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  • asinyne21 October 2009
    I grew up in a tiny little town that had nothing going on except a run down movie theater. I recall somebody taking me to see this movie when I was a little kid. I'm guessing that Valley hit our screen around 63 or 64, a good two years after its release. Anyhow, I loved every second of it and still have vivid memories of the movie to this day. (I caught it one or two other times on TV during the seventies) It had a very dramatic opening scene: two duelist were suddenly swept away just before they were about to kill each other. Then they find themselves on a strange world filled with huge dinosaurs doing battle with each other. As if that wasn't enough they soon are under attack by savage primates. I'm guessing it sorta goes downhill after that but this film was a major event in my very ordinary little life back in the early sixties. I will always be grateful for that no matter how this holds up in comparison to today's stuff. It was pure cinema magic back then.
  • This movie was on fairly regularly when I was a kid; my cousin and I would frequently watch it together (she didn't share my enthusiasm for the animal skin-clad women, but she loved a scene where one of the cavemen gets eaten by a dragon).

    It was years later that I saw One Million B.C. for the first time; I knew it was hailed as a classic, but while I found it enjoyable (I fell in love with Carole Landis), VOTD still held more of a mystique for me.

    I have since looked for it in various video rental places with no success. It seems that these days even the networks aim for more sophisticated fare and overlook simpler joys like this. Just because the movies have graduated to Jurassic Park shouldn't mean that we can't suspend our disbelief for a brief period. VOTD should not be allowed to become extinct!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film is so entertaining from the moment it starts that finding out through research that some of the footage was from "One Million B.C.", it didn't diminish the impact of the film for me. I was going to call my review "The Night of the Big Iguana", but I wanted to instill the point of view that having seen "One Million B.C." and this at different points in my life, I didn't even notice the difference. Only one thing in the film made me roll my eyes, and that was the silly looking underground people. But there was nothing else to laugh at, even after the premise of a comet leaving the two men about to duel all alone (as the others are whiffed away in some sort of Event Horizon) and come out of it as friendly as the Geiko gecko.

    I'm not really a follower of science fiction to the point where I can call myself an expert on the genre, so I had to simply accept what the two men realized had happened and just go along with the flow with that explanation and enjoy the sight of large creatures they had to hide from. Sure, it is really silly that the Frenchman (Cesare Danova) floats down the river on a palm raft as large creatures (including a snake and lizard) pass right by him as if they didn't want to disturb his nap. It is easy to overlook faulty parts of a storyline when it is presented so entertainingly. Only George Pal and Ray Harryhausen were doing successful films like this at the time, and this one wasn't either one of their talented thumbs.

    Fortunately, the romantic involvement between the two men and the cave women they found was subtly done not to overshadow the pre-historic nature and science fiction elements of the film. Young audiences of today might not appreciate it (to quote the son of a friend who watched "Godzilla" and told his dad that it was a man in a lizard suit.) But for those of us who remember the double creature feature (and no computer animation), it remains a lot of fun.
  • I cannot believe you guys! All this claptrap and no mention of Joan Staley's infamous underwater swimming scene?!?

    I saw this movie when it was first released and I was barely pubescent at that time. The audience was quietly taking in the Verneian antics of our shanghaied duo, until one of the main characters (I forget which) runs off for a swim with the Joan Staley character (Deena).

    OK, so Deena takes off her prehistoric sunsuit and lo and behold she is wearing a Stone-Age bikini! OK, nothing to get excited about --- pretty chaste even for 1961. No elastic in prehistoric times, though, so the top fits rather loosely.

    So the couple jump in the lagoon and start playfully swimming and diving underwater. The decent underwater cinematography lingers on each of the characters as they cavort about.

    It quickly becomes evident that Deena's bikini top is not going to hold her fairly ample anatomy securely in hiding from the voyeurs in the audience.

    I will never forget the eruption of hoots and whistles from the darkened theater as the camera continued to follow Ms. Staley from such a point of view as to make it all too evident that Deena would have no trouble feeding any of her progeny, especially considering the equipment on display.

