The VelociPastor, written and directed by Brendan Steere, is a wacky B-movie that blends body horror, martial arts, fish-out-of-water comedy, and of course, dinosaurs. If this doesn’t sound like a crazy and hilarious concept to you, it’s probably best that you stay away from this film, but if you are intrigued, you are in for a wild ride.
This movie is about a pastor who, after the tragic death of his parents, goes to China and gains the power to turn into a dinosaur, ultimately using it in order to fight bad people including criminals and ninjas. If you’re looking for the story to be coherent or logical in a movie called The VelociPastor, you’re looking at the wrong thing. Instead, the story just serves as a wacky concept to provide some fun action sequences and some cheesy humor from a ninja-fighting, collar-wearing dinosaur.
Obviously, you aren’t meant to take this film seriously, so abandon all logic before watching this movie. Suspend your disbelief, sit back, relax, and enjoy the absurdity that is unfolding before your eyes. More often than not, movies like this, that are totally mindless and made for pure enjoyment, fall flat. Yet this film manages to not lose any steam over the course of its 75-minute runtime due to the infectious energy of the filmmakers and cast.
That said, the movie’s humor is mostly one-note. You will be laughing out loud for the first thirty minutes or so as the concept of the beastly priest is still fresh, but after a while, it stops feeling as funny. Still, despite the fact that the film isn’t consistently funny, it is consistently entertaining, and the script moves along at such a rapid pace that you don’t have time to linger on the humor’s diminishing returns.
The character development is also somewhat weak. The protagonist, the eponymous religious reptile, is definitely more interesting in monster form than he is in human form. There are just a lot of contradictions in the personality of his human side, particularly when it comes to his relationship with his prostitute “voice of reason”. This part of the movie just doesn’t quite add up.
Of course, with a B-movie, you don’t expect the acting to be Oscar-worthy. The lead actor, Gregory James Cohan, does a good job with his role, though, playing the character in an over-the-top and humorous way. He is certainly very charming, and although he never really sells the priestly part of the role, his reactions are priceless.
The execution of the film is very B-movie-style too. The cinematography and production design are both of low quality, but it appears purposeful to pay homage to a particular style of genre filmmaking. The dinosaur costume, for example, looks really silly and only slightly better than something you could buy at a store during the Halloween season. That only adds to the charm of the movie, though.
If you are looking for something zany to watch this week, The VelociPastor will satisfy that desire. It may not be a well-made movie, objectively speaking, but it sure is entertaining and fun to watch.
The VelociPastor hits VOD on August 13.