Legend of Dinosaurs & Monster Birds

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Legend of Dinosaurs & Monster Birds
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Directed by Junji Kurata
Screenplay by
  • Masaru Igami
  • Isao Matsumoto
  • Ichirô Ôtsu[1]
Starring
Music by Masao Yagi[1]
Cinematography
  • Sakuji Shiomi
  • Shigeru Akazuka[1]
Edited by Isamu Ichida[1]
Production
company
Distributed by Toei
Release date
  • April 29, 1977 (1977-04-29) (Japan)
Running time
94 minutes[2]
Country Japan[2]

Legend of Dinosaurs & Monster Birds (恐竜・怪鳥の伝説, Kyōryū Kaichō no Densetsu-- lit. Legend of Dinosaurs and Ominous Birds) is a 1977 Japanese science fiction film produced and distributed by Toei Company.

Plot[edit]

A young woman wanders barefoot in the lush Aokigahara (青木ヶ原), also known as the Sea of Trees (樹海 Jukai) region of Mt. Fuji, and suddenly falls into an underground cavern, awakening in an icy cave full of large eggs. When one of the eggs start to hatch, she goes into hysterics and flees until she is discovered by a construction crew. Before falling into a coma, the girl babbles about what she saw to a reporter. Her story airs on a televised news report that is seen by geologist Takashi Ashizawa. Upon hearing about the fossilized egg, Takashi sets off to Mt. Fuji to find the fossilized dinosaur egg. When he arrives at the small village bordering Fuji's Saiko Lake, Takashi immediately heads into the heavily forested Jukai when a sudden earthquake occurs and is knocked out. He later awakens in his father's old cabin near Saiko Lake, and discovers that he was rescued by Shohei Muku, an old friend of the family. Takashi quicklys gets back to fossil-hunting and heads toward the Jukai once again. As he cruises through the nearby village, he greets two women named Akiko, a former lover of his, and Junko.

Meanwhile, other bizarre things start happening around the Saiko Lake community. A young couple in a paddle boat disappear without a trace, an injured diver is pulled from the lake, and livestock begin to mysteriously vanish. Takashi begins developing a theory that a dinosaur is alive and well in Saiko Lake. His theory gains credence when Junko stumbles upon a headless horse-corpse lying in the road, and Takashi later finds it lodged in a tree while taking photographs of some strange tracks in the mud. The following day, Takashi sits in his father's cabin and develops a possible theory as to what type of creature could have killed the horse and placed the remains in a tree for safe-keeping. He decides that the creature must be a living Plesiosaurus and shares his minimal proof and hypothesis with a very skeptical Shohei. His theory proves correct when a Pleiosaurus really does appear and devours some local pranksters during a festival outside. The creature continues terrorizing the community and devours two more women, including Junko. Takashi and Akiko soon discover the presence of another prehistoric beast, a Rhamphorhynchus, which also proceeds to terrorize the community. Eventually, the two prehistoric beasts come face-to-face and fight but are intterupted when Mt. Fuji begins to erupt. As the monsters battle, they are thrown into a chasm where they apparently die. The movie ends with Takashi reaching out for Akiko's hand while she is hanging on to a tree during the lava flow.

Cast[edit]

  • Tsunehiko Watase as Setsu Serizawa
  • Shotaro Hayashi as Akira Taniki
  • Nobiko Sawa as Akiko Osano
  • Tomoko Kiyoshima as Junko Sonoda
  • Fuyukichi Maki as Masahira Muku
  • Kinshi Nakamura as Hideyuki Sakai
  • Hiroshi Nawa as Masahiko Miyawaki
  • So Takizawa as Jiro Shimamoto
  • Yûsuke Tsukasa as Susumu Hirano
  • Go Nawata as Hiroshi Sugiyama
  • Yukari Miyazen as Hiroko Takami
  • Masahiro Arikawa as Seitaro Shintaku
  • Tamikashi Karazawa as Uemura
  • Sachio Miyashiro as Kobayashi

Production[edit]

Legend of Dinosaurs & Monster Birds was filmed at Toei Studios and on location at Mt. Fuji.[2]

Release[edit]

Legend of Dinosaurs & Monster Birds was released in Japan on April 29, 1977.[2] The film was never released theatrically in the United States.[2] It was released to television by King Features Entertainment in 1987 with an English-language dub,[2] and later featured in an early episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Galbraith IV 1996, p. 261.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Galbraith IV 1996, p. 262.

Sources[edit]

  • Galbraith IV, Stuart (1996). The Japanese Filmography: 1900 through 1994. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0032-3.