I should’ve been drunk for this.
Directors: Milko Davis, Thomas Martwick
Release: March 10, 2020 (VOD, DVD)
It took two people to make this movie. Let that sit for a second, let that settle in your soul. It took two people to make what is without a doubt the worst dinosaur movie I’ve seen. Two creative minds, two sets of craftsman’s hands, came together to assemble this depressing mess. I love low budget films, trudging to find gems worth championing, films that deserve recognition and a wider audience. Jurassic Thunder makes me feel terrible, regretful that I decided to watch it. For what it’s worth, the folks involved seemed to have fun. There are secret smirks, barely suppressed bouts of laughter forever embedded in the film, and that’s nice to see. They’re in on their joke. We absolutely are not.
The plot of Jurassic Thunder is nonsense. A zombie virus is infecting the world, so the American military teams with the Russians to set loose a group of dinosaurs with guns mounted to their heads to eat the zombies and thus end the infection. A dictator in the middle of zombie-infested Africa is caught in this Jurassic crossfire. There’s also a serum that kills the dinosaurs but maybe reconfigures their DNA, too, so that they’re infected by the disease and I guess become zombie dinosaurs.
Zombie dinosaurs admittedly sounds cool on paper, but it never happens. My sense is that two different drafts of the script got scrambled together regarding what this glowing green serum is supposed to do, and in the end killing the dinosaurs won out.
The dialog is equally in shambles. Jurassic Thunder is little more than a loosely connected series of sketches with jokes that are just pure pain. Donald Trump appears as a hologram, and someone asks to adjust the color of the transmission before being informed that orange is Trump’s actual skin color. Zing! This probably isn’t worth noting, but I will anyway: Later in the movie you see Trump outside of the hologram, and he’s actually very pale. Other gags see a soldier gunning at zombies while shouting “Call of Duty! Call of Duty! Call of Duty!” This isn’t even accurate since several camera angles mimic the cross-hair view of light gun games, and the spurts of digital zombie blood have more in common with House of the Dead. There are plenty of gay jokes that would even get crickets in a frat house. Someone shouts, “You never go full zombie!” There’s a weird shouting match about whether or not Jesus smoked pot.
I’m not even sure who’s supposed to be the butt of half the jokes. Donald Trump is given the expected ultra-hammy doofus impersonation, but at Jurassic Thunder’s conclusion he’s riding a gun-mounted dinosaur into the sunset as Africa burns in the background. That kind of sounds like his ultimate fantasy.
With low-res dinosaurs that would make Turok grimace and backgrounds fit for the Unity asset store, I can’t imagine why anyone would waste their time with Jurassic Thunder. It doesn’t compensate for its lack of budget with absurd spectacle or witty satire. Rick Haak as General Hicks and Aga Kistler as Russian weapons expert Natasha both give surprisingly genuine performances considering what they had to work with, but it comes nowhere near rescuing the movie. If you want gun-mounted dinosaurs, just watch Jurassic Games, and if for some reason you require Trump satire in your futuristic dinosaur flick just watch Iron Sky: The Coming Race. Neither is especially good, but you can’t do much worse than this.
To summarize: Jurassic Thunder? More like Jurassic Butt Thunder.