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100 Million BC
A US region 1 DVD review by Craig Snell
 

Dr Frank Reno has developed a time machine and needs the help of the army to go back and rescue his brother and friends who have been trapped in a time where dinosaurs roam for the past sixty years. This is the basis of the story and for the next 80 minutes or so we are treated to a rousing sci-fi/time travel romp.

Frank is played by veteran actor Michael Tremors Gross, who explains at the start of the film that an experiment dabbling in time travel went wrong and a party of explorers became lost. Proof of their existence and survival has been found in a cave in modern day Argentina. So Frank and the team go back in time to rescue the party.

Arriving in the prehistoric era, the army team and Frank are greeted by a number of 'locals' who promptly make mincemeat of a number of the crack army team. Helped out by Frank's brother Erik and the remaining survivors of the original experiment, they travel back to modern day Los Angeles. However, 'Big Red', a resident of the prehistoric era, manages to come back as well and for the next 30 minutes it rampages through night-time LA. Due to the budget of the film, we don't see Godzilla or Jurassic Park style carnage. We do however have a massive dinosaur smashing up cars and eating garbage collectors.

The production team have used old fashioned puppetry and CGI to fashion the critters. The puppetry works great and at times the CGI does show its low budget origins it doesn't however detract from the whole 'fun feel' of the picture.

Gross is supported in the cast by Greg BJ and the Bear Evigan and Christopher The Blue Lagoon Atkins and a selection of no doubt LA based actors and actresses. Everyone involved appears to be enjoying themselves and plenty of scenery chewing is abound, especially from Evigan playing top army guy, Dorn.

Screenwriter Bales has peppered the script with nods to The Philadelphia Experiment and some nice time travel twists. The set design of the time travel device owes a fair bit to Stargate. This adds only to the whole 'fun' of the film and as mentioned below there is some fantastic location photography in Belize, which is the only Central American country to have English as its official language.

sound and vision

100 Million BC was shot on HD cameras, so therefore the picture is generally excellent. The locations used primarily in Belize are quite beautiful. In particular a waterfall and some lush greenery really stand out in the photography.

The film has a nice sound design with stirring action film music and terrific dinosaur sounds. Unfortunately the screener copy I received only had a 2.0 soundtrack but it was a fairly lively surround track with the sounds often entering the rears and the LFE used to pretty good effect. I would expect the 5.1 soundtrack to be quite meaty and therefore I would recommend it to be turned up nice and loud.

extra features

Trailers of War of the Worlds: The Next Wave, 2012: Doomsday, Monster, AVH: Alien vs. Hunter, I Am Omega, 100 Million BC.

Bloopers (4:08)
A selection of actors fluffing lines, having fun and a priceless clip at the end of a dummy dinosaur standing in for the later CGI.

Extended and Deleted Scenes (3:32)
For once I would have liked the main bulk of the deleted scenes put back in the movie, as it features the army team prepping for the mission and a couple of character bits. Never mind.

100 Million Years Back in Time (5:46)
Behind-the-scenes footage complete with an interview with the assistant director. Nice footage of the special effects technicians dressed up as a dinosaur complete with his jeans showing.

Dino-evolution (8:19)
Behind-the scenes with the make-up effects team complete with the design and implementation of the effects again with some cool footage testing the dinosaurs in normal 21st century surroundings.

summary

As mentioned above, 100 Million BC is a fun romp through time and recommended to fans of sci-fi and dinosaur pictures. It can't compete with big budget epics such as Jurassic Park in terms of scope but it can when it comes down to a fun-filled 85 minutes. I myself enjoyed it immensely, upon watching it I was reminded of the 70's pictures starring Doug McClure such as Warlords of Atlantis, where budget never stopped anyone with a good idea.

100 Million BC

USA 2008
85 mins
director
Griff Furst (as Louie Myman)
starring
Michael Gross
Christopher Atkins
Greg Evigan
Stephen Blackehart
Geoff Meed
Wendy Carter

DVD details
region 1
video
1.78:1 anamorphic
sound
Dolby 2.0 surround
Dolby 5.1 surround
languages
English
subtitles
none
extras
Trailers
Deleted scenes
Bloopers
Behind-the-scenes featurettes
distributor
The Asylum Home Entertainment
release date
29 July 2008

review posted
10 July 2008