Today’s Lesson

The Blood of the Dinosaurs

by Hope Madden

Joe Badon seems like an odd duck.

Or so his films would suggest. The director/co-writer’s latest absurdity, The Blood of the Dinosaurs —which appears to be related to an upcoming short The Wheel of Heaven—delivers oddball charm and horror in equal measure.

What’s it about? That’s an excellent question, and not a simple one to answer.  

Kids’ TV host Uncle Bobbo (an eerily unblinking Vincent Stalba) wants to teach us where oil comes from. With assistance from his vampire puppet co-host Grampa Universe (voiced by John Davis) and his young helper Purity (Stella Creel), he seeks to enlighten and entertain. And misinform.

What else does Badon hit on? Birth. Death. Choice. 3D glasses. Kitch. Homage. Dinosaurs.

Badon, writing with regular collaborator Jason Kruppa, riffs on old school kids programming almost along the lines of Turbo Kid, Psycho Goreman, maybe even Strawberry Mansion and last year’s Linoleum. The Blood of the Dinosaurs, running a brisk 30 minutes, is far more confined and targeted than these. It feels a bit like an actual episode of something, but something terribly wrongheaded. Sort of a Pee-wee’s Playhouse for sociopaths.

If that does not seem like a ringing endorsement, you’re not reading it correctly.

The film throws a lot at you and not all of it hits, but Stalba’s central performance jibes perfectly with the weird concept to create a show that, quite honestly, I’m sorry I can’t watch every Saturday morning.

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