Michele Massimo Tarantini spent the seventies directing a plethora of low budget sex comedies before moving on to adventure films in the eighties. The sensibilities of Italian sex comedies don’t exactly lend themselves to genres where gore is a prerequisite. Still, Tarantini’s adventure oriented films usually boast as decent amount of atmosphere and world building. Regrettably Massacre In Dinosaur Valley (1985) lacks any of the charms and/or thrills one expects from a decent exploitation picture.
There are no dinosaurs in Massacre In Dinosaur Valley, nor are there any supernatural or science fiction elements. There are, however, a tribe of cannibals, a slave trader, and some gratuitous gore. The trek through the Amazon jungle by a handful of white survivors of a plane crash is rendered like a slow burning tire fire by a poor sense of pacing, an over abundance of cliches, and a total lack of ingenuity on Tarantini’s part (possibly this is why he is credited under a pseudonym).
Michael Sopkiw’s performance as Kevin Hall is probably the most enjoyable aspect of Massacre In Dinosaur Valley. Sopkiw’s earnest brand of camp anticipates the Bruce Campbell performance in Evil Dead 2 (1987). The character of Kevin Hall can seemingly do everything required of him without any fuss; from piloting a helicopter to battling off an entire cannibal tribe single handedly. Kevin Hall’s love interest, the often distressed and disrobed Eva Ibañez (Suzane Carvalho), has plenty of charisma but never gets all that developed, nor is she allowed to kick ass the same way as Kevin Hall is.
Massacre In Dinosaur Valley is likely one of the least accessible and offensive exploitation movies that I have seen. The attitude of the film with regards to Indigenous Peoples and women will likely alienate or upset most audiences today. I suppose Massacre In Dinosaur Valley is really for the adventurous movie goer, the long time fan of the film, or maybe the genre completist. Either way it’s really awful and not in an enjoyable way.