I love movies. My friends and I would catch a late night movie every Sunday, watching whatever new blockbuster came out that week. Not surprisingly, 10 pm on a Sunday is not a super popular time to head to a movie theatre, and we would usually have the place to ourselves. Which, great for everyone else because my friends and I like to talk during movies. GASP! I know, talking through a movie? The audacity! The gall! I’m what the nice people at Cineplex call a “Sally Soundtrack,” but hey, better than a “Suzie Seatkicker” or a “Tommy Texter.”
I really like talking during movies. It’s a blast to predict what’s going to happen (and usually I’m right) or making fun of the ridiculous things that only seem to happen in movie-land. I’ll even go as far as to say that commentary is crucial when watching a bad movie. And bad movies are oh so much fun to watch. Cult faves like The Room, Sharknado, and Birdemic are all atrocious movies that circled back to being good. Bad movies are a hoot, but they are such a better time when you’re watching with friends. Petty as it is, hate-watching a bad movie and making fun of it with your buddies is an unparalleled experience.
My favourite bad movie: The VelociPastor. Uh-huh. Let that title sink in. It gets so much better. Heads up, mild spoiler alert for the movie starting now. So stop here if you want to go into the movie blind, which honestly, I kind of recommend. The sheer “what the heck is happening?” of it all is half the fun.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure, The VelociPastor is about a priest who travels to China after a personal tragedy. While there, he gains the mystical powers to transform into a velociraptor. He’s terrified at first (obviously), until a prostitute convinces him to become a vigilante, fighting crime and ninjas. NINJAS!!! Yes. Ninjas.
After two failed attempts to crowdfund the film, the movie was funded in 2016 by a private investor and made for $35,000. With that budget, you can bet the VFX’s are on point (inside joke — once you watch the movie, you’ll get it). The low-production quality and ridiculous premise is a “purposeful” choice by the creator/director, Brendan Steere. And it really, really works.
I heard about the movie from a meme, as all the great blockbusters are marketed. My friend sent it to me and we agreed we had to watch it. And let me tell you, it’s a ride. We sat there in absolute awe of how truly bad this movie is. It looks like (and actually is) the product of a college student’s wild Hollywood dreams, not unlike an Abed original from Community. “China” is a park with trees, the dinosaur costume is akin to two guys dressed up as a horse, and the fight scenes are…well, they tried. The writing isn’t going to win any Emmy’s and the acting is often very cringe.
This movie knows what it is. There’s isn’t an earnest actor who has no clue how bad their movie is (*cough* Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious *cough*), and the movie doesn’t take itself seriously. Everyone involved leans into how absolutely ridiculous it all is and accepts the limits of their small budget. It all works together so well because it isn’t trying to be a Marvel movie or a serious drama. It’s a shitty horror-comedy, with bad dialogue, bad cinematography, bad VFX, and bad acting. And I want absolutely everyone to watch it.
This movie will probably lose its novelty after the first few watches. The appeal is in the absurdity of the plot, coupled with the bad production. But man, oh man, what a fun first few watches it will be.