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  Tammy and the T-Rex Dino-Sore
Year: 1994
Director: Stewart Raffill
Stars: Denise Richards, Theo Forsett, Paul Walker, Ellen Dubin, Terry Kiser, George 'Buck' Flower, Ken Carpenter, George Pilgrim, Sean Whalen, J. Jay Saunders, John Edmondson, John Franklin, Michelle Maika, Ken Chandler, Shevonne Durkin, John F. Goff
Genre: Horror, Comedy, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Tammy (Denise Richards) is a teenage dancer in school whose biggest mistake in life was to date Billy (George Pilgrim), who is so obsessed with her that even though they have split up, he is ultra-possessive and aggressive with it. This means he is causing trouble for Michael (Paul Walker), who Tammy actually loves and would like to date but every time they get close, Billy shows up to break them up. Michael does not believe this should sabotage their relationship, but the amount of fights he gets into with the spurned ex indicates there's a real problem here. However, events will conspire to render this love triangle far more... reptilian.

Tammy and the T-Rex was brought to the world by director Stewart Raffill, the Brit in America who made his stock in trade a selection of just plain wrong genre movies, starting somewhere in the nineteen-seventies around The Adventures of the Wilderness Family, a dubious entertainment that was surprisingly popular. Come the eighties, he was serving up such egregious efforts as The Ice Pirates and Mac & Me, both of them stuffed to the gills with inappropriateness, so when in the early nineties he got his hands on an animatronic dinosaur, you would be forgiven for anticipating all sorts of cinematic carnage to ensue. But you would have to wait.

This is because once he had delivered his edit, titled Tanny and the Teenage T-Rex (not Tammy, hence the characters calling her by a different name in the original release), the small studio wanted a family movie as Raffill had crafted before, and what this was turned out to be stuffed with gore effects. He fully admitted he had made most of this up on the hoof, as he only had three weeks to script and shoot it so was improvising like mad to fit the movie around the borrowed creature, but the edit without the violence and swearing was nevertheless bad enough to construct a cult following around, much as selected films of his earlier career had in their bad movie fan manner.

Therefore, when in 2017 a print was rediscovered that was complete, with all the blood and guts and headripping intact, the small band of Tammy and the T-Rex fans were delighted, and it became a discovery for trash aficionados all over again - it even had a theatrical release in certain places, being a good movie to see (and mock) with a crowd who were into its lunacies. There were assuredly some big laughs here, though as it was ostensibly a comedy you might have thought they were intentional, as in a Troma flick, but this was more funny thanks to how unaware it was about its sheer weirdness. Yes, it was trying to prompt giggles, but the chuckles came when it overstepped any concept of good taste to conjure up something truly grotesque.

It was of course an early movie for future stars Denise Richards and Paul Walker, the latter playing the nice guy who falls on the wrong side of the psychopathically obnoxious Billy and winds up being mauled by a lion for his trouble, putting him in a coma. Really. As if that were not bad enough, this attracts the attention of mad scientists Terry Kiser and Ellen Dubin, who kidnap his body, take it back to the lab and place his brain in the dinosaur they have built, leaving Michael somewhat confused and indeed murderous as he exacts revenge on his tormentors by decapitating or squashing them. The rest of the movie includes such scenes as the dinosaur attending his own funeral, where none of the mourners notice this monster standing behind a hedge or the tender sequence where he uses charades to explain to Tammy his predicament, leading to much lachrymosity and emoting from the leading lady. It's not good, exactly, but it's never boring and in its uncut version has some claim to being one of the last gasps of eighties splatstick. Music by Jack Conrad and Anthony Riparetti.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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