Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I think I’m getting a feel for how the Sci-Fi channel is able to pump out these ‘Sci-Fi Original Movies’ of theirs at such at phenomenal rate. This weeks movie ‘Triassic Attack’ was directed by Sci-Fi Luminary Colin Ferguson who was recently in Bulgaria starring in the Sci-Fi Original feature ‘Lake Placid 3’ so since he was there already why not give the man a chance to direct at a price which I’m sure was minimal, at best. Actress Kristy Mitchell was already in Bulgaria playing the beleaguered wife in that Lake Placid movie so all we had to do was pay for another weeks worth of hotel stay and her SAG minimum, change her character’s name and now she can play the same role in this movie. And if you are really observant you will notice that the sets in this movie are pretty

much the same sets from the Bulgarian based Sci-Fi classic ‘Lightning Strikes’. Toss in some bargain basement CGI and have somebody’s cousin write a script on their lunch break and a Sci-Fi Original movie is born.

If I’m not mistaken today Bulgaria is doubling for the great northwest and is somewhere in the Washington State area. I casually observed someone mentioning going to a Mariners game which is how I’ve come to this conclusion. Our film opens with our hero Sheriff Jake Rowntree (Steven Brand), his estranged wife Emma (Mitchell) and some comic relief dude named Wyatt (Gabriel Womack) who is covered in cow poop (it’s complicated) and happens to be good with

electricity (this will come in handy later) all running through woods from something… horrible. We don’t see quite yet what this horrible something is but in time my friends, in time.

The reason this movie opens with an action sequence is possibly because it has about a half hour of incredibly dull exposition to sift through so director Ferguson needed to let his audience know that something action oriented was eventually going to take place. Eventually. This exposition involves this small

northwestern town getting gobbled up by the local University headed by the super smarmy Dean Dr. Keller (Christopher Villiers) who has not only purchased this land from the poor, sad Native Americans, but is also playing footsie with our sheriff’s estranged wife. So after taking the Dean’s money and spending it, NOW the natives want their land back, especially Sheriff Rowntree’s hostile Native American Uncle Dakota (Raoul Trujillo). The Rowntree’s also have a precocious sixteen year old daughter who walks around in turquoise and sheepskin because, as she lets us know, she’s a quarter Native American which leads to a really insensitive dude frequently calling her ‘Pocahontas’. I’m thinking that guy isn’t going to see the finish line. Note that the daughters 25% worth of ancestry makes her blonde haired blue eyed father with the Scottish accent that fades in and out half Native American.

As you can probably imagine the hostile Native American uncle uses his mystical Native American powers, powers which every single movie Native American possesses, to pull off some unwise mystical stuff… mainly animating the dinosaur fossils of his roadside Native American museum. Now mayhem and chaos are in full bloom as the sheriff, his estranged wife, the electricity dude, the bratty daughter, her boyfriend, and the slimy Dean all try to battle the invincible Triassic Menace. Dakota the mystical Native American is attempting to fix the problem he created by riding on a horse through the woods while facing the wrong way. It’s complicated.

Allrightythen, so the first thing we have to muscle past in order to accept ‘Triassic Attack’ as a viable piece of entertainment is that this is one mighty dull start to a movie. Listening to our actors, none of them being all that good, go on and on about their various personal problems before the Triassic Mayhem begins was almost mind numbing. I don’t know what these low budget sci-fi movies have to do to make this pre-carnage setup in their movies more palatable, but they gotta do something because this was painful to sit through.

Things do improve marginally by the time the bony dinosaurs get to doing what they do, even though there was no real rhyme or reason behind anything these dinosaurs did, but it did have promise. By making them skeletons, CGI Harryhausen style, our filmmakers didn’t have to worry about skinning them which would’ve made them look more fake that they already did, their herky-jerky movements kind of fit as opposed to just looking like bad animation, plus the fact they didn’t have bellies kind of justified why they kept chewing on people since could never get full. Yes… the faux Native American chants and dances were idiotic, sure… watching some guy bum rush a flying T-Rex as a means of subduing it was stupid, observing Steven Brand portraying a Great North Westerner wrestling with his Scottish accent was slightly distracting, though we should mention that Kristy Mitchell is also Scottish and had no such problems. Finally, and this is a bit of spoiler, but one would think that that the crazed Native American responsible for the deaths of 40% of the State of ‘Washington’ should probably be behind bars in maximum security prison, as far away from mystical books, mortar and pestle as humanly possible and not given the keys to the city… but we’ll ignore all of that. I mean it is a Sci-Fi Channel original movie for goodness sakes.

But it is still dull and lifeless. That we cannot ignore though we sure did try. Keep ‘em coming though Sci-Fi Channel because Lord knows your originals are good for the Bulgarian economy and I have to do something with that all of that space on my DVR.

Real Time Web