Making an intentionally bad movie has become quite the growing genre but most of those types of films are simply cash grabs and are the movie equivalent of clickbait, entries like the Sharknado series being a prime example of this, but then along comes a film like The VelociPastor that renews your faith in bad cinema.
Inspiration can come from almost anything or anywhere but writer/director Brendan Steere may be the only person to get his inspiration from the autocorrect feature of his phone – “Velociraptor” to “Veloci Pastor” – and that simple origin story for The VelociPastor pretty much sums up the film itself. There is no deeper meaning than “Boy, that sounds goofy, let’s make a movie” and with a $35, 0000 dollar budget that’s exactly what Steere did. The film’s basic premise is that while on a spiritual journey through China, Doug Jones (Greg Cohan ), a young priest who recently lost his parents in a car bombing, comes into possession of a powerful artifact that turns people into the Dragon Warriors. Upon returning home Doug soon discovers that when he becomes enraged he transforms into a dinosaur version of The Incredible Hulk.
Lucky for Doug his first night as an avenging velociraptor brings him into contact with a hooker named Carol (Alyssa Kempinski ), the kind with a heart of gold, and she has her own problems which come in the form of an obnoxious pimp named Frankie Mermaid (Fernando Pacheco De Castro), this leads to Doug and Carol deciding to team-up and rid the world of evil. Despite the reservations of Doug’s mentor Father Stewart (Daniel Steere) who thinks exorcism is the best route to take when facing such an unholy terror. Oh, and did I mention there were ninja? Turns out there is a group of ninjas who not only have their own beef with the Dragon Warrior but they also have a strange Templar doctrine involving cocaine and Christianity. Because sure, why not? Many questions face our stalwart heroes, such as “Who murdered Doug’s parents? Can Doug survive his crisis of faith as well as a group of ninja, and will Father Stewart’s attempts at exorcism bear any fruit?”
• China looks a lot like the woods behind my house.
• It’s surprising how similar a severed mugger’s head is to that of a department store mannequin.
• “Dinosaurs never existed, and even if they did I didn’t transform into one” is possibly one of the most insightful lines of dialogue illustrating the dichotomy of religion over science.
• The line “There is a surprisingly low demand for hooker-doctor-lawyers” perfectly illustrates just how bad the economy is.
• Vietnam looks a lot like the woods behind my house.
• When we eventually see the Paper-Mache dinosaur one can’t help but wonder what Brendan Steere spent the remaining $34,995 dollars on.
Of course, not all the humour in this film works, the uncomfortable long villainous laughter scene had already been done better in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, but overall what gags are attempted and what tropes are lampooned will bring an easy chuckle to fans of the genre, and I was quite surprised at the natural chemistry between the two leads whose performances are what really held the film together. With its brief 70-minute runtime The VelociPastor clearly knows exactly what it was doing and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, now, whether or not the promised sequel happens I’d say this particular offering can be enjoyed if you have an equally bent sense of humour.
Note: It’s not every film that features a dinosaur, a hooker with a heart of gold, ninja and yet still manages to provide a proper message. So this movie, at least, has that going for it.
The VelociPastor (2018)
Movie Rank - 6/10
Watching a film like The VelociPastor one must be in a certain mindset to fully enjoy the campy goofiness of it all and I for one got quite the kick out of this little flick. Where films like Sharknado are soulless “bad movies” this one clearly has a lot of heart.