Tammy and the T-Rex (aKa Tammy & the Teenage T-Rex) is a 1994 science-fiction comedy film co-written & directed by Stewart Raffill (The Ice Pirates, Mannequin: On the Move, High Risk, & Mac and Me). It was co-written & produced by Gary Brockette (Deceit). The project started from the director getting access to a full size T-Rex animatronic from a major theater owner that was interested in getting a movie made with it. They only had it for a month & wrote the script in a week. It was marketed as a family friendly film by Imperial Entertainment. The edited PG-13 version with almost 8 minutes removed from the original cut was released during it’s first run & home video releases. Cheerleader Tammy (played by: Denise Richards from Wild Things, Starship Troopers, The World is not Enough, & The Toybox) is seen talking to her new boyfriend Michael (played by: Paul Walker from The Fast and Furious franchise, Running Scared, Joy Ride, & The Skulls) plus her best friend Bryon (played by: Theo Forsett from M.A.N.T.I.S., Street Knight, & Street Hawk) when her crazy ex Billy (played by: George Pilgrim from Timemaster) shows up with his gang that includes Weasel (played by: Sean Whalen from The People Under The Stairs, 3 From Hell, Twister, & Suicide Kings), Michelle (played by: Michele Maika from NYPD Blue), & Wendy (played by: Shevonne Durkin from Leprechaun 2, Ghost in the Machine, Magic Kid II, & Rage and Honor) to harass the new couple.
Michael & Billy get into a fight after exchanging some words but Tammy can’t take it so she runs away from all the drama. Police officers Norville (played by: George ‘Buck’ Flower from The Fog, Berserker, Puppet Master II, & Pumpkinhead) & Neville (played by: Ken Carpenter from Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, Blood Games, Elves, & Phantom of the Paradise) break everything up but Michael gets the last laugh on Billy. Billy tells him that he is dead after being embarrassed. Dr. Wachenstein (played by: Terry Kiser from Weekend at Bernie’s 1/2, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Pet Shop, & From a Whisper to a Scream) with his staff which includes his assistant Helga (played by: Ellen Dubin from Napoleon Dynamite, Scanner Cop II, RoboCop: Prime Directives, & Dead Before Dawn 3D), lab technician Bobby (played by: John Franklin from Children of the Corn franchise, The Addams Family 1/2, & Hell’s Kitty) & Karl (played by: John Edmondson from Mannequin: On the Move & The Foreigner) work on their new experiment which happens to be a robotic Tyrannosaurus.
Billy & his gang catch Michael sneaking into Tammy’s place. They chase him out of the house & take him for hostage. After tormenting him for awhile, they leave him for dead at a wild Animal Park where he is mauled by a lion. He is found comatose & they bring him to the hospital where his only remaining family member Uncle Bob (played by: John F. Goff from Summer Camp, They Live, Drive In Massacre, & Maniac Cop) watches over him. Dr. Wachenstein & Helga declare Michael dead when he’s not & steal his body for science. They implant his brain into the Tyrannosaurus & that’s when all the madness begins. Michael has a new body & he is out for some gruesome revenge. Sheriff Black (played by: J. Jay Saunders from Beetlejuice, Someone’s Watching Me, Nomads, & House Party) is called in to investigate all these brutal murders in his town. Are these insane stories actually real? Can they stop this monster from his killing spree????
