Wednesday, September 4, 2019


I’m recovered from the New Mexico Comic Expo in Albuquerque, a city I now know much more about and which I’d rank as one of the nicest cities I’ve visited. Bugs Bunny should not have taken any kind of turn there. He should’ve settled there. Though he might be more comfortable in nearby Santa Fe, which boasts the fantastic Chuck Jones Art Gallery. But I digress.

The New Mexico Comic Expo was a phenomenal event, made all the more so because it was a first-time convention. I’ll be writing about it after I finish my reports on the San Diego Comic-Con International and the NEO Comic Con.

In the meantime, just before I headed to New Mexico, I watched a ridiculously entertaining cheesy monster movie that’s now available on DVD. I feel a divine calling to tell you about this soon-to-be cult classic.

The VelociPastor [2018] was written, directed and co-produced by Brendan Steele. It stars Greg Cohan as the title character, Alyssa Kempinski as a hooker with mad martial skills, and Daniel Steere as Father Stewart, Cohan’s mentor.

Here’s the Internet Movie Database summary:

After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a hooker convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.

The death of young Father Jones’ parents in a car explosion is more horrifying than I can imagine. That’s because we don’t actually see it. We hear it, but all we see is a title card...VFX: CAR ON FIRE. I assume this was a budget matter. As in...this movie didn’t have much of a budget. Does anyone reading this know the going rate for blowing up a car? I’m just asking for a friend.


His faith shaken, Father Jones goes on walkabout in China. There he encounters a young woman fleeing from assassins. He fails to save her, but, before she dies, she gives him an ancient dragon’s tooth. Accidentally scratching himself with the tooth, the priest gains a hideous/hilarious power. He can turn into a dinosaur.

Of course, he doesn’t discover his power right away. He first turns into a raptor when he rescues Carol from an attacker. He passes out and wakes up in her bed. Thinking they had sex, he tells her this can never happen again. It takes a few amusing moments before she realizes what he thinks happened and she tries to explain that he turned into a dinosaur.

The conversation is too much fun not to share.

Carol: Last night was...amazing.

Doug Jones: Oh. Oh, I see. Let me be fair and say this can never happen again.

Carol: So it was just a one-time thing?

Doug Jones: Yes, honestly it never should have happened at all.

Carol: That's for sure.

Doug Jones: Oh. Was it bad?

Carol: It was...weird.

Doug Jones: Oh.

Carol: Honestly, it all happened so quickly. I was very scared, I think I even peed myself.

Doug Jones: Oh. Was it your first time too?

Carol: Yeah.

Doug Jones: As I said, I'm a priest, so we can never say...
Carol: What, what are you talking about?

Doug Jones: What are *you* talking about?

Carol: That time you turned into a dinosaur and ate someone.

Doug Jones: Wait - what? What?


Doug Jones: I don't believe you. Dinosaurs never existed, and even if they did, I don't transform into one.

And perhaps my favorite part...

Doug Jones: You're a hooker?

Carol: And premed/law, but people aren't surprised as much by that one.

You will not see Doug’s dinosaur persona in full until near the end of the movie. Prior to that, we see the dinosaur padre’s rather goofy head and somewhat scarier clawed hands. I think that was for the best. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Having met cute, Carol wants Doug to use his power to kill really bad people. He’s horrified by the suggestion. However, he unleashes the beast while hearing the confession of Frankie Mermaid. Frankie is Carol’s obnoxious pimp and a hit man for the mob. In fact, ‘twas he who killed Doug’s parents, though we never learn why he did it. For penance, Frankie gurgles to death through his slashed throat.

Dinosaur Doug starts slaughtering drug pushers and other really bad folks. Carol and Doug get closer. Father Stewart, Doug’s boss and mentor, is alarmed by this. After some Bible quotes, Father Stewart takes Doug to an exorcist. This does not go well.

Father Stewart is nearly killed by the rampaging VelociPastor. He wakes up in the tent of Wei Chan, another priest. Chan is the boss of a group of Roman Catholic Ninjas with a plan to hook the entire city on a special kind of cocaine. When they stop the supply of the drug, the crazy users will turn to the church for help and become an unstoppable army of Christ. When Father Stewart refuses to join this plan, Wei Chan kills him.

Sidebar. Wei Chan’s right-hand man is Doug’s previously unmentioned brother Sam. They laugh together maniacally. A lot.

Wei Chan sends his ninjas to kill Doug. He and Carol, who are now lovers, are in their undies. They defeat the ninjas while providing some welcome eye-candy for the audience.
It’s final battle time. Everybody is king fu fighting. Carol seems to be mortally wounded. Doug goes Full Dinosaur and he’s almost as goody as Barney. He rips off some arms and kills his brother before Wei Chan shoots him with an arrow coated with an antidote to Doug’s transformation.

Wei Chan gloats about global domination. However, for some reason, Doug’s arms are not affected by the antidote. He rips Wei Chan’s head, which might be the worst fake head I have ever seen, from the madman’s body. And then...

Surprise happy ending. Carol lives. Doug quits the priesthood and the Roman Catholic Church. I can relate to that even without seeing my girlfriend sliced by a ninja priest.

Doug and Carol realize one defeat in one city won’t stop the Roman Catholic Church from seeking to rule the world. They will continue to seek out really bad people and kill them.


Will there ever be a sequel to The VelociPastor? I kind of sort of doubt it, but I also kind of sort of hope there is.

In the meantime, I want Brendan Steele to know that I could write the heck out of an ongoing VelociPastor comic-book series. This is right in my wheelhouse. A religious vigilante who battles villains in socially relevant stories.

Brendan...have your people call my people.

Also...I am basically “my people” all by myself, so you can e-mail me directly.

I’ll be back soon with more bloggy fun.

© 2019 Tony Isabella