Tammy and the T-Rex

02/06/2020 06:32

Film: Tammy and the T-Rex

Year: 1994

Director: Stewart Raffill

Writer: Stewart Raffill and Gary Borckette

Starring: Denise Richards, Theo Forsett and Paul Walker



This was a film that I never heard about growing up, which is interesting as this was around the time I was hitting up the video store a lot. I heard about it of course through podcasts when Vinegar Syndrome did an updated Blu-ray featuring the R-rated cut. I decided to check it out for my podcast when I used a randomizer for a show in January and this number came up. The synopsis is an evil scientist implants the brain of Michael (Paul Walker), a murder high school student, into a Tyrannosaurus. He escapes, wreaks vengeance on his high school tormentors and is reunited with his sweetheart Tammy (Denise Richards).

We start this off inside of a gymnasium where a bunch of cheerleaders are practicing. The one we’re focused on is Tammy. As they’re finishing up, Michael comes in from football practice. The two of them are dating and there’s an interesting situation where he gives her a bracelet and flower, but she tells him she can’t take it and they hint about something he shouldn’t do. We meet her best friend, Byron (Theo Forsett) who goes into the school. Things take a turn when Tammy’s ex-boyfriend, Billy (George Pilgrim) shows up. The two of them get into a fight which has to be broken up by two cops, Norville (George ‘Buck’ Flower) and Neville (Ken Carpenter).

It then introduces us to Dr. Wachenstein (Terry Kiser), with his assistant Helga (Ellen Dubin) as well as his henchman Karl (John Edmondson) and Bobby (John Franklin). The doctor has created a mechanical T-Rex that Bobby controls. Dr. Wachenstein wants to put a brain inside of it though, thinking that it will be better if it was more autonomous.

That night Michael gets a call from Tammy to come over. He is sneaking into her room when Wendy (Shevonne Durkin) and Michelle (Michele Maika) see him. They tell Billy who brings his friend Weasel (Sean Whalen) and their crew over. They bust into Tammy’s house, chasing Michael away. They end up catching him and taking him to a wild life safari in town and leaving him. After a run in with some of the giant cats, he’s taken to the hospital.

Dr. Wachenstein and Helga show up and convince Tammy and Byron that Michael passed away. They steal his body to take it to their warehouse. It is there the brain is removed and put into this giant T-Rex. Michael wakes up to find out his new fate and attacks the henchmen of Dr. Wachenstein before escaping. He’s out for revenge and to get back to his girlfriend.

If you couldn’t tell from this review, this is an odd movie for sure. As I’m watching this, I’m not really sure who the audience was for this. It looks like it was originally released as a sci-fi comedy with a PG-13 rating. The R rated cut I saw has a bunch of blood and gore that was removed. That is why I’m not sure if this was marketed toward comedy fans, but it is a film that the horror community is embracing now that Vinegar Syndrome put out this movie.

I do have to say, and this includes me, if this film was released without the cuts back in the day, I’m not sure that it would have the buzz that it does now. I think because of this rare cut that is now being praised is why this is getting the treatment that it did. I’m not mad for having watched this and doing this review. It is just odd and that’s the best way that I can describe this.

The story behind the movie is interesting. They had access to use the mechanical T-Rex so they took advantage of it. The story is implausible with how it plays out, but being that it is a comedy I’m willing to overlook some of the odd flaws for sure. I do like that having this cyborg like machine getting its revenge as that is something Michael was ready to do before passing away. That makes sense and it could do a lot of the things we see as well.

It was a bit boring if I’m going to be honest. I didn’t really know what to expect early on, but as it progresses, it lost its way. I noticed myself picking up my phone to look at other things instead of paying attention and needing to tell myself to focus. That isn’t a good thing when watching a movie if I don’t really care where it is going. It does seem this movie is more intended to watch with friends from what I’ve heard. I just think the movie wasn’t all that well thought out which explains it. The ending was intriguing with what happens to the T-Rex and the implications as well.

Something that shocked me was the cast. We have a young Richards and Walker here, as I’m assuming neither really had been in anything as of yet. We don’t get a lot of Walker as himself but you can see from this that he had talent. Richards was hit or miss for me. There were times that she overacted and I think part of that could have been the script. I could see flashes for her as well. Dubin was solid as a villainous scientist much like Kiser here. It was fun to see Flower, Carpenter, Whalen, J. Jay Saunders, Franklin and Durkin who all appear in other horror movies I’ve seen over the years. The acting though in general was decent for a movie like this.

I was pleasantly surprised by most of the effects. Not all of them look good or real, but they went with practical ones which works for me. The blood and gore that put here is better than some legit horror movies I’ve seen. The T-Rex was done with an animatronics so that helped. There was some really bad effects at times as well that made me chuckle. I also thought the cinematography was done in a way to hide things so that’s a plus.

The last thing was the soundtrack, which felt very much like the 90’s. It isn’t very good, but I do have to give it credit for fitting for what they needed here. It just definitely isn’t one that stuck with me or would ever listen to again.

Now with that said, this isn’t a good movie. I did find it fun and just an intriguing piece of cinema. We have a cast that is pretty solid, but the performances aren’t great. The concept of the movie is wild and how the R rated cut was filmed doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’m not sure who the target audience was as it isn’t really that funny and yes it has sci-fi elements, but I don’t necessarily classify it there either. I did find it to be a bit boring as well, but the blood and gore looked good for the most part. The soundtrack fit for what was needed, but not really one that I would write home about. I found this movie to be slightly below average overall and a good portion of this is just craziness that this was made.


My Rating: 4.5 out of 10