When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)

 

 

Director:     Val Guest.

Starring:    Victoria Vetri (Sanna), Robin Hawdon (Tara), Patrick Allen (Kingsor), Drewe Henley (Khaku), Imogen Hassall (Ayak), Magda Konopoka (Ayak), Patrick Holt (Ammon).

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

"A time of beginnings, of darkness, of light, of the sun, the earth, the sea, of man  The beginnings of man living with man by the sea, in the mountains.  The beginnings of love, hate and fear.  Man's fear of the unknown.  Man's fear lest the sun should leave him.  Leave him alone  in everlasting darkness.  A time when the color of a woman's hair condemned her for sacrifice to the sun.  A time when there was as yet no moon." 

Young, blonde women are to be sacrificed when the sun rises.  One of the women tries to run away.  She is caught, but she struggles so much that, together with her captor, they both fall onto the rocks and sea below. 

There are two blondes left to sacrifice.  The leader readies himself to give the signal for the sacrifice as soon as the sun is fully above the horizon of the mountains.  But when the sun reaches this position, the sun shines much brighter than usual.  The people are confused and have to shade their eyes from the sunlight.  The wind starts howling through the area.  Everyone is now down on the ground trying to shield themselves from the elements.  An old man falls off the mountain   One of the blonde women gets up.  Her names is Sanna.  The wind is so strong that it blows Sanna off the cliff.  But she lands in the water and not on the rocks.  And she can swim. 

Men on a raft race over to her.  A man named Tara jumps off the raft and swims over to her.  He brings her close to the raft and the other men get her onto the raft.  She will survive. 

They land the raft on the beach.  Tara had a brunette girlfriend, named Ayak, but now he only has eyes for Sanna. 

The primitive men have pinned down a huge dinosaur.  The dinosaur struggles and finally breaks free of the ropes.  The men have to retreat quickly.  They start fire to stop the dinosaur from advancing, but the dinosaur is only delayed for awhile.  He comes to the seaside village.  A man releases a supply of some type of oil on the beach and when the dinosaur steps into the liquid, they light the oil on fire.  The fire kills the dinosaur. 

From the disturbance on the sun, a moon is created and now hangs in the sky.  Men start performing a dance ritual around the village fire.  Ayak starts dancing for Tara, but she notices that he just keeps staring over at Sanna.  Then Ayak watches as Tara cuts some meat for Sanna and puts it in a bowl and takes it over to his new love interest.  Sanna is happy that he brought her some food.  He also gives her his necklace.  Ayak comes over and gets Tara away from Sanna. 

The leader of the group in the mountains wants his men to kill Sanna.  They come down out of the mountains to the beach. 

Out of her jealousy, Ayak starts making things tough for Sanna.  She turns the women against Sanna.  In fact, Ayak tries to knife Sanna.  The fight occurs in the waters of the sea.  A young woman named Ulido comes over to stop Ayak from actually knifing Sanna. 

The leader of the mountain people arrives in the beach village.  Sanna sees the leader and makes a hole in the side of her hut and runs up a sand hill  The leader asks where is Sanna and Ayak points to Sanna's hut.  The leader goes to the hut.  There he discovers that Sanna has run up the sand hill. 

Sanna runs across  a shallow stream.  Then she runs into a palm woods.  A snake uses Sanna's body to get down out of the tree she is hiding in.  One of the males trailing Sanna runs into the snake and the constrictor snake strangles the fellow.  The other pursuers arrive too late to help the man. 

The men see a cave and decide that's probably where Sanna is hiding.  Sanna is not in the cave but a dinosaur is.  He kills one of the men and wounds another. 

Tara and Khaku and two other sailors return with the raft.  Tara and a few others go to look for Sanna.  They find the dead snake and the dead man.  Then they find the second dead man and now the wounded man.  Khaku goes into the cave and is wounded by the dinosaur.  The dinosaur then goes after Tara, who runs to the edge of a cliff.  He jumps down before the edge and the dinosaur goes over the cliff to its death.  Khaku survives his wounds. The dead bodies are burned. 

