As most of you reading this blog may have figured out, especially earlier this year when I was in the G’s, I am a fan of Japanese Kaiju films. However, several years ago I had a problem. I owned all of the Godzilla movies, as well as all of the other Toho Kaiju films plus the Gamera movies. This actually made me a bit sad. Still I occassionally scrolled through Ebay and Amazon looking for something new to catch my eye and I stumbled across today’s movie. I had honestly never heard of it before but I was familiar with the studio as they created the Dragonball anime as well as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. So I was curious to see what kind of monster movie they would make in Legend Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds.
The plot: A young woman is walking along the forest around Mt. Fuji when she falls into an underground cavern. When she comes to, she stumbles around in the chamber until she sees a giant egg, which begins to hatch, and she runs screaming from the cavern. The girl’s story is shown on the local news, which is seen by geologist Takashi Ashizawa, who skips out on his flight to Mexico and heads to Mt. Fuji. When he arrives at Mt. Fuji, he is warned of strange things that have been occurring in the area but he decides to press on. When he reaches the forest, he begins exploring the area when an earthquake occurs and knocks him unconscious. When Takashi wakes up, he finds that he was rescued Shohei Muku, an old friend of his father’s, and taken to his father’s old cabin. The two begin to talk but when Shohei finds out that Takashi is there to find the stone eggs and sell them, he refuses to help him. As Takashi drives through the nearby town, he sees Akiko, a diver that he used to have a relationship with, and her sister Junko and decides to visit with them. Later, a couple disappear on the lake when their paddleboat capsizes and an injured diver is pulled out of the lake. Coupled with the missing livestock, Takashi believes that the girl might have been telling the truth and a dinosaur might have hatched from the egg but he doesn’t have any proof. Later that evening, Junko is riding her bike alongside her dog when a horse gallops past them and her dog chases after it. Junko chases after her dog but she falls into a puddle of blood, next to the body of the horse, which is missing it’s head. Takashi hears her screams as he is driving by and takes her back to Akiko’s Winnebago, but when the authorities later say they didn’t see the body, Takashi goes back to the area and finds a strange track on the ground, as well as the body now up in a tree. The next day is the village’s Dragon Festival and a band is performing on a floating stage out on the lake when something bumps into the stage, sending the band falling into the lake while the people on the lake scramble to shore. During the chaos, a man named Jiro begins pointing out to the a large shape floating in the lake but it turns out to be two guys swimming with a fake monster fin as part of a stunt. Jiro heads over to meet with his two friends, and sees them attacked and killed by a Plesiosaur. Jiro heads to the city hall to report what he saw but they don’t believe him, thinking it is another of his stunts, until a foreign tourist comes in claiming that Nessie is in the lake. Meanwhile, the dinosaur has wandered over to a nearby campground, where it breaks through the wall of a cabin and kills a woman that was inside. Akiko goes diving in the lake, with Junko watching from a raft when the monster appears and grabs Junko by the leg, lifting her from the raft before dropping her into the lake, where she tries to swim to safety but the Plesiosaur drags her underwater. Akiko arrives back at the raft and wonders where Junko is but she soon sees a hand trying to grab onto the raft and, thinking Junko fell in, pulls on the hand and pulls up the upper half of Junko’s body. With Junko’s death, the JSDF begin to close off the lake and begin using sonar to try and locate the dinosaur. During a news conference, Takashi tells them that the dinosaur is the least of their concerns as he believes Mt. Fuji will erupt soon. With no further sightings of the creature, the JSDF begins to call off the search. Meanwhile, a man hires Shohei to guide him through the forest as he believes that a Rhamphorhynchus, a flying dinosaur, might have also survived. At the lake, Takashi decides to use Akiko’s scuba gear to look for the creature, unaware that the JSDF plans on using depth charges to try and lure the creature to the surface. The concussion from the explosions disorients Takashi but Akiko dives down to save him but instead of surfacing, they continue searching underwater, eventually finding an underwater cavern. Back at Mt. Fuji, Shohei and the stranger discover the egg chamber but a giant claw bursts from one of the eggs, grabbing the man. Takashi and Akiko surface from the underwater cavern and find themselves in the egg chamber, where they discover the mangled body of Shohei. Back at the lake, the JSDF notice a strange glow coming from the woods near Mt. Fuji and warns people that an earthquake will soon occur. Suddenly, they spot the Rhamphorhynchus, which swoops down and grabs a reporter, lifting it into the air before dropping him to the ground, causing the crowd to panic and accidentally end up setting off the remaining depth charges. Takashi and Akiko make their way out of the cavern, but soon come face to face with the Plesiosaur and the Rhamphorhynchus. As the two dinosaurs begin to fight each other, steam and magma begin erupting around the area as a massive earthquake occurs. Caught in the flames caused by the earthquake, the two dinosaurs end up falling into a chasm in the earth, apparently to their deaths, while Takashi manages to save Akiko from falling into the flowing lava.
To be honest, I am a little disappointed in this movie. The acting was ok but the story got a little confusing. I blame part of that on the writing as it seemed like the motivation for people kept changing during the course of the movie. I also have the same problem with this movie as I did with the new Godzilla movie, there needed to be more dinosaurs and less dealing with the people factor. As to the dinosaurs themselves, I didn’t have a problem with the Plesiosaur but they way they added the Rhamphorhynchus was just stupid. “Because one dinosaur survived it makes perfect sense that another one did.” Yup, children’s logic for the win on that one.
Rating: 2 out of 5