    Granted, this sort of thing hardly rates the consideration of a PG rating today, but in 1961, it was dynamite. I was at a point in my development where the fuss being made by the male members of the audience only served to make me embarrassed and uncomfortable. The scene seemed to go on forever.

    I was elated to be able to get recently a VHS copy of the movie (recorded, believe it or not, from a TV presentation), and waited breathlessly for the scene burned into my mind as a young lad.

    And there it was in all its glory. And every bit as provocative as it was in that little Galveston, Texas theater back in '61.

    One of the best bits of vintage, unexpected cinematic cheesecake I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.
  • A Frenchman (Cesare Danova) and an American (Sean McClory) are about to fight a duel in Algiers in the year 1881 when a passing comet sweeps them up. Apparently the comet does this every hundred thousand years or so and each time it picks up pieces of Earth, along with people and animals. So the two men find themselves hurtling through space on the comet, in a strange world with prehistoric people and creatures, including dinosaurs.

    Danova and McClory are both likable. They're joined by Danielle De Metz and former Playboy centerfold Joan Staley as the cavegirls these lucky dogs find themselves paired up with. Staley's underwater swimming scene is a highlight of the movie. Based on the Jules Verne story "Off on a Comet," the premise is outdated and ridiculous but that's part of what I like about it. I enjoy fanciful old science fiction stories from a time when people didn't think they had everything figured out. There was still a sense of wonder about discovery and exploration in the world that seems to be sadly missing today. Yeah, the special effects are hokey and it borrows liberally from other movies, including a good bit of stock footage. Still, I found it a fun, charming B movie. If you're a fan of sci-fi and fantasy movies from this period, I'm sure you'll find it appealing despite its faults.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is another movie I'd been after for years and recently obtained a copy off ebay on the Colombia Classics label.

    2 men having a duel somehow end up on a comet when a storm breaks out. This comet contains a prehistoric jungle and strange creatures (more on them later). They also make friends with natives (cave men and women) and find love too. But they also have to fight off unfriendly, missing link creatures.

    Now to those prehistoric creatures, these are mostly lots of giant lizard stock footage from One Million BC. We also see Wolly Mammoths, Mastadons and a giant spider.

    I found this move enjoyable and great fun to watch.

    Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
  • Okay, I admit it...this little film holds a special place in my heart. It is the absolute first movie I can ever remember watching on television. I remember watching it on a Saturday morning after cartoons, and looking at the TV Guide to see that it was actually classified as a "melodrama". All I really remember from that initial viewing was the fight between the two lizards and the attack by the giant spider.

    I recently managed to obtain a copy of the movie and finally re-watched it after what was probably thirty years. First of all, I never knew it was based on a Jules Verne novel, who is one of my favorite authors of all time. Too bad it was based on one of the few Verne books I haven't read.

    Cesare Danova is great as the French duelist who is picked up with an American who had affronted him in a disagreement over a woman. What follows turns into your standard caveman/regular-lizards-pretending-to- be-dinosaurs type film. The two end up becoming the leaders of opposing prehistoric tribes and things continue from there.

    The movie is nothing really that great, but it's a fun little movie that's on a par with any 1950's programmer.
  • Two men are about to fight a duel in the 19th century when a comet flies by and sucks them onto the comet. However, the comet itself is quite Earth-like except that it is populated by dinosaurs, ice age creatures and semi-humans and humans. The two men learn to live and even thrive on this planet--finding a couple hot babes (complete with nicely tweezed eyebrows, makeup and salon hair) and places in tribes of cave people.

    I must admit that I did enjoy "Valley of the Dragons", but at the same time, in some ways it was a rather bad movie. After all, many of the scenes featuring 'dinosaurs' were lifted from other movies. What makes it worse is that these were BAD dinosaurs--clearly monitor lizards and alligators with fins glued to their backs. They were also EVIL in that the original filmmakers simply let these reptiles kill each other for real on tiny sets and put these brutal scenes in the movie! While I am certainly NOT a raving animal rights advocate, I still think these scenes were sick and awful. This aspect of the film is just awful. I also had a laugh when normal animals such as coatimundis and armadillos were blown up to dinosaur size! However, the acting was quite good--which surprised me, as the actors were definitely not big-name stars. And, while the script was a bit fantastic, it was fun and worth seeing. Overall, not as bad as I'd assumed and a bit of a guilty pleasure.
  • Jules Verne's name is shamelessly and regularly dropped in and around this Movie, but none of that matters. What is at stake here is its ability to draw in the Kids with Giant Monsters and Scantily Clad Girls. There is a ton of that seen here, but a lot of it had been on Screen before as it unabashedly clips Scenes from other Movies.

    If you can forgive its Plagiarism this is a fast moving Movie with a few of its own quite interesting Shots. There are plenty of Lizards in the Background and some of them are quite brutally disposed of as they menace and mangle everything in sight. Also in sight is an underwater Cheesecake Scene that had the Boys howling in the 1961 Theatres.

    An Entertaining piece of Schlock is fondly remembered by its now Grown Up (or have they) Audience, but is just below Mid-Range for this type. Its familiarity is its weakness, but there is enough Cool Stuff to be forgiving. Its an easy Movie to make Fun of but also an easy Movie to have Fun with.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Valley of the Dragons was one of the last gasps of the classic Fifties SF movie. In the UK it has been very difficult to see, but is now available on DVD, in a superb print, as part of the excellent Columbia Classics series.

    If you like this sort of thing (I do) then there is quite a lot to keep you occupied, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and plenty of dinosaur and mammoth action; not to mention a couple of very fetching cave girls. It delivers a lot more than many B movies of the era.

    I am pleased to have finally seen it, but I cannot claim it is an unsung minor classic. It consists of a prologue that nods in the direction of Jules Verne, followed by a caveman movie similar to One Million BC. That is where the problems lie: "similar to" is a massive understatement.

    In truth, most of this movie (and just about all the action) is stock footage taken directly from that earlier picture and the new material was clearly written just to accommodate it.

    Valley of the Dragons is not just based on One Million BC.

    It is One Million BC.
  • This was one of the very first dinosaur movies I ever watched. When I was a kid I loved the a lot of the scenes, especially the ones from the volcanic eruption. Little did I know at the time that most of the footage was "borrowed" from the original "jurassic classic" One Million B.C. (1940). Also, I didn't find out until several years later that this film was based on a work by the master of science fiction, Jules Verne. This is an okay film for lovers of B movies. Too bad that they don't really show it on television anymore.
  • bkoganbing21 September 2013
    One of the cheaper adaptions of Jules Verne for the big screen occurs with this film Valley Of The Dragons. Unless those ancient pteranodons are the dragons, there's really no mention of them.

    Sean McClory and Cesare Danova are a pair of 19th century adventurers ready to fight a duel over the affections of a woman who no doubt as they figure later on was egging it all on. An earthquake erupts and these two are swept up in it and transported to the head of a comet upon which a prehistoric society still thrives complete with other animals of the Cenozoic age.

    In no time flat these two wind up leading a pair of feuding tribes and bring them together. And they both get a pair of women companions as there is little other recreational activity.

    The footage from One Million BC is once again recycle for another imitation film. Valley Of The Dragons is even shot in black and white no doubt to better integrate the prehistoric footage.

    It's an interesting concept, but brought to the screen in a cheap knockoff manner. The science is also quite suspect a little below the standard of Jules Verne.
  • "Valley of the Dragons" is a real scrapbook of other, better movies. Finally available in a very nice DVD print from Columbia Classics, VOTD reveals itself to be the second half of a sci-fi double bill aimed at kids in the early 60s. VOTD is strictly a potboiler patched together from other films Columbia had access to, as well as stock footage. Columbia hoped to cash in on the Jules Verne craze that had seen great success with Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954) and 20th Century Fox's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1958). Verne's "Off on a Comet" was pretty much forgotten, so Columbia seized on the title and added an astonishing number of things harvested from other sources in hopes to make the money the aforementioned films harvested. It didn't work, and VOTD ended up on an endless loop in second-run theatres and died a quiet death on TV "Chiller Theater" offerings until vanishing in the late 60s.

