    “The Horrifying 100-Foot Fire Monster who guards a King’s Ransom in Treasure!”

    I’ll take it over a CGI cartoon any day of the week. The Lost World 1960 is still a dandy adventure flick, and Allen knew how to create exciting adventure movies.

    The last time I saw King Dinosaur I was probably about five years old. But, man, did I love it! One of the very first movies Pop taped off television (and later taped over because I made such a fuss over it), King Dinosaur was THE giant monster movie of my life for a while there. I’ve been wanting to see it again ever since, but television showings are rare as hen’s teeth. I’ll pick up a copy eventually, and once again thrill to the giant iguana mayhem. It may be King Dinosaur that gave me an unquestioning love for lizards-as-dinosaurs. It always looked like an effect I could pull off at home, and I was always looking for inexpensive and easy effects techniques in the hope of one day making a movie myself. There’s a certain raw excitement that comes from the lizard fight scenes too, since they’re very real. You get a certain dynamism you just can’t get from fake props. (Not that I’m in favor of animal cruelty or anything, I certainly wouldn’t support the tripping of horses in westerns, but oversized lizards are, well, lizards. They’re hardly in short supply. The alligator population has exploded to dangerous levels since they were placed on the endagered list.)

  • zombiewhacker

    OTOH, the dimetrodon sequence from the original Journey to the Center of the Earth was a far more convincing use of lizards as pseudo-dinosaurs.

  • Rock Baker

    Yes, that was without question the best such example of the technique, seeing as dimetrodons were actually built like modern lizards.

    For all the digs against it, One Million B.C. remains one of the best dinosaur movies ever made. The backyard origins of the monsters aside, it also contained some incredible effects work. I can see why it got recycled so often. Allen’s color giant lizards likewise got plenty of milage out of their scenes (I seem to recall an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea built around Lost World footage).