A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell
I can’t be positive when I first heard of A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell, but I remember watching this commercial quite clearly. Go ahead and watch it. It’s clearly the pinnacle of marketing genius. Did the film deliver all the promises made during the trailer? Thankfully all but one promise was delivered: “prehistory meets the prepubescent”. That just sounds creepy. The film is on the up and up, though; I promise. There are just as many mutants and barbarians and mutant-dinosaurs as one could possibly hope for.
A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell has a simple plot; a nymphoid barbarian runs from people/creatures that want to have their way with her/eat her. Lea is a young woman (nymphoid) who has grown up after a nuclear war destroyed civilization and created a race of mutants and dinosaur-like mutant animals; although there are a lot of scaly green creatures, none of them are species of dinosaur that I recognize. Lea befriends Marn, a young man who saves her from a roving gang of barbarians looking to rape a nymphoid barbarian (in dinosaur hell). The two of them go to the beach, as young lovers are wont to do, but they come upon a band of reptilian goons and their leader Clon, a barbarian with a skull helmet, bad teeth, and a scruffy beard; those traits are proof that he’s evil. The goons kill a harmless troll, which looks a lot like a Muppet, then set their eyes on two young lovers. Despite Marn’s best efforts, Clon and his goons knock him out and capture Lea (the nymphoid) for debauchery. Marn is nursed back to health by an old man who recites “The Jabberwocky” for some reason. The old man gives Marn a pistol, something Marn has never seen before, to fight Clon and his goons. Meanwhile, Lea escapes from the goons twice, but is successful the second time because Clon and the goons are distracted by a pair of fighting dinosaurs (in dinosaur hell). A masked stranger, who turns out to be Toxie in disguise, helps Lea; he isn’t named or credited as such, but he looks almost exactly like Toxie. Unfortunately, the masked Toxie is killed by Clon and Lea is recaptured. Clon decides that he’s beaten around the bush long enough and it’s time to get down (with the nymphoid), but he’s interrupted by a giant sandworm that bites his arm off and Lea manages to get away. She eludes the goons and outruns a mutant bat, but runs to the suspiciously creepy castle and gets caught again; some barbarian women can’t catch a break. Again Clon tries to rape Lea and we see the nymphoid’s breasts for a moment or two before she smacks Clon in the head with a pair of bricks lying conveniently close by. He’s finally fed up with Lea’s shenanigans and decides she’s not worth the trouble, so he throws her to the goons, who in turn try to throw her to a dinosaur. Marn has been busy trekking across the land and fighting a swamp monster, but he’s there to save the day. He kills one of the goons and chases Clon to the cliffs above the moat. However, Lea is ultimately the victor, shoving Clon into the moat where he’s eaten by giant water bugs. Hooray for the nymphoid barbarian (in dinosaur hell)!
First off, I’m going to ruin some of my readers’ hopes. A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell is slow at times and impatient viewers will not stick around for the portions when Lea and Marn are walking around or Lea’s hanging out with the Masked Toxic Avenger. There’s not a lot of dialogue in this film. Whereas a movie like Valhalla Rising has little dialogue because it complements Valhalla’s bleakness, A Nymphoid Barbarian has little dialogue because the writer/director Brett Piper is a special effects artist, probably more comfortable writing action sequences than dialogue. Unfortunately, it means the film moves more slowly because those parts between action sequences that are usually reserved for dialogue are mostly filled with people moving around. For those with a little more patience however, the lack of dialogue is compensated for by special effects. Although the dinosaurs in this film are really mutant animals and even the most saurian don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen in a museum or book, they are really well animated. I’m a big Harryhausen fan, so I got a kick out of seeing the stop motion creatures fight each other and eat people. The costumes of the reptilian goons, the troll, Toxie, and the swamp monster Marn fights are all pretty cool as well. In part I was just impressed with the variety of monsters, since it was such a low budget production and it would take plenty of time and money to design and create so many creatures and costumes.
Because this is a Troma movie, the title seems luridly pornographic, and the first five minutes of the film are an introduction by Lea that culminates in an orgasmic reading of the title, “A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell,” I was expecting to see more skin and sex, but I was never really disappointed by it. In fact, I’m kind of glad there wasn’t a sex scene because Lea spends most of it running from potential rapists. In all likelihood, it would be nonconsensual and I don’t need to see another Last House on the Left rape scene; I’m thinking of the original because I haven’t seen the remake. Since I’m a man who thinks too much for his own good, I was wondering about the kind of message a film about attempted rape sends. With the dumb shit Senator Todd Adkin said about ‘legitimate rape,’ recent talk about slut shaming, and Slutwalks, it’s hard to imagine A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell would get positive feminist appraisal. I’d invite any readers to put in their two cents worth, but I’m inclined to think that the film is far too benign to raise any hackles. Lea gets chased around a lot, but she manages to escape on her own multiple times and ultimately kills her would-be rapist at the end of the movie. It’s a far cry from female empowerment, but Lea is never denigrated for being female and beautiful; if anything her situation is an illustration of the unwanted sexual advances women have to deal with and are protesting with the Slutwalks and discussion of slut shaming. Plus, it’s a cheesy movie about barbarians, mutants, and dinosaurs. Even a critical feminist analysis would have a hard time trying to take that seriously.
*Update* Take a look at this post on Craft Fear, it’s a feminist analysis of A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell. Great job Emily!