Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part III

joe jusko outnumbered

Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part III

Dinosaurs, prehistoric beasts, cavemen and cavewomen are the subjects for my new series of art posts. There will also be an occasional giant monster.
This post includes work from Joe Jusko, Jamie Chase, and Bernie Wrightson
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Joe Jusko
Joe sold his first cover art piece to Heavy Metal Magazine at age 18. He went on to illustrate covers and inside work for most major comic book companies, including Marvel and DC. He’s also known for his Edgar Rice Burroughs, Conan the Barbarian, and Vampirella trading cards. you can check out his work at:  http://www.joejusko.com
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Jamie Chase
Jamie is an American Artist living in New Mexico known for his abstract work that has been featured in many galleries and exhibitions. He recently turned his creative talents to dinosaurs, illustrating graphic adaptations of The Land That Time Forgot and At The Earth’s Core by Dark Horse Books. The adaptations feature Jamie’s art and story adaptation by Bobby Nash. The books are unique in the aspect that the illustrations are presented in fine art style rather than comic book art style.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/161655746X/
Bernie Wrightson
Bernie (or early work seen as Berni) co-created The Swamp Thing, worked for DC, Marvel, National Lampoon and Warren. His work for Heavy Metal Magazine led to his character, Captain Sternn being animated for the Heavy Metal Movie. He illustrated the Comic Book adaptation for Stephen King’s Creepshow and illustrated King’s book, Cycle of the Werewolf. More of his work can be seen at: http://www.berniewrightson.com
 Naturally all of these artists do more than dinosaur and giant monster art. I hope you will seek out their work and check out their websites, books, publications, and prints.
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Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part II

boris pic 10

Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part II

Dinosaurs, prehistoric beasts, cavemen and cavewomen are the subjects for my new series of art posts. There will also be an occasional giant monster.
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This post includes work from Boris Vallejo, Bob Eggleton, and Frank Cho
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Boris Vallejo – If you have ever read any classic sci-fi, fantasy adventure, or horror magazine fiction, than you have most likely seen the name ‘Boris’ signed on the cover artwork. Boris was one of the most prolific genre artists who has had his work gracing the covers of publications such as, paperbacks of Robert E Howard, Edgar Rice Boroughs, Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella magazines, movie posters (including the first two National Lampoon Vacation posters), Album covers (Ozzy Osborne’s Ultimate Sin cover) and several calendars. He also has many books of his art, the early ones with his art exclusively and later ones with his wife, artist and model, Julie Bell. Here is some of his dinosaur and monster artworks.
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Bob Eggleton- Bob took home the Hugo Awards best artist award for 8 years and best book award in 2001. He has illustrated numerous Godzilla comics and magazines and was a consultant on the US Godzilla remake. He also illustrated game cards for Magic: The Gathering. He did covers for magazines such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Amazing Stories (1980’s and 1990’s), and Analog Science Fiction. He also illustrated many science fiction and paperback books. Here’s some of his dinosaur and dragon work.
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Frank Cho – Is a comic book writer and illustrator known for his comic, Liberty Meadows, and illustrations for Shanna the She-devil, She-Hulk, and Jungle Girl. His work features precise line work and vivid color.


Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part III coming soon

Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part I

frank frazetta - pic 1 - cavemen

Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part I

Dinosaurs, prehistoric beasts, cavemen and cave women are the subjects for my new series of art posts. There will also be an occasional giant monster.

Frank Frazetta

Frank Frazetta is a legendary artist who painted art and illustrations for hundreds if not thousands of fantasy items; sci-fi and fantasy book covers, Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella magazine covers, Album covers and movie posters. His work brought to life the imagery of Robert E. Howard, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and more…Here is some of his prehistoric beast and dinosaur art.

J. Allen St. John

St. John was an illustrator and artist who did some wonderful artwork for the pulp magazines of the early 1900’s and work for pulp book cover art. He is one of the early pioneers of sci-fi fantasy art. His work has been featured on the covers of Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Fantastic Adventures, Famous Fantastic Mysteries and more.

