Come For The Dinosaurs, Stay For The Nightmares

Recently we took a trip back east to Asheville where I had lived as a small boy. It sparked a lot of memories.  Here's one of 'em...

There were two hardtop movie theaters in town when we lived there.  One (the Plaza, IIRC) was the nice, fancy, upscale theater; the other (the Fine Arts, now running art house films) a bit more low rent.  The Fine Arts ran "adult" features, low budget horror films, and the occasional non-Disney kiddee matinee.  The Plaza was where one went for big budget major studio releases, though occasionally they crowded the Fine Art for clientele.*

One such crowding was when they ran Dinosaurus! (note exclamation mark; part of the title).  It was as if producer Jack Harris had decided to make a movie just for little Buzz Dixon.

Naturally I pestered my parents to take me to see it.  In my favor was the fact my mom had recently given birth to my younger brother Robert, so she was looking for some time without me and my other brother Rikk underfoot.

Dad dutifully took us to the movie.

As I said, the Plaza usually ran upscale family pictures, but they also ran the occasional genre film.  One such film was coming soon to the theater.

I don't know the name of the lunatic who thought this would be an appropriate trailer to show to a theater full of impressionable little kids, but whoever you are, sir, a thousand thanks.  Six-year old Buzz Dixon thought Dinosaurus! was the greatest motion picture ever made, but Mario Bava sunk his hooks in deep.

In retrospect that trailer was probably the most influential 2 minutes of cinema in my life.

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*  The Fine Arts is still in business, the Plaza ain't; how's that for karma?

 

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