Film reviews

The Jurassic Dead – Film Review

Have you ever wanted to see Duke Nukem punch out a zombie dinosaur? Yes? Then today is your lucky day!

Jurassic Dead (aka Zombiesauraus aka Z/Rex) is brought to us by directors Milko Davis and Thomas Martwick and tells the story of cauliflower-eared scientist Wojick Borge who, as our movie opens, is making a shady deal with a man in a very dapper hat to receive vials of Reanimator-esque glowing green serum that can bring the dead back to life. He also has a dinosaur. It’s never explained where the dinosaur comes from, it’s just there. Go with it.

After the events of this scene we jump forward a year where our scientist is now teaching at a university and appears to have made it his personal crusade to combat death by any means necessary (up to and including zombies?).

“Why not break the chain? The chain that causes the expiration of life. Why not expand on Darwin’s theory of evolution and push further? I stand before you today, representing and educating the idea of progressing life. I want to eliminate the thought that forces us to believe that life must end.”

Following a series of setbacks and betrayals we again appear to jump forward in time and Borge (now looking like a cut-rate Darth Malgus) vows vengeance on America using a zombie toxin and a convenient asteroid impact. A group of mercenaries are sent to stop him, joining forces with some college students who randomly stumble onto Borge’s Evil Overlord Laire(TM) in the desert which mostly appears to be filled with barrels, ominous countdowns and very occasionally zombies, dinosaurs and zombie dinosaurs.

This is not a good film, this needs to be stated from the get-go. The acting is passable to decent, but the CGI is horrendous in places and the story is disjointed, with large chunks of the story never really explained. The editing is terrible, with scenes lingering on far longer than they should and the audience left confused as to where characters are in relation to each other, or even how much time has passed between scenes. Our characters also don’t react to things that should engender SOME form of reaction.

You’re face to face with a dinosaur? Blank faces. Helicopter explodes? Act like it happens every day. (Apart from Spivey, whose rant is truly hilarious). One of your team goes missing? Mild curiosity.

The beginning of the film also feels like it was filmed and directed by somebody else, with the tone, lighting and cinematography completely different from the rest of the film. The ending is also rather unsatisfying, featuring a confusing mid-credits scene that seems to contradict what the audience has just seen and what the story has implied. So, as stated above, this is not a good movie.

But what it is, is a good bad movie.

The sniping and arguing between the students and mercenaries is genuinely funny in places, there’s lots of nods and winks to other films including Jurassic Park and Reanimator, the leader of the mercenaries is literally called “Duque” (Duke) and is blatantly modeled on the videogame character of the same name. He also starts the movie with a shirt that’s already torn into lots of pieces for no particular reason.

There’s a lot of practical effects which, while cheesy, are surprisingly well done and entertaining with a dinosaur that is a blend of puppetry and CGI. It’s adorably Harryhausen-esque and the puppeteers manage to put a lot of personality and character into its movements.

The story moves along quite briskly and there’s more than one scene that will likely take a viewer by surprise, with quick twists that you likely won’t see coming. It also doesn’t outstay its welcome at a brisk 83 minute run time. Jurassic Dead is that perfect blend of good and bad, walking the line between seriousness and hilarity with aplomb.

All you lovers of good bad movies? This one is worth a watch.

The Jurassic Dead is now available on VOD, DVD & Bluray.

 

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