‘Velocipastor’: The Embodiment of “So Bad it’s Good”


The awe-inspiring movie poster for this cinematic masterpiece. Photo via IMDb.

Jac McCarty, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Let’s get one thing straight: Velocipastor is not in any way, shape, or form a good movie. But when a film’s premise centers around an orphaned priest that turns into a dinosaur to fight crime, that much can be expected.

Director Brendan Steere throws himself headlong into Velocipastor’s badness, hamming it up with dollar store costumes, excessive gore (all of it the consistency and color of Hawaiian Punch) and enough cheesy dialogue to power a moderately-sized middle-school play.

There’s a certain type of movie that was clearly filmed on the back of some poor sap’s credit-card debt, and then there’s the type that revels in it. Velocipastor most definitely falls into the latter category. Titular character Doug Jones (Greg Cohan) spends most of the movie clad in a $10 priest costume from Spirit Halloween and a pair of Chucks; a Vietnam war flashback is filmed in what’s clearly some guy’s backyard; an apparently too-expensive explosion effect gets summed up with “VFX Car on Fire” written over an empty road.

Our first full-body shot of Doug Jones’s alter ego. Note the tennis-shoe wearing ninja dead in the background. Photo by Jac McCarty.

However, what Steere’s film lacks in budget, it makes up for in heart. Cohan takes to his role as part-time-dinosaur Doug with a seriousness that rivals Christian Bale’s Batman, and Alyssa Kempinski plays off him wonderfully as love-interest and part-time prostitute Carol. Their delivery is really what makes this movie the success that it is, whether it’s Doug’s adamant belief that dinosaurs never existed or just the bizarrely stylized sex montage they both sit through that somehow manages to be both trippy and incredibly unsexy.

Blah blah blah, crimefighting, blah blah blah, Catholic ninjas—it’s fairly straightforward.

The plot, while a little unfocused, is still ultimately satisfying. Doug, a newly-orphaned priest, finds a dinosaur tooth in China that gives him the ability to turn into a dinosaur. Blah blah blah, crimefighting, blah blah blah, Catholic ninjas—it’s fairly straightforward. The big bad’s motivation is a little suspect—essentially, the ninjas want to kill Doug because… wait for it… he’s a dinosaur. They also want to convert everyone to Christianity through cocaine, but that bit gets put on the back burner about two seconds after it’s introduced, so it’s less relevant.

While there are a few weirdly racist overtones in Steere’s casting choices—80 percent of the movie’s ten ninjas are white, as is the entirety of the sympathetic cast—overall this movie was a fun ride. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and you shouldn’t either. If nothing else, you should watch it for this line:

“Dinosaurs never existed, and even if they did, I didn’t turn into one.”