    Seeing this oddity again after so many years is why popcorn was invented. It's earnest, yet silly. The production values are not bad, and the story is as flimsy as they come. Earthmen are swept onto a passing comet, discover they're about to become lunchmeat for "dinosaurs", run away from flaming oatmeal spewed out by a volcano, and find hot babes on said comet. Love conquers all and leering commences as the two former enemies realize they have seven years to fool around with the hot babes before maybe getting off the comet when it passes Earth again.

    The "dinosaurs" are the stock variety lizards with fins glued on their backs and blown up via rear projection. Many have wandered over from the classic "One Million BC" (1940), as have a bunch of mangy mastodons. The erupting volcano and the hot oatmeal returns from that spectacle as well. There's a really unpleasant scene featuring a giant kinkajou attacking and really eating a snake. Rodan (1956) wanders over from Japan and makes a few peek-a-boo appearances. The giant spider/bug is from "World Without End"(1956). The Morlocks from MGM's "The Time Machine" (1960) show up, although the faces have been changed and lack the glow-in-the-dark eyes. And so on.

    All that aside, VOTD isn't a bad way to spend a few minutes, and there's some cheesecake and a loose bikini top in an underwater swim sequence. This is poverty row movie-making at it's finest. Be warned though, if you making a drinking game of this by taking a shot every time you spot something from another B-movie monster mash, you'll be stinking drunk by the 45 minute mark.
  • I understand that Edward Bernds's "Valley of the Dragons" only keeps one character from Jules Verne's "Off on a Comet". Nevertheless, it's a very entertaining movie. The star is Cesare Danova, best known as the crooked mayor in "Animal House" ("If you mention extortion again, I'll have your legs broken."). In this movie, he plays a duelist who gets blasted - along with the other duelist - onto a world populated by cave people and dinosaurs.

    The movie had a number of obvious historical inaccuracies, such as humans and dinosaurs existing contemporaneously*, but who cares about accuracy in these movies? The point is to have fun, and it's impossible not to have fun with this movie, especially with the ultra-hot Deena. Of course, I did make a number of "Animal House" references whenever Danova was on screen. Fun movie.

    *I understand that Earth's oxygen levels were much higher when the dinosaurs existed. Such levels would overload a human. Conversely, the dinosaurs would suffocate in our oxygen levels.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Hector Servadac (dashing Cesare Danova) and Micheal Denning (likable Sean McClory) are about to participate in a duel when they suddenly thrust by a comet into an alternate universe where they are forced to set aside their differences in order to survive in this strange and dangerous new world.

    Writer/director Edward Bernds relates the enjoyable story at a steady pace and maintains an engaging sincere tone throughout. The leads play off each other well and display a nice natural chemistry. The tight and eventful script delivers a wealth of cheerful $1.50 thrills such as savage cavemen, ferocious giant lizard beasts, hostile woolly mammoths, albino cave mutants, a volcanic eruption (of course), and even a big rubbery spider. Moreover, there's some mighty delectable distaff eye candy in the fetching forms of beauteous blonde Joan Staley as the feisty Deena and comely brunette Danielle De Metz as the sweet Nateeta. The cheap special effects and obvious copious use of stock footage from other films both give this picture a certain endearingly rinky-dink charm. A fun little flick.
  • SanteeFats22 September 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Okay this is obviously done well before the advent of CGI. A baby gator or croc with a fin attached some how (glue?). A lot of monitor lizards, iguanas, and some boas. While I did like this movie some things stand out that raise questions in my mind. The Earthlings are never shown starting a fire yet always have one. This is suppose to be a comet that had passed close to Earth a long time ago. While I am not an astronomer, I don't believe any comet or asteroid that would have the mass to suck a portion of the Earth with it would also cause a lot of destruction if it actually got that close. Even if that did happen what about gravity? No astral body like that one would have a gravity near Earth's so the two men would have been a lot stronger but much more awkward on the comet. There were a couple of nice cave women though. I didn't see any furry animals yet every one dressed in pelts. What about genetic diversity? Didn't seem to be enough humans to keep from becoming inbred and by extrapolation degenerate.
  • I gave it two stars just because of its entertainment value . . . some real funny scenes with the reptiles . . .
  • Good light entertainment. No CGI, thank God, but some may not like a movie without CGI, non-stop violence, blood, gore, profanity, and sex but this is a movie that leaves one with the 'feel good' after watching. Without CGI actors had to actually act, special affects guys had to have real talent, not just a new software program, and props guys also had to be creative and insightful... The use of baby alligators dressed up like a dimetrodon to fight a Komodo Dragon filmed as huge dinosaurs showed the best that technology had to offer at the time. The entire family can watch this one without and 'Oops' moments.
  • In this sci-fi fantasy, based on a Jules Verne story, two 18th-century men are preparing for a duel when they find themselves caught in the tremendous tailwind of a passing comet. They get sucked onto the comet's head where they find a strange world inhabited by dinosaurs and cave men.

