Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At
Dinosaur Valley Girls (1997)
Halfway decent dinosaurs tromping through the countryside
"Joe Bob's Drive In Review" for August 17, 1997
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas
Everybody's been making such a BIG DEAL out of how the Deep Blue computer wasted Garry Kasparov in a few games of chess.
You wanna impress me with a computer? Build one that can play poker. I don't think you could ever come up with any computer program that could consistently win at any game of stud or draw with seven poker professionals sitting at the same table.
Think about it.
Chess is a game of mathematics.
There are all thesedifferent ways to move, and the computer rapidly scans through all the combinations, planning six or seven moves ahead to see what might happen.
But poker is a game of math, money management and PERSONALITY.
You've gotta sit at the table at least eight hours before you even BEGIN to know who the best players are. I've seen high-stakes players fold 30 times in a row, just to study the betting patterns. The computer might know the precise odds on each hand-but so does every pro. The computer might have perfect card memory-but so does every great high-stakes player, and besides, card memory doesn't help you in a draw game anyway.
But the way you could always beat a computer is the same way you beat any human who's working from a scientific system. You establish a pattern, and then you BREAK the pattern at the moment when the person least expects it. How could the computer ever detect a bluff? Even if you programmed the computer to look for a bluff every 30 hands, or every 50 hands, or every 20 hands for some aggressive players, you'd never hit it on the nose, and the human could keep track of how often the computer called bluffs.
More important, I don't think the computer could tell the difference between an amateur, who plays too many weak hands, and the professional, who plays a FEW weak hands to fool the computer.
Let's say you program the computer to fold with a pair of aces or lower in an eight-person game. Then, if the computer sees someone consistently drawing three cards, you could knock that down to a pair of kings, or a pair of queens. But the pro at the table can make a SLIGHT shift in his pattern, force the computer to CONSISTENTLY draw to a pair of queens, fold after the draw and lose small amounts all night long.
As the computer's bankroll dwindles, the computer has to either get recklessly aggressive-unlikely that the programmers would choose that option-or move back up to three-of-a-kind to open. Every time the computer drew two cards, everybody at the table would know what was going on.
Finally, there's money management. It's true that a computer can doa better job at this than a human, because only a computer can keep track of exactly how much each person bets and exactly how much bankroll they have left. But I doubt that the computer could tell the difference between a truly reckless player, and a good player who just happens to be down because of a few bad hands. I would be amazed if anyone could ever design a computer program that would have true killer instinct, that would know when to annihilate someone because they're underfinanced.
And if you don't know how to murder, you can't play poker.
Bring on the IBM boys. I wanna see 'em in Vegas, with THEIR OWN MONEY, you know what I mean?
And speaking of ideas that sound great in theory, "Dinosaur Valley Girls" comes out this week, the latest in the great tradition of bimbos-in-furry-loincloth movies that began with the legendary Raquel Welch in One Millions Years B.C., which premiered at the Gemini Drive-In in Dallas in 1965. That was followed by the classic "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" in the early '70s, with the luscious Victoria Vetri stepping in for Raquel, and more recently we had the late-night cable standard Dinosaur Island, directed by Jim "Show Me Your Breasts" Wynorski, who loaded it up with every B-movie queen who was available to get nekkid and mud-rassle.
"Dinosaur Valley Girls" makes the classic rookie mistake of attempting to use an actual PLOT, but, except for that one glaring error, director Donald F. Glut does a good job. In the tradition of Hammer Films director Val Guest, who did "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth," Glut invents his own caveman language, but to help us out he has Jeff Rector as an aging Chuck Norris-type action-film star who finds a strange talisman, gets zapped backward in time, and comes face to face with the breasty cavewoman he's been dreaming about, the always-willing-to-please Denise Ames. Pretty soon Jeff is wisecracking his way through a prehistoric war of the sexes, in which spear-wielding disco-dancing cave bunnies try to fend off the stinky male tribe that wants to take them captive, throw them on the ground and make the sign of the furry-snouted tundra frog while fending off a crazed cockeyed allosaurus with slingshots.
The interesting thing about this ultra-low-budget offering is that they actually spent a little dough on some stop-motion animation, and they have halfway decent dinosaurs tromping through the countryside from time to time. They aren't much on actual dinosaur BATTLES, and for one of the dinosaurs they use a live lizard-again taking a cue from"When Dinosaurs Rule the Earth"-but they get an "A" for...well, a "D" for Dinosaur.
I'm not gonna tell you about the extended caveman-orgy scene, because it would give away the ending, but I'll just say that the leader of the male Neanderthals...is a hippie who's in love with Karen Black.
Karen Black, as Ro-Kell the brooding bombshell cavewoman, could put on the costume she wears in this movie, go to any gay bar, preferably carrying a wooden spear and start a whole new camp craze. The woman is amazing. She's crossed over into the realm of Counterculture Divas. It's scary.
My kinda flick.
No dead bodies.
Karate kick to the head.
Two giant pterodactyl attacks.
Two allosaurus attacks, one resulting in cavegirl bra-ripping.
Giant burping lizard.
Cavemen fighting over a prehistoric party doll.
One hand-to-hand caveman battle.
Gratuitous anti-smoking subplot.
Gratuitous topless dance video, featuring gyrating cave girls cavorting in Playboy Channel fashion to the song "Jurassic Punk."
Gratuitous Forrest J. Ackerman.
Three kung fu scenes, with stone clubs.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
Jeff Rector, as the washed-up action-film star who does a bad Bogey impersonation and falls in love with a cavegirl while attempting to use his cellular phone in another dimension, for saying, "Well, I guess I don't have to ask, 'My cave or yours?"
Griffin Drew, as the oversexed bimbo who will do anything for a part.
And Karen Black, as the spear-wielding feminist cavegirl who gives in to her kittenish sexuality.
Two and a half stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.
You can write to Joe Bob Briggs, at P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221. You can also fax him at (213) 462-5982 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 1997 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved
For more of Joe Bob's non-TNT reviews in Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews Archive over yonder at www.Joe Bob Briggs.com
"Dinosaur Valley Girls" availability on video and on DVD from Amazon.com
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