Jokey films like Hobo with a Shotgun, Ghost Beaver Kick, and the WolfCop series should be graded on a scale on whether the movie was able to cash in on its ambitious set-up. Brendan Steere’s The VelociPastor belongs in the same camp, and it measures up quite well. Y’know if you’re expecting an outrageous revenge flick of jurassic proportions.
The VelociPastor understands that it can’t, under no circumstances, take itself seriously. It isn’t long before Pastor Doug (Gregory James Cohan) experiences his parents being killed (in one of those accidents where their car just blows up) and travels to China to “find himself”. There, he’s marked with a sacred idol that gives him the ability to transform into a deadly dinosaur when provoked. He believes this new power is a burden. But when he saves the life of local prostitute Carol (Alyssa Kempinski), she inspires him. Perhaps Doug’s ability is actually a new way for him to carry out the Lord’s mission of ridding evil. Although, I think God wouldn’t have expected so many severed limbs.
Writer/director Steere has a good attitude, and approaches this ludicrous premise with a solid balance of deadpan comedy and over-the-top shamelessness. Hilarious examples include poker-faced dialogue while jittery cinematographer Jesse Gouldsbury calls attention to the production’s rough edges. The humour skates close to being too self-aware, but stops short of being self-indulgent. What’s really peculiar about The VelociPastor is that its “dino combat” is kept at a minimum, with Steere only offering glimpses of dinosaur Doug in battle. This qualm, however, is debunked when an epic final fight breaks out between drug-peddling ninjas (yes, you read that correctly) and Doug in his final form. It’s hilarious but, most notably, we understand why they were saving their big surprise for last.
The VelociPastor is truly bonkers and an absolute blast.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie