Capt. Jason Briggs has an incredible story to tell. Just when he, together with Sgt. Healey and his colleague Buzz, wants to bring the three soldiers Turbo, Wayne and Skeemer in a plane to a court martial, the plane crashes and the soldiers are stranded on an island inhabited by prehistoric dinosaurs. When the injured Buzz is attacked and eaten by a dinosaur, the men are helped by a group of women who manage to chase the monster away. Briggs surrenders and the women lead him to their camp. The leader Morgana has little interest in the intruders and orders their death, but Skeemer's smiley tattoo fits perfectly with an ancient prophecy according to which strange men will appear to kill the largest of the dinosaurs, which periodically demands fresh virgins.
In the 90's, dinosaurs were the big theme in movies and television. Besides Spielberg's Jurassic Park, which certainly played a big part in the boom, there was Carnosaurus, Tammy and the Teenage T-Rex, Theodore Rex, Prehysteria! or the Dinosaurs TV series to name just a few examples. Dinosaur Island, produced by Roger Corman, tries to swim on the same dinosaur wave, but tries to put the appropriate show values on the screen as cheaply as possible. What is meant here is not so much the dinosaurs that come to life, because they are sometimes done a bit too cheaply, but rather the big breasts of the wild women, which they willingly present when they are introduced to the high art of love by the soldiers or simply splash each other with water in the lake.
This masterpiece is directed by Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski, two experts in this kind of films, who actually managed to create the most entertaining film possible with simple means. The plot, wildly cobbled together from set pieces from other genre films, is punctuated by flippant dialogue, crude effects and plenty of naked breasts. The film is excused for not even bothering to show the plane crash or the fact that one of the dinos was copied into the film as a hand puppet. Logic is lacking from start to finish, and the question arises as to how the women on the island can reproduce without men. But as soon as Wayne gets into the prehistoric whirlpool with pretty May and shows her page 34 of the Playpen magazine discovered by Skeemer, everything is forgotten. Dinosaur Island is exquisite dino trash at its finest.
US VHS heavily censored
The US VHS by New Horizons Video was cut down by some action scenes and additionally the sex scene between Skeemer and April was shortened a bit. The VHS served as the basis for various bootleg releases.
The DVD cover mentions that this is the first legal DVD release. The DVD was distributed by Fred Olen Ray on eBay for a short time, as Amazon couldn't get it together to list the offerings. The DVD is limited to 1000 copies and is no longer available on eBay or Amazon. Presumably all copies have been sold. On the back cover, Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski have signed, and there is also a small trading card with a movie motif. Those who ordered on eBay even got another autograph from Fred Olen Ray.
Finally, an assessment of the various other releases of the film. All German DVDs are shortened. In Japan, the film was released on DVD, but part of the shot of the laughing dino is missing at the end. The US laserdisc is said to be uncut, but is a rarity.
US VHS: 79:59 min. (NTSC)
Comparison between the US VHS by New Horizons Video and the US DVD by Retromedia.
On the VHS, the opening credits are in color.
No time difference.
Buzz asks for a cigarette. Turbo asks what his chances are, to which Wayne says it doesn't look good and he should be pulled inland. Briggs orders to drag the dinghy with Buzz away from the beach.
DVD: 1 min. 26.54 sec.
Briggs, Turbo, Skeemer, and Healey explore the island. While doing so, they come across strange looking plants. Skeemer opens the Playpen magazine as a joke and shows the others the way. Briggs asks him if everything is just a joke to him. Afterwards, the four are shown walking further through the area.
DVD: 54.00 sec.
When Turbo asks for a break, he adds that he needs to urinate.
DVD: 3.75 sec.
Briggs and Healey sit down. Briggs asks if Healey has any water left. He replies that he does not.
The soldiers are shown earlier as they run to the water.
The soldiers shoot at the dinosaur that is eating Buzz.
DVD: 5.79 secs.
The soldiers are taken to the camp by the women. Healey asks Briggs why he surrendered so easily. Briggs says that the women know their way around and this can be of use.
DVD: 27.87 secs.
The soldiers and the women continue to run. Wayne suspects they have landed in a place time has forgotten.
DVD: 28.95 secs.
The camera continues to pan across the women's camp. Wayne says to Skeemer that he is right and this really is Club Med.
DVD: 20.00 secs.
Skeemer says that he can be found in the pool. April tells him not to move or her spear will land in him. Skeemer jokes that he thinks this is a little messed up. Turbo wants to know what is happening to them. June replies to him that this will be Morgana's decision.
DVD: 22.25 min.
After the smiley tattoo of Skeemer is shown, a cut to April shouting "It's you!" is missing.
DVD: 2.08 secs.
Skeemer says he's been hungry since they got here. Then a quick cut to Morgana.
DVD: 2.70 secs.
Healey shakes his head, then a cut to the three soldiers.
DVD: 4.41 secs.
The soldiers are shown a little longer.
DVD: 0.87 sec.
Briggs and Healey are shown for a longer time.
DVD: 0.79 sec.
April shouts that the soldiers should not die. June agrees with her, since the men have done them no harm. Morgana wants to stick to her order.
DVD: 13.79 sec.
Briggs notes that it is her right to watch the fight after all. Morgana agrees.
DVD: 10.12 secs.
Briggs tells Wayne that he thinks they will end up in the pit after all.
DVD: 6.20 secs.
Before Wayne adds Skeemer's aftershave to the homemade insect repellent, he adds water.
DVD: 7.58 sec.
May wants to know from Wayne if this remedy really keeps the insects away. He's not sure, but thinks it at least keeps the women away from Skeemer.
DVD: 11.66 secs.
April wants to know what a date is. Skeemer says that it involves two people wanting to be alone. April asks how one can be alone and together at the same time. Skeemer explains and she wants to know why. Skeemer says that you get to know each other better.
DVD: 18.04 secs.
Skeemer and April come out of the cave. Skeemer wonders what made the T-Rex so angry. April thinks she knows and points to the egg.
DVD: 27.04 sec.
April rides Skeemer longer.
DVD: 3.20 sec.
Skeemer is shown longer, then another shot of him and April having sex.
DVD: 27.05 secs.
April rides Skeemer longer.
DVD: 3.83 sec.
Skeemer squeezes April's breasts longer, then another shot of the two of them having sex.
DVD: 23.54 secs.
The camera pans further to the flowers.
The US fades over to the flowers instead.
DVD: 4.29 sec.