How do I find these movies? I've been asked that question before, and I honestly don't know the answer. Perhaps they find me. For what it's worth, today's film of interest is entitled Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills. It was produced and distributed by Troma Entertainment. Does that surprise anyone? Because it shouldn't. In general, I don't consider myself to be a Troma enthusiast, although I do enjoy battle-scarred relics such as The Toxic Avenger and Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things. Despite its asinine salutation, this little b-flick that could comes across as civilized in comparison to most projects that are associated with Lloyd Kaufman.
That's not to say that Pterodactyl Woman isn't dippy; it's just dippy in its own way. Look at the cast. Beverly D'Angelo, Brion James, Moon Unit Zappa...quite the quizzical roll call, eh? The synopsis seems conventional upon first glance. A paleontologist pokes around for fossils on the site of an Indian burial ground (yeah, we're going there). His eager excavating is interrupted by a hoary soothsayer, an anagogic shaman, a moth-eaten necromancer, a...er, an old Indian guy. The ancient fuckhead gets pissed off and places a curse on the paleontologist's wife. Long story short, Ellen Griswold is turned into a were-dinosaur.
This film is a mixed bag. The good news is that it's genuinely funny. The script is self-aware, and each actor has a blast with the fanciful material (at one point, D'Angelo literally chews the scenery). Director Philippe Mora matches the heady pace of his sci-fi carnival by utilizing quick cuts and inventive camera angles. If that name sounds familiar, then you have probably had the misfortune of watching The Howling II and III. Inspired career choices? In any event, I was never bored with Pterodactyl Bitch, but I can't see myself revisiting this strange land. I would sooner revisit Strangeland.
I didn't think it was possible, but this flick is too crazy. I felt like I was watching a cartoon. Look, I dig cartoons, and I dig crazy. I am crazy. But this...this is just too much. Everything flew right over my scalp. I knew that I was renting Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills, so I can't blame it on inconsonant expectations. Maybe the image of Beverly D'Angelo in full reptilian make-up (wings and all) dry humping some poor sap disturbed me more than I realized. I'm stumped. I can't pinpoint why exactly I didn't fall in love with this Troma product, but it's good enough to recommend. Be wary of atrocious CGI, though. Yuck.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 10:21 PM