Rico, a sleazy museum curator, steals a tribe's sacred dinosaur eggs in the rain forest. Frank is an archeologist and single parent, and eeks out a living by selling fossils from his farm to the museum. In a mixup, his kids bring home the eggs and hatch the miniature dinosaurs. Frank is falling in love with Vicki, who works for Rico, and finds his life complicated when the dinosaurs begin trashing his house, and Rico attempts to regain his treasure.
Directed by: Albert Band
, Charles Band
. Starring: Brett Cullen
, Colleen Morris
, Samantha Mills
, Austin O'Brien
, Tony Longo
, Stuart Fratkin
, Stephen Lee
, Tom Williams
, Gill Gayle
, Peter Mark Vasquez
, Ellis Levinson
, James Shanta
, Jane Caldwell
. Music by: Richard Band
, Michael Bishop
Movie cans are well aware of the name Charles Band but perhaps most people are not. Band was the son of director Albert Band who decided to follow in his father's footsteps beginning in the 70s. In the 80s he came up with a plan to form his own studio, to produce movies for the growing niche market of video stores at the time and to produce so many films before the end of the century. I don't think he quite made his goal but that was not for lack of trying.
Beginning under the mantel of Empire Pictures he later changed his productions to fall under the umbrella of Full Moon Pictures. The company had consistent output at first and created several successful series of films, most notably PUPPET MASTER, TRANCERS and SUBSPECIES. In the early 90s Band decided to have a wing of the company that would make nothing but family friendly films featuring science fiction, fantasy and non-horror relater films. He called this branch Moonbeam. Their first film was PREHYSTERIA! and it's making its way back to disc once again.
Opportunistic museum curator Rico Sarno (Stephen Lee) is in search of a secret cave in South America. A blow hard of the worst kind and an ugly American as well, he cares nothing about the sacred lands of the people whose caves and tombs he enters. When his guide tells him they can go no further he returns on his own, finds a set of giant eggs in a cave and prepares to steal them. The native finds him but before he can stop him Sarno knocks him unconscious and absconds with the eggs.
Cut to Sarno's home town where Frank Taylor (Brett Cullen) is raising his family on a farm, selling fossils he finds to Sarno. His wife having passed away two years earlier Frank has two children to take care of, Monica (Samantha Mills) your typical rebellious teen and Jerry (Austin O'Brien) an Elvis loving all around kid. Vicky (Colleen Morris) who works for Sarno tries to treat Frank fairly but Sarno wants none of it. She also tends to flirt with Frank. Trading in his latest finds and then heading home the Taylor's dog picks up the wrong cooler on the way out.
Once home the dog takes the cooler to the basement and lays with the eggs in that cooler, hatching them. Jerry happily finds the result, a group of small dinosaurs. Letting his sister in on the secret it isn't long before the cute little critters make a mess and dad finds out what's going on. In the meantime Sarno is on the rampage looking for the cooler and the eggs, intent on making millions from them.
Vicky shows up at the Taylor's house to warn them that Sarno is intent of blaming them for the loss of his cooler. When they show her the dinosaurs she tells them not to let Sarno learn about them because he'll just exploit the animals and not worry about their welfare.
Of course it isn't long before Sarno figures out what's going on and brings along two goons to capture the dinosaurs and Vicky as well for good measure. But some way the Taylors will find a method to set things right, save the animals and rescue Vicky. At least we hope.
Let's start out by saying that if you view this film only as an adult you'll find it to be only so so. But that's the point, the movie wasn't made just for adults but for kids, for families. Viewed through those eyes the movie is a great success offering some fun for the adults, cute little dinosaurs for the kids and enough mayhem to have the little ones laughing from start to finish. It's no more harmful than the Three Stooges or Abbott & Costello movies we all grew up with. Kids will love it.
The thing that makes or breaks a movie like this though is the dinosaurs. Remembering this was the days before major CGI and done on a miniscule budget do they pull it off? Absolutely. A combination of puppetry and stop motion animation bring the tiny creatures to life. Not only that they display different characteristics as well. And they come off as the cuddliest creatures you will find. Hopefully they won't grow to full size though.
The film was followed by two sequels and did fairly good business when released. Kids who grew up in the 90s and are adults now will find a certain amount of nostalgia watching this movie. On top of that they will be able to pick it up to share with their kids as well.
The movie is being released on blu-ray format and includes just a few extras. Those include previews for other Full Moon titles, an audio commentary track with O'Brien and Band and the Moonbeam Videozone, an extra created at the time to offer a behind the scenes look at each movie being made. If you loved the movie growing up then by all means make sure you pick it up to enjoy again.
Review by kirbylee70-599-526179 from the Internet Movie Database.