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Terrordactyl

Year: 2016
Production Co: Throughline Films
Director: Don Bitters III/Geoff Reisner
Writer: Don Bitters III

"What are ancient flying reptiles doing in Los Angeles of all places?" one of the characters asks at one point in this loud and proud B movie. The answer is that there's simply nowhere else for them. The City of Angels is where any dream can come true, especially ones that hark back to the most ridiculous, campy creature features of the 1950s – especially with the extra element not only of knowing how stupid they are but laughing at themselves right along with the viewer.

Think ' Sharknado with pterodactyls' and you're on the money. Every aspect of the production from the script and acting to the editing and special effects looks like a bunch of hobbyists got together to see who could make the worst movie for a lark. If you're in the right mood and setting (friends, pizza, beer, violation of normal movie-watching etiquette) you'll probably have a great time.

Two dolts make an honest if uninspiring living as gardeners in the ritzy enclaves of LA, ogling the rich female clientele and dreaming of bigger and better things.

When a meteor shower sends space rocks hurtling down on the nearby mountains, the more doltish of the two hears from the barmaid he has a longtime crush on that anyone who finds one could come into big money.

So he convinces his slightly less doltish friend to drive out in the middle of the night to find one. Of course they do, figuring they've got it made as they drive it back home to consider their next move.

On the way to the cute barmaid's apartment (because she's conveniently chosen that moment to finally hit on him), the prehistoric shit hits the fan. Unbeknown to anyone, the meteors actually contained a flock of pterodactyls from space, and when they descend on LA, the same kind of badly-computer-generated chaos you've seen Sharknado, Big Ass Spider or Lavalantula descends.

Of course the cute barmaid has a hot roommate, so the foursome go on the run and connect with a gun nut alcoholic ex marine to try and get away from the reptilian menace, inexplicably deciding they have to take care of the problem themselves.

It leads to a showdown with the gigantic queen of the flock in the upper reaches of a downtown LA apartment building, and apart from the one time the computer graphics come any near 'realism', it's as silly as the rest of the movie.

As is always the case with flicks like this, the lack of quality extends to what should be the most prominent element, the laughs. Better written gags would make movies like Terrordactyl the Cormanesque classics they seem to want to be, but if you want to look at the bright side, it's proof the movie industry in Hollywood's getting better rather than worse.

Once upon a time when very expensive cinema releases were the only way to make and release movies, the likes of Terrordactyl would never see the light of day. But other platforms like VOD are keeping movies from all walks of life (like this one) alive.

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