Pterodactyl (Review)


Coolio as Captain Bergin
Cameron Daddo as Professor Lovecraft
Amy Sloan as Kate
Steve Braun as Willis
Mircea Monroe as Angie

Come along and ride on a fantastic voyage
slide slide slippity-slide
with switches on the block in a ’65

It’s a fantastic voyage indeed, to the heart of the Turkish-Armenian border, which is ripe with pterodactyls. Yes, pterodactyls. Only one man can stand up to the pterodactyl menace, Coolio! Coolio’s experience in living the Gansta’s Paradise is the key factor in destroying the Jurassic Threat. This isn’t the typical Sci-Fi pictures movie with just one giant monster, there is a whole flock of pterodactyls swarming the Turkish air. No wonder Turkey gives us such wonderful films, they’re constantly being raided by prehistoric monsters!

An ancient volcano in Turkey erupts, causing eggs to roll down a strategically placed hatch inside the volcano. The eggs instantly begin to hatch, producing pterodactyl hand puppets. Seconds later, some Turkish hunters are out wandering the countryside. Turkish Rednecks dress like American Rednecks, they just look more like Goths. We get a pterodactyl-vision shot, and hunter number one is sliced in half! His bottom half stand a few seconds before crumpling down. The other hunters shoot back, but in vain. They are soon given a first hand look at why The Flintstones would never work in real life, as they become dinner.

At the Turkish town of Durkimetabolichivichodievubalichtodiltiglaidthlcigliehlaie5weislichalicov, paleontologist Professor Lovecraft is preparing his expedition. To hunt down Cthulhu. No, wait, he’s just going to the volcano to look for fossils. Professor Lovecraft is desperate to get published before he loses funding, so he’s taking a bunch of students there as well. He works at some university where you get extra credit for flying to Turkey and looking at rocks. The only extra credit I’ve gotten at schools was a community college class that gave you points for going to the zoo. Plus, no pterodactyls there, though we did have a student attacked by Komodo Dragons. Professor Lovecraft’s group of future ptero-food include a graduate student named Kate who has the hots for Lovecraft ever since she had a class of his six years ago. There is also stereotypical bubbly blonde snob Angie, played by an actress who looks like Candace Cameron merged with Mena Suvari, whose father is financing the expedition. There is also a pair of nerds named Willis and Jason to fill up the geek quotient of the film. Willis is the blonde nerd who appears to have had human interaction at some point in time, while Jason seems to have never left his parent’s basement until the seconds before he flew to Turkey. Jason quotes Star Wars and acts so socially inept he can only be a direct attack at the entire viewership of Sci-Fi Channel, though Sci-Fi is not against alienating their viewer base, as a trail of shows canceled early will attest. There is also another girl named Gwen who says and does nothing, until her eventual death.

Coolio! Captain Coolio, US Special Forces! Him and his squad are taking out Turkish Rebels, or Armenian Rebels, or something. They’re hunting the dangerous rebel Yolen, and killing everyone in their way. They shoot up a rebel base, but it is Yolen-free. Coolio chases after a runner, gets dropped on and his gun stolen (I guess the gangsta life doesn’t teach you everything) but the rebel misses him at four feet away, then Coolio snaps his neck. It’s the way of the Ghetto.

Back with the Nerd Patrol, Angie is channeling annoying kids everywhere by constantly asking if they’re there yet, while the nerds have to go to the bathroom again. They stop, and that’s when Kate makes her move on Professor Lovecraft, who says it’s inappropriate. Nerd Willis nerds his way into finding a whole mess of dried pterodactyl pee (or is it “ptee”?) as well as nerding his way into falling face first in it. He shows off the pee pile to the rest of the group, who admire it and move on. Heh heh, nerds. They set up camp a little while later, and Angie teases Kate by saying “LOOOOOOOOOve-craft” before she wanders off for the gratuitous stripping down to your underwear and going swimming scene that is in EVERY SINGLE Sci-fi Giant Monster movie. I also believe every single woman who has bathed in a Sci-Fi Channel movie is killed later, so kiss Angie goodbye soon enough. Ptero-vision shows that might be sooner than later, but she manages to dive a few times to dodge, then gets ashore and runs. A final strike enables the pterodactyl to grab her clothes before he flies off. So the pterodactyl is basically like that weird guy at the Laundromat who takes women’s underwear. Great. Angie runs into Nerd Jason, who just stares and says “You have Boobs!” while eyeing her mammaries. Nerd ogling is more horrifying than being eaten by pterodactyls, so she runs off even more in shock. Jason goes back to check out the lake, and we have one dead nerd. The Force has failed him now.

