If there is one thing that I miss, as do many other people on some of the fan groups I am a part of, it is the plethora of original movies that used to be shown on Sci-Fi/Syfy on a weekly basis. I know that television is a business and that the channels/stations are in it to make money but there was nothing better for me than to see what new movie would be airing on Saturday, and watching all of the movies that matched the new movie’s theme earlier in the day. Alas, those days are long gone and the only thing that remotely comes close is the annual Sharknado week, but I digress. So today’s movie is one of those movies that came out years ago but never got a DVD release in the US, which is unfortunately pretty common. However, me being me, I was not deterred and took to eBay to try and find an all region copy and managed to pick up a copy. So lets have some fun with today’s movie, Triassic Attack.
The plot: Sheriff Jake Roundtree and his wife Emma are being chased through the woods by an unseen creature and eventually meet up with Wyatt at an abandoned building. Quickly heading inside and shutting the door, Emma says they are trapped but Jake points out a ladder to the upper levels and tells her and Wyatt to climb up there and he will let the creature in so the can trap it inside. Once they are safely up the ladder, Jake opens the door to let the creature in, revealing it to be the skeleton of a velociraptor, and after he closes the door, he tries to avoid the raptor so he can climb the ladder himself. 24 hours earlier, residents of a small Native American town are staging a protest over the nearby university’s plans to expand by destroying parts of their town. Jake arrives and is confronted University President Richmond Keller, who is upset as the people had all signed an agreement and taken the money but now Jake’s uncle Dakota is leading the protest to try and renegotiate. Jake tries to calm everyone down and has the crowd disperse while he takes Dakota to the sheriff’s station. Inside, Dakota comments about Jake sounding like Keller and not caring about his heritage, while mentioning that it is why he and Emma are separated, before Jake sends him to a cell for the night. Jake returns home to see if Emma or their daughter Savannah are there and finds a note from Savannah saying she is studying at the library but he knows it is a lie. Jake heads to a frat party at the university, where he finds Savannah there with her boyfriend Matt and he tells her to get in the car, warning the frat leader to card people at their parties next time. Meanwhile, Keller is hosting a University fundraiser when Emma shows up and asks him about her losing her grant and Keller tries to charm his way out of it. When Jake shows up with Savannah, Keller thinks he is here to see him but Jake tells him he needs to talk to Emma. The two talk and he tells her about Savannah being at the frat party and after Savannah is told to wait in Emma’s car, Jake and Emma start arguing about how to raise Savannah; with Emma saying Jake is smothering her while Jake feels Emma is more focused on her career than their daughter. Jake leaves and returns to the jail, telling Dakota construction is starting at 4 the next day and he is free to go. Dakota tells Jake they can stop Keller’s plans together using the old ways but Jake says the old way’s have no place in modern times and that Jake’s isn’t doing their heritage any good by just selling rubber tomahawks. Dakota heads to his tribal museum/store and begins smashing the shelves and some of the displays. He then grabs the parchment from one case and using the ceremonial drum of the tribe’s shaman, he begins a ceremonial chant, which is shown to be affecting Savannah as well as himself. Dakota finishes the chant only to realize that he has brought the skeletons of a pteranodon, a velociraptor, and a tyrannosaurus to life and he quickly runs from the building. He gets into one of Keller’s bulldozers and tries to use it to escape but the pteranodon attacks it and he ends up running on foot. Close by, Wyatt sees Dakota running and calls out to him but when Dakota doesn’t respond, he heads back inside his trailer only for it to be knocked over. As his trailer catches fire, he quickly escapes out the window with his dog, which runs off, and Wyatt comes face to face with the tyrannosaurus and quickly runs away. The next day, Jake is called out to the site and finds no sign of Wyatt and has no idea what happened but feels like Dakota might be involved. Meanwhile, Savannah is pleading with her mom to let her go on a camping trip with Matt that they had already planned and Emma lets her go. Emma then heads out to the woods to teach her paleontology class and has them pair up to explore the area. Two students, Brian and Melissa, wander into the woods and see the pteranodon flying overhead just before they end up being attacked. Emma hears the pteranodon crying out and when she notices Brian and Melissa and calls Jake to ask him to come help look for them. Meanwhile, Wyatt wakes up after hiding all night in the woods and sees Dakota riding backwards on a horse but Dakota doesn’t answer when he yells out. Seeing the velociraptor approaching, Wyatt tries hiding from it in a cow pasture, falling into some manure in the process, and watches as the velociraptor