The Blood of the Dinosaurs

The Blood of the Dinosaurs (2021)

“So Joe, I have a question,” says actress Kali Russell at the beginning of The Blood of the Dinosaurs, sitting on a sofa besides the film’s director and (with Jason Kruppa) co-writer Joe Badon. “What the hell is your movie about?” 

“We want to talk about from beginning?” asks Badon, to which Russell replies, “Yeah, the ultra-beginning – the first…”  

The Blood of the Dinosaurs is a short film preoccupied with beginnings – not just because it is a prologue to Badon’s forthcoming The Wheel of Heaven (which itself started life as a short film, before evolving to feature length), but also because it is obsessed with prehistory, origins and birth.  

It shifts from a recreation (with plastic models) of the dinosaurs being extinguished by a comet to a public access Christmas Special in which the extremely creepy host Uncle Bobbo (Vincent Stalba) and his young assistant Purity (Stella Creel) discuss the origins of petroleum and its many by-products in the ‘blood of the dinosaurs’.  Then an educational clip on oil derricks combines film of mechanical petrol extraction with other pumping footage of a decidedly more sexual nature (derived from the site ‘Born Hub’), and we somehow segue into a horror sequence (in the year 2099!) where the adult Purity (played by Russell) becomes demonically possessed while in labour in a hospital, and gives birth to a version (again adult) of herself.

The Blood of the Dinosaurs

Constantly going behind its own scenes to show the mechanics of its own making, incongruously merging children’s show, horror and porn, and combining archival footage, cheesy effects, online clips and throat singing into a rhythmic succession of alienation effects, The Blood of the Dinosaurs is a lysergic mixed-media montage that births the viewer into the strange, as yet unseen world of The Wheel of Heaven. It is a dizzying postmodern amuse-bouche, funny, freaky and frightening, which primes us for its follow-up while leaving us still somewhat bewildered as to what the hell either short or main event is about. One thing is for sure, though: like the dinosaurs’ blood, or Purity’s impregnation and parturition, here something new and unexpected is always, eventually being created from the old.

strap:  Preoccupied with prehistory and parturition, Joe Badon’s surreal short film is a manically unsettling prelude to a feature

© Anton Bitel