The VelociPastor (2018)

My love of weird, so-bad-it’s-good movies is not a secret. So much so that I had four people tell me about this movie existing, with me responding that oh yes, I have heard of the pastor who turns into a dinosaur and kills people. I even lucked out and got the DVD in the tiny window of opportunity when it was only $4!

Our protagonist is Doug Jones (showing that writer/director Mr. Brendan Steere is a fan of Guillermo del Toro movies), a normal pastor who is traumatized when his parents’ car explodes in front of him, killing them instantly. Right off the bat this movie knows exactly what it’s about, as the flaming, bloody wreckage is instead an empty parking space with the words “VFX: Car on fire” plastered on the screen. The VelociPastor is deliciously low budget, but leans into it with a wink and a nudge.

Wracked with grief, Doug travels to China where he accidentally cuts himself on a dragon warrior artifact. Back home, he saves a–and I quote–“hooker doctor lawyer” named Carol from being mugged by turning into a velociraptor and savaging the criminal. Taken in by Carol, the two decide to use his transformation powers to right wrongs and kill bad people. Which includes ninjas. One of whom has a very thick Australian accent.

Intentionally bad movies are a risky move. The Room is a classic in part because Tommy Wiseau–an alien wearing an ill-fitting meat suit–had no idea how bad his passion project actually was. The short film The House That Drips Blood on Alex? In addition to not actually being written by Wiseau, it comes off as trying way too hard and just fails to be entertaining in general. The VelociPastor definitely tries to be campy as hell, but it does so in a way that works. For me, at least, your mileage may vary. From an extended and completely pointless Vietnam flashback to the main henchman’s hilarious reason for wanting revenge on Doug, this movie knows that the premise is dumb, but has fun with it.

Also, it has a cameo by Voltaire! Aurelio Voltaire? “When Your Evil,” “Alchemy Mondays,” “BRAINS!,” “The Beast of Pirate’s Bay?” Just me? Well okay then.

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