Jeff Jones

Jeff was a much sought after artist and illustrator in the 1960’s and 70’s painting cover art for Heavy Metal Magazine, National Lampoon and Dean Koontz novels among others. He has several books of his artwork collections to purchase for fans of his work.

More in Dinosaurs in Sci-fi and fantasy art – part II (coming soon)

The People That Time Forgot (1977) – movie review

the people that time forgot pic 21

The People That Time Forgot (1977)

Amicus Films
Directed by Kevin Conner

Starring:
Patrick Wayne
Doug McClure
Sarah Douglas
Dana Gillespie
Thorley Walters
Shane Rimmer

This is the sequel to The Land that Time Forgot. Overall it is a step down from its predecessor but there’s some exciting dino-interaction scenes, especially early on. The script, plot, and story is sub-par even for a dinosaur/action adventure film. It was directed by Kevin Conner as were all the E.R. Burroughs Films done by Amicus (and AIP).

Ben McBride (Patrick Wayne) sets out on a mission to rescue Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure) from the mysterious land of Caprona, where he was the people that time forgot dvdabandoned in the first film. Their plane is downed by a pterodactyl and the gunman/ mechanic is tasked with fixing the plane while the rest of the rescue team searches for Tyler. They meet a cave woman who had learned English from Tyler and she leads them to a race of more advanced warriors who are holding Tyler captive. Naturally the team sets Tyler free, a volcano erupts (because that’s how all dinosaur films end) and the team escapes. There is some fun sparing between the male team members and a female photographer, Charly (Sarah Douglass) early in the film. The cave woman, Ajor, (Dana Gillespie) provides some eye candy, with a bursting bust-line and big hair.

The main scene that makes the film worth watching is the pterodactyl fighting the plane. It is much like a dog-fight in war films and makes for an outstanding action sequence. It goes on for a bit of time and is wonderfully choreographed. The film goes downhill after that, but it’s occasionally bolstered by a funky looking Stegosaurus, some cave monsters, and some sword and sorcery type hand to hand combat. There were a couple of Ceratosaurus, but truthfully I made better looking dinosaurs as a kid from playing with my mashed potatoes at dinner. A few of the creatures in the skull caves looked like repainted monsters leftover from At the Earths Core. The film doesn’t give much credit for the dino effects, but I’m quite sure they didn’t use Roger Dicken who crafted some impressive looking puppets in the first film. Ironically Tyler dies after they rescue him which kind of makes the whole film feel redundant. Amicus Films actually closed before the film came out, but AIP, the distributor, went ahead with the release.

the people that time forgot pic 17
Fun Facts:

Dana Gillespie was primarily a singer whose teen single was produced by Jimmy Page, did folk music thru the 1970s, sang back up vocals on David Bowie’s, Ziggy Stardust album, and starred in the London Palace Theater’s Production of Jesus Christ Super Star. She finally settled into the blues genre and has over 25 albums to her name including her most recent, Cat’s Meow in 2014. Every year she runs a Blues Festival in the Caribbean that attracts name musicians from all over the world.

The Land That Time Forgot review
See more Amicus Films reviews at the Amicus Films Overview page
See more dinosaur films at the Dinosaur films Overview page

At the Earth’s Core (1976) – Amicus Films – movie review

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At The Earth’s Core (1976)

Directed by Kevin Conner
Screenplay by Milton Subotsky

starring: 
Doug McClure
Peter Cushing
Caroline Munro

This is the third Amicus film based on the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs. At The Earth’s Core feels like a combination between The Time Machine and Journey to the Center to the Earth. In the book all the creatures were dinosaurs. For the movie, the studio created their own giant monsters to terrorize our characters.

The first thing you’ll notice is Peter Cushing’s terrible accent (German?). It’s pretty much the same accent he used in The Beast Must Die. In this film he plays Dr. Abner Perry, inventor of an earth moving submarine (The Iron Mole) that can dig its way to the core. With his co-pilot and investor, David (Doug McClure), they set off through the bedrock and find an inner world. This at the earths core - posterworld is ruled by a race of humanoid beings similar to the Morlocks. They serve and worship a group of reptilian bird creatures who communicate their desires through telepathy. The ruling race rounds up the humans. The men are turned to slaves and their women are sacrificed to these reptilian bird men.

