It seems that veteran antipodean B-film auteur Brian Trenchard-Smith has got in on the giant monster act with his latest SciFi Channel monsterfest Aztec Rex (2008; aka Tyrannosaurus Azteca). In an interview on the Fangoria site Trenchard-Smith describes it thus:
“This is the untold story of the first scouting expedition to central Mexico by imperialist colonizer Hernán Cortes and a small band of soldiers in 1522. They are captured by an Aztec tribe who placate the last remaining Tyrannosaurus rexes in the valley with virgin sacrifices. Shocking waste of virgins, if you ask me. Our hero, Rios, a somewhat progressive conquistador, tries to prevent Cortes from enslaving the Aztecs [this time] and put an end to the human sacrifices—a time-honored plot for costume pictures of the ’60s. But we have tried, without interfering with the fun of the piece, to inject a little more plot, character delineation and interesting historical detail.”
Trenchard-Smith has had a full and varied career in making films, but I’ll always remember him for the Aussie SF classics Turkey Shoot (1982) and Dead-End Drive-In (1986). In the giant monster mold, he directed Frog Dreaming [aka The Quest] (1986) — a tale of a boy and his Bunyip — and worked on the trailer for The Valley of Gwangi back in 1969, where he apparently developed a craving to direct his own dinosaur epic while watching Ray Harryhausen at work animating the titular monster of that pic. Aztec Rex looks to be the fulfilment of his craving, albeit at the cheap end of the production spectrum.