Prehysteria! (1993) — Jurassic Dorks

“She looks like Madonna in heat!”

Justin’s rating: So much adult boxers for a kids movie

Justin’s review: For some reason, dinosaurs were all the rage in 1993. Actually, I’m being facetious — we all know that it was the roaring success of Carnosaur that put prehistoric critters on the map. So I can’t fault Charles and Albert Band for pointing Full Moon Entertainment at this emerging trend and shouting, “GET ‘ER DONE!”

Enter Prehysteria!, the first of a very weird trilogy of movies about pocket-sized dinosaurs. Why small ones? Because they’re (a) easier to animate and (b) don’t have to explain why they’re not killing off the main cast.

So there’s this jerky scavenger who casually plunders a South American culture to grab five stone eggs from a sacred temple. Through a wAcKy mix-up at the jerk’s store, a fossil-digging farmhand and his family end up with the eggs instead. Said eggs hatch into tiny stop-motion dinos, the family has to hide them (for reasons), and will the mirth of this premise ever end?

One of the kids is played by Austin O’Brien, who I best know as the luckiest child actor of the world, thanks to his co-starring role with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Last Action Hero around the same time. It was a weird year for him, that’s for sure.

Is there any explanation for why five different species of dinosaurs could be born from fossilized eggs? Or why a dog could hatch them? Or why they’re fully formed at 1/20th the size? Or why they don’t all keel over dead from having two irresponsible kids try to take care of them? No, not really.

Instead, the movie hopes that you’ll be thrilled with the scene-by-scene exploits of this small cast. Such gripping plot beats include the dad painfully courting a shop girl, the kids trying to figure out what foods the dinos like, the bad guy trying to reclaim his rightfully stolen property, the teen daughter being constantly rude, a whole lot of talk about a dog being lonely because it hasn’t had puppies lately, and some forays into the land of Elvis music.

I guess we can’t expect too much out of a kids movie other than some lowest common dino cameos. I’ll say this much for Prehysteria! — viewers get a good amount of dino action. Sure, they’re small and totally fake looking, but they’re also in a good portion of this flick. I’d imagine that kids who showed up for only this weren’t too disappointed.

It’s certainly interesting to see what a low budget horror outfit like Full Moon can do in the family-prehistoric department. None of it is good, of course, but it’s over-the-top in a way that begs anyone over the age of eight to make fun of every acting choice. It certainly didn’t make me want to see either of the sequels, but hey, you can feel free to drink of that poison well instead of me.

Didja notice?

  • The opening theme isn’t half bad… for a kids film
  • All jungle expeditions should include a guy lugging around a Coleman lunch cooler
  • All the kids in the ’90s were listening to rockabilly
  • “Dad, do you ever think about your DEAD WIFE?”
  • It’s the family meeting where everyone gets all of the exposition out of the way
  • Oh hey, the temple is talking now
  • Lotta casual racism from this jungle explorer guy
  • Adults flirting in kids movies is the most awkward thing ever
  • “Leave him alone, he’s horny.”
  • “In the phone-flesh!”
  • The best attire for an outdoor cooler search is a mud mask, fuzzy slippers, and pajamas.
  • T-Rexes love cookies
  • Everyone’s stealing her keys today
  • “I won’t have that nosy bird poking its beak into my business!”
  • He’s got raisins on his underwear
  • “Are you making fun of my skivvies?”
  • “You were so fresh, I had to see my lady love!”
  • Don’t trust huge guys selling girl scout cookies
  • They have a pond inside their greenhouse?
  • Girlfriend gets kidnapped? Better do nothing about it and make dinner instead!
  • You can call a press release and make everyone play 20 questions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s