David overcomes many obstacles to free the humans and teach them how to fight against the dominant race. He also rescues, Dia (Caroline Munro), from being sacrificed and the two fall in love. The wild creatures in the film are clunky, man-in-a-suit costumes that would make Toho laugh. But they do have a certainat the earths core pic 12 understated charm. Doug McClure delivers a melodramatic performance and seems to be aware of it at times which almost makes it comical. Munro seems to be having a grand time herself smiling and even laughing at times in the film when she’s caught unaware of the camera. It’s a moderately fun fantasy flick with amusing creatures, often for all the wrong reasons – ei. zippers, wires and rubbery horns. I really didn’t get the garish pink and purple lighting for the film; it looked like they were lighting the sets for a soft-core porn flick.

For a studio that started out with such serious modern gothic horror and above average acting, this seems like a silly product. However, the movie was quite popular and profitable for the studio. If you watch it, your enjoyment will stem from the unintended comical aspects more than anything else. Have some fun with it.

Amicus Films Overview

There were a bunch of Caroline Munro publicity shots for this film. Here’s some of them:

I’ve made some great steps in reviewing much of the Amicus Films releases. Check out all the links to the reviews I’ve done so far. Amicus Films Overview 

My Top 5 Dinosaur Movies, other than Jurassic Park.

one million years BC pic 8

My Top 5 Dinosaur World Movies, other than Jurassic Park

In preparation for Jurassic World, you may want to catch up on the genre of Dinosaur films. For this list I am speaking of dinosaur worlds, not just single dinosaurs that have been awakened in modern times for the purpose of a film. Dinosaur worlds include; Islands, continents, planets, prehistoric times, underground caverns, etc. I’m also talking about real dinosaurs for the most part, animals that once roamed the earth, not fictional beasts created for sci-fi films.

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5) Planet of Dinosaurs (1977)
We got some beautifully crafted dinosaurs in this film. One of the final forays into stop-motion dinosaur extravaganzas, it is a cult favorite for dinosaur fans. The script and plot ain’t so great but the bevy of fantastic creatures make it worth a viewing.
Dinosaurs: Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Rhedosaurus, Ceratopsian, Brontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Kentrosaurus, Allosaurus, and Struthiomimus

planet of dinosaurs dvd planet of dinosaurs pic 23

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4) The Land that Time Forgot (1978)

The dinosaurs in this film aren’t perfect but this film gets the nod for variety of species and prehistoric beasts. The dinos were scale rod-puppets which made interaction with humans minimal, the giant pterodactyl that carries off the caveman being the exception. A good story penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs lands this in the Top 5. Extra points for the awesome movie poster!
Dinosaurs: Mosasaurus, Plesiosaur, Diplodocus, Pterodactyl, two Allosaurus, two Styracosaurus, Ichthyostega,  Triceratops,  Ceratosaurus

the land that time forgot - poster the land that time forgot pic 19

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3) When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)
With Victoria Vetri running around in a dino hide bikini, it would be hard to take notice of the dinosaurs. However, these dinos are noticed because of their fabulous renditions in stop-motion artistry. The stop-motion dinos were the work of Jim Danforth. There’s not a lot of dinos in the film but they are top notch-Danforth’s work in this film rivals the greats, Harryhausen and O’Brien.
Dinosaurs: Plesiosaur, Chasmosaurus, Rhamphorhynchus, A carnivorous dinosaur based on the Scelidosaurus, (and it’s baby). 

when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-earth-movie-poster-1970 When Dinosaurs ruled the earth pic 6

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2) King Kong (1933)
This is the first mega dinosaur-land presented to the public at a time when most people didn’t have a clear picture of what dinosaurs looked like and were just discovering these creatures. The T. Rex is a fast moving, active beast as described by Charles R. Knight, not the slow sluggish reptiles other scientists were in favor of portraying. The film made Willis O’Brien the father of stop-motion special effects and giant monsters, influencing future directors and filmmakers, Ray Harryhausen, Ishiro Honda, Peter Jackson, Steven Speilberg, and Tim Burton, to name a few. Marcel Delgado built O’Brien’s models and was largely responsible for capturing the look O’Brien wanted for the dinos (and Kong).
Dinosaurs: Pteranodon, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Styracosaurus (edited out), Elasmosaurus and although he’s not a dino, King Kong

