Plot: Rico (Stephen Lee) has just returned from a jungle expedition and has wound up with some unusual eggs, but that isn’t much of a surprise, since his work tasks him to work with all kinds of relics from the past. But these eggs are rare and invaluable, not to mention stolen, as Rico boosted them from the natives. Before he can cash in on these priceless artifacts however, the eggs wind up in the care of Jerry (Austin O’Brien), a young man who loves Elvis. Jerry and his sister are fascinated by the eggs, unaware of what they might contain. Rico’s assistant Vicki (Colleen Morris) happens to be dating Jerry’s dad Frank (Brett Cullen), so she is able to warn them that Rico will want them back, but by then, the eggs have started to hatch. As Jerry and his family try to wrap their minds around the sudden presence of real, actual dinosaurs, can they protect the little dinos from Rico’s ruthless clutches?
Entertainment Value: This is some family friendly cheese as only the 90s could provide, through the lens of Moonbeam Entertainment, the family aimed arm of cult film studio Full Moon Entertainment. The story is brisk and fun, safe for all ages and while it is hokey to say the least, it should still appeal to young viewers and the b movie vibes will interest some of the older folks as well. I’d rate it as harmless above all else, as the movie never veers into hilarious moments, but has some solid chuckles and mostly avoids the usual saccharine family touches, which is nice. The typical family friendly beats are here, but the focus is on fun and humor, while the pace moves at a nice clip and never feels drawn out. At just over 80 minutes, Prehysteria seems to know its audience and keeps things light, but also has some Full Moon style schlock, which again helps b movie fans have some laughs. The jokes are cornball, dad style humor, the performances are over the top, and the 90s vibes are omnipresent, so that should tell you all you need to know, as to whether or not Prehysteria is for you. The old school stop motion dinosaur effects are a lot of fun and add immense value as well, so for fans of family friendly cheese or dino-cinema, this is likely worth a spin.
As is appropriate given how 90s this movie is, one of the leads is Austin O’Brien, who had several high profile roles in that decade. I’ll always know him as Last Action Hero’s Danny, but O’Brien’s turn in Prehysteria is one of his lesser known efforts, despite being right in the thick of his busiest years. His performance here is about on par with his other child star work, which means he runs with the humor and that’s about all we can ask, really. He brings an energy and enthusiasm to the role, so he is an asset here and that helps Prehysteria’s overall entertainment value. The cast overall is passable, as most of the performers seem to get the silly sense of humor and embrace it, while others go more sincere and either way, it can be fun to watch. No one is going to line their shelves with awards from this kind of material, but the cast shows up to perform and adds to the b movie fun. I also like seeing Tony Longo, so he was a highlight here, while the cast also includes Brett Cullen, Peter Vasquez, Stephen Lee, and Colleen Morris, while Charles Band and his father Albert served as directors.
The Disc: Full Moon’s Blu-ray release gives us a new presentation sourced from the original camera negative and the movie looks fantastic here, much better than any previous home video release. The visuals here look very clean and crisp, with more detail than I expected. The image depth is impressive, with a high level of fine detail and while the optical effects haven’t aged well, the dinosaurs still look cool, I think. I found colors to be bright and natural, while contrast is stark and consistent. This is the kind of presentation fans should be delighted with. The extras include a solid audio commentary track with Charles Band and Austin O’Brien, a Videozone episode on the movie, and the film’s trailer.