Planet of Dinosaurs is a very forgettable 70s movie about the crew of a spaceship that crashes on a planet full of dinosaurs. They get attacked by the savage beasts, and sometimes win, sometimes lose. You can read a good review of the movie at Parlor of Horror, or watch it on youtube. The acting is bad, the story is bad, but it has some pretty cool stop-animated dinosaurs. It’s understandable, because almost all of the movie’s budget was spent on the special effects, using dinosaur models built by Stephen Czerkas and animated by Doug Beswick.
Here’s the first connection between that movie and Star Wars: Doug Beswick sculpted the alien musician for the cantina scene in A New Hope. If IMDB is correct, he also wore the costume and appeared uncredited in the infamous cantina scene. You can read more about him at First Person Monster Blog. I like when I find interesting things and facts thanks to researching some obscure topics.
The Movie Poster
The movie poster was what got me interested in this cheesy movie in the first place. There’s something cool about the movie posters illustrations from 60s and 70s.
The scifi rifle is just awful. The girls fighting a dinosaurs are simply cool. There’s nothing to discuss there. The illustration could’ve been inspired by Frank Frazetta’s work, too (take a look at an illustration Frazetta created for Vampirella of a girl in a similar pose, also preparing to fight the monster).
The movie poster for Planet of Dinosaurs was illustrated by Tom Chantrell. He was a British illustrator who dedicated 50 years to create hundreds of movie posters. The most famous one could be the poster he did for Star Wars, featured below.
It’s interesting to note that he often did not see the films he drew for, usually using photos of himself or his family to get the poses right. His wife, Shirley Chantrell, said in an interview: “Probably the most famous one I did for him is the Star Wars poster where I’m posing with a sword to mimic the pose that Princess Leia is making with a gun on the poster”.
Both posters were painted by Tom Chantrell in 1977. Star Wars was released in May and Planet of Dinosaurs release date was in November of the same year. I think the Star Wars illustration is a thousand times better, and look at the laser rifles, so freaking amazing. Which poster do you like better?