Another week has come upon us to return the land of horrendous movies, which dot the graveyard of the horror genre, and to discover if their burial best left untouched, and sworn off. Though with this column you can see some filmmakers have attempted the impossible with disastrous results, and this only marks the sixth wretched disgust of these nightmares filled with empty entertainment factors. So far, the counted issues of poor script, poor plots, worthless directing and other crimes against basic filmmaking all properly level to those films already mentioned in previous reviews. The movie Jurassic Prey at one time had a rating on IMDB of 4.8, and quickly fallen to 1.7, this review will determine if that is the right course to spiral downward into the agony or has it suffer manipulation in the vote. Well, folks it is without a doubt the correct path, and now for the reasons, it is garbage far too harsh of criticism leveled by other critics, but not far from this target. Now we turn to a Polonia Brothers Entertainment, one noting that they, Mark and John, had delved into the DIY filmmaking, with their low budgeting style dating back to Splatter Farm from 1987, and went onward to feed the hearts and spoil the eyes of many fans of the then b-movies with z-grade quality. Sadly, John passed on in 2008, at the age 39, of a heart aneurysm, and while his work may never be noted or remembered by most in the horror genre, he did what he loved, and that means a lot. Their style will likely have in the future many of their films hitting the this column, low on principle issues but high on cheesy moments and fun filled laughs, along with a share of groans, however this time, it all falls flatter than wax paper and nothing sticks together for the audience.
Director Mark Polonia returns to the arena which he tackled before, Saurians (1994) involving two dinosaurs awakened by blasting from construction crews, in this 2015 film the dinosaur (if you can keep straight-face call it that) awakens from mine blasting. In fact, Mark was involved in the Dinosaur Chronicles from (2004) showing his familiarity with the topic, while these don’t fare well either, they do have higher ranking than this mess. In fact, the dino motives constantly dot the landscape of horror, and this movie contains a reference to Godzilla, but even that beast is better looking than this dino-pooper. Just noting some of the better quantities on the low end of filmmaking with Raptor Ranch (2013) and even the 2010 TV Movie Triassic Attack does better in presentation, and well touch a little more on the entire b-movie aspect later in this review. Mark, though a competent director and has done many roles in the film business, and connected to over 50 horror films alone, and recently release of Amityville Exorcism (2017) and Bigfoot vs. Zombies (2016), shows his ability to deliver the product to his loyal fans.
Let’s try to understand a plot that truly does not exist from screenwriter John Oak Dalton who had worked with the Polania brothers before with films like Razorteeth (2005) and more recently Amityville Death House (2015), involving a multiple subplots all meeting together at a cabin in the woods. First, we have two police officers (um don’t think so) going into a theater and shooting a maniac, Burleson (Frank Humes) wielding a bloody hacksaw, and discover his Dog Man (Richard Rawson). This all makes no sense and has no place in the story, all it does, is a quick introduction to the police, Culter and Forest (Steve Diasparra and Todd Carpenter, respectively, who both have worked with Mark before), and the scene closes to a dark clouds in high reverse speed, to transition. Then three bubbling friends, tell a cover story only to plan to rob bank, though the Three Stooges themselves would be better at the plan than these shmucks. But they play a larger role in the movie, Sparks (Bob Dennis), acts as ringleader, and Ed and likable Andy (James Carolus and Jeff Kirkendall, both who starred in Amityville Exorcism and Sharkenstein (2016) more of Mark’s friends, rob the bank, though no footage actually of it. Use your imagination, actually not a bad thought you can create something spectacular, superior to the story. The money (millions) they are taking is from an account for a movie promotion company concerning a film about a Dinosaur versus Bigfoot. How does one rob a bank stealing just one account, or is that all the accounts the bank has, regardless the bag they have could never hold the millions of bucks. Again, we, the audience need to gloss over this point and meet up with the character Jackie (Danielle Donahue), who is two-timing her mob-connected husband, stealing his money from the same bank as our three genius visits moments later. Just a note, Jackie carefully and quietly places her bare feet on a concrete floor, sneaking about to discover and open a flimsy tin box. Since when does concrete squeak, oh never mind. Back to the police harassing a guy named Meatball (Austin Dragovich), for talking on a payphone, how they knew where to go and why, shh, don’t ask questions, there aren’t any answers. By this point, the thieves and Jackie meet up and drive out to a cabin in the woods, and we meet up with the rampaging silly T-Rex, who has killed cows and a hiker. After some more munching moments of dino-mite scenes, Culter comes to battle with comical scene of using CGI fire on so-called torches, oh please, first present then not, then back, burning and layer in the shot very badly not funny just more belly-punching groans.
