SauriansPerhaps the most ridiculous of the many early nineties dinosaur flicks, a shot on video monster mash from 1994 that appears to have been made for the cost of a day’s catering on JURASSIC PARK.  The Pennsylvania lensed SAURIANS was the third feature by the notorious Polonia brothers, following their pioneering SOV gore fests HALLUCINATIONS (1986) and SPLATTER FARM (1987). They went on to create over 25 more SOV no-budgeters, including 2004’s DINOSAUR CHRONICLES, which it seems is the closest the Polonias will ever come to making the long-threatened SAURIANS 2.

Oh no! Construction blasting in the remote mountain community of Fossil Valley awakens two prehistoric dinosaurs! The critters, a Stegosaurus and a bug-eyed T-Rex, emerge from a rock cave and scare the you-know-what out of some dweeby college students on a research trip.

The college pukes head back to civilization and discuss their findings. They conclude that the dinos were kept alive throughout the centuries by trapped gas that when released by the construction blasts freed the critters.

The kids head back to Fossil Valley, where they observe the Stegosaurus. They see it run from the T-Rex, and decide to make themselves scarce.

Unfortunately a local redneck has learned about the dinosaurs, and wants to use them to make money. He kidnaps the protagonists at gunpoint and forces them to drive him to Fossil Valley.

In the meantime the two critters disrupt a picnic and dismember a man in his truck before rampaging through a town (presented off-screen). The protagonists are on hand to witness the dinos’ final fight to the death (spoiler: the T-Rex wins), and also the killing of the hated redneck.

The Polonia brothers deserve some kind of credit, I guess, for sustaining a long-running career despite a complete lack of money or filmmaking know-how. That’s particularly evident in this early effort. There’s no point going into detail about the non-story (verdict: it sucks) or the acting (likewise), as the film’s raison d’etre is identical to that of JURASSIC PARK: the dinosaurs.

The dinos here are brought to unconvincing life via a variety of methods, including stop motion, model work, puppetry and old fashioned animation. The camcorder visuals are appalling, as you’d expect, but the worst, or at least most distractingly awful, element is the must-be-heard-to-be-disbelieved sound design, characterized by inconsistent mixing and some of the worst dubbing I’ve heard outside a GODZILLA movie.

Beyond that I’ve got a few (probably pointless) questions. I know I said there’s no point going into narrative particulars, but why do the warring dinosaurs, locked in “perpetual combat,” disappear after rampaging through the town only to abruptly reappear in the mountains? Also, why are the protagonists so blasé while watching the dinos’ deadly final confrontation (after they’d previously run off when the T-Rex appeared)? Finally, why is it that during a newscast an announcer identifies her station as “Channel 22 News” when an onscreen logo clearly reads “Channel 23?”

Vital Statistics

Polonia Brothers Entertainment

Director/Producer/Screenwriter: Mark Alan Polonia
Cinematography: Steve Shanks
Editing: M.A. Polonia
Cast: Mark Alan Polonia, Todd Carpenter, Dustin Davis, Maria Davis, Matthew Satterly, Todd Michael Smith