Opening with the wail of an Alex Cooper impersonator, Tammy and the T-Rex (1994) transports you to a past era. Remember tank tops, beautiful girls, traditional African garb, yellow tulips, dog tags, mullets, and schoolyard fights? “Billy, you know the school has a restraining order against you,” says the especially memorable female lead and love-interest (Tammy from the title) in the first scene of the film, although unlike new films which often feature grotesque male leads, Michael (the male lead in this film, a doe-eyed slender hunk who soon have his brain forcibly relocated into the head of an animatronic t-rex) is just as hot as Tammy.
The revenge plot of Tammy’s former boyfriend—a mullet-ed anti-hero unafraid to abuse women in front of large partying crowds—leads poor Michael into a literal lion’s den, or some sort of poacher resort. Michael, though, is essentially murdered three times: firstly by Mullet, secondly by Nurse Helga who messes with his life-support wires, and thirdly by an angry nerd in lab coat who opens Michael’s head with a saw and could pass for a middle-schooler.
In another memorable scene, an overweight party animal wearing a motorcycle helmet sways at a party to grunge music with a partner half-dressed in lingerie. In what has to be my favorite image from the film, Tammy tries to climb out of Michael’s open grave while rats cling to her red velvet dress.
This is a silly but fun film containing both humor and gore and moments of accidental, eerie beauty.
Today is April 23rd, 2020 and this film is currently streaming on Shudder.