Shitty Movie Sundays: Triassic Hunt

Once upon a time, Roger Corman held the title of most shameless filmmaker in Hollywood. It seemed there wasn’t any low to which he would stoop in order to make a buck, often at the expense of his movies. But, there was still liveliness in his productions. Corman could make a good movie, and he had an eye for talent. The young, hungry filmmakers he had in his stable could be relied upon to repair much of the damage caused by Corman’s ruthless frugality.

The Asylum is the current champion of shamelessness. Their business model of piggybacking off of the success of better films is nothing new in Hollywood. Ripoffs are just part of the economy of film. It’s the efficiency with which they capitalize on trends that makes them unique. Their mockbusters are often released before the big studio material they are ripping off, and they have titles designed to rope in unsuspecting, or undiscerning, viewers.

Their mockbusters have production values that are amongst the worst in film, with talent and story to match. They have mastered a paint-by-numbers approach to cheap filmmaking, to the point that their movies are indistinguishable from each other, once one gets past the surface features.

Regular readers will have noticed that this page doesn’t do a lot of shitty big budget movies. The reason for this is that a bad studio flick is the artistic equivalent of a Big Mac. Lamenting creative decisions made during a conference call is a waste of time. The execs at Warner Bros. or Disney greenlight movies that are just as shitty as anything in the Watchability Index, but because they are arch-capitalists, they suck all the life out of their films.

The Asylum does the exact same thing, only for pennies on the dollar. That means that while their movies would seem to slot into Shitty Movie Sundays with ease, the sheen of being a mere product is as impossible to ignore as it is for a Marvel flick. And yet, I still watched today’s entire movie.

Triassic Hunt is the 2021 sequel to Triassic World, which The Asylum released to capitalize on the Jurassic World flicks. There’s no reason to go into detail about how the films relate to one another.

In this film, a shady company, led by a sleazy guy named Jordan Freeman (Michael Paré) has bred some dinosaurs that they hope to sell to hostile foreign powers as super soldiers. Freeman has arranged a test, where the dinos are pitted against a team of mercenaries. Triassic Hunt box artShould the dinos win, Freeman is looking at a 13-figure payday. Not too shabby.

An exec and a scientist, Simone and Elaine (Linnea Quigley and Kristie Krueger), are the onsite representatives of the company, while the mercenaries are led by Luis (Ramiro Real).

There’s not much of a setup before the poorly-rendered CGI dinosaurs begin killing mercenaries. Anyone who has seen bad flicks on SyFy, or who has spent far too much free time in this world of substandard cinema, will recognize the pattern. The budget dictates that this story take place in a single location. In this case, it’s yet another warehouse or industrial park. The dinosaurs, no small creatures, duck and dodge the mercs like the creature in Alien, or Territory 8, or The Rig, or Boa, or Deep Rising, or…the list goes on and on and on.

Summed up, this movie is just another monster flick where the monsters pick off cast members one by one, leading to final act denouement. It’s a formula that’s so refined, The Asylum, and many other cheap production companies, churn out flicks like this on a regular basis.

The only thing of note in this film is the stunt casting of Paré and Quigley. Paré has just enough juice left that he gets the ‘mailing it in’ part. He didn’t even have to appear on camera with any other member of the cast. Quigley, on the other hand, is a scream queen emeritus, and it’s nice to see she’s still working.

I’m not a meanspirited person. I would much rather celebrate a bad movie than dump on it. The Asylum makes that all-but impossible. Triassic Hunt is for those evenings when anything will do. It falls way down into the dark depths of the Index, displacing Vampires and Other Stereotypes at #433.

Of final note is the sound. I don’t know what happened, but it sounds like the movie was filmed near a smoke detector that needed a new battery. Many times viewers will hear that telltale BEEP BEEP. Early on, I had to pause the movie and make sure it wasn’t my smoke detector making the noise. It was not. It’s in the movie. That’s the kind of shittiness I normally appreciate in a bad movie. Oh, and one of the mercenaries spends the entire movie with no magazine in his rifle. If only stuff like this was enough to save the movie.

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