Two of the most dominant creatures in science fiction and horror—dinosaurs and zombies, respectively—unite in The Jurassic Dead (2017), in which a brilliant but disgraced scientist, Dr. Wojick Borge, joins the Axis of Evil and attempts to destroy the United States through a reanimated Tyrannosaurus Rex, EMP explosions, and a gas that transforms its victims into zombies. When a commando unit is dispatched to the military bunker that Dr. Borge seized for his experiments, an asteroid strike and subsequent EMP blast result in both the commando unit and a traveling group of college students becoming trapped within the bunker and with its various horrors.
Although The Jurassic Dead hints at occasional glimmers of potential, the execution of the plot, special effects, and characters ultimately contributes to the film’s scattered and tepid presentation. The beginning of the film features a collection of disjointed scenes, as well as unconvincing special effects. While the special effects improve as the film moves forward, the plot (while promising) remains fragmented, combining a large number of plot points with little depth. The characters generally adhere to stereotypes, and the balance of comedy and horror that the dialogue strives for is uneven.
The end of The Jurassic Dead, however, blossoms with intriguing elements. The animation featured in the credits has an edgy, Repo! The Genetic Opera feel (while also maintaining a sense of originality), and the scene embedded within the credits strikes a tighter balance between horror and humor than the bulk of the film. If the body of the film had been created with a structure similar to that of the post-film animation and scene, the entertainment value would have greatly increased.
Overall, The Jurassic Dead fails to reach its potential as a campy and unique mashup film.