Movie Review: THE JURASSIC DEAD (2018)

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If upon watching The Walking Dead you thought that the only thing missing were dinosaurs, then Milko Davis’ THE JURASSIC DEAD is far from being it. Maybe the plot and CGI of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and even The Jurassic Games has spoiled me for dinosaur movies to come but JURASSIC DEAD, regardless of the budget, took a turn for the worst.  

Dr. Wojick Borge (Cooper Elliot), a hipster mad scientist with a periwinkle bow tie, has discovered a reanimation serum. After exposing his Frankenstein theories and testing his serum on a dead cat - which was obviously made of rubber - in front of his university class, Dr. Borge gets fired and seeks his revenge on humanity whilst becoming a zombified mashup of immortal Joe and Darth Vader.  

In what seems to be years later, five redneck black ops commandos - SWAT, Cuchilla, Duque, Spivey, and Stick - travel through the desert in search of Dr. Borge’s whereabouts when an asteroid hits earth causing an EMP blast. In the meantime, four insufferable teens are also travelling through the desert and grace us with some of the worst acting I have ever seen.  We have ignoramus football player Gunnar, his vapid girlfriend Roxanne (with such an offensive blonde wig it deserves a paragraph), her catty nerd sister Sadie, and her stoner boyfriend Cameron. With all electronic devices down, both groups in search of power encounter each other in a military bunker with quick animosity but must learn to work together when they realize they are locked in with a revitalized dinosaur and madman.

At best, THE JURASSIC DEAD, is a perfect Mystery Science Theater 3000 candidate. The government did not seem to be aware of an asteroid coming to earth and there was only one dinosaur.  It was not clear how/if the professor was planning to bring back tons of dinosaurs from the dead to even warrant the title THE JURASSIC DEAD. Acting and plot aside, the camera work was something to behold. It has been awhile since I have seen a cameraman try so hard to be artistic and yet fail so miserably. In the bunker, in attempt to… I don’t even know what, the camera shoots sharp angles and gratuitous close-ups.  At one point, in a Brennan Instagram filter, the camera seems to be on Cameron’s shoulder showing half of his face with a cropped close-up of Sadie. Just trust me, it’s sloppy and incredibly distracting.  

There were a few things that were forgivable because of the movies budget such as the obvious use of green screen when the teens were walking in the desert; the use of fire for transitions; and the fake blood. However, they did not even try to make the code pad realistic and it was ridiculous watching Gunnar “punch in” numbers when clearly it was fake.  Most of all, the animatronics of the dinosaur were quite disappointing. In all honesty, the dinosaurs on the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios are much more convincing.

Was there anything redeemable about THE JURASSIC DEAD? Actually, yes. For one, the soundtrack was eclectic and dramatic in just the right way; they used comic book graphics for the credits that were very well done; and it wasn’t completely obvious who would be the ultimate survivors. THE JURASSIC DEAD even seems passable as a video game both visually and conceptually.

Maybe I am being too harsh for a B-rated flick but I like to think I enjoy a good bad movie and THE JURASSIC DEAD just is not one of them.  I had to watch the movie twice to see if there was a coherent plot but it was patchy at best.  With the title, THE JURASSIC DEAD, I expect to see a ton of zombie dinosaurs roaming free and if that is what you are looking for too then, yeah, you might be disappointed. 

Natalie Hall

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