is attacked by the tyrannosaurus, which approaches him but turns away and attacks a cow due to Wyatt’s smell. Meanwhile, Emma and her assistant discover Brian’s arm in a tree as Jake and Deputy Savage show up and they eventually find Melissa’s body down an embankment. Jake sends Savage to the University to have them lock it up and keep everyone indoors just as Emma tries calling Savannah, telling Jake she let her go to the lake despite his grounding her. At the lake, Savannah watches as Matt and the other pledges are forced to perform humiliating tasks and eventually heads out to the floating dock on the lake, where she is joined by Matt. As they start to swim back to the shore, they see the tyrannosaurus show up and begin attacking everyone there and Matt has Savannah hide behind some rocks while he gets their clothes and the keys to his truck, accidentally leaving Savannah’s phone on the rocks. As they are driving, they see Dakota on the horse and stop to get him only to find him in a trance and Savannah wakes him from it. Meanwhile, Jake and Emma arrive at the lake to find the carnage but no sign of Savannah and Matt. Emma sees the tracks from the tyrannosaurus and tries to explain them but can’t. They head back to town only to encounter Wyatt, who tries to explain what happened only for them to be attacked by the velociraptor. Jake tries to destroy it by running over it but the bones reform and chases them, bringing us to the events at the beginning of the movie. Jake manages to make it up the ladder and they trap the velociraptor in the building and head to the university, with Emma calling to warn Keller about what is happening. Keller refuses to listen and continues with his speech to the donors only for the pteranodon and the tyrannosaurus to show up to attack. Jake contacts the university’s ROTC to help and bring whatever heavy weapons they have with them. They arrive there and help get everyone inside the gym, then Jake and two members of the ROTC use bazookas to try and destory the two skeletons only to have them reform into a winged tyrannosaurus, which flies up and grabs the two ROTC members and carries them off. Back in the town, Dakota, Savannah, and Matt head to the museum and Dakota reads from the book and figures out that lightning is how they can stop the fossils. Dakota and Savannah begin performing the chant, causing it to start raining in town and lightning to strike near them. The winged tyrannosaurus shows up but before they can get a lightning bolt to strike it, it kills Savage by knocking him into a power line, then injures Dakota and Matt. Jake and Wyatt show up to help them into the museum, followed by Emma and Keller, and Savannah explains to her parents what Dakota’s plan was. Savannah says she can lure the fossils back to the area and make it rain and Jake reluctantly agrees to let her try but says instead of trying to call down lightening, they use the electricity from the nearby power substation instead. Wyatt rigs the power lines and Savannah begins chanting, causing it to begin raining and bringing the winged tyrannosaurus towards them, but also the velociraptor, which had escaped the building it was locked in, but when the tyrannosaurus arrives, it ends up cutting the power line. While Jake and Emma distract the tyrannosaurus, Wyatt grabs the power lines and holds them together and tells Savannah to throw the switch, electrocuting the fossil and breaking it apart for good. Wyatt collapses just as the velociraptor shows up so Emma lures it into the trap while Jake holds the lines together so they can destroy it as well. Some time later, Keller is standing with Dakota in front of a newly built museum and dedicating it to the native heritage. As the crowd cheers and Savannah is brought on stage to cut the ribbon with Dakota, Jake and Emma are shown to be giving their marriage another shot.
Yes, you have to have a high tolerance in suspending your disbelief, but this can be an entertaining movie. The acting was pretty good, with Steven Brand (Jake), Kirsty Mitchell (Emma) and Raoul Max Trujillo (Dakota) doing good jobs in their roles. I also thought that Gabriel Womack was really funny as Wyatt while Emilia Clarke (of Game Of Thrones fame) doing a good job in one of her earliest roles as Savannah. The story was pretty good and actually had a deeper story going for it underneath the basic tale of fossilized dinosaurs killing people; that being the whole eminent domain and how people leaving on Native American lands tend to be taken advantage of by the government and people with money. The special effects were pretty decent but unfortunately, did cause some “WTF?” moments as well as some that you really have to try not to think to much about. So let me go ahead and discuss 2 of the big problems now. First, when Wyatt and Jake grabbed the power lines without any sort of protective gear, they would have been fried on the spot. Second, regarding the skeletons, you have to essentially ignore the fact that skeletons don’t have any sense of smell, nor would the pteranodon be able to fly without any sort of membrane coming off it’s wings/arms. Still, the nonsensical aspects like that is what makes these movies entertaining. So shut off your brain for 90 minutes and just sit back and enjoy a fun movie to watch.
Rating: 3 out of 5