Attack of the Super Monsters (1982) — Voltron fights Jurassic Park

“The Earth is ours! You will all be destroyed!”

Justin’s rating: The bad dino’s laugh is infectious, I’ll admit

Justin’s review: So here’s the sitch, as Kim Possible might say. It’s the year 2000, and the dinosaurs have emerged once again from underground kingdoms with the intent to destroy and conquer. They’re led by a T-Rex imaginatively named Tyrannus who can mind-control other dinos and even dogs to carry out his evil scheme.

The only people to stand in the way of this dastardly threat is the Gemini Force, consisting of a brother and sister confusingly named Jim and Gem, a fat clumsy dude, and a guy with giant glasses who looks to be 67 years old. They’ve got a few attack vehicles, but nothing on the order of transforming robots. I mean, they do transform into lesser effective vehicles at times, but Voltron, this is not.

I’ll be fair and admit that Gemini Force has one more trick up its sleeve: Bionic Transfer, which fuses the two Starbuck kids together on a physical, emotional, and — we’re told — spiritual level. But they can only sustain this form for three-and-a-half minutes or else be stuck together indefinitely.

The only way I could in good conscience recommend Attack of the Super Monsters is if you threw yourself prostrate at my feet and begged for a Japanese monster movie that started with the dial cranked up to “insane” and only got more bonkers from there. You really don’t have to wait for rampant destruction, rocket attacks, and toy cars attacking stop-motion dinosaurs, because this stuff starts right out of the gate.

If that last part lost you, I have to explain the strangest part of this movie, which is its filming style. Attack of the Super Monsters freely and frequently switches from traditional 2D cartoon animation to 3D stop-motion play sets. Oh, and sometimes it’s humans in flimsy rubber suits, why not. All of this is so completely jarring and does not let up, so your brain experiences a kind of mental whiplash that it’s woefully unprepared to handle.

Upon doing the least amount of research required to save my brain from self-destruction, I learned that this was actually four episodes of a 1977 Japanese TV show that was stitched together into this billion-dollar box office epic. Each of these segments is almost identical to the others: Dinosaur boss enslaves and mutates themed animal mascots, a lot of destruction happens, two random civilians are brutally killed, Gemini Force shows up in their high-tech vehicles, and Jim and Gem fuse together in a process that isn’t incestual in the least. This also transforms their vehicle into a sleeker jet, and I don’t have enough spare words between my disbelieving laughter to ask why.

If you see this — and perhaps you should if your life has become too routine — then the only way to partake it is to open up your mouth and eyelids to absorb this torrent of awesomeness at maximum capacity. It’s non-stop hysterics, bad effects, technobabble, arguments over blouses, and dinosaur mayhem, all set to a funky ’70s mariachi band’s outtakes.

Every blessed second of this movie is both ridiculous and entertaining as all get out. It’s so intensely cheesy that I started to suspect that it’s actually a modern parody of the old Japanese anime and kaiju styles, but… no, it’s a real thing from that era that exists to thrill us in the here and now.


  • We get about four Godzilla movies’ worth of giant monster destruction in the first two minutes
  • Wait, so this is puppets AND animation?
  • That’s one bossy T-Rex
  • T-Rexes can control other dinos (and puppies) with mind control rays
  • That’s the nicest Hitler mustache
  • Every Japanese super group needs one portly guy who can barely fit into his jumpsuit. Also, every super group needs conference chairs that sink into the floor and down into their vehicles.
  • Lasers turn bad dogs into good dogs
  • Bionic transfer, about time! But you can only be in Gemini form for three-and-a-half minutes, max.
  • Yay, they ran over dogs! The kids are cheering!
  • Least scary bats ever
  • Yeah let’s dump Zeta Bombs on everyone!
  • Jim and Gem sound a tad bit similar
  • Bats see via radar, because nobody knew anything about bats in 1977
  • Mr. Jim Starbuck Know-It-All
  • Blouses cause a whole lot of familial fights
  • That is not a triceratops, but who needs accuracy?
  • Mice-cubes

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