• Massacre In Dinosaur Valley (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: September 29th, 2020.
    Director: Michele Massimo Tarantini
    Cast: Michael Sopkiw, Suzane Carvalho, Milton Rodríguez
    Year: 1985
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    Massacre In Dinosaur Valley – Movie Review:

    Also knowns as Amazonas and Nudo e selvaggio (which would seem to translate to Nude And Savage, which is a pretty bad ass title for a movie like this), Michele Massimo Tarantini’s goofy 1985 jungle adventure Massacre In Dinosaur Valley stars Michael Sopkiw as Kevin Hall. He’s an archeologist who, while hanging out at a Brazilian hotel, meets a paleontologist named Professor Pedro Ibañez (Leonid Bayer) and his foxy daughter Eva (Susane Carvall). It turns out that they, along with a jerk photographer and a gang of hot female fashion models, are chartering a plane to take them into Dinosaur Valley. Some are there to do scientific work, others for a photoshoot. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is up to what. A cranky Vietnam veteran named John Heinz (Milton Morris) and his grumpy wife Betty (Marta Anderson) are also along for the ride.

    But then the plane crashes! The old paleontologist dies in the crash but the foxy daughter does not. Most of the models are also toast. She and Kevin head into the jungle alongside the vet, who is clearly wanting to do thing his way – after all, he’s a military man! Things head south quickly though when one guy gets his leg chewed up by a bunch of piranha. Around the same time they realize that they’re not alone in this jungle – there’s a tribe of cannibals about and they’re hungry! If that weren’t enough, there are also some human traffickers around hoping to abduct anyone they figure they can make a sleazy buck off of.

    Not the most thought provoking film ever made, Massacre In Dinosaur Valley is nevertheless top notch trash movie entertainment. Sopkiw makes his way through the movie like a poor man’s Indiana Jones, getting into bar fights, saving the pretty ladies, taking on all the bad guys – he’s the consummate tough guy and he’s a blast in the part. You just know that lovely Eva, played by Susane Carvall (who also pops up in Women In Fury) is going to fall for him, and of course she does. As far as her acting goes, well, she’s mostly asked to stand around and either look good or look scared – she does both of these things well. Leonid Bayeri is fun as the chubby old professor but he dies too early in the film to make too much of a difference, while Milton Morris is a kick as the saltiest and surliest survivalist you ever did see.

    Fairly gory and completely devoid of dinosaurs, the movie features a few moderately grisly scenes of cannibalistic carnage and jungle based mayhem. It never reaches the heights of something as grisly as Cannibal Ferox or Cannibal Holocaust but it doesn’t really take things in that direction. This is more of an over the top jungle adventure movie than a horror picture, but it works. The pacing is solid, the locations work quite well and there’s enough nudity, violence and rampant stupidity on display here to keep B-movie trash film fiends entertained for an hour and a half.

    Massacre In Dinosaur Valley – Blu-ray Review:

    Massacre In Dinosaur Valley is presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition, framed at 1.85.1 widescreen and taking up 23.8GBs of space on the 50GB disc. “Scanned in 4k from the original negative” and offered up completely uncut, the transfer looks quite nice. Colors are reproduced really well, the greens of the jungle setting looking appropriately lush, while skin tones look nice and natural. There are some minor compression artifacts but no noticeable edge enhancement or noise reduction. The image is remarkably clean, there’s virtually no print damage here at all, while the film’s fairly grainy appearance is maintained. Detail is decent, though some scenes appear to have been shot a little softer than others, and there’s good depth to the image as well.

    Italian and English language audio options are provided in 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono with optional subtitles available in English translating both tracks. Audio quality is also quite good – there are no discernable problems with any hiss or distortion and the levels are nicely balanced throughout playback. For older mono mixes the audio here sounds just fine.

    Extra features start off with Valley Boy, an exclusive interview with actor Michael Sopkiw that runs for twenty-three-minutes. He talks about needing to find a job after getting out of prison on parole and not being able to go back to sea as he'd done before being locked up. This led to his getting into acting in a roundabout sort of way after studying in New York and relocating to the city. He talks about doing modelling work to support himself for a while, having to go to Italy (and getting permission from his parole officer to do so), making connections with Sergio Martino's company and getting his break in the Italian film industry, with Massacre In Dinosaur Valley being his fourth film. He talks about his character in the movie, what it was like shooting in the jungle, how much he generally enjoyed working with everyone, running into problems when some ants ate a snake they needed for the shoot, finally being able to dub his own voice on this film, how many of the actors spoke different languages on the set, his thoughts on the movie overall and quite a bit more. This is a really entertaining talk, Sopkiw is refreshingly honest about everything and he tells some great stories.

    Up next is a featurette called Lost In Brazil which is a new interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti that runs four fourteen-minutes. He talks here about getting hired to write the story for the film, meeting Tarantini for the first time, dealing with producer Luciano Martino, how much he enjoyed working with Tarantini (who he describes as having an effervescence about him), the different genres that Luciano Martino dabbled in over the decades and his part in some of those pictures, some of the original ideas for the movie that didn't make it into the final version and quite a bit more. Sacchetti is very animated here and quite fun to listen to as he looks back on the making of the movie in quite a bit of detail.

    The disc also includes nine-minutes of deleted scenes (none of which are super essential but all of which are worth checking out at least once for fans of the feature, presented without corresponding audio), the film’s original theatrical trailer, the Italian language credits sequence (using the Nudo e Selvaggio title card), menus and chapter selection. It’s also worth noting that Severin Films has supplied some nice reversible cover art for this release.

    Massacre In Dinosaur Valley – The Final Word:

    Massacre In Dinosaur Valley is pretty ridiculous stuff but it’s definitely a fun watch. Sopkiw has a gruff charm about him and the movie offers up enough cannibal carnage and female flesh to appease exploitation junkies. Severin has done a fine job bringing this one to Blu-ray with a nice presentation and a few really great extra features as well.

    Click on the images below for full sized Massacre In Dinosaur Valley Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. bgart13's Avatar
      bgart13 -
      How’s the animal violence in this one?
    1. Nabonga's Avatar
      Nabonga -
      Fairly mild. If I remember correctly (haven't seen it in at least 10 years) there's some cockfighting.