St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

“The VelociPastor” (2018)

The VelociPastor title card.

Some movies are so bad at being good that they’re spectacles in their own right, like Plan 9 From Outer Space or The Room. But on the flipside there are movies that are good at being bad. The Abominable Dr. Phibes is the most perfect B-movies ever made, and Get Out, for all its stellar writing, directing, and acting, winds up being a movie about body-snatchers and head-swap operations. It has its roots firmly in the same B-movie soil as Dr. Phibes. But then there are the movies that actually set out to be shit — the love letters to the dodgy sets and rubber monsters we somehow never grew out of. There aren’t many, but Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Danger 5 spring to mind. In 2018 that constellation got a new star: The VelociPastor.

VFX: Car on fire.
The pastor’s parents' car explodes. Yes, this is actually in the movie.

The VelociPastor is about this unrealistically hunky priest whose parents are killed when their car explodes. So how do we reckon he’s going to turn into a dinosaur, then? Bitten by a radioactive velociraptor? Who wants to bet on radioactive velociraptor? While the pastor is off finding himself in China, he stumbles across a Chinese lady who’s just been shot with an arrow. She gives him a magical dinosaur tooth which cuts his hand and– Holy shit, he did get bitten by a radioactive velociraptor! I knew it!

The pimp's combover.
“Yo, Cherry! If you stuffed dicks in that mouth like you’re doing that sandwich, I’d be a fucking millionaire by now.”

Back in America there’s this hooker with a heart of gold and her really gross pimp. See, this is exactly why I shave my head. Any bald man who doesn’t shave is going to run the risk of this follicular horror. No amount of protein-boosting body volumizer is going to puff up those bare threads into a bouffant. He may as well get one of those ghastly tattoos on his scalp in the shape of hair and be done with it.

The VelociPastor hulks out.

When the hooker discovers the pastor’s tendency to turn into a dinosaur when he’s angry, she convinces him to use his powers for good. He becomes the VelociPastor, eating bad people to make the world a better place.

A Vietnam sweetheart explodes.

Up until now I’d thought this movie was somehow trying to be serious. Yes, silly, but maintaining a veneer of legitimacy like Sharktopus or something. It wasn’t until a Vietnam flashback where someone’s sweetheart explodes all over him that I realized the crumminess was all deliberate — the terrible dinosaur suit and the missing VFX suddenly made sense. Yes yes, I’m slow on the uptake, but I’ve seen enough shitty B-movies to know there are plenty of people who might have made this unironically.

The pastor holds aloft the head of the bad guy.

Where’s the Man Candy

Hunky pastor in a sweater dress.

I’m bringing back the man candy section for this movie because damn, I don’t know who made this but they made it with a very queer eye. The pastor is quite easy on the eyes and is filmed in any number of too-tight shirts, dresses, and even one camera angle that appears to go straight up his crack while he’s asleep. There is no way this film was directed by a straight man. We gay men and straight ladies in the audience applaud you, VelociPastor. It makes a very refreshing change from being overwhelmed with a tidal wave of tits and having to beg for scraps of even one semi-acceptable man in the movie.

The pastor wears tighty-whities.

The Skinny

The pastor's mysterious missing brother.

“Dinosaurs never existed! And even if they did, I don’t transform into one!”

The deliberate weirdness, inappropriate music, and grotesque fake laughter make this movie a lot like a Troma film, though without being quite as transgressive. It’s fun and funny and, frankly, a masterpiece of deliberately bad film-making. Part of the genius of a really bad movie is that they’re accidents — they’re worse than anything you could do even if you were trying. No sane person could have set out to make Glen or Glenda. This makes it especially hard to make a bad movie on purpose. Although the zaniness in VelociPastor can come off as a bit random, that does prevent it from seeming too calculated. It’s also self-aware enough not to fall into my least favorite movie pitfalls: taking too long to get started, and then going on forever. Some movies take forty-five minutes before the action starts. Enough with the build-up! No-one cares! Just get to the killings! And then they go for like two hours until you want to escape by taking your own life. But The VelociPastor launches right into the action and doesn’t stick around for you to get bored of it. Get yourself a bottle of wine and a party mix of fun times, because this movie is downright wonderful.