John 'Pterodactyl' Shaft
  — Joel

I think someone's gonna get the shaft. Could be the viewer.
  — Crow T. Robot

The Movie


A geologist snoops around a remote area where it is said dinosaurs once roamed. There have been reports of late that the huge lizards are still alive. Wonder of wonders, they are.[1]


  • At the time of its release, it was the most expensive film Toei produced.
  • There are some similarities between this film and an aborted joint production in 1976 between Toho studios and Hammer Film Productions called Nessie, particually the use of climate anomalies to awaken the creature, the use of a lake-setting, and the use of a plesiosaurus; altogether based on a popular theory in the '70s on what the Loch Ness Monster is.
    • It is thus theorized that Toei produced the film to cash in on the upcoming Nessie film, which ironically was going through numerous development troubles at the time and thus canned.
    • The Nessie film was ironically developed to cash in on the De Laurentiis King Kong remake of 1976, though out of the faith that the King Kong film could help revitalize an interest in giant monser movies which was waning at the time.
  • Similarities between this movie and the 1975 Jaws film have also been pointed out as similar story elements are present, though leaving out the suspense and mysterious-creature element that made Jaws a success in the first place.
  • "The Legend of Dinosaurs" ironically doesn't really feature any dinosaurs. The film's creatures are a plesiosaur and a rhamphorhynchus, which are classified as extinct reptiles not related to dinosaurs.

The Episode

Host Segments

Prologue: Taking their cue from the "Paul McCartney is Dead" hoax of the late '60s, the Mads start a "Joel is Dead" rumor. They make a pretty decent case, quite honestly.

Segment One: Joel demonstrates the way special effects can be used to make a person look really small. A little boy visits the Satellite of Love and shakes Joel like a rag doll.

Segment Two: Joel & the Bots put on a wacky sitcom, complete with laugh track, canned applause, and groaningly bad jokes. (This clip appears on the MST3K Scrapbook tape.)

Segment Three: To prepare the Bots for the film's upcoming dinosaur action scene, Joel shows off his model lizard, which breathes real fire, by the Bots are underwhelmed.

Segment Four: Summer's coming up, and that means MST3K is going on hiatus! Joel & the Bots discuss what they plan to do until the show starts up again. Servo: "I'm gonna fill my head with cocoa butter and surf till I drop!"[1]


  • This was the final KTMA episode.
  • Host segments 1 and 3 were apparently aired in the wrong order: in host segment 1, Joel refers to their "earlier" segment about the dinosaur...he's actually referring to host segment 3.
  • This was the only KTMA episode to feature a special guest, which in this case was a young boy named Ralph Smith and his mother (off-screen).

Obscure References


Dinah Shore was a singer from the 40s and 50s, here noted only for her resemblance to the word "dinosaur."

  • " the Land of the Loooost!"

The theme song to the 1970s TV show Land of the Lost, about a family stranded in a strange world that was home to (among other things) dinosaurs.

  • "I thought this was Japan, not China."

A reference to Chinese water torture.

  • "One of my robotic laws is 'Annoy at all costs.'"

A reference to Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.

  • "Four hundred and fourty-eight toothpicks...I gotta go watch Wapner."

Servo is imitating Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

  • "My God, it's Dorka!"

A play on Orca, a 1977 horror movie about a killer whale.

  • "Getting to know You."

A reference to the song "Getting to Know You" from the musical "The King and I" by Rodgers & Hammerstein.

  • "Who's the pterodactyl cat? Who's the sex machine and not a hat? Shaft! Good God! Huh!"

A play on the "Theme from Shaft" and "War".

  • "It's a headless!

A reference to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

  • "Flicka! I guess they took the head to use in The Godfather."

A reference to My Friend Flicka and The Godfather.

  • "When there was no fowl, we ate crawdad. When there was no crawdad, we ate sand."

A reference to Raising Arizona.

  • "In the land of Dairy Queen, we treat you right."

A reference to a Dairy Queen commercial.


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