Monday, January 17, 2011

Tyrannosarus Azteca/Aztec Rex

We just caught a bit of this on TV early yesterday morning, however it was too late and not gripping enough to keep us awake into the small hours to get to the end.

We are just recording it here because it contained dinosaurs and a girl in a cavegirl animal hide bikini outfit.

The massive Spanish force

Briefly, the rather good premise was a Lost World/Valley of Gwangi type adventure about a group of Conquistadores in Mexico, led by Cortés, discovering a Tyrannosaurus terrorising an Aztec valley (cue a King Kong-like appease the creature with a human sacrifice scene).  The Rennaissance twist is rather a good idea but the whole thing was, as ever in these sorts of productions (Sci-Fi Channel own production) let down by the paltry budget.  So there were six conquistadores, a village of two huts and a very bad CGI dinosaur.

Masses of extras inhabit a lavish set

We didn't watch enough of it to take in the plot other than to register that it was rather gory.  More importantly we didn't see the introduction of actress Dichen Lachman as our cavegirl. 

Dichen Lachner, a Tibetan Australian with a Hawaiian playing Aztecs

Actually, she isn't a cavegirl, left over from a past era like the dinosaurs (there turn out to be two of them),  she is supposed to be an Aztec princess.  Now we know quite a lot about the Aztecs.  When at school, Triple P did a project on the Conquistadores but won the school prize because he was the only one to do the conquest of Mexico from an Aztec point of view. We have been interested in them ever since and know that they didn't wear animal skin bikinis.  We also know that they were Amerindians not oriental, as Miss Lachner appeared to be.  In fact it turns out that she is half Australian and half Nepalese.  She has a look which could be politely termed "distinctive". 

An Aztec cavegirl in animal skin bikini adopts a moustache in empathy with her conquistador boyfriend gone native!

The other Aztecs didn't look right either.  In fact, it turns out that the film was made in Hawaii (so the "Aztecs" were in fact Hawaiian) not Mexico at all.  The scenery is about the only good thing in the movie so it is ironic that at the end, during the original US showing, they actually encouraged people to visit beautiful Mexico in what must be one of the most totally misleading adverts ever.

About the only time they tried to put objects in front of it to integrate it into the environment

The CGI dinosaur is tragic.  It totally fails to interact with its surroundings (particularly the ground) and seems to change size depending on the background.  The film was made in 2007 and the CGI is really not much better than that from the TV series Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World which was made in 1999.  Recently we re-watched the BBC's version of The Lost World which was made in 2001 by the Walking with Dinosaurs team which has far superior CGI dinosaurs and that was nearly ten years ago.

It was available on DVD in 2008 but now seems extinct.  No loss at all, from what we could tell.


  1. Dichen Lachman is one of the most beautiful women currently working in show business. She was one of the highlights of the TV series Dollhouse and had a part in the latest series of Torchwood.

  2. Haven't caught up with Dollhouse yet. But anything with Eliza Dushku in it has got to be worth a look!