Allowing for a moment to breakdown the biggest problem, the effects, the dinosaur looks and appears as poorly made creation, likely due to the budget limitations. The color the beast changes from a pale green or grey to sometimes a darker brown, and then the legs of it are either a puppet or a guy walking awkwardly in dino-legs. Beyond silly, creature features of the 50s clearly are far better than this; the attacks poorly conceived and executed puzzling awful. This large size creature never makes sounds for 90% of the movie, unable to since on various victims only to have yelp a lousy scream and see spillage of blood flung about in a haphazard willy-nilly manner. However, Birdemic 2 still wins for the worst blood effects, though this mess closes in quickly, the fakery overwhelmingly brings a groan and not a worthy laugh. The killings actually filter more into the grouping of an insult to entertainment, as the rendering of them muddles in silliness. The dinosaur does use a few stop motion techniques, a time honored method, and well accepted, but it finds that path abandoned for the CGI and goofiness presentation. The effects conducted by Brett Piper, a man known for his good solid work on many low-budget works, and this actually appears harder than one thinks, one has a limited money, hence the choices often outside of the box, creative mind needed always. Piper also had to position himself in various chairs in the filmmaking process, and did dinosaur movies in the past, which fairly find themselves above Jurassic Prey, such as A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell (1990), She-Rex (2009), and Bikini Girls on Dinosaur Planet (2005).
Many fans that enjoy the so-bad it is good laughter of these films, that seem to replace the standard b-movies and exploitation movies will find major disappointment, the creatures features held more excitement. The quality of b-movie had the most cheesy dialogues, and actions to elicit laughs, along good ‘ol fashion T&A, but sadly this movie contains both Swiss cheese and moldy cheese that not even New York sewer-rat would want. When one digs into dinosaur films in general they find over 620 movies, and then narrows down to just over 210 when mixing it with sci-fi, scaled much further when adding the term ‘horror’ leveling out with 30 to 60 films, with many far superior to this flick.
The acting, very wooden but the script fails to help the story-line, and allow the actors any traction, it is all point and shoot the scene, walk the paces. No problems exist with the sound, wish it did, but one hear the lines clearly, though nothing makes any sense, (IRS Tax laws and codes more entertaining, perhaps not but they make sense) and the normal fun of a Polonia production, just lacks, nothing fits correctly all of it forced. This movie just lags in the entertainment factor, with no positive viewpoint, there’s no suspense, drama absent, and the horror – boring. As more on the special effects, aside from the fake looking decapitated head, we get a very bad designed severed arm, silly gunshot wounds and one cannot overlook both the numerous continuity issues along with the reflection of lights in windows.
Jurassic Prey did earn distribution through Wild Eye Releasing, and the artwork, sorry none of that is actually in this movie, the movie moves along a quicken pace (thankfully), and it is a film which allows one to play at the end of party as your mind drifts off. Get the pints held high, welcome the confusion, snipping the modern moonshine might help in addition, to starving off the groans and ughs awaiting the cheers when you make it to the credits. The DVD contains Trailers and Promotional Videos, Behind the Scenes, Making of featurette, and Director’s Commentary. While it is not unwatchable, it doesn’t improve on future viewings, either, best wish Jurassic Prey never visits your screen and harms your horror filled mind.
imdb rating (as of 2/19/17): 1.7
DOA Rating: 1.5