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Triassic Attack

D: Colin Ferguson / 87m

Cast: Steven Brand, Kirsty Mitchell, Raoul Trujillo, Gabriel Womack, Emilia Clarke, Jazz Lintott, Christopher Villiers, Nathalie Buscombe, Vladimir Mihailov

Another in the long lame of SyFy movies, Triassic Attack is, on paper at least, one of the most wretched ideas they’ve come up with.  Angry at the sale of ancestral lands to the local university, Native American Dakota (Trujillo) decides to put things right by summoning the spirit of the Great Protector.  But the ritual goes awry and the skeletons of three dinosaurs housed in the local museum come alive and wreak havoc in the surrounding area, endangering all and sundry.  And that is basically that.  The skeletons appear all over the place, the local sheriff (Brand) looks dour and unhappy throughout (as well he should – turns out Dakota is his father), his estranged wife Emma (Mitchell) allows their daughter Savannah (Clarke from TV’s Game of Thrones) to be put in harm’s way time and time again, and any viewer watching this farrago should be warned of the danger to their health: they’re likely to break several ribs and hurt their jaw when it hits the floor repeatedly.

Now, before we move on, let’s get these very valid points out of the way: 1) the skeletons depicted aren’t of creatures that lived in the Triassic period; 2) they roar and bellow despite having no vocal cords or lungs; 3) they move around easily despite not having any eyes; 4) when two are “destroyed” at the same time, the pieces reassemble together to create a flying dinosaur that never existed in any historical period; and 5) the ROTC cadets seen in the movie appear to be equipped with both Bulgarian uniforms and a Russian anti-tank weapon.

Triassic Attack - scene

Of course, Triassic Attack is rubbish.  You might even say it’s ordure of an extremely high order.  It’s been cheaply made, with a cast that struggles to engage with a script that really does seem to have been cobbled together from that cynical experiment involving monkeys and typewriters, and the direction is leaden, uninspired, and often absent.  There are worse SyFy movies out there – check out Camel Spiders (2011) if you don’t believe me – and the premise is so ripe for mickey-taking it’s actually unfair. And yet…

Despite everything, it’s a fun movie to watch.  The attack sequences are laughable yet enjoyable at the same time.  Even though they’re incredibly silly, there’s still an underlying primal threat there that comes from seeing anyone attacked by such creatures (skeletal or otherwise).  The characters are a fraction above one-dimensional, and the acting (Womack’s spirited comedy turn aside) another fraction below competent.  The locations are attractive – though the town itself is marvellously short of proper buildings or residents – and the scenery compensates for a lot of the other detractions.  There’s a hissable university bureaucrat (Villiers), music that swells and falls in complete ignorance of what’s happening on screen, the climax is better than expected, and the movie shuffles along at an agreeable pace that doesn’t allow it to outstay its (negligible) welcome.  It all adds up to a silly movie that shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone, and actually doesn’t set out to be.

Rating: 4/10, silly, stupid, brainless movie that should put a smile on your face even though it’s really, really, really bad; the title alone tells you all you need to know.

Originally posted on thedullwoodexperiment website.