Angie gets back to camp screaming of a giant bird attack, and is now oogled by the other nerd, Willis. “B-b-b-beautiful Birds” he says. She blurts out that it’s a pterodactyl, and no one believes it. Professor Lovecraft goes looking for Jason, but he isn’t responding, what with being dead and all. Willis states that his mother ordered him to never play with fire, which I’m only mentioning because that line is ridiculous. Professor Lovecraft rants that in class Angie called pterodactyls “Big Jurassic Birds that eat gross Jurassic Worms.” Coolio-side, he peeps into a tent where Yolen is sleeping and a local girl used for rape-purposes helps distract Yolen enough Coolio can capture him. He says “Sorry we didn’t get here sooner” to the girl. Yeah, real sorry about the repeated rape. My bad. Yolen is going to be tried in a military tribunal, odd that no mention of Guantanimo Bay or something similar. As an aside, this is the first film I’ve seen that even mentioned the Turkish-Armenian conflict, which is centuries old. Probably because these cheap Sci-Fi movies are mass produced in Europe on the cheap, and sometimes the writers will just locate the films there if they can’t hide the fact it’s not taking place in Ohio well enough.

Driving back to the local town of Durkimetabolishovitchamofogolobolisnatavicalozoditchovoshala7nov, the Science Crew is solemn, until PTERODACTYL ATTACK! At first, they try to drive faster, but Professor Lovecraft is no NASCAR driver. So they take off and run for the forest. Girl who does nothing Gwen finally does something, falling. She does it three times. It’s woman horror victim cliché cubed! Poor Gwen, she gets a line in, but it’s just her screaming as she’s carried away. The attack over, they head back to the jeep they were driving, which is now smoking and inoperable. Professor Lovecraft is amazed, and wants to go hunt down the pterodactyls to get publishing credit, with Nerd Willis cheering him on. Kate and Angie want to split, but as the jeep is dead they have no choice. There is even less of a choice when another jeep is arriving. It’s full of the rebels Yolen sent to the other camp, and they stop to capture the Science Crew. From the trees, Captain Coolio and his group see this happening, and just stand back for a while. Rebels are about to rape Kate, when the pteros return, and the rebels open fire! Coolio chooses this moment to attack as well. The pterodactyls are at this moment bigger heroes than Coolio, they’ve stolen clothes and stopped rape, while Coolio is letting roadside strangers get attacked. How many pterodactyls are there? At least seven in one shot, but there must be around twenty or thirty total, which is way more than the number of eggs that rolled out.

Coolio uses some sort of new weapon that shoots rockets guided by a VR-type helmet called an Adawan, which blows up one of the pterodactyls. It looks like the Rebels bring one down with machine guns as well, at this point I thought that would mean something, but they never bother to say there is a limited number of them, and they seem to multiply like rabbits. Flying lizard rabbits. So each time one is killed, it doesn’t matter, because they’re always replaced. Coolio’s team runs off with the Science Group as the pterodactyls feast on dead rebels. Willis still won’t shut up and mentions what this movie seems to be based on, a hoax newspaper report from the 1890’s about a live pterodactyl found in limestone. Except it’s real in this world. Coolio berates Professor Lovecraft for ignoring the Justice Department’s warnings about traveling in this area. I hope the warnings were about the rebels, and not the pterodactyls. It also turns out Coolio knows Kate’s father, Bulldog, having served under him in the Gulf War. Nerd Willis also gets what is probably his first and last kiss from Angie for him trying to help her during the Rebel attack. The experienced Special Operations Team walks in open fields flanked by forests on both sides as they are in territory controlled by hostile Rebels and attacking pterodactyls. This turns out to be a mistake, as the pterodactyls come back. We get another person halved, this guy a soldier, and a second is also killed. The Adawan is shot again, and Angie is grabbed by a ptero (who leaves her arm behind in Willis’s hand, a arm they seemed to have gotten from a mannequin in a department store window a few minutes before the shoot. Angie is dropped a few seconds later, as the pterodactyl remembered the song 1,2,3,4, Get Your Woman on the Floor, which proves to be her undoing. Yolen tried to run and his guard is de-headed by the pterodactyls, but Coolio grabs him and ties him to the headless body. They kill like ten pterodactyls in this attack, but I lost count so many of them were dropping. The pterodactyls grab Kate and carry her off to the nest, where CGI babies and hand puppet babies are eating a soldier brought back earlier. Kate manages to hide in the side of the nest.

