Friday, February 15, 2008

Dinosaur Boy

(Click on image for larger view.)

I would like to give credit to the photographer who created this image but his name is missing from the back of the postcard. The location is listed: Hall Of Late Dinosaurs, The American Museum of Natural History, New York, U.S.A.

I can only guess at the date when the photograph was taken. The oversized postcard was never mailed; ergo, no cancellation date. I would guess sometime in the 1960s.

It’s obvious that the tyrannosaurus skeleton was put together by the old school of fossil experts. The skeleton shows T. Rex standing erect, tall, menacing. Nowadays the paradigm is that he ran around with his body pitched forward, tail sticking almost straight out. Sorry, that doesn’t impress me. That slumped forward appearance makes him look like some glam rock star camping it up on stage, shaking his butt.

Then again, when I was the same age as the boy in the picture, I was disappointed when I saw a tyrannosaurus skeleton in a museum up in Canada. Even though he stood tall - tail on the ground, claws ready to rip apart anything in his path - T. Rex wasn’t big enough.

I grew up watching movies like Gorgo. In that film a prehistoric monster is captured and taken to London to be put on display. From what I remember Gorgo was around three stories tall.

But his size wasn’t the main problem. You see, Gorgo was a baby. His mother, a full grown adult, shows up in London to rescue her son. She walks up to Big Ben and pushes it over with one good shove.

So after seeing Gorgo’s mom on the big screen at the drive-in, I wasn’t that impressed with the fossilized remains of real dinosaurs.

But as an adult, I know that there’s more to danger than the size of the critter. After getting my leg almost chewed on by an unleashed dog – something similar to a pit bull – I’m aware that little monsters are more than enough to handle.


X. Dell said...

No matter how tall the thing stood, T. Rex is still a lot bigger than I. I'm not unhappy about the fact that he is a late dino.

Gorgo sounds a lot like Ultraman, but set in London. I can just imagine badly synced overdubbed voices with New York accents translating British into American for us.

Ray said...

X. Dell:

The movie Mad Max was dubbed from Australian into American from what I've heard.

While Cloverfield is the American answer to Godzilla, Gorgo was the British answer back to Mr. G in 1961.
If you cut it some flack for when it was made and the limited budget for special effects, it's an entertaining little film. A while back I caught it on late nite TV and it held up OK.

Another British giant monster movie, Konga, also from 1961, doesn't hold up as well, being England's knock-off of King Kong.

I've seen a few episodes of the original Ultraman series from Japan. When I watched them, they were dubbed in French, broadcasted from a TV station up in Quebec. Did you ever catch the Australian version made years later, the 1990 TV mini-series?


X. Dell said...

An Australian Ultraman? What's next? A Romanian Speed Racer?

No, I didn't catch that version, but I'll keep an eye out for it.

Doug said...

Back in 3rd grade I remember running around on the playground with my arms crossed in the Ultraman pose. I recall what we saw here was in English. I think.

My view of tyrannosaurs was certainly influenced by the original Land of the Lost series. Eventually I realized it was unlikely that dinosaurs had felt-lined mouths.

Speaking of dog mouths: Years ago I was attacked by a pitbull-beagle mix (which was my own dog at the time) and had to go to the ER. On the upside, having survived that, I have absolutely no fear of dogs.

As soon as I survive a t-rex attack I'm sure I'll get over that fear.

Ray said...

X. Dell:

From checking at I found that the Australia-Japan co-production, Ultraman - Towards the Future, is only available on VHS tape, some of them used. Maybe you'll find one of them in a bargain bin. Also, did you ever see the goodbad Hong Kong knock-off of Ultraman, Infra-Man? A fun movie.


Pitbull-beagle mix? I met someone whose pitbull bitch just gave birth to puppies that are part wolf. Pitbull & wolf? Man, if some beagle blood doesn't calm down the offspring, I wonder what wolf will do.

Since it was your dog, why did it attack you? Is it true that pitbulls overall are an aggressive species?