Thursday, November 2, 2017

The VelociPastor (PDXFF 2017) - Movie Review

The Movie: The VelociPastor

The Director: Brendan Steere

The Cast: Gregory James Cohan, Alyssa Kempinski, Fernando Pacheco De Castro, Jesse Turits, Daniel Steere,

The Story: After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a hooker convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.

The Review:
This might just be the single greatest achievement in the entire history of cinema. Okay, maybe not but it's a pretty freaking entertaining movie. Several years ago, writer and director Brendan Steere created a short film that in the same vein as pretend trailers that became feature films like Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun. The idea of the movie sounds silly and what ends up on film is nothing more and nothing less. Every moment of bad dialog, cheesy special effect, excessive laughter, and cliche montage are all built perfectly for laughs. The cast and crew made no attempt at pretending to be serious which allows the fun to pour out from everywhere.

I would have to say the most entertaining moments of the movie are when the pastor, played enthusiastically by Gregory James Cohan, transforms into the velociraptor and the levels of intentional absurdity just go off the charts. The fight choreography was a true sight to behold and I especially love how a lead character begins the movie as a prostitute and, by the end, she has become a lean mean fighting machine. Amazingly she is able to take on a horde of ninja warriors with no training whatsoever. By horde, I mean five but who's counting. Maybe it was six.

Of course, no action movie would be complete without an 80's style montage and lots of overly exaggerated laughter from the sinister villains. Speaking of villains, I love how one of them is named in the credits simply as "Sam the White Ninja." There is also little to no attempt at hiding the fact that this is a low budget production and I'm quite certain the cheap factor was intentionally exaggerated. My favorite example is how a decapitation would play out by having someone off screen throw a bloody mannequin head on the ground. Freaking brilliant!

The Verdict:
The VelociPastor is exactly the movie you expect it to be and so much more. This movie has midnight cult classic written all over it and everyone involved should be applauded for their efforts.

The VelociPastor is an official selection of the 2017 Portland Film Festival. coverage of the 2017 Portland Film Festival.

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