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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth [Blu-ray]


(Val Guest, 1970)





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Hammer Film Production

Video: Warner Archive



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:39:41.976

Disc Size: 31,071,469,659 bytes

Feature Size: 28,964,984,832 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 28th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1782 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1782 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



Trailer (2:48)





Description: After Raquel Welch conquered the screen in One Million Years B.C., Hammer Studios followed up with When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, written and directed by Val Guest (The Quatermass Xperiment) and based on a story by J.G. Ballard (Crash). Victoria Vetri stars as Sanna, rescued from ritual sacrifice by Tara (Robin Hawdon), a member of a rival tribe. Her survival coincides with the mysterious formation of a new “fire” in the sky: the moon! Sanna’s old tribe blames her for this affront to the sun; Sanna flees their wrath and Tara follows. Their shared adventures loom as large as the giants who once ruled the earth!



The Film:

Rousing tribal squabbles among scantily clothed men and women clambering amid the rocks, jungle foliage, and lumbering monsters of Shepperton Studios. The script is couched entirely in prehistoric syllables - a testament to Guest's valiant attempt at creating science-fact rather than fiction. Alas, the budget was too small for the facts to convince, but the film still includes a few of the strangest shots in British cinema.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Sanna (Victoria Vetri), a beautiful blonde woman, is condemned to death when she is blamed for a sudden aberration of the sun. Fortunately, the girl is rescued by fisherman Tara (Robin Hawdon), a member of the nearby Sand Tribe, but Sanna's presence infuriates Tara's girlfriend Ayak (Imogen Hassall). While others run from the carnivorous dinosaurs, Tara trains one of the beasts who believes she is one of her offspring. A typhoon leaves four survivors to fight for survival in this prehistorically inaccurate science fiction story.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth is definitely the most 'boobilicious' Hammer title I've yet seen. Say, Victoria Vetri didn't I see you in an episode of Star Trek (TOS)? Yes, the uncredited human form of Isis in Assignment: Earth. Also, I see you were 1968 Playmate of the Year and in 2010 you were charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting your husband in the chest! Now there's a Hammer gal with some color!  The Blu-ray from The Warner Archive is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate in the bastardized 1.78:a aspect ratio. It looks fine - a very kinetic camera and the adept dino-effects lend to many hazy 'motion' shots but detail was adequate. We presume, a direct result of the production quality.  There is texture and authentic-looking colors. Very clean and occasional depth. The film certainly has interesting visuals.





























Audio :

The audio is rendered in a DTS-HD Master stereo at 1782 kbps. Effects in the form of dinosaurs growls and grunts are deep and carry heavy bass. The aggressive score by Mario Nascimbene (The Barefoot Contessa, Barabbas, A Farewell to Arms, Love in the City) gains benefit from the uncompressed transfer and plays well with the action - almost playfully at times. There is some choir-like signing as well utilized in the background.  There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

Unfortunately, the only supplement is a trailer.



It's hard not to compare with One Million Years B.C. but I'll state that I enjoyed When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth even more! As well as the obvious appeal - dinosaurs, Vetri and the egg scene are worth it alone, Polish beauty Magda Konopka, and Imogen Hassall (sometimes referred to as "The Countess of Cleavage") - this film is a total hoot and the effects, although not Harryhausen, are super! I've come to appreciate Val Guest (The Day the Earth Caught Fire, The Quatermass Xperiment) the more I see of his films. He's made this almost tongue-in-cheek like a prehistoric sexploitation yarn - but classy. I'm very glad to have this on Blu-ray. Again, we lament the inclusion of a commentary or some form of supplement - but the price is right. ABSOLUTELY Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

March 22nd, 2017



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze





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