Two years before his famous encounter with Montezuma, Cortes is sent on a scouting mission to shores south of Mexico where he and his band of Conquistadores discover a small tribe of Aztecs...
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Two years before his famous encounter with Montezuma, Cortes is sent on a scouting mission to shores south of Mexico where he and his band of Conquistadores discover a small tribe of Aztecs who sacrifice their own people to satisfy the hunger of the "Thunder Lizard" living in the jungle.
I was prepared to hate AZTEC REX. Stupid title, stupid plot, completely unbelievable. Charitably called a B-movie, this is one of the many schlocky pictures released via the Sci-Fi Channel in America. Others have been absolutely god-awful, so why shouldn't this one be? From the beginning, things don't look good. The T-Rex is inevitably brought to life with some pretty diabolical CGI effects that make the BBC's WALKING WITH DINOSAURS look like an authentic nature documentary. The acting is wooden – there's no point trying to deny it. When the highlight is an ex-NEIGHBOURS actress wandering around in a bikini for the film's duration, you know you're in trouble. With a bunch of ex-TV actors and actresses attempting to convincingly portray Aztec warriors and Spanish Conquistadors, there's not really much hope, even from the start. The low budget and cheap look dooms this one from the outset.
But – wait a second. This film has something that most B-grade flicks don't: it has a sense of humour. And hey, it's actually quite entertaining to watch, albeit in a so-bad-it's-good way. Sure, it's a cheesy combination of at least three movies: JURASSIC PARK, APOCALYPTO and KING KONG, but somehow, the combination works. Instead of making us wait an age for the monster to appear, as in the old monster flicks, this one introduces us to the T-Rex from the start as he chews a guy's leg off. That's something else: the surprisingly graphic blood 'n' guts effects. They come thick and plentiful, with actors losing limbs, intestines and spraying arterial blood across the screen. The thing about the gore is that it isn't repulsive as in something like HOSTEL. Instead, it's colourful and amusing and left me looking forward to the next poorly animated death.
In the end, AZTEC REX is a success. I loved it, a lot more than many A-list Hollywood blockbusters. I was enthralled, I had a laugh, I had a really good time. And I can rest the success of this delightful movie on one man's shoulders alone: director Brian Trenchard-Smith. This man has been making B-movies for over thirty years and shows no signs of slowing down. He was responsible for TURKEY SHOOT, one of my all time favourite 'nasties', as well as the fun crime flick DAY OF THE ASSASSIN. Trenchard-Smith knows his genre inside out and I think he's a man who you can guarantee will give you a fun time. Leave your expectations at the door and give AZTEC REX a chance!
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