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Film / Tammy and the T-Rex

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Tammy and the T-Rex — an evil scientist implants the brain of Michael, a murdered high school student, in an animatronic Tyrannosaurus. He escapes, wreaks vengeance on his high school tormentors and is reunited with his sweetheart Tammy. Together, the couple try to elude the mad scientist and the police and find a more appropriate vessel for Michael's brain.

This 1994 sci-fi/comedy film is notable for its early appearances of Denise Richards and Paul Walker as the main characters. Terry Kiser, better known as Bernie, appears as Dr. Wachenstein.


Tammy and the T-Rex provides examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Wachenstein's assistant in a white nurse's outfit, complete with Black Bra.
  • Adults Are Useless: Tammy's father does absolutely nothing to stop Billy busting into his house to attack Michael, despite Tammy having a restraining order against him.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The plot should have failed entirely the moment Dr. Wachenstein took Michael's brain out of his body.
    • Michael’s body shouldn’t be that decomposed (that is, halfway through skeletonization) after 24 hours at most.
  • Asshole Victim: Billy is the one who started everyone's problems by kidnapping Michael, beating him, and leaving him to be mauled by lions. He gets one of the more brutal deaths by getting his head ripped off.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Tammy and Michael are introduced wearing crop-topped shirts.
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  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Michael looks surprisingly intact after being mauled by lions.
  • Brain in a Jar: Michael after being removed from the animatronic T-Rex. And that's how he is at the end of the film.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Billy, Tammy's ex-boyfriend who beats up Michael for hanging out with her, barges into her house when he suspects Michael is sneaking into there, and leaves him at the animal park to be mauled by lions.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The animatronic T-Rex.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film takes place over about three days:
    • It opens during the afternoon of one day, Michael is beaten and mauled at night.
    • Michael's body stolen from the hospital during the day and his brain implanted into T-Rex animatronic, T-Rex Michael escapes during the night and rampages through the party.
    • Michael's (badly decomposed) body is dug up in the late morning after his burial, confrontation with Dr. Wachenstein during the afternoon, it's still daylight when Tammy returns home with Michael's brain.
  • Genre-Busting: It starts out as a Romantic Comedy, then slides into Sci-Fi Horror (of the Unwilling Roboticisation type) and a side helping of Black Comedy (Tammy and Byron going to the morgue and showing T-Rex Michael various corpses to see if he likes them), without dropping any of the love story.
  • Groin Attack: During their fight at the beginning of the film, Michael and Billy grab each other’s balls. One of the deputies refers to the fight as a "testicular standoff".
  • Gutted Like a Fish: The fate of Weasel, the first person killed at the party when T-Rex!Michael cuts him open with his foot. And later Dr. Wachenstein.
  • Hypocrite: Despite claiming that Tammy is his, Billy has no problem sleeping with other girls.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Wachenstein.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: There's no explanation as to why Dr. Wachenstein even has an animatronic T-Rex in the first place and there's no good reason given for putting a human brain in it when it can clearly think and move on its own.
    • Really, the entire movie.
  • Man in the Machine: Michael
  • Mind Screw: Good luck making any sense of this thing.
  • Mood Whiplash: All over the place.
    • After gruesomely murdering a henchman and scaring off an old lady, T-Rex!Michael goes to a pay phone and tries to call Tammy about his situation, comically checking the coin return for change with his little dino-arm.
    • During his rampage at the party Tammy was at, T-Rex!Michael picks up Byron and comically dusts him off before putting him down.
    • Right after Tammy mourns the destruction of Michael's T-Rex body, there's a scene which involves Tammy giving Michael's brain an alcoholic drink and a striptease.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: The T-Rex robot is destroyed when the cops empty their guns into it.
  • Off with His Head!: Michael bites off Bobby and Billy’s heads.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Why exactly does Dr. Wachenstein have a T-Rex animatronic?
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Michael kills a henchman and the bullies that put him in a coma after becoming a cyborg.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Wachenstein's assistant Helga proves to be much smarter than her boss by running away from a pissed-off T-Rex!Michael at the end, escaping unharmed (her skirt didn't quite make it, though).
  • Smart Ball: Tammy somehow comes up with the idea of putting Michael's brain in a cadaver without much foreshadowing.
  • Sole Survivor: Helga is the only surviving member of Dr. Wachenstein’s crew as Bobby and Karl are killed in T-Rex Michael’s escape, while Dr. Wachenstein is killed at the climax of the film.
  • Squashed Flat: Karl and some bullies get stepped on by T-Rex Michael, completely flattening them.
    Helga [after finding Karl flattened next morning] You looking a little flat, Karl?
  • Testes Test: Tammy and Byron go to look for a new body for Michael's brain after it was put into the body of a robot T-Rex and his original body is starting to decompose. They go to the morgue to look for a fresh body and comically take down sheets to waist level. Obscurus Lupa comments in her review, "Yes folks, our heroes are judging a dead man's penis."
    Tammy: No way.
    Byron: Oh, c'mon, he's perfect!
    Tammy: Not to me he isn't.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Byron, Tammy's black effeminate friend.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: Michael was killed to make Dr. Wachenstein's cyborg dinosaur.
  • Voodoo Shark: It seems fairly clear that at one point in the production, the animatronic prop was supposed to be an actual T-Rex before they realized that it was clearly not up to the task and changed it to be so that Dr. Wachenstein owns an actual In-Universe animatronic prop. Fair enough, at least that explains why the dinosaur looks so goofy. It does not, however, explain why Dr. Wachenstein owns an animatronic T-rex in the first place.


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