28th Apr2017

‘Jurassic Prey’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Danielle Donahue, Jeff Kirkendall, Bob Dennis, James Carolus, Steve Diasparra, Ken Van Sant, Todd Carpenter, Austin Dragovich, Laurie Smith, Frank Humes, Houston Baker | Written by John Oak Dalton | Directed by Mark Polonia

jurassic-prey-dvd

I’m not going to lie, the oeuvre of the Polonia Brothers is somewhat of an acquired taste. Always low budget, often made with recurring cast and crew, very much what you’d call DIY filmmaking – right down to using familiar stock music and stock video footage (tell me you don’t recognise this films blood-drip filled opening credits? I’ve seen it offered as a design from tons of “video editors” on Fiverr). You have been warned… But for those familiar with the Polonia’s work, Jurassic Prey is more of the same cheesy fun that you’ve come to expect!

Jurassic Prey, originally released on Full Moon’s streaming service under the title of Meateaters, is Mark Polonia’s latest dinosaur-themed effort following both Dinosaur Chronicles and Saurians, with which this film shares a “dinosaur awakened by blasting” plot device (which to save money is only mentioned in passing by one of the cast). This particular monster movie features THREE plot threads that come together to get swallowed up (pardon the pun) by the over-arching deadly dino story.

We have a a couple of inept cops played by Steve Diasparra and Todd Carpenter, whose first case involves a man who keeps another man as a human dog. Then we have a woman, Jackie (Danielle Donahue), who robs her husband and plans to run off with her lover after meeting him at a secluded cabin. And finally we have three of the worst bank robbers you’ve ever seen, one of whom is a former child star who’s fed up with making convention appearances to make money – so teams up with his friends to rob the local bank which is holding cash for a film that’s being produced in the area. The robbery goes awry, and they end up taking the runaway wife hostage, who takes them to the cabin, where the man-eating dinosaur happens to be roaming, followed swiftly by the inept cops!

And most of the cast end up being scoffed by a rubber-suited, stop-motion jurassic killer…

Surprisingly, Jurassic Prey‘s has some fantatic stop-motion dinosaur effects. However, one can’t help but notice there is not one but THREE different dinosaur models used through the film – all of which look nothing like the others! First we have the huge (chunky) rubber legs and tails, which we see stalking victims. Plus there’s what’s clearly a hand puppet neck and head of the dinosaur; and finally we have the stop motion effort – which is head and shoulders above the other dino effects. So much so I kind of wish we’d see less of the other two dinosaur SFX, keeping the reveals to just the ugly-yet-terrifying version created for the stop-motion.

OK, so Jurassic Prey is badly made but that’s the charm of Mark Polonia’s work. Cameramen appear in glasses and are reflected in windows; the special effects are cheap yet effective; and there’s enough [creative] gore to keep horror fans entertained… It’s how the Polonia Brothers films have always been, right from their first, now cult-favourite, effort Splatter Farm. This is the kind of film you’ll groan at, laugh with and have fun doing so. Plus at just over an hour there’s not a second of wasted screen time and it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.

It might not be for everyone but I had a LOT of fun watching Jurassic Prey (as I have done with other recent Mark Polonia films released in the UK) Although I can imagine those unaware folks picking this up in the supermarket based on THAT cover – pictured above – coming away feeling very disappointed :)

Jurassic Prey is out now on DVD from White Dove Films.

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One Response to “‘Jurassic Prey’ DVD Review”

  • Brett Piper

    I wish there were someplace I could state this for the record — I had nothing to do with the stop motion in this movie! All Polonia.