King Kong posterkong

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1) One Million Years BC (1966)
Although given moderate praise through the years, this film contains some of Ray Harryhausen’s most impressive dinosaurs. I think the special effects were overshadowed by Raquel Welch and her fur bikini – (the original furkini, accept no substitutes!). But take a look at the beautiful renditions of the Triceratops and Brontosaurus and you’ll see some master craftsmanship. I’d like to mention that the models were sculpted by Arthur G. Hayward with direction from Ray and designed from Ray’s artwork.
Dinosaurs: Archelon, Brontosaurus, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Triceratops, Pteranodon, Rhamphorhynchus

one-million-years-bc_thumb one million years BC pic 12

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Honorable Mentions:
Valley of Gwangi (1969)
Once again Harryhausen applies his talents to prehistoric beasts with great success.

Valley of Gwangi poster Valley-Of-Gwangi

 

Dinosaurs (2000)
Despite being a Disney film with talking dinos, it has some great scenes and dino imagery.

dinosaur 2000 poster dinosaur 2000 pic 1

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OK, want to see some more dino pics? Here ya’ go!

Because this post is about Dinosaurs, I’m going to refrain from posting yet another pic of Raquel in her fur bikini. But if you really want to see one look here!

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Solomon Kane (2012) – movie review

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Solomon Kane (2012)

Directed by Michael J. Bassett

Starring
James Purefoy
Max Von Sydow
Rachel Hurd-Wood
Pete Postlethwaite

(world release date 2009, UK and US release dates, 2010 and 2012)

Solomon Kane is the first honorable film adaptation of the character created by Robert E. Howard in 1928. Howard’s fantasy world formed in a natural evolution from dozens of pulp fiction stories appearing in Weird Tales, alongside contemporaries such as H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. Howard’s style lived somewhere between Lovecraft and Edgar Rice Solomon Kane posterBurroughs combining fantasy adventure with tales of ancient gods and powerful evil entities. Howard’s most recognizable character is Conan the Barbarian; Kane should be his second.

Solomon Kane is an early archetype of the superhero, a puritan with a symbolic outfit, entirely black clothes, a long coat and a sloucher hat, and an array of weaponry, a rapier, a Dirk, flintlock pistols and a juju staff. He’s on a mission to battle evil. This film is an origin story dealing with Kane, who starts off as a mercenary only interested in the richest rewards. When an evil entity shows him the darkness that lies within his own soul, Kane flees and goes into hiding in a monastery. Marauders attack a nearby village and the evil sorcerer, Malachi, kidnaps the Crowthorn’s daughter, Meredith. Kane vows to save her as part of his own search for redemption. On his journey he battles zombies, demons, and evil swordsmen.

The film boasts impressive sets with giant statues (real sculptures made for the sets), enormous cathedrals and castles, and powerful natural scenery. The CG is well done and blended nicely so as not to be distracting, except maybe for the final demon which is of the already overused fire demon variety. James Purefoy plays the part of Kane wonderfully, garnering much admiration from Howard fans. Most of you may recognize him as the villain, Joe, in the current TV series, The Following. Although rights to the film were obtained in 1997 it had taken until 2008 to begin shooting. This was supposed to be the first of a trilogy, but I find it unlikely the other films will be made. This is one of the thousands of great stories I refer to that should be made, rather than the remakes and reboots Hollywood continues to green light. This was a foreign made film, a joint UK, French and Czeck endeavor.

It’s not perfect but I’m glad I had the opportunity to watch this and would readily watch the next two of the series if they are ever made.

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A wonderful adaptation and introduction of Howard’s iconic character, with great acting, make-up, and special effects.

l give it 4.2 swipes of the sword out of five fiery demons on the anti-hero quest for redemption scale.