Theodore Rex: Dinosaurs, Cyborgs, and Whoopi Goldberg?
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I tend to claim that whatever I'm currently writing about is a serious contender for the "WORST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN" award. I talk about how whatever I'm writing about makes me question the idea that there's a god out there and sometimes I find comparing each week's film to a urinary tract infection is the best way just to get my point across. This week's film is the first film that I can seriously consider calling an abortion of all that is good and holy in film. Theodore Rex, made in 1995, is so terrible on so many levels that it is impossible to believe in joy in the world after watching it. Plants wither and die in its presence and milk curdles when near it's unholy power. All I can say is when you have a movie that looks like a "bad version" of the Super Mario Brothers movie you're in for a new universe of pain. If that last comment made sense to you, then you're one of the few that can truly try to prepare yourself for what's to come.
First thing's first, this is a Whoopi Goldberg film. I'll be honest with you: I've never been a Goldberg fan. When I was a kid I was so confused by the fact that she said she was Jewish....because if all you know about Judaism is "Fiddler on the Roof" then the idea of a black Jew just seemed like a super-clever joke. I was 8, so don't yell at me too much. (By the way, I type "Black" instead of African-American because here in Europe, "Black" is the word to use. I've got a friend here in Berlin and he'd totally kick my ass if I started calling him an "African-German." If you're from India but live in America are you an American Indian? I digress. Europeans just typically don't "get" the whole political correctness thing. It may have something to do with how discrimination is still legal here in Germany, but that's a whole other issue. :sigh:) Back on topic: I've never found Whoopi Goldberg funny. In every movie I've seen her in, she's always this goofy awkward comic relief character that just makes me want to hurt someone. Take the movie "Ghost," for instance. So many people consider that to be a sweet, romantic movie. The same people usually do their best to block out the extended scenes of Whoopi Goldberg shrieking like a howler monkey. Hell, I did a little research into her and found out how she got the nickname "Whoopi." You know what that's a reference to? Whoopi Goldberg, born Caryn Elaine Johnson, is named after farting, particularly a "whoopie cushion." "Whoopi" was the name she was given early on because of her flatulence problem. Farting. Passing gas. Butt-trumpeting. What. The. Hell. When I launch my big Hollywood career, I'm going to change my first name to reflect my habit of submissively urinating on myself when I get nervous. I'll be known as "Leeky" von Hindman. Gah. Why, Whoopi, Why?
The other thing about Whoopi Goldberg that I don't get is the fact that she is indeed a sexual creature and is very vocal about it. The last time I heard about Whoopi in the news was when she was talking about abortion and admitted to having a half-dozen of them herself. (Sweet Jesus, I hope Wikipedia doesn't lie.) Go her (as a guy I'm pro-choice mainly because I don't have a right to have an opinion on the matter), but there's an implication there that sort of melts my brain. Whoopi Golberg....is...having....sex....with someone. I, of all people, admit that personality can go a long way, but part of me shrivels up and dies when I think of someone being attracted to Whoopi Goldberg physically. Admittedly, I never knew her until she was in her 40's, but that doesn't help me deal with this:
Whoopi Goldberg's costume, a latex body stocking (with shoulder pads), is ALL about showing the world her cleavage. For someone who doesn't like to think of Whoopi as a sexual creature, this fact is world-destroying. You can't help but stare at Whoopi's boobs. Boobs that she shouldn't have, damn it. It's not as if she's pole-dancing, but Whoopi in fetish garb is really the stuff of nightmares to me. It's my problem, let's move on.
