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Film: Theodore Rex
And it just gets weirder from there.

"Did anything weird happen tonight?"
Theodore

How would you like to see a direct-to video sci-fi movie that is a loose rip off Blade Runner — except it stars Whoopi Goldberg and Barney? You wouldn't? Oh.

Whoopi Goldberg only completed the movie because New Line Cinema threatened to sue her if she walked off the film (after seeing Kim Basinger get sued into bankruptcy after the fiasco that was Boxing Helena, she decided she could live with the shame if it meant keeping the lights on). Theodore Rex was initially intended as a theatrical release but went straight to home video instead, making it the most expensive direct-to-video movie ever made. That's certainly something to keep in mind if you dare to watch it.

You know that Super Mario Bros. movie? Theodore Rex is very similar, and arguably even stranger.

According to an Opening Scroll, the story is set in a Dark and Edgy Cyberpunk city "A long time ago in the future" (really), where humans coexist with anthropomorphic animal-people. It's a buddy cop movie with dinosaurs. Theodore is an anthro Tyrannosaurus rex who wants to be a cop. He gets his chance when he is partnered with Whoopie Goldberg to solve another anthro T. rex's murder.

Then things get weird(er).

An extensive review, with links to other reviews, can be found here. While the film isn't the best quality, the confusion and sheer randomness of the onscreen action is actually kind of impressive. Just when you think the movie can't get any more insane... it does. It really does. That helps it stand alongside Santa Claus, "Manos" The Hands of Fate, and The Room on the very thin border between So Bad, It's Good and So Bad It's Horrible.

Compare Howard the Duck. Not to be confused with a notable biography of Theodore Roosevelt. Not to be confused with Anonymous Rex, which is a book series that, coincidentally, is about a dinosaur detective solving crimes amongst humans.

Tropes used:

  • Because Destiny Says So: The Big Bad clearly sides with the nature side of the "nurture vs. nature" debate.
    "The genetic code [is] the map of our destiny, and we are all slaves to our DNA".
  • The Big Board: You can clearly see in the background for a scene at a police station that it tries for some neopunk style version of the giant battlemap with young waifs pushing units around with croupier rakes. However the overblown size and odd dress code means that it looks more like the Olympic curling team are pushing around Hershey's Kisses.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Apparently, anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurs subsist entirely on... milk and cookies. He calls himself a "recovering carnivore", going under the type where carnivorism in talking-animal land is akin to alcoholism.
  • Ceratosaurs and Tyrannosaurs and Humans, Oh My!: Incidentally, don't look forward to there being any explanation as to why there are anthropomorphic animals. In some scenes, it appears that they may be aliens, and they have their own society and culture. But in others, it is implied that Theo and friends were grown in a lab or something.
  • Da Chief: The Commissioner.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Um... this is actually one of the more notable exceptions.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans don't like the anthropomorphic animals. Just because they aren't human, we guess; it's never really explored in the movie.
  • Gasshole: Theodore Rex did not just butt trumpet.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: Apparently there's a "Ninja Grid" in addition to the "Dinosaur Grid."
  • Insult Backfire: Subverted
    Katie Coltrane: Are you The Toymaker?
    The Toymaker: I've been called many things.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Half the cast really. Theo himself is designed just a hair better then Howard the Duck.
  • Random Events Plot: It starts with a pretty butterfly exploding in an anthro's face and just gets stranger.
  • Running Gag: Theodore's swinging tail that knocks things over and his love for cookies. The swinging tail gag is more annoying than funny. And the running gag for cookies literally resorts to the shouting of the word, which is a shame.
  • Starring Special Effects
  • They Fight Crime: Whoopi Goldberg + dinosaur.
  • Vegetarian Carnivore: Theodore Rex is a "recovering" carnivore that eats mostly cookies. Apparently, "I can't believe it's not meat" hasn't been invented yet.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Kane, the Big Bad. He wants to start a new Ice Age and essentially start civilization over from there. Seeing as the setting of the movie is your typically crappy future dystopia, he kind of has a good point.


Show Within a ShowBuddy Cop ShowEnd Of Watch
T Rex Back To The CretaceousDinosaur MediaThe Valley of Gwangi
Tank GirlFilms of the 1990sThings to Do in Denver When You're Dead
Big Creepy-CrawliesImageSource/Live-Action FilmsThey Live!

alternative title(s): Theodore Rex
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