Normally, I place the trailer for a film at the end of the review. Normally.
However, for a film such as 2017’s The Jurassic Dead, I think it might be in the best interest of all parties if I let you watch the trailer before we get started.
Some of you may have already stopped reading this review, which kinda makes this sentence redundant. A few may be wondering if they just watched live-action cutscenes from some unreleased Playstation (PS1) game. (The world’s one and only “Off-World Interceptor Extreme” fan knows what I’m talking about.) Others still may be getting off on this type of shit, you sick, twisted bastards!
Unfortunately, I can’t see any of those folks that I just mentioned finding much excitement in The Jurassic Dead. Even if one were able to look past the horrific acting, painful dialog, incomprehensible plot, awkward green-screened environments, hokey sometimes-CG-sometimes-physical-prop dinosaur (singular), lackluster action sequences, and one particular actress who is hopefully wearing a really bad wig or else needs to sue whoever did that to her hair…. well, I forget where I was going with this.
The film opens in confusing fashion, as we find a bald guy waiting in his car in what appears to possibly be an empty parking lot. Soon, what some would call a small militia, rolls in. The leader of this group, made evident as he is the only one given dialog, has come to give ol’ chromedome, a Dr. Wojick Borge, some syringes filled with what looks like the serum from Re-Animator. You know what? Do yourself a favor and go watch Re-Animator instead.
Anywho, thanks to an expected double cross, Baldi is held at gunpoint and ordered to inject one of the syringes of serum into a dead T-Rex that just happens to be sitting on the back of the trailer the militia rolled in with. The somewhat diminutive T-Rex returns to life and eats all the bad guys, while Dr. Borge returns to his day job teaching remedial biology at the local junior college. Exactly where the perfectly preserved T-Rex came from seems like it should have been a bigger deal.
A year later, Borge is fired from his teaching position for his controversial theories on immortality by a woman who reminds me of “Miss Shapen” from Nickelodeon’s “Henry Danger”, something I only know from having children. Oh, and he re-animated a cat in class! I guess that’s a big “no-no” too. As he walks away from the school with his possessions, he’s hit by a truck. At this point, all he needs to do now is cut his hand off with a spatula and he’s The Hash-Slinging Slasher! No mention is made of where the dinosaur has been this past year.
Fast-forward to some undefined future date that sure looks a whole Hell of a lot like today and we are informed via voiceover that Borge has graduated from “notably agitated scientist” to fully accredited “mad scientist”, commandeering a top-secret military base to use as his new headquarters. When meteors collide with Earth, they emit an electromagnetic pulse that destroys all electronic devices and power sources in the region, or at least all the ones not located within Borge’s lair. With the world now seemingly crippled, Borge has the perfect opportunity to take over the world…. by means of his one lone T-Rex. This doesn’t seem too well-thought out. The “evil plan” and the film’s plot, that is.
A group of teens on a roadtrip are forced to seek shelter and assistance in Borge’s oh-so-secret, chain-link fence guarded, front-door-wide-open base. Also arriving at the base at around the same time are a small group of commandos, primarily portrayed by a cast of bodybuilders and mixed martial artists. Now, before you moan and groan about the perceived level of their acting abilities, know this: they’re actually better actors than the majority of the “teens”. That’s not really saying much, though.
Borge, now resembling a poor-man’s “Emperor Palpetine” who took COVID-19 facemask protection very stringently, unleashes his vertically-challenged zombiesaurus on the trespassers. While some are taken out in rather goreless fashion by the T-Rex, others are turned into zombies by a poisonous gas, later turning on their friends and teammates, also with limited gore or effect.
It’s not all negative for The Jurassic Dead. There’s a forced, but still amusing, Duke Nukem joke. One of the merc characters, played by Shale Le Page, is actually quite funny. Characters humorously have zero reaction to watching the others be killed off, which may or may not have been intentional. There’s also one particular scene in which a seemingly key character has the side of their face nonchalantly blown open by a stray bullet, which I found quite amusing, but maybe that’s saying more about me than the film.
All that said, the most unacceptable aspect of The Jurassic Dead is that, despite an asinine premise ripe for exploitation and a myriad of budget limitations that could have helped make the film a true schlock masterpiece, it’s really quite boring.
You hear many use the phrase “so bad it’s good” often, and if that phrase actually has any meaning, it doesn’t apply here. For many brave enough to enter the land of The Jurassic Dead, the trip may prove to not be worth the price of admission. In this case, I paid $2 for the Blu-ray copy that I used for this review. Even at that price, I still feel someone owes me change.
Then again, someone out there may love this film. It’s probably that same guy that “got” the “Off-World Interceptor Extreme” reference.
AMAZON LINK: https://amzn.to/2VZUWA5