Over recent years SyFy have lent in to the cheesiness of some of their tackier affairs, with the Sharknado and Lavalantula series being deliberately daft, but back in 2010 this ridiculous sort of dinosaur movie is mostly played straight, there’s the odd funny line and one character is deliberately hammy, but you get the feeling for the majority of the running time it’s meant to be taken seriously and that’s what leads to it being so funny.
It’s also best known as the first film that Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke made, she’s actually pretty decent in the film though slightly miscast as she’s supposed to be a quarter native American, though judging by her wandering accent the other three quarters is English. None of the rest of the cast are well known and most stumble through the movie doing their best but not achieving much, however Christopher Villiers, who plays University President Richmond Keller, is pleasingly over the top and chews the scenery as if he’d not eaten for years.
It’s one of those annoying movies which starts with an exciting action scene and then jumps back twenty four hours, but at least it delivers it’s unique selling point early on – as rather than them being normal dinosaurs chasing and attempting to eat our heroes, they’re just the skeletons. That’s quickly explained by the fact that Emilia Clarke’s Uncle is a Native American who’s angry at the local university for buying up the local town’s ground, and so he casts a spell which causes the skeletons to get all feisty and shit.
This is a Syfy film so there is a lot of nonsensical running about and coming up with schemes that don’t make an awful lot of sense, and by no means think this is a comedy classic from the beginning to the end, but there are a good few very funny moments with the skeletal dinosaurs slicing up extras, as mentioned Christopher Villiers gets to be amusingly sarcastic for most of the flick, and the cheapness entertains, like how the “Fossil Museum” is clearly just a warehouse with a tacky sign stuck over a door.
Also naff, and so pretty damn funny, are scenes with the native American Uncle smashing up a shop as if he’s been told not to do much damage to the props or they won’t be able to return them and get the money back, Emilia Clarke’s involved in to a student pledge subplot which involves a bloke called “Pants” having fights in a multi-coloured paddling pool, and in one scene a cop and his wife are surrounded by severed limbs but as soon as they realise their daughter isn’t one of them no longer seem to care in the slightest.
So as you can see it’s a beautifully idiotic film in places, but it works because it takes a stupid concept, throws in a bunch of oddball characters, and then watches the madness ensue. It loses points for trying to be serious a little too often, Clarke’s separated parents feature and worry about their daughter, and inevitably resolve their differences while escaping from skeletal bitey things, and it’s definitely no Tammy And The T-Rex – the gold standard that all bad low budget dinosaur films should be judged by – but it is often damn amusing and perfect for when you’re in the mood for something dumb, fun, and full of bones.