12 Days Of Dino Dicember #8: Cowboys Vs Dinosaurs (2015)

It seems i have misplaced my UK DVD, so enjoy this US poster.

“Hinted” at this one in last year’s Dino Dicember, so here it is, the versus match of the millennia, to decide who’s better between gun junkies cattle herders and extinct-not extinct predators.

One i didn’t even had to search for online, as i already owned on DVD as “Jurassic Hunters”, bought alongside a pack of other UK DVD dinosaur movies imports years ago.

What luck!

And another one that people rating shlock on IMDB are being a bit too mean towards just to rake in the likes by fake pretending Jurassic Park quality and bitching how Cowboys VS Dinosaurs didn’t rock their socks off, that or people who genuinely haven’t seen REALLY bad b-movies.

Sure, the plot uses indeed a “find and replace” type of script swapping aliens for dinosaurs, just without the blockbuster level of productions, and not really much else that really warrants this being called a Cowboy & Aliens rip-off, since it came out 4 years after that and it’s the kind of movie that would have happened regardless, since we also had cowboys fighting zombies and vampires.

This is way more in line to the older “weird west” entries like Beast From Hollow Mountain (which we’ll get in a few days), but with a modern setting so it’s not about real frontier cowboys of the wild west, it’s about a rural town in Montana where a mining explosion unleashes dinosaurs that were trapped into a hollow cave in the ground, a former cowboy rodeo that left the town years ago (lefting some romantic drama to stew) happens to be back in town just in time to help face the dino menace with horses, ropes and guns, and to win back his ex-girlfriend in the process.

Thankfully the dinosaurs survived in the cave by breathing methane, so they’re extra explosive. How kind of them, really.

As usual, this comes with a set of expectations, and honestly makes for some entertaining shlock, since productions values are less shoddy than one would estimate for a small production made by such an unknown company like Pixium Film Group (also behind the previously reviewed Jurassic Attack), the CG for the dinosaurs it’s actually better than most Asylum flicks, the acting – while pure “doing it for the paycheck” – is solid and more convincing than a movie like this calls for… at least for the older, far more recognizable faces like Eric Roberts and Vernon Wells.

Considering there’s also tired “cowboy love drama” at the forefront, the acting could have been so much worse, and there’s plenty of action to keep you entertained enough, this is one that decides to show the dinosaurs attack very early in the film, but manages to keep the “dino quota” up enough to have people shoot at the things, and of course roping them up like cattle just because.

As far as gore goes it could have been better, you can tell exactly where they had to cut corners in order to afford okayish effects for the mauled corpses, the rest is the usual cheap effects for digital blood, very few of those because they wrote in that the dinosaurs were filled with methane, so we have some of them just exploding without dropping body parts. XD

The rest it’s the usual gaggle of rural american monster movies cliches, from the uncaring business bastard to the corrupt sheriff, the protagonist coming back to his old town with emotional baggage in order to make things right, settle things, the mines, the crazy-esque guy who’s aware of the menace being actual dinosaurs, everyone in town instinctively knows to use rifles, etc.

The execution is fairly typical and it leads to the usual bullshit, but it’s a bit less dumb how some events play out, which is a plus, even it’s still dumb as a pile of bricks, pure stupid, it’s a movie called Cowboys Vs Dinosaurs, for fuck’s sake, of course i want it dumb. It could have been a bit more funny, but it’s entertaining piece of decent shlock, there’s so much worse hokum around.

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