Play-by-Play: ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’

Shudder is an amazing streaming service for horror lovers. They’ve got horror comedy. They’ve got classics. They’ve got foreign films and hidden gems. They also have their fair share of cheese fests. The assaults on the senses that we just can’t look away from, nor do we want to. There is something about an 80s/90s cheese fest that is just my horror comfort food on a rainy day.

What follows is my stream of consciousness thoughts as I watched Tammy and the T-Rex. It was…..something.

SPOILERS

For those of you who are unfamiliar as I was going in, this is the story of Tammy and her boyfriend, Michael. Michael has his brain transplanted into a mechanical T-Rex.

Yeah. That’s pretty much it. For those expecting a modern Frankenstein, or some sort of parody even, this is…..not that.

I say again….SPOILERS. Here we go!

This stars Denise Richards as Tammy and Paul Walker as Michael, circa 1994. Intriguing.

These cheerleaders are doing what can loosely be called cheering, I suppose. It’s more an interpretive dance that looks more at home with slow classical music, but set to a weird, slow rock/metal hybrid about dancing with a dinosaur. This squad isn’t winning any spirit prizes this year.

He’s a football player. She’s apparently head cheerleader. Shocking.

Remember in ‘Isn’t It Romantic?’ when Rebel Wilson talks about the gay friend who is a cringy stereotype and serves no purpose other than to ego boost the main character. Poor Byron. This poor actor.

Gang out of nowhere led by Tammy’s ex and his henchman, Sean Whalen of ‘The People Under the Stairs.’ Bad, non-choreographed fighting. They are literally just grabbing and holding on to each others crotches with increasing grip while Denise Richard’s friend, the aforementioned Byron, gets excited about it. You know, because it’s super sexy.

The cops are breaking this up by counting to 3.

You can always identify a 90s movies by the women’s clothes, not so much the men’s. For some reason Paul Walker is sporting a crop top in 1994. The ladies are up to date with their bikini tops with long sleeves, lace chokers, crushed velvet, and Christmas red dresses.

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Oh, this must be evil mad scientist with said animatronic dinosaur. He seems to keep a bodybuilder on hand to test the robot’s strength by tossing barbells at it. He also needs an anatomy lesson, because he thinks that giving a robot dinosaur a brain will make it immortal. No one ever said super villains are always smart, but come on.

So she called her boyfriend, she’s crying, and said she didn’t want to be alone. There is victory music playing and he grabbed a condom in his rush out the door. Gross.

He’s climbing the trellis. Oh, he made it in. There have been like three separate opportunities for them to just kill this kid already in the first 13 minutes.

Her ex and his gang of miscreants from earlier just got let in by her dad. “Don’t you know you’re mine?”

Her mom is calling the cops. “It’s a GANG gang!” Had to rewind it because that wasn’t what I heard the first time.

So after having beat the crap out of Michael, Billy has his gang shove him in the trunk. They take him to a fenced area revealed to be some sort of nature preserve with wild animals. Not a zoo, nothing fenced in, but there also doesn’t seem to be a perimeter fence. Not sure how they’re keeping these animals in, but we’ll go with it. Billy lets Michael go, and I shit you not, he’s just gotten mauled by a lion. Not to worry, though…a game warden happened by. How many maulings have happened here???

He’s still not dead, though. And he still has a shiner from the fight, but not a scratch made by being mauled. Billy decided to show up at the hospital to smack Tammy around. Tammy kicks him in the balls and she and her buddy grin and do a victory high five in front of her comatose boyfriend.

Evil doctor showed up smoking as he walks around hospital. “Nurse” with him is wearing a dominatrix outfit underneath an open medical coat. She’s wearing a doctor’s coat, though, so must be legit. After faking Michael’s death, fake doc pounds his chest a few times screaming “LIVE!” then says “Well, that’s it.” Good thing that Michael’s guardian has been in the room passed out drunk the whole time.

