KILLER/SAURUS

1 out of 10

Release Date: 6th July 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Steve Lawson (The Haunting of Annie Dyer / Footsoldier /  The Silencer)

Cast: Helen Crevel, Kenton Hall, Steven Dolton, Julian Boote, Adam Collins and Vicki Glover

Writer: Steve Lawson

Trailer: KILLER/SAURUS

1012950_439579722883558_3177725272844278377_nWith its release timed with the cinematic release of Jurassic World, Killer/Saurus is bound to rope in a few extra sales. Killer/Saurus shows ambition but it’s a woeful demonstration of small-scale filmmaking. If watching horror that combines the low-fi thrill of 1980s Doctor Who / Red Dwarf and an acting style borrowed from the kids from the Pink Windmill Show then Killer/Saurus may be your new favourite film.  Sadly the Tyrannosaurus Rex that scientists have been able to bring back into existence with some cutting edge laser tech looks like a bath toy and this unfortunate flaw makes the whole film a joke to watch, (I’m sure they’ve given the dino from Toy Story a respray). Mind you the plastic toy does put in the film’s best performance.

Helen Crevel (SURVIVAL INSTINCT) plays a scientist at a top secret lab. Her boss (STEVEN DOLTON – DEVIL’S TOWER) has created a dinosaur from DNA coding and a new laser machine. The project is closed down when the dinosaur kills a few staff. Sometime later, co-erced by her Irish-Welsh-Canadian-Indian accented journalist boyfriend (KENTON HALL – CONJURING THE DEAD) to doorstep her old boss for unpaid wages she becomes trapped in the lab (situated on a normal suburban industrial estate) with the monster – just as the military arrive to take delivery of it (or something).

Anyway, the film is be-set with some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard.  The writer seems besotted with the tech but his actors don’t seem to know what they’re talking about. Steve Dolton reads his lines like he’s reading a restaurant menu, I think he even licks his lips. The leading lady, Helen Crevel certainly looks the part but lacks the fear and urgency of a scientist who’s helped to lift the lid on pandora’s box. Kenton Hall‘s character plays a slimy journo and a) it’s a weird person for a top secret scientist be in a relationship with and b) his accent is so distracting it accentuates his rotten reading of his villainous  role c) they seem to hate one another. His journo does nothing to alleviate the pain of watching this. He proceeds to derail proceedings in the way you may try to discourage a young child from pressing an elevator button or the bell on a bus. He’s perhaps the dumbest non-character to bless a Britpic in some time.

Killer/Saurus has a more finished feel to it than his debut The Silencer, which was a lot of fun. It’s a shame that all of that film’s scrappiness has been chased out as Killer/Saurus is so dry and unappealing – even to dino fans it could prove to be a super challenge not to turn it off before the ending.

1 out of 10 – This dino flick is toothless. Please make Silencer 2 next to make it up to us!

Check out another review below! – find out whether or not Glenn Salvage plays the dinosaur!

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT BAD ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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One thought on “KILLER/SAURUS

  1. KILLERSAURUS – review by Joe Pesci II aka Jurassic Underpants

    The enjoyment of a bad film is due to the gap between the film-makers’ intention and the effect produced. But how to apply that principle to a film where the on-screen team outnumber the off-screen team by 6 to 5? That’s not a ratio: we see six people whilst five are credited for behind the scenes work (two of whom appear in the film) (some others are mentioned in the acknowledgements). How can we give such a cottage-industry affair a fair hearing? Well, the (apparently) tax-dodging-slave-driving-Clarkson-employing Amazon (who I’m boycotting over Clarkson –yes, Amazon is suffering) is currently selling KILLERSAURUS for £7.99. So do we get £8 worth of cinematic pleasure?

    No.

    However, if I was rich, I would say the film was almost worth it for this line alone: ‘A dinosaur is not a frog, or a finger’. Wise words, words which scientists should ponder before they blunder about trying to grow dinosaurs for the fun of it.

    There’s a long pre-credits prologue (10 minutes out of a total running time of 75). Professor Peterson is a multi-tasker with two missions: find a cure for his dying daughter (I’m sure it was a daughter) and to revive a Tyrannosaurus rex. I guess he’s hoping that doing the latter will somehow lead to the former. Schedules being what they are the daughter is having a potentially life-saving/life-ending operation the same day that Peterson’s dinosaur-reanimation-project reaches fruition. It’s fair to say that by the time the credits eventually start, the professor has (probably) endured the worst day of his life. But at least the marauding monster didn’t bite off his favourite assistant’s head, so you’ve got to be grateful for small mercies. And the creature is at least under lock and key. And maybe even dead: who can say seeing as they forgot to put windows or cameras in the containment zone where they hatched it.

