New: Aztec Rex

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.

Aztec Rex at work

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8 Responses to New: Aztec Rex

  1. Stu Hiatt says:

    It figures.

  2. Backbrain says:

    At least it sounds a bit different — and it’s a nice picture!

  3. tropic gurl says:

    A friend of mine worked on this film and I got to see it at the Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki back in October. The special effects werent done yet, but the acting was really good. Especially my friend who played the conquistador who got his leg bit off.

  4. Backbrain says:

    Hi, tropic gurl. Thanks for dropping by. I feel really interested in this one, partly because of Trenchard-Smith’s involvement and partly because of the scenario. Though it’s set in a different time period, the principles behind it are similar to the cowboys-vs-dinosaur background of “The Valley of Gwangi”, which has always appealed to me. Also it’s something of a relief that the plot isn’t one of the standard giant monster / rampant dinosaur plots that most of the plethora of low-budget monster flicks seem to pursue these days!

    I’d love you hear from your friend about the making of the film….

  5. Shawn says:

    Aloha! My name is Shawn and I worked on this film as the character “Alvarado”. Let me start by saying that Brian was an incredible director and very devoted to his craft. He really took the time to talk to all of the actors and listen to our ideas for our characters and really let us be free in the creative process. The whole crew was a joy to work with and there was a strong feeling of comradery from day one. I would say the experience was like a cross between summer camp and a frat house. We all had fun and there were no egos from anyone, especially the Hollywood folks who joined our ohana for the shoot. I would love the chance to work with Brian again and for that matter, the whole cast.

  6. Backbrain says:

    Thanks for your input, Shawn. It’s not often we get to hear from those actually involved in the process. The whole thing sounds like a blast — and I hope the film itself proves to be as much fun. Did your character get to interact with a T-Rex? I assume you’re the one who gets his leg bitten off, as mentioned by tropic gurl? How did you find the process of being attacked by a digital construct that wasn’t even there at the time?

    Incidentally, do you have any idea when we’ll all get to see the film? I’d love to do a review.

  7. Pingback: aztec rex

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