The mountain leader still wants to catch Sanna.  Tara goes to look for her.  Sanna has to hide from a dinosaur in the palm woods.  She hides in what looks like a man-eating plant.  The plant closes over Sanna, but she has Tara's knife and cuts her way out.   Her hair gets caught inside the plant, so she has to cut part of her hair off.  Tara tracks Sanna to the man-eating plant.  He sees some blood and Sanna's blonde hair.  He concludes that she has been killed  He takes the blonde hair back to the beach to show the mountain leader that Sanna is dead. 

Tara goes and sits on the beach near the water.  Ayak comes over and sits down beside him. 

Sanna slept overnight in a half-opened dinosaur egg.  When the mother dinosaur sees Sanna in the egg, she treats Sanna like her baby.  She drops a deer at her feet.  Sanna makes friends with a baby dinosaur. 

Tara has to fight off the mother dinosaur as he must have gotten too close to the baby dinosaur.  Sanna distracts the mother and Tara and a friend are able to get away.  Sanna sees the two men going back to their village. 

Tara goes to the place where the blonde people live.  He's still hoping that Sanna is alive.

A flying dinosaur tries to pick up Tara.  The first time the bird misses, but on the second try the dinosaur bird grabs Tara.  The dinosaur drops Tara into its empty nest.  It flies away but then comes back and now Tara uses his spear to hurt the dinosaur.  He slashes at its  left wing and rips the flesh.  This makes it  harder for the dinosaur to fly.  It lands on the far end of the nest and Tara spears it and then pushes the dinosaur off the nest.  The dinosaur hits hard on the rocks below. 

Tara hears the screams of a woman. He goes to the rescue, but the woman is Sanna and the dinosaur is her friend.  Sanna takes the spear away from Tara and uses it to help calm down the huge monster.  Tara and Sanna are now reunited.  Nevertheless, the mountain people are still chasing after Sanna. 

Later Tara goes back down to his village on the beach.  There everyone is just staring at him as he comes down.  His leader asks where is Sanna?  Tara is a bit confused by all this.  He goes over to Ayak and she spits in his face. 

The village men grab Tara and hold him.  The people tie Tara to a funeral raft, set the raft on fire and then push it out into the sea.   A dinosaur arises and smacks the raft busting it up into many pieces.  This frees Tara and he swims back to shore.  He makes it back to Sanna and she takes care of him.

The next day they are all out looking for Sanna.  They see the black smoke from her fire and start walking in the direction of the smoke.  Tara comes out and sees the smoke.  He rushes over to put the fire out, but it's already too late.  The villagers have found Sanna's hiding place.  And now they are out to kill both Tara and Sanna.  The couple jumps into the water, but there are rafts already out on the sea. 

The pursuit goes on with the pursuers taking to the water.  Tara and Sanna get out of the water and run up a high cliff.  The pursuers follow them.  The couple hide in a little nook in the rocks along the side of a cliff.  A little later they decide to move to another location. Sanna slides off down the side and into the palm woods.  Tara follows her.  There they see two dinosaurs fighting each other.  The pursuers pass by their position. 

The couple move again, but now they are spotted again.  Eventually, they catch the couple by surrounding them.  Sanna's dinosaur now comes to the rescue.  He attacks the pursuers then picks up Sanna and walks away with her.   Meanwhile, the village men march Tara back to the beach. 

This time they tie Tara's hands and feet at the four corners of a wooden square.  They are going to burn Tara again.  But a tsunami is on it's way to the island.  The people start running to their rafts or heading for higher ground.  Meanwhile, Sanna is running toward the beach.  A tsunami draws the waters back from the beach and now giant crabs come out and start grabbing the people.  Tara sees Sanna and calls out for her.  She rushes down to Tara and unties him. 

The couple and a few others get on a raft.  Ayak falls into quick sand.  Tara tries to save her, but he can't.  He returns to the raft and soon he and his fellows have to fight off the people after Sanna and Tara.  Tara and his fellows fight off the interlopers.  The people still on the beach are inundated by the tsunami. Tara and Sanna survive along with Ulido and Khaku.

 

 

Much like "One Million Years B.C."  They too have the dinosaurs even though they died out 60 million years before the arrival of human beings.  

Victoria Vetri (instead of Raquel Welch) , a former 1968 Playboy playmate going then under the name of Angela Dorian, plays the role of the heroine.  Hawdon and Vetri are ostracized by their tribes when they fall in love.

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

 

 

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