    The interweaving of new footage with stock shots from One Million B.C. (and Rodan!) is pretty clever. The human story line is the movie's weakest aspect. Albeit Joan Staley as Deena takes off her prehistoric sunsuit and lo and behold she is wearing a Stone-Age bikini!

    The film is at its best with the prehistoric creatures that were real lizards edited in to look like dinosaurs . I must admit that I did enjoy "Valley of the Dragons". Overall, a bit of a guilty pleasure.
  • Another movie to tap into the fertile imagination of Jules Verne, the 1961 production "Valley of the Dragons" is loosely based upon - or maybe we should say inspired by - Vernes' story "Career of a Comet". It begins in the 19th century, when a Frenchman named Hector Servadac (Cesare Danova) and an Irishman named Michael Denning (Sean McClory) are about to have a duel (over a woman). But a comet makes contact with Earth at that precise moment, and Hector and Michael are swept up, along with a large chunk of Earths' prehistoric past, and deposited on the moon. The two men agree to put aside their differences, in order to survive, and end up dueling with ancient beasts, dealing with primitive tribes, and romancing cave babes Deena (Joan Staley) and Nateeta (Danielle De Metz), respectively.

    This is a fair diversion. There's nothing special here, but nothing overwhelmingly bad either. Even if done on a low budget (and heavily dependent on stock footage from "One Million B.C." and "Rodan"), it still manages to be just amusing enough for this viewer to stick with it. The attractiveness of Staley and De Metz doesn't hurt at all, and Danova and McClory deliver reasonably engaging performances. The black & white photography and atmosphere are respectable, while the special effects, largely consisting of trick photography designed to make ordinary animals seem huge, are passable. The action drags for a portion of the running time when our heroes are wooing their ladies. However, there is a mighty fine swimming sequence.

    The climax may very well be comprised of this stock footage, but that doesn't make it any less exciting. Some of the moments are horrific as humans and animals alike fall victim to a major volcanic eruption.

    Harmless stuff overall, if also unmemorable.

    Six out of 10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Your basic RKO-style jungle adventure movie, but put together with almost no money or imagination. Danova and MClory put some life and some fun into their characters, but this movie's fate was sealed when they decided to use lizards with attatched fins for the prehistoric "dragons". In fact, it's hard to imagine that there weren't a few reptiles injured or killed in the making of this movie. *********SPOILERS******* At least it's got a happy ending, because our heroes don't seem too sorry to be spending an indefinate amount of time in the prehistoric world (it's part of a comet's tail.... don't ask, just accept it) with their lovely companions (one blonde, one brunette of course).

    Below the standards of good B-filmmaking.
  • VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS (originally titled "PREHISTORIC VALLEY") is a loosely-based film adaptation of Jules Verne's lesser-known novels "Hector Servadac a.k.a. Career of a Comet, or Off on a Comet" (and the term "loosely" is used in the highest sense). The basic plot of the novel concerned of its central character, a Frenchman named Hector Servadac and his plight to survive, along with an assortment of other colorful characters, as all concerned are swooped up by a comet and hurled into outer space, along with small portions of the Earth along with them. Here is where any similarities to the film and Jules Verne's novel begin and end. There is little doubt that producers had purchased the film rights to Jules Verne's story in order to sell this film as an adaptation to a Verne property, which had proved to be popular at the box-office around the time of its release. Adaptations of Verne's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS and JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH all proved to be blockbusters in the mid-to-late 1950's (VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS appears a bit late in the game, having been released in 1961).

