Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, originally titled Jurassic Valley, is set in 2030. We’re told that nations have been pushed increasingly apart and the world is on the brink of disaster. And that government investment in the war effort has produced a breakthrough “of Jurassic proportions”. In more direct terms it means that we’ve managed to recreate dinosaurs, the flesh-eating ones of course, just in time for World War III to send us back to the stone age.
Now, two years later a group of survivors are running out of food and medical supplies. Three of them, Daniel (Clint Gordon, Curse of Bloody Mary, Spider in the Attic), Drew (Mark Haldor, Reign of Chaos, Crossing Over) and Mia (Antonia Whillans, Wrath of Van Helsing, The Curse of Humpty Dumpty) set out to find whatever can be scavenged. This does not sit well with Louise (Chelsea Greenwood, Amityville Scarecrow, Dinosaur Hotel) who is carrying Daniel’s child. She, however, may be in as much danger as he will be because they’re all living in the Kingdom of the Dinosaurs.
Kingdom of the Dinosaurs was written and directed by Scott Jeffrey (The Gardener, The Mutation) and if you’ve seen any of the many films he’s had a hand in then you have an idea what to expect. This time out though he must have had a higher than usual budget because there is quite a large cast as well as several different kinds of dinosaurs.
Of course, since this is a Scott Jeffrey film that also means the CGI for the creatures is going to range from acceptable to laughable with most of it falling towards the lower end of the scale. The creatures are also familiar looking as they’ve reused the CGI templates from his previous dinosaur films.
The script is also rather predictable, the scavenging team meets other survivors, splits up, runs into T Rexes, etc. And you know some raptor-sized dinos will get into the bunker leading to chases down dark corridors and Louise going into labour at the worst possible moment.
It may be due to absolutely stupid things like trying to kill a T-Rex with a handgun, but I will give Jeffrey credit for making some surprising choices about who lives and who dies. That uncertainty goes a long way in offsetting Kingdom of the Dinosaurs’ more by-the-numbers moments. By the last act, I wasn’t sure just who, if anyone was going to make it to the end.
There’s also some absolutely beautiful scenery on view during the film’s external scenes, many of which look to have been filmed in the same locations as Dragon Fury and Monsters of War. Shot from a pterodactyl’s point of view and backed by Mike Ellaway’s (Monster Portal, Exorcist Vengeance) score it’s quite effective.
Kingdom of the Dinosaurs is certainly one of the better films to come out of Scott Jeffrey’s film factory but sadly it still suffers from a lack of attention to detail and weak plot devices. Not only don’t any of the cast age during the two years in the bunker, the buildings they come across look remarkably well maintained. There are also a couple of rather unbelievable coincidences, including two characters meeting that seems to hint at a sequel.
Obviously, if you’re watching a movie about dinosaurs attacking survivors of World War 3 then you have the ability to put your critical thinking on pause while you watch a movie. If you can put a bit more of your brain on pause you should find Kingdom of the Dinosaurs to be a fun movie. I know I’ve said it before only to be proven wrong, but hopefully, this is a sign of better things to come from the prolific filmmaker.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release Kingdom of the Dinosaurs on DVD and Digital platforms on September 6th. You can check their Facebook page for details. And FilmTagger can suggest a few more dino films if one isn’t enough.