In Balladeer’s Blog’s review of the incredibly bad horror film Horror House on Highway 5 I pointed out that a few scenes gave the impression that the filmmakers might have been trying for a wry parody of slasher movies but lacked the talent to make the film work even as a comedy. Ganjasaurus Rex has that same problem tenfold. The parts that are supposed to be funny aren’t, the scenes that aren’t supposed to be funny are, and the end result is a cinematic misfit that is more boring- bad than fun- bad.
The film begins promisingly as a sendup of the Reagan Administration’s hilariously naive “Just say no to drugs” campaign. A fictitious arm of the Gipper’s War on Drugs called C.A.M.P. (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) is leaning on pot growers, burning their crops and hauling them off to prison. That’s the extent of the filmmakers’ cleverness, unfortunately and the remainder of the movie teeters between sub- Cheech and Chong stoner humor and cinematic ineptitude that aims for parody but settles for being incoherent and rambling.
Some very determined potheads have cultivated a new strain of “cannabis sequoia”, or hemp the size of trees. Naturally the jack-booted thugs at C.A.M.P. catch on to them and raid their farm. Burning the enormous weed creates a county-wide high and awakens our title monster from its eons- long slumber. The creature is the last example of the Ganjasaurus Rex species that we’re told lived on the gigantic, prehistoric “cannabis sequoia” of the past and has been in hibernation for untold millenia.
The Ganjasaurus goes on a rampage in typical monster movie fashion but the intentionally lame special effects for the monster only make you laugh for a minute or two. Sure, the creature looks and moves worse than the monsters in the 1970’s movie Equinox, but since you can tell they weren’t even trying to make it look decent that eliminates a lot of the potential bad movie appeal. Most of this flick is just plain boring, boring, boring. “Rex” trashes some buildings and kills lots of C.A.M.P. storm troopers but there’s way too much time spent with our pot-growers as they put us to sleep with their lameness.
If you’re looking for films that send up the old creature features in a wittier way and are entertaining in their own right, check out Mark Pirro’s flicks Curse of the Queerwolf, A Polish Vampire in Burbank or Nudist Colony of the Living Dead. Ganjasaurus Rex is okay to watch just to say you’ve seen it, birdwatcher-fashion, but it’s not very enjoyable on any level.
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