LMAOOOOO when did they have time to stick a toe tag on him???? Also, the uber villain has a strong man at his disposal, but chooses to bring along a tiny guy who screams “HERRRRRNNNNNNIAAAAAAAA!” when he lifts Michael into the trunk. Bonus though: the little dude is John Franklin (aka Malachi in ‘Children of the Corn’)

Brain
Image by holdentrils from Pixabay

Doctor just sawed open the skull in such a way that I am positive he would have sawed the brain in half as well. But no worries, his hack job somehow left it intact. Strong man has vomited everywhere, and assistant is covered in blood splatter while the guy doing the sawing has remained clean. Still time for a boner joke in all the chaos, though.

Ah, the poor unsupecting pizza guy. Always the pizza guy. Though he just referred to himself as “Pizza Man,” so he must be more mature than the average pizza guy.

The T-Rex just picked stringy bits of a guys head out of his teeth. Always floss after every meal.

T-Rex is dialling a pay phone. Aaaawwwww, Michael misses Tammy. It’s been a day and Tammy’s at a party. She looks sad, though, so I guess that’s okay.

Ah, the drinks at the party are shaking! T-Rex is coming! Was waiting for the inevitable Jurassic Park reference.

Welp, Billy is clearly over Tammy. T-Rex just interrupted sexy time. Michael is now officially on a rampage.

Aw, T-Rex helped Byron up! He knows who his friends are.

I think that was Poppy Montgomery!

Turns out Byron’s dad is a cop.

Cops to the rescue. Eating chips on the scene and poking body parts with a stick. “That his head?” “Ain’t no watermelon.”

Mad scientist is now crazier than ever. His machine has FEELINGS and OPINIONS!

Michael/T-Rex is creeping on Tammy through her bedroom window. Not okay as a dude or a dinosaur, bro. Tammy must also be super used to earthquakes. She just kept on applying her makeup through the shaking that the dino caused without even smudging her lipstick.

Lips
Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay

The King Kong moment. Gentle beast takes care of unconscious girl. Forget the fact that it kidnapped her in the first place, feel bad for it!

Tammy is now playing charades with the T-Rex to figure out that it’s Michael inside. Didn’t take as long as it should have. I could have watched teeny T-Rex arms making “1st word” signs for 2 hours and been satisfied.

T-Rex is surprisingly spry, creeping around Michael’s funeral without snapping a single twig. It’s also sobbing as drunk uncle give the eulogy.

Side question: Tammy is trying to get Michael’s body out of the coffin. How did they get his body for the funeral? That would mean that someone would know where the evil lair is, no? That is definitely a logistics question that is too deep for this film.

On the hunt for a new bod for Michael! It is basically an outfit montage as Byron and Tammy lift up bodies to the window for the T-Rex’s approval. His is somehow making an effective thumb’s down motion without any thumbs.

Pretty sure the T-Rex just gave the scientist the finger.

“Hang on to your boobs, girl!” “That’s my friend’s brain inside that dinosaur!”

Oof. The Sherriff’s (and Byron’s) last name is Black. The two dumb cops just barely contained themselves from referring to Byron as an unpleasant slur. At least the film is making these two cops the idiots, but….. oof.

Byron is quickly becoming the hero of this story. “If it’s a machine, why does he need a tranquilizer????” Byron, voice of reason and logic.

Sooooo Michael’s brain is now attached to a handheld video camera. They’re still looking for bodies to put him in (apparently checking out some frozen skiiers this weekend).

As a testament to their true love, Tammy leads in to the credits by doing a strip tease for her boyfriend, the video camera. No, not kidding.

After watching this, I discovered that the director of Mac and Me also directed this movie; that makes sense. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you’re familiar with the whole Paul Rudd/Conan bit? If not, google “Paul Rudd Mac and Me” immediately.

I mean, there are some fun bits here, and obviously you need suspension of disbelief, but there was also a lot that didn’t age well. Tammy and Michael’s relationship is so weird – at the end, he’s literally a brain in a jar and yet their relationship is somehow predominantly about sex. The portrayal of Byron was hard to watch because it was hitting so many stereotypes it was perpetual cringe. I’m glad he turned out to be a more important part of the story by the end, and wasn’t villainized, but ouch. This sidekick did not get justice, which is a shame. It was one of those moments where you feel like they thought they could get away with it because it’s an over-the-top movie, so he’s written off as just another over-the-top character.

Overall, this is a movie…..about Paul Walker’s brain in a dinosaur. What you see is what you get!

Featured Image from mdherren at Pixabay

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