Pterodactyl Sci-Fi Channel Original Review

Pterodactyl opens with the single greatest gore sequence in the short history of Sci-Fi Channel originals. As one of the resurrected title creatures swoops down, it picks off a hunter right at the waist, leaving half of his body on the ground, the other half in the creature's claws. It's unmatched, and right around (if not over) the decency line for standard cable.

That immediately makes Pterodactyl far more enjoyable than usual fare. Unlike the other junk spewed out by the channel, this one never drops its pace. The few goofy, forgettable sub-plots are always present, but never the focal point of the action. It's weird that the title is simply Pterodactyl considering there's a full flock (pack?) of them, yet it doesn't matter.

This one is simply too much fun to deny giving it credit. The special effects are way above the usual fare, and when the creatures are at a distance, this is stunning work for low budget made-for-cable schlock. The final sequences, along with numerous shots on the ground, do go horribly wrong to bring the viewer back down to cable TV level. Still, considering how many there are (and how long they last), it's not going to be perfect.

Outside of the dinosaurs, the horrible characters (including Kate played by the adorable Amy Sloan) are just ridiculous. The nerdy guy, the spoiled rich girl, the stuck up girl, and a college professor who drug them out to the site for a palentological dig are simply too much. It's also impossible to forget the special ops team fighting terrorists too, especially considering the team is led by Coolio who is stuck with some of the more cringe-worthy dialogue in years.

The gore continues as the cast is slowly dismantled (literally), though they do manage to get in a few shots. It's a mystery as to why a special ops team would conveniently have a rocket launcher to perform their original task, but it surely comes in handy, and it gives the special effects crew (Worldwide FX, the same group who did Mansquito, amongst others) something else to blow up into gory mush.

As the pterodactyls become extinct (again), their final moments are shamelessly stolen from Japanese classic Rodan, possibly because no one involved had ever seen it, they didn't have a better idea, or because it was a slight homage. Either way, it puts a fun cap to an impossibly entertaining piece of schlock that you'll never actually admit you enjoyed. Now, since Python managed to end up with two sequels, this one surely deserves a follow up.

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