In the course of writing about horror, I watch a ton of movies. The only thing I see more of than movies is trailers. At this stage of the game, it’s not very often that I get super stoked by trailers. I’ve been lied to by so many trailers in the past couple of years that I hardly trust them anymore. When the trailer for Velocipastor came through earlier this year, though, I was instantly excited. I mean, just take a look at this fucking thing!!
Needless to say, I went into this one with some high expectations. I will go ahead and say that I wasn’t disappointed. It has the soul of a grinhouse flick, some good laughs, and some great characters. All of the elements come together really well and the end result is something unique and downright fun.
Velocipastor takes elements of ultra-violent grindhouse flicks from the days of yore and mixes it with modern horror comedy. According to the IMDb page, they baked the film in a 200 degree oven before developing it. This gave the whole movie and aged look. Whether they actually baked the film or just laid a vintage filter over digital recordings, the grindhouse aesthetic is damn near perfect.
The introduction of the antagonist adds a whole new flavor to the film. That flavor is “mid-70s kung fu flick”. The bad guys are ninjas. They are led by a dude that looks like a classic ninja-clan-leading evil doer. Their nefarious plot is so damned nonsensical that it adds to and blends with the rest of the film seamlessly.
The comedy element of Velocipastor is pretty solid as well. While they played it a little safe in some areas, most of the jokes landed. I wouldn’t say that the movie had me rolling the entire time but it was funny. I got some chuckles and a few good laughs. It even tempers its few emotional moments with comedy. This isn’t one of those so-bad-it’s-good movies; it is a damn fine movie that is intentionally campy as fuck.
You can’t truly have the heart of grindhouse in a movie without some solid action scenes. Like the emotional moments, Velocipastor tempers its violence with humor. From confession booth kills to fighting ninjas in his underwear, violence and comedy blend seamlessly onscreen. Just because it’s funny doesn’t mean that it’s squeaky clean. There’s plenty of blood, gore, and dismemberment to go around!
You can’t tell a good story without some good characters. The leads in Velocipastor are rock solid. Doug, the titular prehistoric preacherman, grows steadily as a character. He accepts his new abilities and allows himself to do good and live life outside the confines of his religious obligations.
Carol, the college student and hooker with a heart of gold leads Doug through his transformation both literally and figuratively. The main antagonist Wei Chan isn’t as developed as the leads but he is a magnificent addition to the story.
I really only have two complaints with the film overall. They’re both really minor and I had really high expectations for this movie, so I think that says something in and of itself.
First off, there wasn’t a single Catholic priest joke. I kind of expected that in a movie this over-the-top, there would be some time taken to poke fun at the clergy. A couple of times, I thought they were setting up for a good old fashioned zinger but, alas, the zinger never came.
Also, there was no nudity in this movie. Shut up and hear me out. I watch a ton of old grindhouse and exploitation flicks. You can usually count on some nudity, some sex, and more violence than a Florida bar at closing time. Even at times where one would expect a film like this to play up the sexiness, Velocipastor opts for laughs instead. It doesn’t take away from the overall film but I had expectations.
I guess you can really chalk both of those complaints up to the filmmaker breaking the mold and subverting expectations. Honestly, this film didn’t need bouncing titties or jokes about priests fucking kids to make it good. Velocipastor is obviously more concerned with being as fun as possible than with being gritty and obscene.
All in All..
All in all, would I recommend this movie? You bet your big ass dino teeth I would! It’s just so goddamned fun! It is well-written, well-shot, and the performances are solid. The special effects are exactly what you would expect and the final creature reveal was amazing. If you’re a fan of grindhouse flicks, spoofs, or horror comedies, you need to check this one out. You won’t have to wait long to see it, either. Velocipastor will be available on DVD and digital August 13th with a Blu-ray release September 17th.