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TFH Saturday Matinee – Valley of the Dragons

by Charlie Largent Nov 23, 2013

valley-of-the-dragons-movie-poster-1961-1020233036Based on Jules Verne’s CAREER OF A COMET, Valley of the Dragons stars Cesare Danova (Mean Streets) and Sean McClory (The Quiet Man) as two dueling cavaliers suddenly swept into earth’s orbit on the back of a wayward comet.

Edward Bernds, the man responsible for the Three Stooges’ comeback hit The Three Stooges Meet Hercules, pieced together this bottom-of-the-barrel fantasy with a few motley studio sets and a heaping-helping of stock footage.The result, with its flat TV lighting, cloddish acting and null-and-void direction resembles a Three Stooges film without the Three Stooges.

More scavenger hunt than movie, Valley of the Dragons dumps Danova and McClory into a familiar prehistoric Hollywood backlot replete with recycled monsters; the gallumping lizards from One Million B.C., the papier-mache spider from World Without End and even a guest appearance from Japan’s favorite flying reptile, Rodan.

valleyofthedragons2This being 1877, the two rapscallions get to work showing the ignorant cavemen what’s what, appointing themselves, ala The Man Who Would be King, the de facto leaders of the tribe. Their effect on the cavewomen is no less predictable as the November 1958 Playmate of the Month, Joan Staley (The Ghost and Mr. Chicken) and Danielle De Metz (The Magic Sword) latch on to these suave newcomers with the determination of Dogpatch damsels on Sadie Hawkins Day.

Warner Archives has a great looking dvd of Valley of the Dragons, grab yours right here!

Here’s Joe Dante‘s take on the trailer for Valley of the Dragons: