The new short from director Joe Badon (Sister Tempest, The God Inside My Ear), The Blood of the Dinosaurs, took me about eighteen minutes to watch. It may take a lifetime to figure out just what I watched.
Beginning with a recreation of the end of the Age of Reptiles staged with plastic dinosaurs, fireworks and exceptionally primitive animation, Badon and co-writer Jason Kruppa have put created a film that has only the most minimal framework of a plot. And that is used more to hang collages of bizarre footage and imagery on rather than tell a narrative story.
What narrative we do get is framed a the Christmas edition of “The Uncle Bobbo Show”, a children’s show airing on public access TV. Uncle Bobbo (Vincent Stalba, She Was the Deputy’s Wife, I Saw the Light) gives off the vibes of Dexter with severe brain damage. His young assistant, The Purity of Youth (Stella Creel, The God Inside My Ear, Sister Tempest), or Purity for short, is even creepier in a female Damien Thorne kind of way.
Their retelling of the story of Christmas as a fossil fuel fable is an enjoyably barbed sendup of religion, the oil industry and unfettered capitalism. That much even I could figure out and appreciate. But it’s also obvious the makers of The Blood of the Dinosaurs had more on their minds than just that.
Their retelling of the story of Christmas as a fossil fuel fable is an enjoyably barbed sendup of religion, the oil industry and unfettered capitalism. That much even I could figure out and appreciate. But it’s also obvious the makers of The Blood of the Dinosaurs had more on their minds than just that. The bizarre mashup of footage that follows Uncle Bobbo isn’t just random, or at least I don’t think it is. But I also can’t put a meaning to it either. Maybe it’s all just a video Rorschach Test, presenting images of sex, childbirth, etc and letting you get out of it whet your own notions bring to it.
But, as I’m usually quick to remind you, I’m much more knowledgeable about the grindhouse than I am about the arthouse. And this is film as art, so take my words with a grain of salt. But The Blood of the Dinosaurs did hold my attention and provoke a few interesting thoughts. It’s worth seeing if you get the chance, but you might want to have a few edibles first.
The Blood of the Dinosaurs is currently on a successful festival tour having won Best Short Film at the 2021 Sin City Horror Fest, WTF Award at the 2022 Buried Alive Film Festival. It has also played at the 2022 Chattanooga Film Fest, Oak Cliff Film Festival, Indy Film Fest, Boston Underground Film Festival and BizarroLand Film Festival. It can be seen next at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. You can check the director’s Facebook page for announcements of other screenings.