Revenge of the Lost (2017)

I’ll confess that I sometimes find myself wishing I liked some of these films more than I do.

This is particularly true of no-budget DIY films which have nothing but sheer determination behind them.  The sort of film which has no reserves of money or resources to pull it through.

Or skill, for that matter.

You have to respect the hard work and stubbornness that transformed a dream into an actual movie — and that’s particularly true when we’re talking about an apocalyptic dinosaur movie, with prehistoric monsters destroying our civilization.

You might think that you can’t make such a film on a Kickstarter budget — and you’d be wrong.

You just can’t make Jurassic Park.

You do have to admit that writer/director Erik Franklin and his co-writer, Daniel Husser, made a pretty good stab at it.

For a no-budget, DIY film, that is.

In fact, I found myself enjoying the final battle between dinosaurs and soldiers far more than I expected.

Now, the irony here is that — largely thanks to those obvious CGI Raptors — I had the distinct impression that all the dinosaurs were CGI.  And I continued to think this even after I realized that a string of military vehicles were all models.

The problem is one I’ve noted before in recent stop motion film: digitally compositing practical effects can make them look very digital.  This time, I actually noticed how well detailed the large carnivores are (don’t ask me if they’re supposed to be Allosaurids or Tyrannosaurs or something completely different as they don’t look particularly familiar) without realizing that they weren’t digital.

But Erik Franklin and Daniel Husser used their limited effects quite effectively, and several of the dinosaur sequences are surprisingly good.

Even if the first dinosaurs we see — a group of Brachiosaurs trampling over a city in the distance — look like they are really bad claymation models with no detail worth mentioning (do they even have eyes?  Were they sculpted out of play doh by a child?)

And the rest of the movie? well, basically, it’s there to keep the dinosaur sequences in the film apart.

The acting is no worse than you find in most DIY films, and one is painfully aware of just how small their green screen set is,

Which really hampers their attempts at creating big scale action sequences.

Nor does it help that there are some series sound issues, including a lot of sudden drops in the background levels,

Like most DIY films, you have to accept it for what it is.  I have to give a lot of credit to their reckless ambition, for their desire to make a big effects thriller — in their garage.  It’s one of those things that was doomed to fail from the very beginning.

But you have to give them a lot of credit for trying…

(Watch for free on Tubi)



Check out our new Feature (Updated February 16, 2022):

The Rivets Zone:  The Best SF Movies You’ve Never Seen!



This time featuring a brilliant lost film by Brett Piper…

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