You probably just read everything above & you are instantly thinking to yourself, is this actually a real movie? Tammy and the T-Rex is beyond ridiculous, it’s definitely a refreshing take on the classic Frankenstein story plus it’s one of the weirdest romantic comedies mixed with some science fiction that I’ve ever experienced. I’ve personally never seen anything like it before, it’s very unique & it has no problem making fun of itself. I still think it’s bizarre that the producers thought they could turn this into a family friendly film by removing all the gore from it. They were hoping the strange title & the cover would push them over during the home video craze. They wanted it available to everyone but this isn’t a kids film regardless of the rating. The Tyrannosaurus actually looks pretty good for being a cheap 90s flick. Thanks to the great folks at Vinegar Syndrome, Tammy and the T-Rex is re-stored back to it’s original gruesome cut. It’s loaded with gore now & the kills are very fun here. The special fx from John Carl Buechler (A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Halloween franchise, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, From Beyond, & Bride of Re-Animator) are the true highlight in this, it makes you miss how horror used to be back in the day. It’s much better than that butchered PG-13 version that took out all of the fun from this. The script is really silly & it does have some hilarious moments every once in awhile. Tammy and the T-Rex has excellent casting, it has so many familiar faces in this from a variety of genre pictures. Denise Richards looks amazing & I am surprised that Paul Walker did a feature like this, then again both of them were just starting out at the time. Terry Kiser hams it up here, he gives full on over the top performance as the mad scientist . The whole production has those type of performances in it, it kinda reminds me of an early Full Moon production. You can tell everyone was having fun with this & not taking anything serious. This is one of those love it or hate it type of experiences. Turn off your brain & have some fun with Tammy. It’s pure entertainment, it’s one of those features that you get messed up with your friends & start riffing on it together. It’s awesome to see something like this get resurrected on home video. Vinegar Syndrome put lots of effort into this & the final product looks top notch. It’s wild out of everything that’s been made when it comes to cinema that this got a 4K/UHD release before lots of classics, this is why we love Vinegar Syndrome. RECOMMENDED!!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Vinegar Syndrome! This 2160p (1.85:1) transfer with Dolby Vision & HDR10 blows away any other version of this feature that’s ever existed. It’s been newly scanned & restored in 4K from it’s original 35MM camera negative. It’s like a whole new experience, it’s a major improvement compared to the transfers from the past. Vinegar Syndrome proves once again, they are one of the best when it comes to restorations especially for cult films like this. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is also a huge upgrade over all the old home video releases. The dialogue is crystal clear, all the dinosaur madness is elevated, & the music has a nice boost to it. It has English SDH subtitles. You really have to appreciate Vinegar Syndrome for giving something like this the royal treatment when it comes to high definition. It looks & sounds way better than expected, I hope they keep doing 4K releases & maybe upgrade some of back catalog in the future!
Let’s discuss the special features from Vinegar Syndrome! “Audio Commentary ” with director Stuart Raffill & producer Diane Kirman is the only extra that’s on the UHD disc. It’s hosted by Bret Berg from the American Genre Film Archive. They go over the time restraints & rush they had with the T-Rex for the production. They chat about the low budget for the film & the quick script for it. They talk about the cast & all the familiar faces involved with the project. They bring up some natural disaster situations they went through while filming Tammy. They have a good time revisiting this silly little movie. The rest of the bonus material is located on the blu ray. “The PG-13 Cut” is a little over 82 minutes. This version makes you appreciate what Vinegar Syndrome did even more because of what was added back into the film & the brand new restoration compared to this is on a whole other level. It’s still a cool extra to have. “Blood, Brains, and a Teenage T-Rex” is a little over 22 minute interview with director Stuart Raffill. He chats about moving from England to the United States to get his start in the film business. He talks about training various animals for movies. He tells the story of the theater owner & producer that had access to this robotic dinosaur & wanted to make a film with it. He says he had a certain amount of money that he could spend on it & very little time to use the gigantic prop. He says he wrote a script real quick while his producer wife put together the rest. He mentions discovering both Paul Walker & Denise Richards in this. He says they both had great chemistry together. He chats about fires going on when they were filming that were causing delays but he was able to pay them to off to finish filming. He talks about how movies were different then & gore wasn’t really accepted so the feature got edited. He talks about the special fx for the production. He mentions dealing with similar issues with Ice Pirates when it came to producers changing the final film. “A Blast from the Past” is a little over 11 minute interview with lead actress Denise Richards. She chats about it being her first film. She talks about working with Paul Walker. She mentions the director made everyone work through the fire because the visuals it naturally had during the scenes. She says she isn’t embarrassed about it at all. She brings up that it’s actually never been mentioned in any of the major interviews that she has done over the years. She brings up it never had a big release so she’s glad it’s finally getting released here. “Having the Guts” is a little over 12 minute interview with actor Sean Whalen. He chats about getting noticed & some heat from doing some major commercials. He talks about that getting him in the film industry & some of the earlier projects that he worked on. He brings up his experience on this feature, working with Denise Richards & Paul Walker. He says it was very low budget compared to other films that he worked on at the time. He shows his appreciate for Mac & Me from the same director. He tells a funny story about the special fx & his death. He mentions doing horror conventions & this one rarely gets brought up but it when they do they are very passionate about it. “A Testicular Stand-Off” is a little over 25 minute interview with actor George Pilgrim. This is my personal favorite extra on the release. This dude is hilarious! He chats about how he got the role & his experience on Tammy. He talks about dealing with various re-writes & changes during the production. He’s full of energy & tells a variety of entertaining stories about shooting the film. This includes a random testicular stand off, one of the cops having a heart attack on the first day, & working with the robotic dinosaur. The way he describes & goes through these experiences are worth the purchase of this disc alone, this dude cracks me up. I wish he did a commentary for this. It’s great to see Tammy get some love when it comes to home video, this release has all kinds of extras on it. A limited edition version with a Lenticular slipcover is available exclusively at the Vinegar Syndrome site right now. It’s also out early there, it will be available everywhere on January 28th. CHECK IT OUT!!!!