Tuesday, March 13, 2018


PHENOMENALITY: *marvelous*
FRYEAN MYTHOS: *adventure*
CAMPBELLIAN FUNCTION: *cosmological, sociological*

TUROK SON OF STONE, a Silver Age comic book about two intrepid Native Americans seeking to escape a dinosaur-filled domain, enjoyed an unlikely revival in the 1990s, spawning not only new comics but also popular video games. I assume that's why Classic Media decided to adapt TUROK for a direct-to-video.

I didn't follow either the 1960s or 1990s comic-book incarnations of the character, so I don't know if any of the plot-elements were adapted. I can say that the Silver Age version focused only on Turok and his younger brother Andar fighting dinosaurs. The video version changes Andar into Turok's nephew, as well as interpolating a backstory in which Turok's brother Nashoba married Catori, a young woman known to both of them. Turok is exiled from his tribe for having accidentally attacked Nashoba while fighting off enemies from another tribe. The film does not state that Turok harbored any desire for Catori, though the brothers do compete to win the maiden's kiss, giving the situation a very "sibling rivalry" vibe-- the more so since Nashoba is later killed, and Turok is joined in Dinosaur-Land by a ready-made family consisting of his nephew and sister-in-law. (The original Dell comic hardly had any female characters, since it was being sold to dinosaur-loving boys, but the video has clearly been pitched to appeal to fangirls as well.)

The video is basic journeyman work, in that none of the characters are particularly memorable, including Turok's opposite-number villain, Chichak. Aside from the "girl power" touches, the only other distinction of TUROK is that there's a little more real blood shed when people or dinos get hit with spears or tomahawks. It's far from enough blood to satisfy gorehounds, but it would probably prove sufficient to give minor grossouts to the younger dinosaur-fans.

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