    After the tardy ‘opening’ credits have identified those responsible, we move forward three months. Professor Peterson remains mouldering in his secret lair (giving no sense of having moved or changed his clothes, yet he presumably shaved), the dinosaur’s fate unknown. Peterson’s sacked everyone who didn’t get killed that day, but there doesn’t seem to have been any inquiry or police investigation (the government probably hushed everything up as they wouldn’t want people to know about dinosaur-growing antics in what looks like an industrial estate near Stevenage).

    The professor’s favourite research assistant, rejoicing in the wondrous name Kayleigh Ma, is a bit worried about the whole affair. Fortunately she’s got a loving and supportive boyfriend (Jed) who (a) encourages her to face the professor so as to achieve closure and get her unpaid wages, and (b) is a sneaky journalist scumbag with a nose for a story, that story being ‘dinosaur grown in home counties warehouse’.

    Kayleigh and Jed pop along to the top secret complex, and have a very, very long chat with the professor, who explains all about 3D printing living cells (which is where the finger/frog line comes in) (maybe the professor should have experimented with fingers and frogs first? But then the film would have been called FROGFINGER and that would just be stupid). Eventually they decide to to see how the dinosaur is after all these months of hibernation or death. It’s alive! And hungry.

    Then a psychopathic man from the military who thinks it’s OK to squander public money turns up with a squad of one soldier (so he was budget-conscious after all). He’s a villain and he has (gosh!) an ulterior motive for funding the professor’s research. Suffice to say, it all goes haywire and finishes so abruptly I assumed I’d pressed the skip forward button by accident. Or maybe there was a ten minute post-credit sequence they forgot to edit in.

    Whereas most film-makers merrily resort to CG at the drop of a hat, Steve Lawson (who made THE SILENCER – thanks Steve) adopts a commendably tactile approach to dinosaur-resurrection. He uses a glove puppet dinosaur, which is, I think, a deceptively simple strategy, one which is open to mockery, but one which at least means the dinosaur looks as bad now as it will in fifty years’ time. Sadly the beast is trapped in a very enclosed space, and seems to have very limited flexibility, so all it can do is open and close its mouth. Which means that when it does munch a head off (off-camera) it is all the more extraordinary.

    Helen Crevel plays wide-eyed Kayleigh, astonished more perhaps by the professor’s feelings towards her than she is over the whole rampaging monster thing. But then again the actress is also the hand inside the dinosaur so that makes sense. Although probably the best performer here, bringing saucer-eyed incredulity and innocence, she struggles to convince as someone caught up in a web of government chicanery / scientific over-ambition / journalistic sleaze / monster mayhem. Kenton Hall sports a most fascinating accent, apparently his own, despite sounding like a curious French-Irish-American-Swedish-Chinese amalgam.

    Steven Dolton plays the overworked professor. He is not a natural actor, and approaches the role as if he has a headache (rather than convincing us that the character has a headache. The overall impression is of a cast who perhaps haven’t really thought about what it’s like to have a Tyrannosaurus rex in the garage.

    But this is a film in the noble tradition of the 1930s quota-quickies, a film which (I hope) was made over a weekend with a spirit of ‘let’s just make a dino-movie right here right now in Loughborough with no money and one location!’ And I admire that spirit.

    I don’t admire the film though. It’s basically an extension of the ten minute teaser that you usually get at the start of films. Some scientists manage to make a scientist-eating dinosaur. Usually that’s the start. Here it’s the entire film, and even at 75 minutes it’s horribly stretched out. In fact the prologue is by far the best bit as it sets up the characters, introduces lots of tensions (ill kids, jealous scientists – a relatively

    good turn from the doomed Vicki Glover), and has a disembodied head. But it trickles away into long explanations (frogs and fingers and printers) and mundane military/media meddling.

    There are worse things in the world than bad films. And the blooper-reel over the credits suggests a good time was had by all. But where LEGENDARY at least chugged along with places to go, things to do and people to see (all of them disappointing) this grinds to a halt early on and stays halted.

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