Rating: 3 / 5
First off, this title is a little bit misleading. Don't be fooled the way I was. I thought there was going to be some time and/or space travel going on here, and that we'd be dealing with some dinosaurs or something. But that's not the case. The "prehistoric planet" is an island...On Earth, in Japan. The original Japanese title translates to "The Giant Beast, Gappa," or something along those lines, and that makes a lot more sense. I guess they figured "Monster from a Prehistoric Planet" sounded cooler. Well, it definitely roped me in. That's not to say that it's a bad movie, but I was ready for some T-Rex action, and I didn't get it.
Synopsis: A group of explorers travel to said island to locate some exotic animals for their company's upcoming tourist attraction: an island/park called Playmate Land. They meet island natives who worship a god called Gappa that resides in a forbidden part of the island. Intrigued, the explorers venture into this forbidden area and discover an egg. The egg hatches, and out comes a baby lizard. They take the baby back home for research, and to get it ready for the park's opening. But that made Mama and Daddy Gappa very angry, and they went a'searching for their baby.
So, what exactly is a Gappa? To me, it looked like a giant pigeon with a tail. That could breathe fire. Since it was a bird-lizard, it had great homing abilities, and Mama and Daddy found their baby easily. Since this was a great discovery, the scientists/money-hungry-executives were all over it. So, when Mama and Daddy showed up and started tearing the city apart trying to find their baby, they refused to believe the solution was as simple as giving the thing back. Or rather, they just refused to give it back, because they'd lose money. They succeeded in scaring the two away for a while, and they retreated to the waters. Then, the idiots lured the things back up, thinking that they'd be able to kill them this time. When they were unable to obliterate the things, they finally decided to give the baby back.
At times, I found the movie hard to follow, because I felt like it jumped around a lot. Maybe it's just me. But I was still able to get the gist of things. Stupid people do stupid things, and Japan is destroyed -- as it often is. I liked the Gappa monster, though. It was definitely comical, and it reminded me of something I'd see on an old episode of The Power Rangers. I kept waiting for Megazord to swoop in and save the day. Despite the fact that there were no dinosaurs, or time travel like I expected, I still found it entertaining.