My friend told me about the movie The Velocipastor, and it sounded deliciously ridiculous, so I knew I had to watch it. That same night, I forced my boyfriend to sit in the living room with me while we subjected ourselves to this…whatever it was what I watched. While I wasn’t going in with super high hopes for a cinematic masterpiece, I wasn’t expecting to feel so utterly betrayed by the description giving me almost no payoff. It wasn’t misleading, I suppose, just…I didn’t like this movie. I didn’t like this movie so intensely that I’ve given it one star – it made my eyes bleed, and I honestly want to un-watch it.
That being said, my one-star review means almost nothing. This movie somehow has FOUR OUT OF FIVE stars on Amazon Prime – where you can watch this movie.
What it’s About
So, at its base, this movie is about a priest who, after his parents die in a terrible accident, goes to China and comes into possession of an artifact that gives him the ability to turn into a dinosaur. When he returns to the States, he meets a prostitute by chance who convinces him to use his ability to fight crime? Also there are ninjas. I think there’s something about a conspiracy within the church on a global scale, too, but honestly, it was a lot to try and follow when all I wanted was some campy dinosaur-shapeshifters.
The first ten minutes of this movie had me fooled. I honestly thought this was going to be campy goodness. The opening scene is a priest walks outside a church and waves to his doting parents who are by their car. It pans back to the priest, and you hear an explosion. When it pans back to what should be the fiery wreckage of the parents’ car, there’s an empty parking spot with “VFX: CAR ON FIRE.” That had me laughing and set up a really good precedent for the movie. Good, campy fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I mean, with a name like Velocipastor, how can you really take yourself seriously as a movie?
Unfortunately, that’s almost where my enjoyment ended. I couldn’t get behind the weird camera angles or alternating red/green coloring. Maybe there was a riff at something I didn’t understand during these sections, but it was either just bad or it went straight over my head, because I was just staring at the screen wondering what the hell I was watching. The scene where he gets the “relic” – which honestly looks like I’d imagine a ‘raptor’s tooth would look — is probably the best part of the movie, and even that’s not a great explanation. He just sort of takes it and then is back in the states, if I remember correctly.
Now, aside from the events of the movie, which I’ll talk about in…some amount of detail later on, my biggest problem was that everything felt like a caricature of what it was supposed to be. Now, part of me wants to forgive this because it was a movie that was trying too hard to be campy, but I felt like the stereotypes they were going with, especially for those characters who were Chinese, were bordering on offensive. And I mean, I can’t speak to whether or not it was ‘offensive’ but I know I didn’t like it, or the portrayal of the American ‘pimp’ character, who ends up being early on by our priest after ‘confess-bragging’ about murdering his parents.
I hate that I just typed that sentence.
I think what makes me so angry about this movie is how much potential it had to be awesome. I mean, the premise alone is likely what got it to 4/5 stars on Amazon, but almost every scene felt half-assed. The plot felt like an afterthought. I mean, I can certainly understand coming up with a funny name and rolling with it, but it felt like nothing was made stronger over time. Now, I can’t say for sure, and I certainly don’t want to be presumptuous, but it feels like the writers of this movie were riding on the fact that they had a great name for a movie and spent little to no time trying to strengthen the weak points of this plot. That, paired with the effects which were cheesy, at best, and lazy at worst, and you have a movie that I absolutely regret watching after the first ten minutes or so.
I know I said almost nothing good about this movie, and this is shorter than my other reviews, but I don’t want to spend too much more time trashing a movie just because I didn’t like it. It’s one thing when the movie was okay and has a lot of flaws, but I had a hard time finding anything nice to say about this movie. And the ending? I just…listen, I’m all for a happy ending, but I thought it was pretty clear that his prostitute girlfriend was dead, and then suddenly she’s in the hospital and alive? It just felt…okay, that might have been comical if I’d been okay with the rest of the movie. I guess the whole church conspiracy theory part didn’t really do it for me.
I wasn’t completely turned off by the use of actual mannequin heads as body parts. It added to the camp, and I think, had I enjoyed the story overall a little more, it would have enhanced the experience. There was something playful and too deliberate about it for it to be as lazy as it made itself seem.
Alright, tell me if you think I was wrong about this movie, or if you agree with me. If I’m wrong, please make a case for this movie and I might consider giving it another try.
Do you have a movie you want me to watch and review, maybe so you don’t have to? Let me know. I’m open to suggestions and I have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. If you want me to watch something on Shudder or something, let me know and I can add it to the list. I still have a 7-day trial of it and I’ll have time later this year to use it while I’m recovering from surgery.