You know what I miss? I miss when Sci-fi/Syfy would show a bunch of great B-movies over the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, Syfy will still show some great B-Movies every now and then, but there are times where some of the movie choices don’t exactly fit into the “sci-fi” theme. Now today’s movie is one that I saw years ago on Syfy (back when it was Sci-Fi) and it definitely fits into the proper mold. Back when I first saw it, the main thing going through my head was honestly, “Man, this is going to be the third movie I own to have Coolio in it.” So let’s see what type of movie I have here as I watch Pterodactyl.
The plot: On a volcano near the Turkish/Armenian border, a tremor occurs, causing an opening into a hidden chamber to form and several eggs suddenly roll into the chamber, where they hatch to reveal a baby pterodactyl . Two months later, three hunters are walking through a field in Turkey after a successful hunting trip when they are attacked and killed by several pterodactyls. In a town near the Armenian border, Professor Michael Lovecraft and his assistant Kate Heinlein are preparing to lead a group of students (Angie, Gwen, Jason, and Willis) on a scientific expedition. Meanwhile, in the forest, a US Special Forces team led by Captain Bergen is searching for a terrorist named Yolen and end up taking out a rebel camp but find no sign of him. Michael and the others are making their way to the camp site when they stop so that Willis can use the restroom. As Michael starts getting frustrated with Angie’s spoiled attitude, Kate has him go for a walk with her, where she admits her attraction to him and her disappointment that he hasn’t made a move on her yet. Meanwhile, Willis finishes using the restroom but as he looses his balance when some ants start crawling on his leg, he lands in a pile of strange matter that seems to be leaking down a tree. Willis goes to show Michael and the others and Michael says it looks like bird urine but can’t think of any bird big enough to release that much in one spot and they head off, not noticing the pterodactyl circling overhead. At a rebel camp further in the woods, Yolen sends some of his men to find out what happened to the other camp as they have received no contact from them while elsewhere, Bergen and his team make camp for the night. Meanwhile, Michael and the others stop close to the volcano and make camp for the night. Angie decides to go for a swim at the nearby lake but when a pterodactyl tries to attack her, she manages to dive under the water and avoid it. Making it back to shore, she runs into Jason and tries to tell him what happened but when he just stares at her, she runs back to camp while Jason heads to the lake and ends up being carried off by the pterodactyl. Angie makes it to camp and tells the others what happened but they don’t believe her and Michael and Willis go looking for him without any luck, not noticing one of Jason’s severed arms lying in the lake. That night, Bergen sneaks into the rebel camp and manages to capture Yolen and takes him out of the camp. The next day, Michael and the others are driving towards the volcano when a pterodactyl appears and tries to attack them. When their jeep overheats, Michael yells at everyone to run for the trees but Gwen stumbles and its up being carried off by the pterodactyl. While Kate wants to leave and get help, Michael wants to follow after the pterodactyl and the two end up arguing about it when a jeep full of Yolen’s men show up and take them prisoner. Bergen and his men see this, as well as a flock of pterodactyls flying overhead, and when the pterodactyls start attacking the group, decide to help Michael and the others while the pterodactyls kill Yolen’s men. Taking shelter in the trees, Michael tries to convince Bergen and his men to help them but Bergen is reluctant to help at first until he learns that Kate is the daughter of his former commanding officer, and he agrees to get them to safety. As the group makes their way back to town, they are attacked by the pterodactyl and Angie, along with two of the soldiers, are killed while Kate and another soldier, Clarke, is carried off by the pterodactyls. The pterodactyl carries Kate to the volcano and drops her into a nest, where she sees the other soldier being eaten alive by some baby pterodactyls but manages to hide herself in an alcove where they can’t get her. Michael, Bergen, and the others head out and make their way to a cabin but they are attacked by some more pterodactyls and Willis and another soldier, Zelazny, are injured before they are able to chase the pterodactyls off. In the nest, Kate manages to grab Clarke’s radio and makes contact with the others to tell them where she is. Michael, Bergen, along with Serling and the captive Yolen, head towards the volcano to rescue Kate but while they are gone, Zelazny dies from her wounds and a pterodactyl breaks into the cabin and kills Willis. Reaching the volcano, they see Kate as she had managed to escape the nest and are trying to figure out how to help her. Going back for a sheep from the cabin, they tie a rope around it and use it as bait so they can get a rope over to where Kate is. Then Michael and Bergen give cover fire for Serling as he climbs the rope over to Kate. As Kate and Serling try climbing the rope to the others, Yolen attempts to double cross Bergen and Michael but he is carried off by one of the pterodactyls and taken to the nest. Meanwhile, the rope breaks and Serling ends up falling to the rocks below while Kate hangs on to the rope and ends up clinging to the cliff face. Michael and Bergen pull Kate to safety but Serling is too badly injured and tells them to run, then detonates the explosives hidden inside the sheep, destroying the nest and killing all but one of the pterodactyls. As they make their way across the field, the last pterodactyl attacks them and Bergen allows himself to be taken, then fires a guided missile, aiming at the pterodactyl but as the missile approaches, it drops Bergen. Michael races to Bergen, who dies from his wounds, then grabs the goggles to guide the missile to the pterodactyl and as it approaches, the missile hits and destroys the pterodactyl, showering Michael in it’s blood and guts. As Kate and Michael walk off, with Michael carrying proof of the pterodactyls existence in his arms, some more eggs are seen further inside the volcano, with a tyrannosaurus walking around as well.
This was honestly a little disappointing of a movie, mainly due to some subplot issues.. The acting was decent for the most part, but some of the characters came across as pretty annoying. The story was odd, with the basic plot being pretty good but the side story about Bergen’s (Coolio) mission that they essentially abandon and the whole romance drama with Michael (Cameron Daddo) and Kate (Amy Sloan) kind of took away from the movie. The Special effects with the pterodactyls was actually pretty decent for the most part, but there were a few times that they looked cheap, which actually added some more entertainment to the movie. Could have been a bit better but there have been worse movies out there.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5