What would you do if you woke up one day and found out you can transform into a dinosaur? Would you use those powers for good or evil? The VelociPastor, a film written and directed by Brendan Steere, aims to answer these questions. It’s by far one of the most insane films that I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.
The film follows Doug Jones (Greg Cohan), a priest at the local town’s church who watches his parents die in front of him. He’s advised by Father Stewart (Daniel Steere) to travel the world and find a way to move on from this horrendous tragedy. Doug ends up in China, where he runs into a villager (Claire Hsu) being attacked. She gives him a mysterious object that grants him the ability to transform into a velociraptor. At first, he is horrified by his new powers but is eventually convinced by his new friend Carol (Alyssa Kempinski) to use his new ability to fight crime.
Even after watching the trailer, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. However, I found the film to be very enjoyable from start to finish. The VelociPastor’s premise is what caught my attention the most. It’s both something completely new but also quite familiar. I was quickly reminded of the Animorphs book series while watching this. The costume design of the velociraptor does look silly but the film seems to know just how silly it is. This film would have fit perfectly during the 70s and 80s when similar films like The Fly, An American Werewolf in London, and Creature From the Black Lake were being made.
Almost the entirety of the film never takes itself seriously with the constant gags and moments of humor. Within the first five minutes of the film, it’s evident just how ludicrous some of these gags will be. This isn’t a bad thing since they create moments of humor that carry the film forward. The VelociPastor’s unironical humor is its biggest strength, which informs the audience what type of film this will be.
There are several moments where the camera zooms in on character’s faces as a way to not only create yet another funny moment but to display just how much this film doesn’t take itself seriously. On top of all of this, the final battle is just full of hilarious moments that take the entire film to new heights. These final moments are the icing on top. They make the film even more amazing.
The relationship formed between Doug and Carol is the real heart and soul of The VelociPastor. It does have its comedic moments but their bond is what Doug needs to carry himself forward. Having seen his parents die in front of him, Doug is completely lost. I’m not particularly fond though of the trope where the main girl in a film is what gives the male protagonist his purpose in life.
The simple premise of Doug turning in to a dinosaur should have been enough to give him a purpose to use his powers. Additionally, Carol doesn’t really have any substantial personality outside of her relationship with Doug. It would’ve benefited the film, and Carol, so much more had it explored who Carol was outside of her relationship. Merely stating her profession isn’t enough information. Even though she does help him with adapting to his new life, thereby showing just how much she cares for him, it comes off as if her only purpose is to advance the plot and Doug’s emotional state.
Overall, I really enjoyed watching The VelociPastor and cannot imagine not having watched this film. Not only does the film’s title including a hilarious pun, but it offers an enjoyable story from beginning to end. It offers constant humor and action that’s reminiscent of films from the 70s and 80s. It never takes itself seriously, which makes it easier to enjoy the film even more. This is a film that I full-heartedly recommend.
The VelociPastor is set to be released on August 13th. Preorder the movie now on Amazon.
It offers constant humor and action that’s reminiscent of films from the 70s and 80s. It never takes itself seriously, which makes it easier to enjoy the film even more.