The Velocipastor, by Cameron J. Czaja

There are certain pros and cons when you tell people that you review films. The pros is that they will ask your opinion on movies and you can offer them great recommendations. The cons, however, are that when there’s no major releases you start getting requests to review older films. I was recently asked to review a film called The Velocipastor. At first, I didn’t plan on reviewing it because of how ridiculous it looked based on the poster (and it’s pretty ridiculous). I did, however, give it more thought and put a poll on Facebook to see if people really wanted me to review it. Unfortunately, people really wanted me to see and review it so that’s what I’m going to do but before I do that I will try and explain the plot. Also, I just want to make clear that whatever I say in my following description is no exaggeration whatsoever and there will be spoilers.

In this “film,” The Velocipastor follows Doug Jones (Greg Cohan), a priest at a unknown parish. One day after exiting the parish he witnesses his parents get killed in a car fire, which leaves him in an emotional state. His colleague Father Stewart (Daniel Steere) suggests that he should travel the world to go on a spiritual journey. Taking his advice, Doug travels to not-China and while hiking in the woods he stumbles upon an artifact, which turns anyone into the Dragon Warrior.  After he finds it, ninjas immediately go after him. While getting chased the artifact cuts Doug, he becomes infected with it, and he starts having nightmares. After returning to the states he starts acting differently, and one day he starts running into the woods where he transforms into a velociraptor (ha, get it?). While he’s in a prehistoric state he manages to save a hooker named Carol (Alyssa Kempinski) from a mugger. After Doug transform back to normal Carol informs him what happened and convinces him to use his “gift” to help people. This concerns Father Stewart who tries to help his colleague even if it takes drastic measures. Meanwhile, an evil plot is underway lead by a corrupt priest (who wants to traffic cocaine) and not only wants to stop Doug on his new mission but is also associated with the ninjas that ambushed him earlier in the film. I wish I was making this up.

In retrospect, I wasn’t sure if I could review The Velocipastor because this “movie” because a movie, in my opinion, is competently filmed and a finished product. This has none of those qualities and was an absolute struggle to get through because of the poor filmmaking that was put into it. Ugh. . . .

Now it’s one thing for a movie to be bad, but when you don’t even try in your production that’s when I won’t care about the film. I kid you not, when they showed the car fire scene at the beginning of the film all it showed was in text “VFX: car on fire,” along with sound effects. It completely took me out of The Velocipastor to where I had to pause it and say “Is this really part of the film?!” I would’ve been fine if they had done a bad CGI effect or better yet do a real car fire. I mean, it’s fire! How hard is it to create fire?! Ugh. . . .

Another thing about The Velocipastor that bothered me was the velociraptor costume itself, a bad costume I might add. Now, when Doug “transforms” into the velocipastor, it usually happens at night. It’s a bad effect, but given the quality of the film and how the lighting played a part I wasn’t too bothered by it. But then he transformed towards the end while battling ninjas and it was atrocious. It felt like I was watching a show on Adult Swim or YouTube, but at least on that those platforms they try to be funny (which I think that’s what the film was aiming towards?) and they actually put work into their productions. Ugh. . . .

Another thing that bothered me in The Velocipastor is how they portrayed priest life and the apparent lack of research they put into getting it right. The main protagonist himself isn’t even portrayed as a decent pastor. While there are moments that he regrets what he did while he was a velociraptor, he quickly does certain actions that men in his vocation wouldn’t do such as having sexual relations to straight up murdering someone. By the way, the person he murdered was his brother and he showed no remorse in killing him, which made me question “Okay, how did he become a pastor to begin with?” I know I’m not going to find for logical answers here because the initial approach was for “comedy,” but it was such a ridiculous scene that didn’t fit the initial tone of the character. Ugh. . . .

Now, if it sounds like I’m trying to sound too highbrow or that I can’t enjoy bad/cheesy films, that’s not the case whatsoever. I’ve seen and deeply enjoyed films such as The RoomKung Fury, and Turbo Kid (to name a few), and those types of films definitely fall into the category of cheesy entertainment. They’re in no way to be taken seriously, but at least they’re entertaining due to the reputation that they have and their attempt to make a quality film. The Velocipastor isn’t entertaining or set to the quality as the other films mentioned. I think this is because it doesn’t have the humor or charm that would make this a watchable film. It could’ve been one. But no, it was an hour and ten minutes of a pun brought to life. Ugh. . . .

As you can already tell, I strongly do not recommend The Velocipastor because it’s so bad, but not bad in the way that makes it entertaining to watch. Maybe if I had a particular drink or two (not to say I would advocate drinking before watching a bad movie in general) I would’ve enjoyed this on a dumb level. However, watching this stone cold sober is an excruciating experience that I wouldn’t recommend.

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