Dino Dicember #31: Triassic World (2018)

Because “Mesozoic Trilobite Massacre” was too original a title for The Asylum.

But then again, someone would have corrected them, since trilobites went extinct earlier. Still, i want a movie about them or other pre-historic creatures that aren’t dinosaurs. Come on, people, make it!

And yes, this is a mockbuster of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, with it being released 3 days earlier, at least in the U.S. It never came in theathers in my country, or any streaming service here, but there’s a UK DVD release for it.

And like most mockbusters, it’s all in the title, not so much in the plot itself. Though, given some of the shit that did happen in the Jurassic World movies, it wouldn’t really be that outrageous, since they seem like something the Asylum would do with an infinitely bigger budget, actors that most people recognize without IMDB-ing them, and a better quality baseline. Funnily enough, this movie feels more like Carnosaur than Jurassic Park/World, as you will see when we go over the plot.

While it’s still the usual deal of messing with DNA and latin words to create new species of previously extinct dinosaurs, the reason for it this time around it’s organ farming and harvesting. With dinosaurs used instead of children, because we all know our long distant ancestors had a knack for surgery, and shitting while they walked. And some corporate dude who founded the secret research is coming to see if they’re delivering.

But as it happens every goddamn time, the dinos (this time “gojirasaurus”, a parent of the more common dylophosaurus, lacking the frills, but they do are from the Triassic period) are escaping, so they have to put the place in lockdown, and try to resolve the mess, as we can’t afford to make another set. Of course the “dino organs for the people” concept doesn’t make any sense, but the script cares to elaborate on how a dinosaur’s liver would be compatible with humans for trasplant (and why dinosaurs instead of pigs or chicken), and manages to pull some mild surprises, not that bad, honestly, especially with the deadlines of scripting and shooting of production like this.

Also, it’s one of those ones where they try a more serious, sour tone, without any comedy or comedic relief, and it works better than it should, all things considered. Definitely one of the better, more competent movies from The Asylum in this subgenre, and not just as far as special effects go, it’s one of the rare ones where they managed to make the dinosaurs look kinda real (helps that they actually have puppets & practical props, yay!) and almost believable… in half the scenes, the other they look ok but completely fake (videogamey, too), and literaly 2 cuts later the same dinosaurs look far better, almost real in following shots.

Inconstitent, but nothing out of the ordinary for the company involved, in this regard. The pacing isn’t bad either, characters are mediocre and the motivations a bit stupid, the cast has some faces you might recognized if you watched enough movies of this kind (i did), and they do an ok job, nothing incredible, but for a production like this, it’s competent enough. Even if some line readings really give away that no one really cared to much, especially for the “tween that checks phone” even when she’s looking at actual dinosaurs egg in a lab. She feels so out of place, and i don’t even know why she’s there, maybe i happened to miss the singular sentence explanation for it. Whatever.

Triassic World is directed by Dylan Vox, who also later directed the 2020 movie My Nightmare Landlord (sigh), but his resumè as a TV actor is far larger, being in other Asylum shows like Z-Nation and trashy movies by other companies, like Jersey Shore Shark Attack, where he played the lead character. And a lot of gay porn, according to IMDB. And an episode of NCIS.

Kinda surprised, this is one that might be worth a watch for the aficionados and for killing 90 minutes. Quite ok dino flick, especially for a mockbuster from the mockbuster factory itself mooching after a “controversially received” Jurassic sequel.

At last, Dino Dicember is over for now, happy new year, and please cross all your fingers for 2021, can’t hurt.

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