The VelociPastor is a terrible, terrible movie, and here are all the reasons for buying it, watching it, and sharing it with as many people as you possibly can because it’s an absolute delight. Written and directed by Brendan Steere (Animosity, A Cat in the Forest), VelociPastor is the story of priest Doug Jones whose parents are blown up by a missing VFX insert. This happens barely five minutes into the film and sets the tone for all that follows.
After a trip to China (no really, they went to China. The actor and the on screen titles TOTALLY say it’s China and not, say, a forest just down the road from wherever the director lives) shenanigans involving mystical artifacts happen and Doug is imbued with the power of THE DRAGON WARRIOR which means he turns into a somewhat dodgy looking dinosaur and dismembers people. Swearing to use his power only for good, he sets out to clean up the lowlifes of the city, accompanied by his hooker partner Carol who helps him identify prospective targets, much to the horror of his mentor, Father Stewart.
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On top of this is a liberal sprinkling of fourth-wall-breaking jokes and comments, some Christian Ninjas, sudden revelations, awesome practical gore effects and, shall we say, one of the most… unique dinosaur costumes to ever grace the screen.
You can’t really review a film like this in the same way you would a mainstream release. This is a terrible film. The acting is terrible, the effects are terrible, the writing is terrible, but like The Jurassic Dead, VelociPastor is that perfect blend of terrible, that so-bad-it’s-good lightning in a bottle that so many films try to capture and fail at. This is a film that knows exactly what it’s doing. A perfect example is a scene where Doug tries to hide the book he’s reading from Father Stewart. He does this by hiding it behind his bible, which is far too small to cover the actual book and the scene is played out completely straight from there.
While the acting is uniformly bad, it was meant to be, and so – in that sense everyone here does a great job? Greg Cohan is great fun as the titular VelociPastor, as are Jesse Turits as “Sam the White Ninja” (seriously, the ninja scenes are straight out of a Godfrey Ho movie, to the point you have to wonder if Brendan is a fan) and Aurelio Voltaire chews every bit of scenery there is as Altair.
When you look at the story behind the film and see the lengths that Brendan Steere went to in bringing this movie to the screen, it becomes obvious that this is a love letter to all the grindhouse and monster movies that have gone before. The film was, apparently, baked in the oven before being developed, to make it look old and washed out like the films of the 70s. Even the scratches on the film were manually added by Brendan dragging the film along surfaces in his bathroom! There’s love and effort gone into this. Into making a terrible, terrible film.
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And I can’t help but salute that. You can keep your Sharknado, your Megashark vs Crocosaurus, the films that are just trying too hard to be bad. You can’t force it, not if you don’t truly dedicate yourself to it, and that’s what VelociPastor does. It embraces its grindhouse roots and influences, it revels in all the cliches and the cheesiness and the end result is something bad. And great.
Buy it. Show it to your friends. Get them round, get some popcorn and some drinks in, and have fun watching a film that, hopefully, will end up being the B-Movie classic it deserves to be.
The VelociPastor is available on DVD and Digital from 13th August, and on Blu-ray from 17th September.