Hank Braxtan has given us a genetically altered polar bear in Unnatural, a giant urban serpent in Snake Outta Compton and a dragon in Dragon Soldiers. And now he delivers the dinosaurs in his latest film, Jurassic Hunt. I wonder what took him so long?
A group of hunters, including Parker (Courtney Loggins, Give My Love To Rose), Valentine (Tarkan Dospil, 4 Minutes), Torres (Ruben Pla, Fetish Factory, Insidious) and African poacher and warlord Blackhawk (Antuone Torbert, The Cove, Soul Hunters), has been flown into a remote and hidden location. They’re there to hunt the biggest game of all, dinosaurs. Lindon (Joston Theney, Axeman at Cutters Creek, Bleed 4 Me) manager of Jurassic Hunt welcomes them, gives them their choice of weapons and tags them all with a tracking device, “Just in case”.
However, something has gone very wrong. On their first night in the park, a pack of raptors attacks their camp, killing several of the hunters and their guide. Lindon sees this but refuses to extract the survivors, at least not until he’s had some more checks done on Parker.
Braxton and writers Jacoby Bancroft (Alien Expedition) and Jeffery Giles (Knight of the Dead) know just what the audience wants from a film like Jurassic Hunt, lots of bloody human versus dinosaur action. And they give us plenty of it in the first half-hour or so.
There are several species of dinosaurs too, raptors, a dilophosaurus complete with acidic spit, a pterosaur and a couple I’m not sure what they were. And they’re more than happy to bite, claw and kill humans any way they can. The dinosaur CGI is a bit lacking, but I’ve seen a lot worse. The mauled corpses are practical effects, the blood that sprays during their mauling, unfortunately, isn’t.
Equally unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, the dinos fade into the background a bit during the middle third of Jurassic Hunt. There are a few fun moments, like the hunter who takes on a T-Rex with a spear and a momma raptor and her pack of babies. But the pace slows and we get a bit more talk and posturing than I would have liked.
To help make up for the lack of lizards we do get more human-on-human conflict. Lindon’s goons Rabbit (Motown Maurice, WRZ: White Racist Zombies) and his canisters of dino hormones, along with Riggs (Heath C. Heine, Monster Force Zero, Rage of the Mummy) and a team of rather clueless mercenaries keep things from getting dull. And then the thunder lizards return en masse for the climactic throwdown.
Jurassic Hunt is the film The Asylum keeps trying to make. It’s obviously low budget but keeps the effects plentiful and, for the most part, on the right side of acceptable. It also keeps the pace up, padding the cast with disposable dino chow and putting in human villains to stretch the budget rather than lapsing into endless talk. Granted Torres’ campfire speech about Afghanistan could have been trimmed. And why they hadn’t done a better background check on Parker before she got to the park is a rather large plot hole.
But overall Jurassic Hunt is the kind of creature feature we could do with more of. The cast is filled with faces, if not names, that you’ll recognize and they know how to play their roles and keep you watching between dinosaur attacks. And it’s directed by somebody who, judging by his track record, actually likes the genre and isn’t just cranking it out for a paycheck.
Jurassic Hunt is available on DVD and On-Demand from Lionsgate. There may be more information on their website or Facebook page.