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  Massacre in Dinosaur Valley Cannibal BollockaustBuy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: Michele Massimo Tarantini
Stars: Michael Sopkiw, Suzane Carvalho, Milton Rodríguez, Marta Anderson, Joffrey Soares, Gloria Cristal, Susan Hahn, Maria Reis, Andy Silas, Leonidas Bayer, Carlos Imperial, Samuka, Ney Pen, Adalberto Silva, Jonas Dalbecchi, Paul Sky
Genre: Horror, Trash, Adventure
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Professor (Leonidas Bayer) and his comely daughter Eva (Suzane Carvalho) have arrived in this isolated region of Brazil with a view to investigating the Amazon there. When their bus pulls up outside the hotel, they take their bags inside but the receptionist tells them there the two separate rooms they booked are not available, and they will have to share instead - he passes this information to the Professor with a leer, until he is put right about the relationship between him and Eva. They are not the only visitors, however, as a couple of fashion models and their photographer have shown up, plus more importantly archaeologist Kevin Hall (Michael Sopkiw) who is there to collect fossils...

Yet another jungle adventure dreamt up by the Italian exploitation flick industry, which was on the wane by the time Massacre in Dinosaur Valley was released though still had a few bursts of activity to come in the nineteen-eighties, this example could not make up its mind if it was a cannibal adventure or some sort of conventional thriller, conventional for this milieu at least. For instance, there was only one scene where flesh was eaten by one of the savages, and that was a heart that rather revoltingly had to be consumed raw by the hapless Brazilian actor playing the leader, all for the sake of director Michele Massimo Tarantini and his idea of what constituted appropriate entertainment.

Entertainment for undiscerning adults seeking sleaze and the most basic requirements of an action movie, that was, and it was clear the ideas were running out in Italy, not least because they had also run out of sources they could crib from, largely in Hollywood hits. As America was dominating cinemas across the world, minor productions such as these were being relegated to slipping out on video as screens became less available for this material. It wasn't quite the death knell for these efforts, and indeed you can still go out to see a few of them across the globe if you know where to look, but it seems the home is more the place for catching them where the viewer did not have to deal with the embarrassment of being among strangers watching saucy scenes.

Sopkiw was not a prolific star of Italian movies, he was an American who slotted into hunky but wry hero mode as dictated by the approach of Harrison Ford, specifically in his Indiana Jones role, and this was not his best work thanks to a script that saw his Kevin character set up as the protagonist and precisely the right man to be saving folks, then managed to have him just too late to prevent terrible things happen to the other characters almost the entire way through the story. Someone gets munched by piranha? Kev drags him out of the water - but his leg has been chewed down to the bone. A woman is tortured by the shaman? Kev scatters the tribe with an explosive, but not before said woman is scarred. Eva is about to be raped? Kev frees himself from his bonds - and pisses off, leaving her defiled.

He does come back, but again, too late to be of use. It was almost as if Tarantini intended a comedy of ineptitude, rather than intending a few horror touches to a very ordinary yarn where if Kev was stepping up to the mark there would be no room for the director's gore special effects or actresses disrobing. Nevertheless, there was one section where it looked as if Kev and Eva were about to get intimate, only for him to be distracted by the fossilised dinosaur footprints on the ground where they lay; if that wasn't a joke it was difficult to take seriously anyway. Not that the title was able to deliver on its promise of giant lizards, there was not one to be witnessed as Dinosaur Valley was merely the name of the location where the motley assemblage of passengers was stranded thanks to the toy plane they were travelling in crashing in the jungle. Make no mistake, this was rubbish, and half-hearted rubbish at that, though it did serve as a chance to see Carvalho naked, and it was not often you got to see a professional motorsport competitor in the buff (she wisely ditched the movies in favour of the racetrack).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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