Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Prehysteria

PREHYSTERIA (1993)


Notes: Moonbeam Entertainment.
Frank Taylor: Brett Cullen
Colleen Morris
Monica Taylor: Samantha Mills
Jerry Taylor: Austin O’Brien
Rico Sarno: Stephen Lee
Also starring Tony Longo, Stuart Fratkin.

Written: Greg Suddeth, Mark Goldstein
Produced: Charles Band
Directed: Charles Band, Albert Band
Visual Effects: David Allen Productions.


Summary: On a jungle trek, while native guides run away, fat grumblingSarno wants “sacred junk.” Back at the farm, Jerryis jumping on his bed to Elvis music and sister Monica is paintingher toenails. On the phone she val-whines, “Can you believemy brother listens to Elvis? . . . living in the Stone Age!” Raisin-farmer Dad calls the kids to help him with more fossils. The insti-tragedy is that Mom is dead and Ruby’s five puppieshave been given away. Monica looks like “Madonna in heat,”and curfew is announced. Dad is defensive in front of Jerry:”Who says I can’t handle her? I can handle her!”

Sarno steals sacred pygmy-dinosaur eggs, preservedby a tribe in a refrigerated cave: “Oh man, it’s like a meatlocker in here.” When the Taylor family drives to town tosell the fossils, they visit Sarno’s shop where Frank flirts withVicki and a cooler switcheroo takes place. Sarno announces onthe phone, “I don’t want to get prehysterical here but Ithink I’m gonna change the course of natural history.” He’sfound a “holy grail” but the cooler reveals only a turkeybone.

The Taylors’ dog Ruby (“Oh please don’tlet her be preggers again”) hatches the eggs. Jerry seesfive mini-dinos and only the T-Rex takes dogfood from his hand. Jerry names the T-Rex Elvis: “I know how it is, Elvis; I’ma meat-and-potatoes man too.” The Pterodon flies aroundthe house so Jerry shows Monica the dinos. Elvis bites her ass,and Jerry claims she’s “just been kissed on the tush by theking. . . . Relax, [he] just needs meat.” After dismissingBon Jovi and Prince, they name the other dinosaurs: the Brachiosaurus(Paula, which threw me for a while, but must refer to Abdul),the Stegosaurus (Jagger), the Chasmosaurus (Hammer), and the Pterodon(Madonna).

Whitey cleans the shop, but Sarno is paranoid. He accuses Vicki of stealing his eggs and she hits him with arock. Frank sees his wrecked kitchen and the dinosaurs eating. The kids, especially Monica, are acting more responsible. Vickiarrives and worries about her bedrock attack. “What, youkilled Fred Flintstone?” Jerry plays rock music for thedinos; they get down. Vicki is introduced. She remarks on theT-Rex: “These things were over 40 feet and 7 tons–the biggestterrestrial carnivore that ever lived!” “Sort of aDarwinian re-do.”

Vicki has to insist “your kids are adorable”to Frank, but Monica spies on them kissing on the couch and bitchesabout Vicki. The Pterodon on her shoulder has parrotlike vocalizationabilities. Frank sleeps on the couch and the next morning Vickisees him: “Nice underwear.” “The kids gave ’emto me.” He has to “have a talk” with Monica (“Don’tyou think you should put on some pants first?”) and buttsheads with boyfriend doof Danny. Sarno shows up with a gun tryingto steal “All my children, mine, mine mine, mine,” butthe T-Rex attacks him and Frank makes him crawl back to his car.

The “talk”: “Ever since youwere four years old you and I could talk about anything.” Mom’s been dead two and a half years. They bond and hug/cling.

Sarno and two thugs, one of whom stabbed hisart teacher in sixth grade with a chisel, take the dinos and takeVicki hostage. Sarno plans a press conference and one reporterasks, “Miss Vicki, is it true you were married to Tiny Tim?” Whitey and Vicki have sabotaged the presentation so Sarno, announcing”Behold, I give you prehistoric life,” unveils Rubythe dog. The others rescue the mini-dinos from a warehouse whereone box reads “petrified white rhino / fragile.” Frankpunches Sarno and takes off with Vicki, kids, and animals. Whiteyhas the last line: “Thet’s a fahn-lookin’ family you gotthere, Mr. Taylor.”


Commentary: This is all fairly harmless, I guess, but behind the line–“Iknow how it is, Elvis; I’m a meat-and-potatoes man too”–liessome evil. Why the sympathetic pathos? After all, Elvis is theonly one who has gotten something to eat so far. So the malebrat bonds with the T-Rex vs. the others over this sad tone ofinexplicable supposed victimization of meat-eaters.

The portrayal of the kids becoming more responsiblebecause of the hatchlings is objectionable, particularly as regardsMonica who bonds with Madonna and even calls, “Come to Mama.” The kids are worthless pains in the ass. This film sends themessage that the answer to pain-in-the-ass offspring is simplymore offspring of their own responsibility.

And for Christ’s sake spay the damn dog! Theyall kvetch about the last litter they couldn’t keep and how theyhave to keep Ruby away from all the neighbor dogs constantly. Idiots!

One also finds ample evidence of an incestuousfather/daughter relationship having taken place.

For all these reasons, the trailer for thisfilm should have run: Prehysteria is Prehysterical! Makesure to have a Prehistorectomy!