The Last Dinosaur

is a 1977 Japanese/American tokusatsu co-production, co-directed by Alexander Grasshoff and Tsununobu Kotani (the latter billed as Tom Kotani), and co-produced by Japan's Tsuburaya Productions and Rankin/Bass Productions. The picture was filmed at Tsuburaya Studios in Tokyo and on location in the Japanese Alps. The film was intended for a U.S. theatrical release, but failed to find a distributor and ended up as a television film, airing on ABC on February 11, 1977 in an edited 92-minute run time. The film was eventually picked up for overseas markets by Cinema International Corporation, where it was released in the unedited 106-minute version as a double feature in the U.K. with the edited version of Sorcerer (the latter considered a remake of The Wages of Fear). Toho also picked up distribution rights to The Last Dinosaur in Japan for a theatrical release utilizing the unedited 106-minute version in English with Japanese subtitles, and later the film debuted on Japanese television dubbed in Japanese.


Wealthy big-game hunter Maston Thrust jr. has a multimillion-dollar company, Thrust Inc., which drills for oil under the polar caps with a manned laser drill called the "Polar Borer". Following one expedition, only one man, geologist Chuck Wade, returns; he explains that the drill was going through a routine check in the icecaps when it surfaced into a valley super-heated by a volcano. When the crew, except for Wade, began exploring the area, they were killed by a Tyrannosaurus rex. Thrust decides to go there himself to study the creature. He brings with him Chuck Wade, Bunta a Maasai tracker, Dr. Kawamoto and Frankie Banks a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer selected by the press pool. Matson is initially unwilling to let Frankie join the crew, but she manages to convince him to allow her on the expedition by seducing him.