The Attack of the Super Monsters (1982)
Article 5537 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Toru Sotoyama and Tom Wyner
Featuring the voices of Tom Wyner, Dan Woren, Robin Levenson
What it is: Tokusatsu on a budget
A squad of monster fighters do battle with a horde of loquacious underground dinosaurs intent on taking over the world.
When I first saw this on VHS about 25 years ago, I had never seen anything so ridiculous in my life. Since then, I’ve become much more familiar with Japanese tokasatsu series, of which this is merely a severely-budget-strained example. It’s actually four episodes of an obscure series named KYORYU SENSO AIZENBOGU edited together into a faux feature. The individual episodes are rather repetitive; Tyrannos the dinosaur dictator unleashes a giant dinosaur monster and a group of possessed animals (dogs, bats, rats) upon the world, and the squad of heroes must defeat them, which always involves two of the team members combining into an ambisexual super pilot. If anything sets this apart, it’s that it uses a very jumbled array of special effects techniques; the monster are suitmation, but the dinosaur leader Tyrannos seems to be a puppet. The sections with the humans are done in very limited animation style, and we never get to see a human and a dinosaur in the same scene. It’s pretty bad, but it has some great funny lines; my two favorites are “I don’t appreciate you’re telling me what to do with either my money or my blouse!” and “You’re a pathetic excuse for a super monster!” And, once again, I must confess I find this kind of thing irresistible.