Barry Sonnenfeld’s newly announced project “Dominion: Dinosaurs Versus Aliens” sounds like a Topps trading card mash-up, or the ultimate Steven Spielberg movie. Or, it’s just the latest in a title-as-pitch kind of production mentality that’s so far given us “Snakes on a Plane,” “Dragon Wars,” “Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus,” and numerous silly SyFy Films and The Asylum knock-off releases. But this time it’s not technically a B-movie. And though the trend is already reaching the majors big time this summer with “Cowboys & Aliens” and somewhat “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” people seem stunned by this news. Not surprised, I guess, but still kind of dumbfounded.
What shouldn’t be shocking is the idea of putting dinosaurs and aliens together on the screen. While it’s not common for the two to battle “vs.” title style, they have been co-stars before. Check out some examples from TV and film after the jump.
Dino Meets The Great Gazoo
Historical accuracy be damned, “The Flintstones” put humans and dinosaurs in the same time period, if only to make for some funny sights, like a brontosaurus being used as an excavator. Later, the show introduced a little magical alien named The Great Gazoo. He and Dino never fought, I don’t think. In the cartoon series Gazoo turns Dino into a giant version of Pebbles, and in the live-action movie “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” the pet dinosaur was only a nuisance to the little spaceman, not really a foe. Both encounters can be seen here:
“Dinosaurs” Has a Close Encounter
The TV show “Dinosaurs” was kind of a repeat of ideas seen with “The Flintstones,” only focusing on the dinosaurs rather than the cavemen (it was still just as historically inaccurate by having both). In the episode “We Are Not Alone,” Earl and his friend Roy are visited by an alien who warns them with a Klaatu-esque message of environmental concern. It turns out to be a hoax orchestrated by Earl’s son Robbie, but the idea of dinosaurs sighting UFOs and having close encounters is still relevant. Earl and Roy even go on a show devoted to the phenomenon. Watch this part of the episode below:
“Transformers” versus Dinosaurs
The “Transformers” cartoon/toy/comics franchise had plenty dino-related content from the original (cool) Dinobots to the “Beast Wars” (lame) versions of Dinobots. But those are still just alien robots, not real dinosaurs. In a two-part episode titled “Dinobot Island,” though, the Autobots and Decepticons met the real deal (along with cowboys, cavemen and pirates, to boot). And there’s even some battling between the real beasts and the metal creatures from Cybertron. Perhaps Michael Bay should take a note here for “Transformers 4,” which could easily compete with Sonnenfeld’s movie. Thanks to the Transformers Wiki for the above header image of a T-Rex chomping on the Decepticon known as Dirge. See the action in the episode’s climax below:
In this terrible (yet terribly funny) 1997 movie, which is primarily known for its “Mystery Science Theater 3000” episode, an alien (well, future) race of cyborgs enslaves humans and employs dinosaurs as trackers. Then their ship crashes on modern-day Earth. Yeah, that’s about all you need to know on this one. Roll the clip:
Godzilla Fights Ghidorah and Other Alien Creatures
If we can accept Godzilla as a kind of mutant prehistoric creature and therefore classifiable as a dinosaur, then his franchise has often pitted dinos against aliens — often giant creatures unleashed by evil alien races — such as King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, Hedorah and Gigan. I think “Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster” is the first of the original series to involve any kind of space creatures. Here’s the trailer for the film, which you can also watch on Netflix Instant:
BONUS: The Dinosaurs are the Aliens
A number of sci-fi movies have dealt with the idea of having humans arriving on a prehistoric planet full of dinosaurs, or dino-like creatures. In these cases it is we who are the real aliens in the battle against the other world’s early creatures. Some like-minded titles include Russia’s 1962 effort “Planeta Bur” (and its U.S. re-edit/remake “Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet”) and 1979’s “Planet of Dinosaurs,” a scene from which you can watch below:
There’s no way Sonnenfeld’s version can be any worse than what we’ve gotten so far, can it?