It has noticeably low production values, it’s really corny, the gore and sex are kept to a minimum, and it does feel exactly like a SyFy Channel Original Movie. Which means this is your opportunity to see a proper B-movie on the big screen.
Sometimes you want the best meal that the master chefs of the world can prepare for you. Sometimes you need a delectable meal, full of rich, complex, and brand new flavors to expand your palate, elate you, remind you that there are things in this world that you haven’t yet experienced. And, well, sometimes you need nachos from 7-Eleven.
Mark L. Lester’s Poseidon Rex is nachos. It’s crappy junk food through-and-through. Poseidon Rex, the latest in a long, long string of low-budget, made-for-TV monster flicks, just barely escaped being a SyFy Channel Original Movie. At the last minute, fortune struck this little production, and now it is being granted a legitimate theatrical release in some cities. This only means one thing: This is your chance to trek to a movie theater and catch a legitimate, heartfelt B-movie on the big screen. Better yet, find your nearest drive-in and see if they’ll book it for a few nights. This is the exactly the kind of cheapo creature feature that used to infuse local grindhouses as far back as the 1950s. The monsters may have long abandoned the guy-in-a-rubber-suit ethos in favor of not-quite-convincing CGI, but the spirit remains the same. We have a few bucks, 15 days, and a bunch of plane tickets to Belize. Let’s put on a show!
Does this spirited B-movie workmanlike tone make Poseidon Rex a good movie? Not really. As the title implies, Poseidon Rex is about an underwater tyrannosaur who savages the coasts of Belize, effecting the lives of a local treasure hunter (Brian Krause), a spunky marine biologist in a bikini (Anne McDaniels), a pair of vacationing college kids (Steven Helmkamp and Candice Nunes), and a slew of evil criminals who are after sunken treasure, à la Into the Deep. The dinosaur looks like your typical T. Rex, but with gills and fins. It can swim in shallow waters, tromp around on land, and, of course, eat entire boatloads of half-naked spring breakers in a matter of minutes. There is also a scene where one of the monster’s miniature hatchlings, about a foot tall, wreaks havoc inside a biology lab. The film runs about 80 minutes.
I have seen numerous films in this current, decade-long wave of cheap monster movies – from Sharknado to Spring Break Shark Attack to Megalodon – and Poseidon Rex, by measuring against its peers, stands a mite taller. It’s not a hidden gem by any means, but it has a slickness and a professionalism that is certainly lacking from the relatively snarky Sharknado or the even-cheaper mockbusters produced by The Asylum. One can always tell if the makers of a B-movie are sincere about making an entertaining film, or if they’re just being cynical. The makers of Poseidon Rex clearly meant it. I can assure you that whoever was behind Zombeavers were… well, I’ll let your draw your own conclusions about Zombeavers.
So at the end of the day, Poseidon Rex is not a good film. Its cheapness and corny clichés are too powerful to ignore. But Poseidon Rex is a sincere film, and that can go a long, long way. The theatrical grindhouse experience is a waning one in this great nation of ours, having moved online or into Netflix queues. But the Gods of The Psychotronic have allowed this little creature feature back into their good graces, and you – you fans of the obscure, the weird, the cheap – owe it to yourselves to see this little flick on the big screen.
Rating: 2.5 Burritos