For the moment, let's forget about Whoopi. So let's start dissecting why this film is really that bad. Let's address the plot. So what's this movie about? :deep breath: Here goes. "Whoopi Goldberg plays a cyborg cop in the future who gets partnered with a crime-fighting talking dinosaur." That's the plot. No lie. Whoopi Goldberg is a crime-fighting machine who has to work with a fat-assed talking dinosaur. It's sort of a cyberpunk Barney adventure, only with a lot of jokes about a farting dinosaur. Again, the flatulence theme rears its ugly head, and that won't be the last time. I assure you. Theodore Rex, know as "T. Rex" to his friends, is the sort of character that you can't help but want to set on fire. Now, the costume's not terrible and the dinosaurs in the film aren't half bad in their design. The whole thing comes across as an episode of that old show "Dinosaurs" ("Not the Momma!) that was put out by his son the day after Jim Henson died. The film obviously had a decent budget, as the special effects aren't that terrible. In fact, I did a little research and found out that in 1995, this film was the most expensive "direct-to-video" film ever made. The studios had planned to give it a big theatrical release, but when they realized what an undeniable steaming piece of crap they had they did their best to hide it on the home rental market. So the movie's about dinosaurs that were cloned from ancient fossils and were taught English and re-introduced into society. Our main character's one of these, only he's a novice detective that's working with the ultimate cyborg crime-fighting machine: Whoopi Goldberg. God, this film is so freaking weird. Enough rambling, let's just get to the weird highlights.
Welcome to Testicular Gardens, where the evil Dr. Kane plots to destroy the world.
At one point in the film, Dr. Kane realizes that Whoopi and friend are after him, so he kidnaps Whoopi's 11-year old friend. Instead of just jumping him, the bad guys create an incredible and perfect scheme to nab the kid. How do they do this exactly?
By hiding inside an arcade game, of course! The bad guys (who are all clones of the same retarded guy but we don't want to talk about that) hid inside the machine and when the kid walks up to it to put his quarter in they rip through the screen and pull him inside. Seems like a lot of work when a potato sack would have sufficed, but who am I to judge evil genius' plans? On a side note, I'd love to set this up in a real arcade, just for the sheer terror on the faces of those I'd grab through the screen. It's the little things that make life grand, isn't it?
There's also a scene where Theodore Rex tortures an Oriental man by farting on him. Just as you and I would, the poor guy cries as T. Rex butt-trumpets all over him. Let's move on.
Rodney's a dinosaur that likes to have sex with humans. He's apparently infatuated (to my dismay) with Whoopi. The worst part of this scene (which is totally PG) is that, as an adult (especially if you're an adult who's accidentally seen those Japanese Hentai cartoons) you can't help but imagine Rodney's sexual encounter with Whoopi. Sometime I hate my imagination. I couldn't stop it in time. Before I realized what it was doing, hardcore "chicka bow bow" porn scenes involving Rodney and Whoopie were dancing through my head, very much unlike visions of anything I'd want to see. :shudder:
I know it's part of the joke, but the movie really goes out of it's way to find a dinosaur that has bigger teeth than Whoopie Goldberg. Considering how she's got a smile that can bite the heads off farm animals, that's kind of impressive.
I refuse to talk about the scene where Theodore Rex dresses up like a Valkyrie and sings opera. I totally refuse.
There is one truly cool thing in the movie. Because it's the future, there's all sort of...um...futuristic stuff. The heroes go to a "Dead Storage" place. That's where they store the bodies of people who were frozen and are waiting for medical technology to find a cure for whatever disease they had. They go to the desk and ring the bell. Then a puppet comes out of a big leather bag and makes fun of Whoopi Goldberg.
There's no way for me to properly describe it, but in a movie where half the cast is a rubber lizard puppet, when a real puppet shows up and starts harassing the cast, it really gives you something to cheer for. "The man in the bag" (that's his name) is the only part of film I didn't have to physically cut out of my brain's memory. The scene only lasts for about 40 seconds, but it's the best damn 40 seconds ever. I say "ever" because once you're an hour into this film, it feels like there is no beginning and no end: There is only Theodore Rex.
Looking back at this article, I don't really think that I've properly conveyed how much this film can hurt you. Whoopi Goldberg in a skintight latex body stocking, a big rubber dinosaur that farts a lot, a half-hour scene involving dinosaurs waltzing, exploding butterflies, Whoopi the cyborg....all these things combine to create this unholy abomination of a film that, if you're an entertainment masochist like myself, you love to hate.
In conclusion: If you hate life and love to stick bamboo underneath your fingernails then you NEED to check out this film. Oh and one more thing:
Whatever you do, don't picture that dinosaur naked and in a sexual situation. Please. Don't think about him covered in baby oil and lighting candles. Don't do it. Really.
Copyright 2005 jared von hindman, expect for the images from Blood Freak which are use purely for review purposes. Really. Why the hell else would I post such terrible picture of Herschell?