The 325th review!
One thing I love about horror movies is there is so much variety. You can go from Academy Award-winnning movies like The Exorcist to things like the Sharknado movies, the wonderful Irish movie Grabbers and of course incredible Jason X. Part of the fun is turning off your brain and enjoying the insanity. With that in mind, I was pretty excited to check out...
Before I get into my thoughts, let me explain. While on a trip, a Catholic priest is hiking and he comes across a woman just shot with an arrow by ninjas. She then gives him an artifact telling him to destroy it. But because of the language barrier he doesn't understand. But she does say one thing in English, the wods "Dragon Warrior," apparently not referring to Kung Fu Panda. The priest, Father Doug catches sight of a ninja and in his fright, accidentally cuts his hand on the artifact and then passes out.
From there he keeps having dreams of that trip and he will take off into the woods late at night until he turns into a raptor and ends up saving the life of a lady of the night. When he wakes up the next morning he's in her bed, naked. The woman, Carol, casually explains, and isn't too shocked that he turned into a raptor and ate her attacker. She then tries to convince him to turn into a raptor more often to kill people who are not worth saving. He declines, being a priest and all, but after some wacky shenanigans, he eventually agrees and they become a weird version of the Boondock Saints.
Here we go... I... didn't like this movie. I don't mind stupid concepts in horror. I actually enjoyed Sharknado and Rubber was a lot of stupid fun, but this, I don't know. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. For a movie about a priest who can turn into a raptor, there's a lot of talking. A lot of the movie is just two people in a room debating the merits of what he's doing or about to do. Sure the dialogue is kooky and goofy on purpose, but that's not what we signed up for. I wanted the Velocipastor, damnit! I was almost bored when he wasn't on the hunt.
However, there are things I really enjoyed. In the beginning there's a murder where Father Doug's parents are killed in a car explosion, but instead of showing the blast it just show flashes the words "VFX: Car on fire" where the flames should be. It caught me off guard and is really funny. Plus, the scenes where he's the raptor are very good. I mean, they're terrible, but in the most fun way. It also knows how to keep you wanting more; you don't get much full on raptor action for most of the movie. It's either covered in darkness, quick cuts or it's just Father Doug with sharp teeth and dinosaur hands. It's like the monster movies where you never get a good look at the monster until the very end.
But that final fight, man. I laughed out loud when you get your first full look at him as a raptor. It is downright hilarious how it's built up throughout the entire movie. The build up is definitely worth the payoff. You finally see it in its high school production glory and you laugh, and then you think There's no way this is going to work. But they nail that final fight. It's just a crummy raptor costume, but the ninjas are bouncing off the thing like a pinball machine and it's so damn funny. Seeming the baddies running around kicking him, then flying away when part of the costume grazes them is just wonderful.
As for the movie itself, I'm torn. The ending definitely landed and was funnier because you don't seem much of the raptor before this point. But at parts the movie was a slog. I've been asking myself, what's better, 50-minutes worth of pretty good entertainment followed by an awesome reveal and sequence, or a very solid movie throughout? Would the movie had been better if it focused more on him as the dinosaur instead of slowing building it up for the big reveal? I honestly don't know, but I do know is that final fight was hilarious and saved the movie.
6.5 Dr. Chainsaws!
1 h 10 min
Directors: Brendan Steere
Starring: Gregory James Cohan, Alyssa Kempinski, Jesse Turits
Supporting actors: Daniel Steere, Nicholas M. Garofolo, Claire Hsu
Studio: Wild Eye Releasing
After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a prostitute convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.