Review: THE VELOCIPASTOR (2018)
Intentionally bad films are usually just that, bad. Rarely do they manage to become the kind of so bad they’re good cult films they aspire to be. For every Camp Death III In 2D, there’s a dozen Greasy Stranglers that miss the mark. Now, here comes Brendan Steere (Animosity) and The VelociPastor, a $35,000 epic about a priest who can turn into a velociraptor and fight ninjas.
Father Jones (Gregory James Cohan) loses his parents and his faith to a car bomb. He retreats to rural China to get his head together and regain his faith. Instead, he gets a “dragon tooth” from a dying woman. And when it cuts his hand it gives him the power to become a dragon or at least a raptor. As in velociraptor, the dinosaur, not a member of Toronto’s basketball team.
Returning to his homeland, he saves Carol (Alyssa Kempinski, Alpha Girls) from some muggers. Waking up to find he’s turned into a dinosaur and killed two thugs is rough. Finding out he saved a hooker and then had sex with her is even worse, the worst thing that could possibly happen. Until his parent’s killer (Fernando Pacheco De Castro) makes confession to him. And he happens to be Carol’s pimp. Realizing that his destiny lies in violence and bloodshed, he teams up with Carol to fight evil. Some of which may be closer to home than he can imagine.
What sets The VelociPastor apart from other attempts at making a cult film is that the script is genuinely witty. Steere has taken the time to craft an actual cohesive script rather than just throw everything they can think of at the audience and hope some of it gets a laugh. This is also his third feature after Dead By Dawn and Animosity, which also starred Kempinski. He knows how to make a movie, and to parody one. Which sets him apart from the legion of first-timers who see making a cult film as their path to fame.
I do wish we’d seen more of Father Jones reptilian incarnation, as rubbery as it is. And if you’re going for a grindhouse vibe, you really need to deliver the goods. Kempinski has done nudity before, why play coy with the sex scenes in The VelociPastor?
But overall, The VelociPastor does deliver as goofy entertainment. And it leaves an opening for a sequel you’ll want to see. Wild Eye will release it on DVD and Digital August 13th. A Blu-ray release will follow on September 17. You can get more info on the film’s Facebook page.