Tyrannosaurus Wrecks (2006)
By: Craig Villinger on January 15, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Peacock Films (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0 82 minutes
The Movie
Director: John Carl Buechler
Starring: Jeff Fahey, Tony Todd, Dee Wallace-Stone
Screenplay: John Carl Buechler
Music: Andy Garfield
Tagline: When a prehistoric rampage is unleashed on the modern age... all hell breaks loose.
Country: USA
AKA: The Eden Formula
Dr. Harrison Parker (Jeff Fahey), who has just invented some sort of groundbreaking DNA enhancement formula, is burning the midnight oil at Calgorin Industries with co-worker Dee Wallace-Stone when a bunch of highly trained and highly agitated corporate saboteurs (led by Candyman himself Tony Todd) take over the facility with thievery in mind. Luckily, Dr. Parker happens to be a former hot shot army guy and is able to hide the formula before the baddies can get their hands on it, but unluckily, as part of their master plan the thieves unlock all secured doors in the facility. This presents a big problem you see, because as a nifty way of demonstrating the capabilities of Parker's new formula to their stockholders and investors Calgorin decided to clone a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which, thanks to the thieves' handiwork, has been released from its cage is now roaming freely. Nice move! So basically the thieves must get their hands on the formula; Harrison and Elliot's Mum must stop the thieves from getting their hands on the formula; and all and sundry must avoid becoming the T-Rex's next meal, which might be a difficult task as the big fella seems peckish…

Imagine Jurassic Park meets Die Hard, and then imagine a movie 500 times crappier than the one which comes to mind after putting those two titles together and you may have some idea of what to expect from Tyrannosaurus Wrecks. Seriously, this movie sucks in so many areas I don't know where to begin my tirade of Anti-Tyrannosaurus Wrecks rhetoric, but since this is supposed to be a dinosaur flick I suppose we should start with the Dino effects. The terrible Dino effects that is. Technology has come a long way in the past half century, so it's always puzzling when you see movies featuring special effects which are worse than the stuff Ray Harryhausen was doing back in the 1950's. The creature effects on display here – a mixture of stop motion, animatronics, hand puppetry, and footage nicked from Roger Corman's Carnosaur - are some of the cheapest I have ever seen, and combined with some dodgy rear projection, make the T-Rex look about as threatening as a sock with a pair of eyes sewed onto it. In fact, the whole film is a bargain basement affair, so much so that I'm amazed the producers were able to afford names like Tony Todd and Dee Wallace-Stone. I'm also amazed that names like Tony Todd and Dee Wallace-Stone would even agree to be in a piece of shit like this, but in fairness to them it may have looked good on paper, so they were possibly suckered in. After all, the screenplay did have a dinosaur, gunfights, and a huge explosion at the end - essential ingredients in any direct to late night cable TV money maker. Then again, most of the cast didn't appear to be trying very hard and snoozed through their roles (Todd was merely re-cycling his character from The Rock while Dee Wallace-Stone actually looked lost on more than one occasion), so they may have had some suspicions early on.

Director John Carl Buechler is actually a talented director and FX artist (he helmed one of the better installments of the Friday the 13th series and has a lengthy list of effects credits) so I'm not sure what went wrong here. Anything with a killer T-Rex is usually guaranteed to please a non-discerning trash lover like myself, but here the T-Rex merely makes a few cameo appearances at random intervals in-between scenes of dialogue and poorly staged (and brief) chase/action sequences. The scenes of the T-Rex munching on its victims are occasionally gory, but their repetitive nature and the cheap FX deny the viewer any entertainment value. Attempts to make the film look more expensive by including stock footage of vehicular mayhem and dino close-ups also fail to impress as the re-cycled material rarely matches the production footage.

The film does have a cool title though. It's a shame the T-rex didn't actually wreck a lot of stuff. Tyrannosaurus Saunters would have been a more appropriate title, as the prehistoric beastie spends most of the movie walking around with no apparent purpose.
Tyrannosaurus Wrecks is given a fittingly average 1.78:1 transfer with muted colours and varying degrees of sharpness, although on the whole it is never ugly to look at and remains free of distracting artefacts. On the plus side the transfer is anamorphic, however the 16:9 enhancement does little to actually enhance the image.
A Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track in the only option, and while it is essentially mono with no discernable stereo effects it gets the job done.
Extra Features
After clicking the 'Play Movie' entry you can either watch or skip through trailers for Deranged and Magma: Volcanic Disaster, but that's all we get.
The Verdict
What a stinker! At the moment this Aussie DVD release appears to be the only option for prospective buyers, which suggests distributors in other countries are sensible enough not to release el cheapo dino poop like this. Kudos to them.
Movie Score
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