Now we're getting deep, down and dirty in our quest to watch every Sci-Fi original movie ever made. We're talking 'Planet Raptor', 'Sabretooth', 'Mansquito', 'Epoch' territory. We're talking back when SyFy was Sci-Fi, back when they got the notion to start making these things called Sci-Fi originals and called it the most dangerous night on television. Those were the days my friends, when we got some of the worst movies known to man. Yes, they are still some of the worst movies known to man, but we're ready for them now. Back then, like when they broadcast this movie 'Pterodactyl' and put a man who spent most of his life living in a gangsters paradise as one of the stars… man, those were the days.
Somehow, some where deep in the forests of Turkey pterodactyl eggs roll down a hill and hatch. No earthquake, no tornado, no volcano… they just roll down a hill and hatch out after a couple million years. Go figure.
Next we have the rogue international terrorist Yolen (Ivo Cutzarida) who is running around these Turkish jungles causing a ruckus, engaging in forced relations with beatdown chicks from the Czech Republic (where this movie was shot) and trying to elude the onslaught of super hardcore soldier Captain Bergan (Coolio) and his equally hardcore team of hardcore mercs who are going to bring this murdering fiend to justice!
Then we have the paleontological exploits of one Dr. Michael Lovecraft (Cameron Daddo) who is on an excursion with his class to look for bones or something. Beats me. There are two things we need to concern ourselves about these students, one
would be Angie, as played by actress Micrea Monroe, and Angie looks fabulous in her underwear. Next there's Katie the graduate assistant (Amy Sloan) who is love with Dr. Lovecraft. Dr. Lovecraft kind of loves her as well but she is his student, albeit a grad student, and also he seems to love dinosaur bones more than young, tight redheads. Does any of this have anything to do with giant prehistoric birds eating annoying young adults, terrorist and aging rappers? No it doesn't.
Finally, the giant reptiles start eating people, starting with the guy who was frozen looking at Angie in her underwear. They're just boobs man, and we've seen them before… though we have to admit each time does kind of feel like the first time. Then the reptiles eat the terrorist followed by some more of the students who didn't have lines. Fortunately Capt. Coolio showed up to rescue these guys and now he's really on board with the safety plan once he discovers that Katie the lovesick redhead is the daughter of his old commander Bulldog Heinlen. Who knew Bulldog had a daughter? Seriously… who knew? Capt. Coolio didn't know because he kept saying it over and over and over again. Dude… Bulldog had a daughter… we get it. He even starts calling her Bulldog. Because, you know, Bulldog had a daughter.
The situation is a dire one. There are a crapload of Pterodactyls around, they don't ever get full, and if they are full they'll just drop you in the local pterodactyl nursery. The terrorist is still causing a ruckus and Bulldogs' baby girl needs saving. Hopefully Dr. Lovecraft will discover the love in his heart and save the woman who loves him so much. Kill me now.
'Pterodactyl' was directed by veteran Mark L. Lester who was quite the busy directing bee back in the 80's and the 90's, I mean this cat directed 'Commando' so he comes to the party bringing some cache to table. So imagine Commando with Coolio instead of Swarzenegger, we still have terrorists, but with the added dimension of giant man-eating pterodactyls! What could that possibly be but heaps of awesomeness?
Of course 'Pterodactyl' isn't heaps of awesomeness, it's heaps of something not quite descending to the level of pure garbage, but still not being good. In short, it was the virtual prototype of a sci-fi original movie. Pointing out some of the things that weren't so bad in this movie we could start with Coolio and his portrayal as a hardcore platoon leader which was both funny and insightful. Funny because of the overwrought 'soldier speak' that Coolio was reeling off in this movie, including I believe a couple of 'Don't Die on me Soldier!' moments, and insightful in that this leader didn't have the good sense to have a car for his soldiers to drive back and forth with. In fact when they finally got a vehicle from the terrorist, they blew it up even though all of the terrorist were eaten by giant birds. Maybe he figured, correctly, that the birds would jump in the ride and drive to eat them because these birds were very bright. Also, it seemed the birds couldn't do anything to our crew when they were under the cover of trees, but were easy pickings in wide open spaces. This is why the captain constantly had his people running into wide open spaces. We also have to admit that the CGI birds weren't so shabby, problem being that movie was made years ago and sadly the CGI in SyFy originals seems to have only gotten worse. What is up with that?
Yes, we could've done without the melodrama… and the terrorist… and the fact that Bulldog has a daughter but I guess it was determined that just watching giant birds eat annoying people wouldn't be enough. Uh… that's more than enough where I come from.
'Pterodactyl' wasn't all that bad, mainly because Mark L. Lester semi knows what he's doing behind the camera and Coolio's interpretation of a hardcore soldier is semi-devastating. With the generous Sci-Fi curve applied, 'Pterodactyl' is all right with us.