Prehysteria! 3 (1995)


I’m not sure who is to blame for this film, but this is a terrible way to close out the “Prehysteria!” series. What began as a novel movie turns in to a piss poor series of kids films with diminishing returns thanks to the budget that gets lower and lower with every film. The original family that discovered the small dinosaurs must not have loved these animals too much, as when the third film opens, they’re once again being cared for by the eccentric old man from the second film who proceeds to lose them once again.

From what I imagine, the movie is set directly after the second film as their caretaker is driving home to the dinosaurs’ owners as they left the house of the rich boy from the second film. For some reason while traveling the foursome of dinosaurs escape the back of the truck and go exploring. They happen upon a precocious and quite irritating young girl named Ella. She’s obsessed with golf and the Scottish culture so much she speaks in Scottish slang and even talks to a framed picture of Sean Connery. Her dad is the owner of a run down mini golf course that Ella’s mean rich old uncle wants to buy for some reason, and believe it or not the dinosaurs feel tacked on to the film. Ella loves golf and wants to prove herself, and she’s watched over by her dad, as played by Fred Willard, who was once a golfing champion.

Ella is shockingly underwhelmed when she happens upon the four dinosaurs, which detracts from the intended wonder and novelty from the first film. Ella reacts to these live miniature dinosaurs like she’s finding a prize in a box of cereal, and she proceeds to focus on saving her dad’s mini golf course while fighting off her uncle’s rude teenage minions. Elvis and his dino pals just stand in the background and never actually share the screen with actress Whitney Anderson at any point. That’s likely because most of the shots of the dinosaurs are reserved for slight animatronics, stop motion, hand puppets, and the models being pulled by string.

At one point Willard’s character stuffs Elvis the T-Rex in to a bag and the model wobbles like cheap rubber. And while Madonna the Pteradon had little screen time in the second film, she is virtually missing from this film, appearing only once and in stationary mode. Like the sequel, “Prehysteria! 3” feels like a whole other kids film with the dinosaurs tacked on and is quite a terrible film all things considered. I guess director DeCouteau worked with what he had available to him but, despite the charming Whitney Anderson, “Prehysteria! 3” is a really poor final installment to a generally entertaining novel family film.