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Baby... Secret of the Lost Legend (1985)

Unscrupulous palaeontologist Eric Kiviat (McGoohan) discovers that there are dinosaurs still living in a remote stretch of African jungle, and sets out to track one down. However, leggy zoologist Susan (Young) and her cute blond hubby George (Katt) get there first, and make friends with Momma Brontosaurus, Papa Brontosaurus and Baby Brontosaurus. In the million years since their supposed extinction, the Brontosauri have apparently formed the kind of monogamous perfect family unknown among reptiles, but familiar from all those Disney True-Life Adventures. Although the story would appear to be a sure-fire kiddie matinee success, there are too many non-dinosaur scenes to pad it out, and the prehistoric special effects simply don't work. The lumbering robot monsters are never convincingly alive, and are thus unable too bear the emotional weight the script places on them. The film also reinforces any number of groundless stereotypes - from the belief that it's all right to take off your bra or get machine-gunned in a PG movie if you happen to be black, to the common fallacy that all Englishmen called Nigel are effete and wimpy. Confirmed dinosaur-lovers will be disappointed to learn that Baby is really only fun for followers of McGoohan's hammier villainy and Young's fetching line in jungle wear.
KIM NEWMAN

First Published In: City Limits no.182 (29 March - 4 April 1985) p.24 (UK)


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