    Here, filmmaker Edward Bernds, (who worked on numerous Three Stooges shorts for this film's studio, Columbia; in addition, directing some solid science- fiction films in the late 50's, including THE RETURN OF THE FLY) takes the bare-basic synopsis of Verne's story and alters it into a comic-book fantasy to include exciting (and exploitable) elements lacking in the original source material. The film scales back on the amount of characters allowed to partake on this peculiar adventure from a few dozen down to only two: Frenchman Hector Servadac and Irishman Michael Denning, played by likable and competent character-actors Cesar Danova (who appeared in MEAN STREETS and NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE) and Sean McClory (who had supporting roles in THEM! and THE QUIET MAN), respectively.

    At the start of the picture, the two are about to duel over the affections of a woman of shared interest (who is never seen, only mentioned). As they are about to draw their pistols upon each other, a storm dramatically interrupts their duel and are swept away by an orbiting comet. As they are the only two left alive, they quickly resolve their differences and work together in order to survive on this (as McClory's character exclaims "nightmare world") that differs considerably from the novel's iteration. Here, our heroes are transported into a world of the prehistoric past, whose apartment life consist of lizards dressed in dorsal fins and extra horns to resemble dinosaurs, pteradactyls (the closest thing to a "dragon" the viewer sees in the picture), giant spiders, Neanderthal men, cavemen (and cavewomen; two lovely ones, at that), and underground dwellers (that are no doubt an attempt to cash in on the Morlocks from George Pal's cinematic interpretation of THE TIME MACHINE the year before).

    At some point along the way, both Hector and Michael are separated from each other and join forces with warring tribes (one that wears tan cloth; the other draped in dark fur). Each find new love with their respective clans: Hector falls in love with a blonde cavewoman, played by Joan Staley (from GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN), whilst Michael becomes infatuated with a brunette cavegirl (played by lovely Danielle deMetz, who had appeared for director Bernds in RETURN OF THE FLY two years prior).

    Eventually the two tribes prepare to clash, as a nearby volcano erupts and causes much devastation upon the valley. As Hector and Michael had to set aside their own personal qualms, so must the two tribes work together in order to face off with wandering nomadic "dinosaurs" that threaten both parties. The climax has Hector introducing gunpowder to the uncivilized brutes in order to do away with the pesky intruders from the past.

    Shot in a reported eight days (!), VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS is a low-budget jab at the cinematic Verne fantasies that utilizes mostly stock footage from epics past to supplement the film's requisite special effects. Perhaps the biggest complaint about the film is that everything seems handed-down and left-over from some previous project. The majority of the picture is garnished with lifted f/x scenes from the 1940 semi-classic ONE MILLION B.C., in which lizards were dressed and presented to the public as dinosaurs (this being 1961, this was perhaps one of the last motion pictures to utilize the by-then 20-year-old film of its saurian escapades, as the public was undoubtedly experiencing deja-vu--having seen these repeated scenes of animal cruelty in multiple pictures prior).

    Some of the comet shots were re-used from CAT-WOMEN OF THE MOON; the take-off sequence from EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS is re-used; the giant spider is a mock-up familiar to fans of the sci-fi camp classics WORLD WITHOUT END and QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (not surprisingly, both were also directed by Bernds). Godzilla fans will be quick to point out that the pterodactyl is lifted from RODAN. The only truly original creations seem to be the underground dwellers and the ape-like cavemen that attack Hector and Michael at night early on (in what is perhaps its most successful and effective scene).

    It is not all for naught, as some critics are quick to dismiss the picture overall. The music by Ruby Raskin is surprisingly memorable and effective, especially for such a low-budget picture as this, and elevates the action numerous times throughout. Personally, I'll have to disagree with Joe Dante's comments about the two lead actors "phoning in" their roles in this picture.

