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

Written by David Green.


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.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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