When Bare Breasted Cave Women Ruled The Box Office
So, you can imagine our disappointment when the version shown on TV turned out to be the US release print, with the naughty bits removed. Which isn't to say that Victoria Vetri's performance wasn't truly trouser straining for us - within the first few minutes she nearly falls out of her top. Plus, the film also boasts the lovely Imogen Hassel as a rival cave girl, (sadly, depressed by the fact that this was the only type of role she ever seemed to be offered, Hassel committed suicide in 1980). There have been subsequent TV screenings of the full UK release version of When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth, which I've caught. However, by the time I saw that version, it was impossible to recreate that sexual excitement I'd felt as a teenager in expectation of seeing Victoria Vetri's breasts. Nevertheless, for old time's sake, I decided to watch the film again when I saw it in the schedules for this week. Unfortunately, upon checking, I found that BBC4 had shown the edited version, depriving a new generation a glimpse of Miss Vetri's assets. Apparently, the unedited version was briefly released on DVD in the US a few years ago, but quickly withdrawn when it was realised that it included nudity. The DVD has subsequently become a collector's item and fetches ludicrous prices on Amazon these days.
To be frank, whilst - in 1970, at least - Victoria Vetri was very beautiful, I honestly don't think that I'd be prepared to pay upwards of fifty quid to see her knockers again. (Actually, if you're really desperate to see them, there's the slightly cheaper option of buying the Spanish DVD release, which is complete - as the cave people all speak some made-up dialect, there's no language problem - or, you can find the relevant scene on You Tube, for free). For what it's worth, the last I heard of Vetri, she was serving time for trying to kill her husband. Presumably with a flint axe or a mammoth tusk. Even without her bared breasts, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth still has a lot to recommend it, principally the fact that it is barking mad. The main criticism I'd make would be the fact that the producers felt it necessary to pad it out with some stock footage from Irwin Allen's awful 1960 version of The Lost World. The photographically enlarged lizards with stick-on fins and horns look very ropey in comparison with Jim Danforth's excellent stop-motion dinosaurs which grace the rest of the film. Still, what do I know? Despite its ludicrousness, the movie was a big money-maker back in 1970. Like I said; bared boobs and dinosaurs - a winning box office combination for young male audiences.