Bloodthirsty Dinosaurs!

Over at the Giant Monsters Attack blogspot, Mysterious Pants has discovered a wonderful set of trading cards that prove once and for all that dinosaurs were bloodthirsty giant monsters that would have brought about a general apocalypse if they hadn’t been wiped out by whatever cosmic disaster fortuitously came Earth’s way just before the Age of Mammals kicked in.

The card set, called Dinosaurs Attack!, was apparently released in 1988 in the wake of the better-known Mars Attacks! set (thanks Tim!) and was even considered as a suitable subject for transfer to celluloid at the same time as Mars Attacks! was produced. Didn’t happen though. Another lost gem! Can you imagine what it would have been like? After looking at the examples below check out the whole set and you get an idea of the overall plotline and sheer bloodiness involved.

Anyway, I couldn’t resist putting up a few of the cards myself and drawing your attention to the original site, and the work of creators Len Brown and Woody Gelman.

Note the extreme accuracy with which the dinosaurs are depicted as they engage in all the classic daikaiju activities (that’s irony, by the way).

Dinosaurs Attack! card 17

Dinosaurs Attack! card 19

Dinosaurs Attack! card 20

Dinosaurs Attack! card 23

As a potential “cat lady” myself (we have three cats … how many does it take before you’re officially a “cat lady”?), I particularly like this one:

Dinosaurs Attack! card 32

Dinosaurs Attack! card 35

This last one is a clear homage to Godzilla, as the film director looks suspiciously like Ishiro Honda, Gojira‘s director, and the actors on the left are clearly meant to be that film’s leads, Akira Takarada and Momoko K├┤chi:

Dinosaurs Attack! card 42

Anyway, go check out the whole set. Fantastic!

I find it fascinating the way the set conveys a potentially complex storyline through a series of generic moments. Major plot “turns” are depicted by single cards and two or three words, with the work of interpretation largely left to the viewer. It’s a nascent art form in itself — albeit one that has never caught on all that much; a sort of stripped-back graphic novel.

This entry was posted in Dinosaurs, Giant Monsters, Pictorial art, The Lost. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Bloodthirsty Dinosaurs!

  1. Avery says:

    These cards are so awesome!! It’s sad to think that they were actually considering a live-action film if “Mars Attacks” were to be a success.That would have been incredible.Maybe,someone will pick up the idea before too long.Let’s hope so.

  2. Backbrain says:

    I heard that it was “Jurassic Park” that killed the project. Apparently producing a gross-out, tongue-in-cheek, Tim-Burton dinosaur epic just when everyone was taking dinosaurs very seriously was too much for the studio to contemplate. I guess the SFX daunted them as well, though the “Mars Attacks!” style of SFX would have been perfect!

    Of course the card set wasn’t as popular as the Mars Attacks! card set either, so perhaps that influenced their decision. Who knows? It’s another of those unmade films that I look forward to catching up on when I get to the Lost/Unmade Film Archives of the afterlife.

    Personally I loved “Mars Attacks!” I thought it was subversive and hilarious and very Burtonesque. I know some people who hate it — but I discount their opinion totally! ­čÖé

  3. Avery says:

    “MAR ATTACKS” ruled!! I really loved it!! I thought that it was very funny and the effects were a blast!! It was definitely one of Tim Burton’s finest works.It’s a shame that it wasn’t a success,because a series of films would have been a lot of fun.

  4. Pingback: Undead Backbrain » Blog Archive » Hollywood Zombies

  5. Frederick says:

    I too love these cards! I’ve been posting two cards per weekday in high-resolution on my blog: check it out!

    http://monstermemories.blogspot.com/search/label/Dinosaurs%20Attack

  6. Backbrain says:

    Great stuff, Frederick. You’ve even scanned the reverse side of the cards so we can read the story. Brilliant! Thanks for letting me know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.