Cinepocalypse 2019: Tammy and the T-Rex

T-Rex and Tammy (Denise Richards) in Tammy and the T-Rex.

The entire premise of Tammy and the T-Rex is one of the most preposterous ideas ever but one cannot help but be entertained.

What we know at the start of the film is that Tammy (Denise Richards) and Michael (Paul Walker) are dating.  Tammy’s ex, Billy (George Pilgrim), is the type of ex-boyfriend who thinks he owns her.  He doesn’t give a shit that Tammy is now with Michael.  Billy’s grand plan turns up to be leaving Michael for dead at the Wild Animal Park.  This would be the case if not for a game warden tranquilizing a lion at the right time.  In simple terms, Billy is a gigantic asshole.

While this rivalry is going on in one side of town, Dr. Wachenstein (Terry Kiser) and Helga (Ellen Dubin) want to give their mechanical T-Rex a brain.  Eventually, they find a comatose Michael at the hospital and take him with them.  Of course, they would.  In a book of horribly bad ideas, this is near the top.  What they don’t know is that Michael’s brain will wake up much earlier than they anticipated.  When he finally wakes up, it’s game over for Billy and company.  A high school party soon becomes a massacre.  It doesn’t matter that the cops are chasing Michael as he’ll do whatever he can to reunite with Tammy.

Together with Byron (Theo Forsett), the two of them will do what they can to keep Michael safe and get him another body.  It doesn’t end well in this regard as the end of the film shows Tammy performing in front of a camera.  You can read into that what you will but now we have an idea of what the brain looks like upon cumming in 1994.  The whole idea is just….I have no words.

The premiere of the gore cut in 35mm comes nearly 25 years after the 1994 video release.  No matter what cut, this film was always going to give off a campy effect.  I can only tolerate horror to so much extent.  I can say that there are certainly a few scenes here that will make you cover your eyes.  Or maybe just my eyes.  One of those scenes comes when they are prying Michael’s head open with a saw.  They don’t even bother to give him anything in the form of anesthesia so of course, he wakes up!  Maybe it’s because of being prepared by a handful of dinosaur films already but most of the gory scenes are laughable at best.

This is one of the first feature films for Denise Richards and maybe Paul Walker’s third feature according to their IMDB pages.  It was still relatively early in their careers so paychecks are obviously everything for a young actor.  Theo Forsett basically retired from acting after this film…until a television appearance in April.  Terry Kiser has been going strong as a character actor.  The guy does a solid job here as the mad scientist, accent and all.  It’s quite the opposite of his Bernie Lomax in Weekend at Bernie’s.  That’s right.  He’s that guy!

How are the effects?  They don’t even try!  We can certainly tell that the T-Rex is mechanical.  It’s not even scary!  When we first see the dinosaur in Jurassic Park, it’s one of the scariest moments of the film.  Here?  It’s not even a blip on the radar.  If there were better effects, maybe I would have actually heard of the film prior to being selected for Cinepocalypse.

Tammy and the T-Rex may be entertaining to an extent but this film should not be taken seriously.

DIRECTOR:  Stewart Raffill
SCREENWRITERS:  Stewart Raffill and Gary Brockette
CAST:  Terry Kiser, Denise Richards, Paul Walker, George Pilgrim, John Franklin

The Tammy and the T-Rex Gore Cut in 35mm held its world premiere and only screening during the 2019 Cinepocalypse Genre Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre. Grade: 2/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.