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Jurassic July - The Land Unknown (1957)

Directed by: Virgil W. Vogel
Starring: Jock Mahoney, Shirley Patterson, William Reynolds, Henry Brandon, Douglas Kennedy, Phil Harvey

Four members of an Antarctic expedition are stranded in a volcanic crater, home to creatures long thought extinct.

Universal studios are currently celebrating one hundred years in business and are boasting, quite rightly, of producing movies like "Jaws" and "Dracula". When it comes to monsters, the studio is synonymous with their great horror output of the thirties which saw them give us definitive versions of "Dracula", "Frankenstein" and "The Mummy". In the fifties they returned to the horror genre and produced a series of monster movies but for every classic like "Creature From the Black Lagoon" there was a dud like this one.
The creatures on display here range from the good (a Loch Ness type swamp monster model), the bad (a guy in a rubber T-Rex outfit), to the ugly (lizards standing in for dinosaurs). The latter would cause serious upset for the American Humane Association if attempted today, those lizards really go for one another. The prehistoric set isn't so hot either, resembling one of those garden centres you find out the back of large hardware stores.
Aside from the rubber Tyrannosaur, there are a few guilty sniggers to be had at the good old fifties style sexism. Patterson (listed as Shawn Smith in the credits) is introduced as a bit of a slut. When informed she'll be alone with eight hundred men she appears to lick her lips and retorts "Well I do love meeting men". Her performance is terrible, as is that of her love interest Mahoney; to say they lack chemistry is putting it mildly.
Had this been made twenty years earlier I suspect a lot more care would have gone into it's production. By 1957 monster movies were sadly seen as a way to make a few quick bucks. Don't spend yours on this.
5/10

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