Now That’s What I Call Quite Good: Tammy and The T-Rex

tammy and the t-rex index
When Tammy And The T-Rex was originally released it’s director disowned it as the blood and gore and supposedly sexy scenes had been cut from it, but now it’s been re-released with all of those aspects added back in. Made just one year after Jurassic Park hit cinemas, a number of cheap low budget films featuring dinosaurs were released around this time, many of which were embarrassing attempts at cashing in on the Spielberg’s much loved monster movie. And the same applies with this, which director Stewart Raffill has freely admitted was only made because of some dodgy tax exemption scheme, except that it’s an out and out comedy and one of the silliest films of the decade.

Raffill was only given two weeks to come up with a script after being told the producer had an animatronic dinosaur that he could use, and boy can you tell. But despite that it’s a fairly strong effort, and gloriously and intentionally bizarre, as Tammy (Denise Richards) and Michael (The Fast and the Furious’s Paul Walker) are two teenagers who have got the horn for each other, but unfortunately for Michael Tammy used to date Billy, who’s all a bit psychotic and wants to beat up anyone interested in her, indeed Michael would be without testicles if it wasn’t for the fact that he was wearing a cup when the two fight. Then one night Michael creeps in to Tammy’s bedroom, Billy finds out, a chase ensues, and Billy beats the crap out of Michael and dumps him in the local nature park which comes complete with lions and panthers.

One hilarious lion fight later and Michael’s in a coma in intensive care, and meanwhile across town a mad scientist has built a robot dinosaur. The two soon meet, Michael’s brain is taken out and put in the robot T-rex but before the mad scientist’s plan can come to fruition Michael’s out and about looking for revenge against Billy while also hoping to somehow seduce Tammy as well. It would be all kinds of wrong if he managed to do the latter of course, and surely no director in his right mind would suggest sexual intercourse has just happened between a woman and a robot dinosaur, but it’s to the benefit of this rather beautifully insane movie that Raffill doesn’t seem to care about how his sanity may be judged by the audience.

The scene’s indicative of the film as a whole, it has a real “Fuck it, I know this is ludicrous but I just don’t care” feel to it and is all the better for it. So we get to witness the police mocking a crushed head, thugs using a skull as a rubbish bin, the dinosaur robot easily using a payphone, the mad scientist deliberately giving a comatose Billy an erection by fucking about with his brain, and some ridiculously bad action scenes with cgi that’s so awful it’s impossible not to laugh, and yet it all causes the movie to be incredibly endearing and extremely memorable.

I’ve a few minor quibbles, a couple of the gags are painfully naff, there’s some badly dubbed dialogue added on to a couple of scenes to either explain what’s going on or to add jokes, and only seventeen of it’s cast won acting Oscars (that or none, I can’t quite remember), but otherwise it’s a surprisingly decent effort, and a knowingly bad movie which pulls off it’s nonsensical plotline with aplomb, and it’s pretty easy to see why so many love it to death.

★★★3/4

Alex Finch.
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Related Link:
There’s a great article about the making of the film here.

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