VelociPastor: the monster movie you never knew you needed in your life.
Written, edited and directed by cinematic maestro Brendan Steere, The VelociPastor places its tongue firmly in cheek for an hour and fifteen minutes of endlessly quotable fun. Based on Steere’s 2011 short of the same name, it takes the foundations of that film – the ’80s horror schlock vibe, a hilariously bad dinosaur costume, purposefully janky production values – and expands them out to (just about) feature-length.
Gregory James Cohan turns in a knowingly broad and entirely committed performance as man of the cloth Doug. Doubting his faith following the death of his parents, he journeys to “China” (which has never looked less like China) to rediscover himself. But instead, he uncovers more than he bargained for, finding himself cursed with the ability to turn into the greatest predator to have ever roamed the earth: a dinosaur! Confusingly though, not a velociraptor and more of a tyrannosaurus rex (but actually just a dude in a brilliantly low-fi rubber suit, which I absolutely want to own). I suppose TyrannoPastor doesn’t work as well as a pun.
Teaming up with prostitute/doctor/lawyer Carol (the genuinely great Alyssa Kempinski), Doug sets about hunting down the world’s evil, all in the name of God. An evil which predominantly comes in the form of ninjas…I mean, why not? It plays out like a low budget Kung Fury, spoofing on B movies with its shaky camera, dropped focus, erratic zooming and boom mics in shot. Blood spatters dramatically, villains laugh overly-menacingly, eyes are ripped from sockets. Frankly, it’s completely bonkers, and it gets even better when Doug turns full dino (which I’d have loved to have seen more of). Sure, it stretches its joke a bit thin, but it also has a pastor holding a ninja’s severed (plastic) head with a (fake) Gandhi quote scrawled across the screen.
“Only through the elimination of violence, will we finally be able to achieve world peace.”
So…fuck it, five stars!…(but not really, it’s actually three).
Rating (out of 5):
Note: Best. Poster. Ever.
Available on DVD and Digital August 13th. Released on Blu-ray September 17th.