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Movie ReviewsThe VelociPastor – A Self-Aware Slog (Early Review)

selfseriousnessAugust 11, 201927/100
Starring
Greg Cohan, Alyssa Kempinski
Writer
Brendan Steere
Director
Brendan Steere
Rating
n/a
Running Time
70 minutes
Release Date
August 13th, 2019 (VOD)
Overall Score
Rating Summary
The VelociPastor is the kind of film that knows that it is not very good, but this self-awareness doesn't make it any better.

There’s always been a genre of film that has rubbed this reviewer the wrong way, and those are the “So Bad, It’s Good” classics. These films, ranging from The Room to Troll 2 have always been known for a lack of quality, but they’ve also lacked enjoyment as well. Personally speaking, the only enjoyable film of this ilk in recent memory has been Pocket Ninjas, if only for its sheer incompetence. All of this probably signals being the wrong person to review The VelociPastor, a new b-movie that was conceptualized by auto-correct. Well, sort of. Back in 2015, writer/director Brendan Steere was trying to write velociraptor in his phone, and his phone offered him the concept of a VelociPastor. Now he’s making us sit through the movie that auto-correct conceptualized for him.

Doug (Cohan) is a priest who has been waking up in the middle of the night. Recently, his parents passed away, and he took a vacation to find a place without god, that being China for some reason. When he returns, his right arm has been hurting. Late one evening, a prostitute named Carol (Kempinski) is attacked. The attacker is stopped by a velociraptor and the attacker is killed. Soon, we realize, sadly, that the priest is also the velociraptor. So now, the priest and the prostitute team up to kill evil folks that she knows.

Admittedly, the one thing that The VelociPastor has going for it is passion. Steere and co clearly love this material, and clearly have a passion for making a goofy film.. The acting is over the top in a fun, b-movie way, and the shots are competent. Once audiences move past that, there’s very little to appreciate in The VelociPastor. Steere clearly relishes working with the silliness that concept presents, but there’s a lack of excitement throughout. From it’s numbing plot, to the intentionally bad writing, you start to get restless very quickly in what was only a 70 minute film.

Its length happens to also be one of the biggest issues with The VelociPastor as it’s the longest 70 minutes you can spend watching a film all year. Each scene feels about it should be half as long, but this is what happens after adapting a film from a trailer from 2011 which was taken from an auto-correct suggestion. Steere drags out different gags, from an overlong scene with ninjas, to a particular sex scene (in which my foot started to fall asleep). The best part of the film may be a scene with unfinished visual effects, and we simply see the shot without any, with the words “VFX: Car on Fire” edited over the shot of a street.

The worst part of The VelociPastor is that is difficult to write about. The film isn’t trying to be a great dramatic film like a lot of the direct-to-DVD trash fires are, thankfully. The main issue here is that Steere and co know what the film is, which makes it immune to criticism. It’s a common issue with many of the “so bad it’s good” classics, as they clearly aren’t good, but if you have legitimate issues with them, they’re dismissed because the film wasn’t supposed to be good.

Sure, The VelociPastor was never going to be good, but would it kill it to be funny, engaging, or enjoyable?

*still courtesy of Wild Eye Releasing*


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