Professor Lovecraft is understandably upset, but Captain Coolio tells him some words from the streets: “Cry tomorrow, today we got work to do.” Or maybe that’s from the army. Coolio tells them that Yolen killed six men he trained that were inserted into Yolen’s group as spies. Yolen makes some disparaging remarks about women, insulting the one woman soldier. Coolio says “Keep your mouth shut, or your teeth won’t make the rest of the trip!” Also, Willis still won’t shut up. The group find a building, and holes up there, but are set upon quick as lightning by pterodactyls. They shoot up one, which sets off the pterodactyls in a “feeding frenzy” deal. Professor Lovecraft picked up a six-shooter from somewhere, and joins Coolio’s team in shooting the flying freaks, and uses his special dark magic to keep from having to stop and reload. A fiberglass pterodactyl head pops in through the door and grabs Willis’s leg, but he’s saved when Professor Lovecraft shoots the head in the eye. The girl soldier is hurt as well. More rockets are used on the pterodactyls, until only two rockets remain. Coolio also storms out of the building with two handguns blazing, and he also has no reason to reload. The swarm backs off for a bit, and Kate uses a radio to announce she’s still alive. Lovecraft, Coolio, a dragged along Yolen, and a non-dead soldier named Serling prepare to head to the volcano to retrieve her, as the wounded Willis and Girl Soldier are left in the bed, where they have a weird picnic scene before they get eaten.

The team heads to the volcano, where Kate has slipped out of the nest, but is still stuck way up high. In her escape, a newborn puppet ptero-chick watches as his mother is gunned down. So upbeat! There is no way up, until they come up with a brilliant plan. It would have been excellent to see it in action, but instead we have to put up with what the low budget allows. The plan is to use a sheep as bait, so when the pterodactyls bring it back to their nest, it also brings a rope which is tied to the sheep. One problem: The movie can’t afford a real sheep. Seriously. We have a dead CGI sheep post-capture, and a stuffed sheep for closeup shots, but no real sheep. How much do sheep go for in Turkey? How much does stock footage of a sheep cost in Turkey? Yolen tries to escape again, but Kate shoots him from a long distance away, showing off her marksmen ability. Pterodactyls attack as Serling scales the rope to save Kate, and Coolio dual-welds machine guns! Yolen tries to escape again, but is grabbed by a pterodactyl and eaten by the babies in the nest. “Judgment by dinosaur.” Serling is going back on the rope with Kate, and it’s cut. Sterling falls to his doom, all broken up, while Kate manages to hold on enough that she’s pulled in by Coolio and Professor Lovecraft. The three escape, while Serling pulls out a detantor, which controls some explosives which were put in the body of the sheep. The nest is blown sky high, and Serling dies. This manages to kill all of the pterodactyls except one. The alpha male, Scarface. Scarface attacks them when they are once again in the middle of a field surrounded by trees. It looks like the same field all of the action keeps taking place at. Coolio grabs the Anawan and stands up to get grabbed by Scarface, which he is, and he fires the missile, which turns to hit Scarface, but Scarface drops Coolio and dodges it. 1,2,3,4, get your Coolio on the floor…. Coolio is deadio now. Professor Lovecraft gets an idea, and grabs the helmet for the Anawan, which relocks onto Scarface. The missile turns around, having an amazing amount of fuel, and blows up Scarface.

The menace is over. Wait, we’re panning back to the volcano. Yeah, yeah, more eggs, babies, blah blah, and his eyes open…. Yep, eggs. More eggs. A claw stomps… A Tyrannosaurus Rex? What the crap? A terribly rendered on at that! What garbage is this? Coolio vs. T-Rex for the sequel? Just have Coolio play his brother or something.

Well, for a Sci-Fi Channel movie…it still sucks. Seriously, the film attacked it’s viewers with the nerd stereotypes, the pterodactyls were easily killed and only a danger because they were massed. Pterodactyls slicing people in half and beheading them made up for some of the flaws, as did the pterodactyl that liked to steal women’s clothing. The entire explanation for their reappearance is that they were asleep in rock, and is based on a fake newspaper story. This probably means there is a Batboy movie in the works, which will be taken as serious. Now, Coolio should star in more movies where he shoots dinosaurs, but he needs to do rap songs for each of these movies, like Will Smith does.

1-2-3-4 Get your pterodactyl on the floor
Gotta gotta fly up to get down
Gotta gotta fly up to get down

Rated 3/10 (Clothes-snatcher, Half-guy snatcher, CGI sheep-snatcher!)

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