    While I am a fan of Dante's work and respect his opinion, Danova and McClory both put in a lot of heart and fun into their lead characters (an opportunity they were unfortunately not afforded in their later careers) and both give it their best effort. The addition of Joan Staley and Danielle deMetz as love interests, both of whom are unfortunately not given much else to do but grunt and look away in horror, are exceptionally wonderful to look at and make it entertaining to watch.

    On a personal note, I first saw this film on TNT's "100% Weird" program back in the early 1990's, when I was a child of about four or five. Their program usually consisted of several unusual films in a marathon that shared a certain theme. That particular night was a "prehistoric" theme, which consisted of the feature films DINOSAURUS!, TROG, this film and NEANDERTHAL MAN. As a lover of all things dinosaurs, this turned out to be the perfect entry and, having never seen ONE MILLION B.C. or the other respective films from which this movie lifted most of its effects from, VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS became somewhat of a childhood favorite of mine (though, as forewarned, animal-lovers beware, as the effects footage was shot before Animal Rights were strictly adhered to and yes, sadly, animals WERE harmed in the making of the film). While this is certainly no classic in the ranks of other Verne adaptations, it is an enjoyable, if improbable, not to mention corny programmer that at least holds a promising concept that perhaps could one day be revisited with the proper special effects.

    (As a side-note: Czech director Karel Zeman, himself a fan of Verne, also adapted Verne's ON THE COMET in 1970 and included stop-motion animated dinosaurs as well to the proceedings! Worth a look if ever given the opportunity.)
  • VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS concerns Michael Denning (Sean McClory) and Hector Servadac (Cesare Denova), who are about to shoot each other during a duel, when suddenly... a mysterious comet appears! Denning and Servadac are inexplicably transported to an alien world!

    Soon, the two must join forces in order to survive, due to the prevalence of giant, prehistoric beasts and bug-eyed Neanderthals! The displaced duo trade in their city threads for pelts in order to fit in.

    This movie's action is made up mostly of stock footage from other movies. It also has a lurid preoccupation with real animals killing each other. So, animal lovers beware! The most famous / infamous of these scenes involves two "dinosaurs", one of which is a caiman / alligator with what looks like a big sailfish fin tacked on its back. Mixed in among the raging reptiles are a few "mastodons" (aka: elephants in fur coats) and gargantuan armadillos running around.

    Utterly preposterous in every way, VALLEY is still an entertaining enough romp, and yes, there are beautiful cave women for our heroes to fall for, named Deena and Nateeta (Joan Staley and Danielle De Metz)! This movie is also known for Deena's "swimming scene" that was semi-provocative for its era.

    Loosely, oh-so-loosely based on a story by Jules Verne...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    An 82 minute movie that's about 82 minutes too long. Two 19th centuries rakes who are about to duel to the death are swept into some sort of space and time vortex and end up on a distant planet inhabited by tribes of battling people and a lot of larger than life lizards. The lizards are meant to be dinosaurs, but they're not convincing at all. The stock footage taken from earlier films doesn't help either. Cesare Danova and Sean McClory are the leads and Danielle De Metz plays Nateeta, a sexy cave-woman. It's written and directed by Edward Bernds and based on a Jules Verne story (we know that because the opening credit scroll tells us that...TWICE). The loud and intrusive music score is by Ruby Raksin. Interestingly, there are NO dragons in this movie.
  • A ridiculous male fantasy about two guys preparing to kill each other in a duel, but who are instead swept away from Earth on a comet on which each of them finds a gorgeous babe with whom to canoodle.

    Using footage called from a better film, the original One Million BC (1940), Valley of the Dragons features two amiable leading male actors, a beautiful blond woman, a beautiful brunette woman, and plenty of iguanas and salamanders with rubber fins glued to their backs. Naturally, there is also the requisite volcano explosion.

    If you can cope with the sexist male fantasy component, and genuinely adore all dinosaur movies, it's probably worth one viewing. (I have this as part of a "Vintage Sci-Fi 6 Movie Collection" purchased through Amazon for nine bucks. That is about correct: this is no classic, but it is certainly vintage.)
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