2013.05.15 It's time for a movie of "Dinosaurs Attack!"

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

I don’t know about most people, but I’m not very impressed by the movie industry’s growing practice of making more and more sequels and slightly different versions of any movie that happens to do well at the box office. I suppose people who liked the original movie are happy, but how about a limit on this?

When was the last time a year passed without another James Bond, Star Trek, Star Wars, Fast and Furious or other attempt to cash in by basically making the same movie again with a few cosmetic changes? Do we really need a Hangover 3?

I’m thinking it’s time Hollywood finally makes a movie of the Dinosaurs Attack trading card series, which debuted way back in 1988. I’ll explain the plot in a minute. The Topps Company, which produced the set, sold the movie rights at the time and Tim Burton was set to direct the motion picture. The idea was shelved when word of the production of “Jurassic Park” leaked out. 

Yes, back then, Hollywood balked at the idea of two dinosaur movies coming out in the same year. Instead, Burton directed a movie based on another Topps trading card product, the classic Mars Attacks! set  from 1962. This one still shows up on late night television. If you haven’t seen it, don’t read the rest of this paragraph. At first, it appeared the Martians would conquer the Earth, but in the end, the music of Slim Whitman proved to be the secret weapon that defeated them. Thanks again, Slim.

But back to Dinosaurs Attack! A scientist, Dr, Elias Thorne, has developed a process that bathes the Earth with some sort of a particle beam from his space station lab. The beam allows him to “unfreeze” moments in time and display them in a wall of light in the space station. Thorne decided to begin with studying the age of the dinosaurs.

Things went well at first, until a pair of huge reptilian eyes appeared on the screen, followed by several explosions on the space station. Then word reached the station that many thousands, if not millions, of dinosaurs have appeared all over the planet. Things go downhill rapidly after that.

Three dinosaurs materialize at the White House and eat the President, First Lady, and several Secret Service agents. You’d think that Nancy Reagan’s astrologer would have warned her about the imminent threat.

 The dinosaurs go on to kill millions in especially bloody ways, targets including  the Statue of Liberty, our military, and a thinly disguised McDonald’s restaurant (the sign reads “Over 3 quadrillion sold”).

My favorite card in the set is called “Rock Concert Carnage.” The front depicts a pair of dinosaurs wreaking havoc on stage at a rock concert. The reverse side of the card is the really entertaining part. Like several cards in the set, it’s an actual photo with cartoon-like balloons containing quotes from those pictured. The three performers in the photo are dead ringers for Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

The Stills look-alike is saying, “It was crazy, man! Some *#!#*! dinosaur jumps on the stage and starts tearin’ my hair out!” The interviewer concludes, “Apparently the plant-eating creatures mistook the hair of these rock performers for the tops of trees they fed upon a hundred million years ago!”

A nearly bald duplicate of David Crosby simply says “Heavy,” while a reasonable facsimile of an almost hairless Graham Nash stands behind his band mates, pensively considering the situation. Luckily, Neil Young was apparently not touring with them at the time.

Meanwhile, back at the space station, it becomes clear that the giant eyes seen on Dr. Thorne’s screen belong to an evil reptile overseer of the dinosaurs. While he attempts to find a way to reverse what he caused, the reptile is able to reach out of the screen and pull Thorne into the past, where he is killed. Finally, Thorne’s beautiful widow, Helen, is able to complete calculations and reverse the process that brought the dinosaurs to the present day and send them back to their own time.

I know, you’re probably thinking there’s no need to see a possible movie now that I’ve explained the best parts, but I’m still looking forward to seeing it on the big screen. After all, if nothing else, Crosby, Stills and Nash probably need the work.

 

 

 

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
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